Bike won't move in first with clutch in / won't start - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 1:39 PM Thread Starter
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Bike won't move in first with clutch in / won't start

I'm working on my EX500 that's sat for about two years. What started as electrical gremlins (ground getting smoking hot) has turned out to be something in the bottom end seized up. I've verified the starter is good by removing it, rebuilding it, and making sure it spins not in the bike. No issues, no ground wires getting hot.



In neutral the bike rolls anywhere. In first with the clutch pulled in, the rear wheel is locked. In neutral when the bike tries to start, the starter motor can't overcome the force to turn over the engine.



I've removed the side cover and spark plugs and rotated the engine manually -- no problems there. I have no idea what to do or where to go. What could be causing the issue?



Any help would be greatly appreciated.

'73 CB125S | '99 Ninja 500
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 2:35 PM
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stuck clutch ,normal. start engine hold front break rev to 5000 pull clutch in engage first and slip clutch for a few seconds . or put the front wheel against a wall and slip clutch at 5000 rpm until it stalls.
Then clutch will be fine

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 4:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm. Can't start the bike up because the starter motor can't overcome the force of whatever's stuck. Would removing replacing the clutch also fix it?

'73 CB125S | '99 Ninja 500

Last edited by nrex500; 1-11-2020 at 4:48 PM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 5:14 PM
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hi. No if it wont turn over in neutral how is removing the clutch going to help. it's a gen ! so could be magnet trouble. I assume seeing as how you must have removed timing case to replace the starter did you look at the magnets on the fly wheel to see if any where missing. if not do so check the battery and all connections to the starter it may something simple like just not enough power to turn the engine

Last edited by yorkie; 1-11-2020 at 5:18 PM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 5:23 PM
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his signature says its a '99....thats Gen 2. Should not have any flywheel magnet problems.
Confirm...is that the subject bike OP? And mileage too?

I quote OP:

"In neutral when the bike tries to start, the starter motor can't overcome the force to turn over the engine."
"I've removed the side cover and spark plugs and rotated the engine manually"

So, please explain, with bike in neutral...you hit starter button...precisely what are symptoms at that point? Cranking? Do instrument lights dim?
Battery is confirmed good via load test?
Is the battery you are using the same one that sat in the bike for the 2 years?
Was the bike outdoors or garaged for those 2 years?

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 5:48 PM
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just for sharts and gargles....the crankcase is not overfull with gas/oil is it? It would be able to rotate manually, with plugs removed, but when plugs installed for start attempt.....hydrolock condition.

So to diagnose this condition....a start attempt with plugs removed....is there a geyser of fuel out the plug holes?

Does the engine now crank when starter engaged with plugs removed? or NOT?

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Last edited by ducatiman; 1-11-2020 at 5:55 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 8:18 PM Thread Starter
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> his signature says its a '99....thats Gen 2. Should not have any flywheel magnet problems.
> Confirm...is that the subject bike OP? And mileage too?

It's a 1999 so a gen 2. Mileage is... maybe 10-15k? Not 100% certain as it was used as a track bike before I had it. The odometer the previous owner provided has about 9k on it.

Hopefully no magnet troubles. When I had the side cover off to replace the rebuilt starter motor I didn't see anything obviously wrong with the stator/magnets/etc.

> So, please explain, with bike in neutral...you hit starter button...precisely what are symptoms at that point? Cranking? Do instrument lights dim?

It'll crank over 1-2 times. However it will not continue to and there is a clicking noise from the starter solenoid and/or junction box as well as the ground wires getting extremely hot. To me this is indicative of some kind of short. I've tried shorting the starter solenoid to skip all the circuitry inside the junction box and wiring harness and get the same thing -- hot grounds and 1-2 cranks before clicking.

Both the starter solenoid and junction box have been replaced and I have multiple spares of each on hand and tried multiple combinations of them all. I've also hooked the starter solenoid into a power supply to verify it and buzzed out the entire junction box based on the troubleshooting in the official Kawasaki EX500 service manual supplement. No issues I can find. I even have a spare starter motor on hand as well. Same results with all. At this point I do not think the starter, starter solenoid, or the junction box is the issue.

Oil is maybe a week or so old from when I rebuilt the starter motor. It appears to be about halfway up the sight glass, so I doubt it's overfilled. I'll have to try with the plugs removed tomorrow.

> Battery is confirmed good via load test?
> Is the battery you are using the same one that sat in the bike for the 2 years?

Battery is brand new and was sitting on a trickle charger overnight. I had the same results using a known good battery out of my VFR750. I'm stumped here.

> Was the bike outdoors or garaged for those 2 years?

Bike was outdoors and under a cover for the two years.


Thank you all for your help!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 8:58 PM
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pending results of a no load cranking test (plugs removed), may be worth pulling the flywheel, remove and visually examine the starter clutch components...its springs, rollers, starter gear, chain ...the whole enchilada between starter and crank. If the engine is free to rotate via the flywheel nut (which you've confirmed) very likely your problem is there somewhere.

Prior to reinstalling the LH cc cover you can engage the starter and safely get a quickie visual crank test of those inner workings too. Needless to say, watch fingers, long hair, clothing...beware. A helper, someone to press the start button while you're carefully observing, may be advisable too.

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Last edited by ducatiman; 1-11-2020 at 9:01 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-17-2020, 5:49 AM
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Id be checking your camchain, and cam timing as well, those tensioner are pretty crap and I’ve thrown a camchain on one of these before.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 1-17-2020, 5:54 AM
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Also is the earth lead connected to the starter?
The positive and earth cables correctly connected to the starter...not the wrong way around?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 2-13-2020, 5:25 AM
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Did you try putting your bike stand up
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