Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Taranaki, New Zealand
I've just done my head set bearings, being that the bike was in bits I decided to check the ignition switch. Mine is mounted in the top (train light set up) and being that bike ignitions are open to the elements are prone to getting all sorts of muck in there along with water. I'd also had the odd no power instances on a couple of occasions. Being an industrial sparky I've rebuilt numerous ignition switches over the years so have seen first hand the damage muck, water and bad connections these create.
In answer to your question TC, Yes you will experience complete power outage to the bike as the contacts are simply not making good contact.
The Kawa key ignition set up is easy to disassemble.
1. Mount the ignition, key down in a vice, do not remove until reassembled.
2. There is two screws that hold the lot together, these two screws have a tonne of thread lock applied.
It is important to use the correct fitting phillips and apply a decent amount of pressure whilst removing. If not these screws will 'round out' quickly are they are very soft (aka, rubbish steel).
3. Remove the rear cover.
4. The rear cover along with fixed contacts plate with the wiring harness should now slide out.
The fixed contacts plate has two rows of contacts and should be clean with only light marks/wear from the sliding contacts being switched back and forth across them. Clean up with a rag, I use a bit of CRC on the rag. If there is green, black or grey sludge this will indicate water, grease muck that will cause general poor connections.
If the contacts are badly scored, show signs of shorting or deeply grooved will require clean up. My trick is to usually clean up the faces of the contacts with a fine file to smooth things out. Be aware they are brass so gently gently and watch you don't bugger up ya file. Once done, clean everything again to remove all filings and dust.
5. Now remove the contact sliding plate from the ignition. This is white with two sprung mounted contacts in it. These should only have light marks on em and not be deformed. If they are badly bent, have holes worn or electrically blown through them, the ignition unit is not worth repairing, buy a replacement unit.
6. Provided these two contacts are fine, lift the whole plate out carefully.
Be aware there there is two main springs (key side) behind the white mount plate, these provide tension on the white mount plate. These springs sit into holes on the mount plate and have ball bearings that back onto the ignition aluminium moulding. As the plate is lifted up, rotate to one side to see these. Rescue these now to save a long hunt on your knees and put in a safe place.
7. With the mount plate removed, the two contacts are also spring mounted, again rescue and clean everything up.
8. Whilst everything is removed I sprayed a tonne of CRC down into the key area and operated the key and removed it several times, amazing how much yuck comes out, leave key out to allow remainder of crc to drip out.
9. Re-install white mount plate with rear springs/beall bearings using grease to hold in place. re-install in to ignition.
10. Re-install springs and contacts to front of the white mount plate. Use NO grease, copper contact or a like as this will cause shorts.
12. re-install fixed contact plate, again no grease along rear cover and screw up. Before screwing up, press rear down and make sure ignition key turns to all positions and should have a notched feel to it as turning. Note, I have drilled a small hole in the rear plate to let water out as mine had evidence of water damage.
13. Remove from vise and re-install ignition to bike.
Enjoyin life out n about New Zealand, feet first, two up on our Vulcan two-point-O.
Last edited by RuaphuNZ; 06-05-2016 at 09:29 PM.