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Discussion Starter #1
So, last Wednesday, I ride my bike to school for an orientation. Now, being the intelligent man that I am, I proceed to park, drop the kickstand, and walk away from the bike with the keys in the ignition. Came back three hours later to a completely dead battery. Thankfully no one stole my baby. I tried repeatedly to push start it, at one point I managed to get it up to speed, but all that happened was the back tire locking up and a short skid. Looked like a fool, wheezing (I'm sick) and running, popping the clutch, cursing loudly, repeating. Is it possible to push start these things? Should I have been in second gear instead of first? Or was it just my bronchitis keeping me from giving it enough umph? Thankfully, my gf was awesome enough to hop in her car and drive 45 minutes to give me a jumpstart, with only mild teasing.
Keys. Very important things to remove.
 

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Second gear is better for pop starting but here's the thing, it's a fuel injected bike.

That means a fuel pump, two fuel injectors, AND an ECU need to have adequate voltage to operate before the engine will start. That's in addition to juice for spark. You can pop start a sluggishly-starting VN900 that just won't crank enough to start but a completely dead, key-on-nothing bike will not start. (Though Kawasaki DOES have a fuel injected, kick start dirt bike. But that is not this bike!)

Also, jumping/pop starting is ill advised if avoidable. It can potentially wreak havoc on various components of the charging system, it's not designed to recharge a battery (though it will in a pinch). I don't know what the situation was but IF it was possible, I'd have just left the bike there, had someone pick me up, and took the battery home for an overnight charge. (Assuming this school was somewhere you trusted leaving the bike, etc. etc. A lot of variables, I know).

Otherwise, in a PINCH (and again, not recommended and counter-indicated in your manual) you can jump from any 12 volt vehicle. A car or anything with a decent output alternator, I'd leave the engine off. Just hook the cables straight to their battery, crank and go. I HAVE done that before. Left the key for several hours while hundreds of miles from home. (Only time I've ever done that) In THAT situation, when it's not really feasible to recharge the battery, I did it. Just hooked cables to a not-running pickup truck and she fired right up. Rode it all day.

Also, keep an eye on your battery. Once a lead acid (sealed/AGM or otherwise) battery drops below 12.4v it begins to sulfate. Yours has, because if it hadn't it would've started. That means internal corrosion and damage HAS happened in your battery and a chemical process has begun (and been accelerated) that will wear it out. Might last you another 5 years. Might not hold a charge at all. Just keep an eye on it. Sluggish starts or unable to hold a charge after a couple of days without a load are signs of a battery that has succumb to sulfation. (It can also be tested with a load test). Sulfation significantly reduces the capacity of a battery and it could leave you stranded again. Best way to test is to charge it completely and have it load tested.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Won't try push starting it again. I couldn't leave it there overnight unless I wanted it to be towed away- but I was smart enough to jump it with the car off. Figured a bike couldn't handle the amperage from a running vehicle. I'll also keep an eye on the battery or get it tested. I haven't had much hope for this battery anyway, I just bought the bike, its a 2008 with 5k miles, the guy who owned it previously basically just let it sit and rust in his driveway while he rode his moped instead.
 

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I've done the same thing but I was luckly enough to be in my driveway. I took the battery out and charged it. Speaking about being a bonehead. Once I was at Lowes when I went to get on my bike I couldn't find my key. This was right after I lost my other key and of course I didn't have time to get a spare made yet. I retraced all my steps looked in my helmet and pockets. Went to the service desk no key turned in I had employees helping me look no key. Didn't know what I was going to do without any keys for the bike. So I had to call the old lady to come pick me up and I also started to call tow trucks. She arrived and pissed not because I lost the key but I didn't have a spare made. So she went in the store to look. I was outside with my daughter when I looked and by some miracle there's the key laying in my helmet. It had hid itself behind the padding. My daughter was laughing but the wife was pissed at me for being such a dummy but later she was laughing about it. So the very next day first thing that morning I went and got 2 extra keys made and stashed them away in a safe place. About 3 months later I found my original key that I lost. It was in the washing machine filter basket. Seems to never be a dull moment in my household
 

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I've parked my bike in front of my house and left the key in the ignition and the ignition on TWICE. Once on the 9, once of the Vic. You feel like an even bigger idiot the second time you do it lol

Nice thing about the Vic is the MFD on the speedo is kind enough to tell me that the battery has low voltage and even gives you a readout (7.4v when I discovered it). Nothing like feeling stupid AND having your bike get all pedantic with you.

I also had to bump start my VN700 a couple times...yes, it's much easier on a carbed bike, and much easier in 3rd gear.
 

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I always turn my bike off using the key, not the kill switch. I bet almost everybody on here has done that at least once. Hit the killswitch, forget about the key, dead battery.
 

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I've never tried it on the 9 but had success on other bikes. Use 3rd gear, get some steam up, bump down on the seat when disengaging the clutch & twitch the throttle. Hopefully the tires will grip and you can get enough revs to get it started.
 

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My employer pays me to take a MSF course and the second level of said course, and in that course we are taught to always turn off the switch first. Fortunate for me I always carry stuff in my saddlebags so I have to pull the key to get the items out to finish my uniform and grab lunch. But before this I always turned the key, never used the switch. I hated that switch, still do, but my employer paid for the class, so I use it. Once the engine has stopped, the switch is flipped again. I hate trying to start the bike and then remembering I turned that off.


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You guys jinxed me, I did it again today!

Like some of you, I might use the ignition switch to shut the bike off if it was in a better place. But with long legs, and that awkward under-seat ignition switch of the VN900, it's kind of awkward to hit the ignition. Just easier to hit the kill switch, get off, then take the keys out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I never use the killswitch, I just pop the kickstand down in 1st with the clutch disengaged. With my old rebel, I left it on once- but that little thing was easy to push start in first. Speaking of kill switches, I usually completely forget that they're there. In an emergency, I'm sure my mind would go to it- I used to have a 1979 Honda cb175 whose throttle constantly got stuck open, installed a ghetto kill switch and used it often. With the rebel, there was more than one time where my bike sat for a week or two as I slowly went over anything and everything that could be wrong with it, replacing random bits and tearing parts of it down, all to realize that my kill switch had somehow been tripped. My issue is with the placement of the ignition key slot doo-hickey. It's not right in my face where I can see it. And there's no buzzer to let me know that the keys are still in the ignition when the door is open :p. And I'm kind of a space cadet- too many hallucinogens and psychedelics in my youth, perhaps.
 

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I like the out-of-the-way position of the ignition, I don't get keys banging around on the tank or 'dash'. But, Mother Kawi says to always turn off the engine using the ignition key. She also tells me to always park my bike in first gear. Since the the ignition is under my left cheek, I have to let go of the clutch to turn the key, that means I have to be in neutral to shut it off. Then I have to rock the bike while downshifting to 1st after shutting down. That's just stupid. So I usually use the kickstand to shut it off, occasionally I use the kill switch. That way I know both are working.
 

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It's all about habit and routine. Get one down and it will always go as planned.

I use kill switch every time. mainly because I usually park on slopes and letting go of the clutch is not going to happen. apartment has a hill parking lot so I roll up, pull clutch lever, apply brakes, kill switch, let out clutch lever and "slowly" roll til gear catches, put kickstand down, lean bike, hop off, take key out, turn handlebars, lock column lock, open truck (I always try to park next to it) and put on disc lock (Xena with alarm). Reverse to get going.

Rinse and repeat daily and it's like second nature. There have been times when I forget to lock the column or forget to put on the disc lock but generally goes as planned. And my brother got me into an OCD habit of hitting the turn-signal off button every so often (I use to forget since I drove cage) to make sure I wasn't the moron :D
 

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Pretty soon, some genius is gonna come up with the way to integrate the same beeping mechanism that occurs with cars when the door is open and key is in the ignition for bikes where if the ignition is in the ON position for more than 5 seconds while the kickstand it down, it will do the same loud, annoying beep.
:coffee:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And just like that, I have a new project to put my electronics knowledge to use. Turcoloco, it was your idea, wanna get in on this? :D anyone wanna help with marketing? *grin*
 

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Pretty soon, some genius is gonna come up with the way to integrate the same beeping mechanism that occurs with cars when the door is open and key is in the ignition for bikes where if the ignition is in the ON position for more than 5 seconds while the kickstand it down, it will do the same loud, annoying beep.
:coffee:
Wish they would!

Actually, what I REALLY want (and some brands have this) is the RFID key fob setup. Although without the need to flip a switch anyway. Like my stepdads mazda. If the keyfob is in your pocket, you just hop in and push a button. Make the starter button 'dual purpose'. One press kicks on the ignition. Second press cranks the starter. Press again when conditions are met (below 2mph or something) to shut off the ignition, and the engine with it. While you still have the kill switch for emergency engine shutoff (which would leave the ignition, and thus lights, on. Could also just use the kill switch if you wanted engine off, ignition on).

Maybe that's too complicated, but I'd still like the Key Fob thing to be more integrated. Current systems still require turning a 'key', they just eliminate the need to remove or insert said key (it's permanently there, but it only 'works' if the key fob is near). Although I think the new Indian setup on the chieftan is a little better?
 

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And just like that, I have a new project to put my electronics knowledge to use. Turcoloco, it was your idea, wanna get in on this? :D anyone wanna help with marketing? *grin*
You should look at the commercially available RFID setups (Like: http://motogadget.com/en/electrics/rfid-ignition-lock-m-lock/m-lock-rfid-zundschloss.html) at modify them to do MORE than our current ignition switch. For example, if they could be made RF instead of RFID (thus not be required to contact the switch), followed by the installation of a dash (doesn't need to be handlebar) mounted 'ignition' switch that is only functional when the RF transmitter is within range... would be awesome! Or a much longer range RFID system. As it is, the "m Lock" required you to 'touch' the unit to the receiver. Still better than dangling keys, but not what the technology could potentially be!

Because here's the kicker. If there was a 'kickstand down, engine off' condition and the RF transmitter went too far away, it could just shut the bike off! Forget to turn off the ignition? Well, unless the engine is running (for obvious safety reasons, you don't want anything that could unintentionally shut off the engine or headlights, which is why both a kickstand down AND engine off safety should be included).

Yeah; that's what I want. An RFID transmitter I keep in my pocket, with all of my other keys. When I sit on my bike, I press a button below the speedometer and it comes to life. Start it like normal, shut it down with the kill switch like I always do. Press the button again to turn off electrical power but if I forget, it'll shut off for me when I walk away from the bike.

I'd buy it!
 

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Push start

You can push start them in second (too much speed needed to do it in first), but it is almost impossible to do by yourself. I had to have someone else push! I just had to do this last week due to a bad stator!
 
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