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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so we hit 17 degrees last week, and I ride year-round. I go out to the bike to start the warm-up, and the 6 month old beast just wouldn't start. It was turning, just not starting. I thought immediately "must be the battery." Couldn't get it to jump, either. Gave up, and put it on the trickle charge that night. The first couple of hours, it showed it was working, so I went to bed. The next morning, the charger showed "fault." Well, I thought maybe it was full, so I tried to no avail to get it to start, again. I tried the quick-charge, and it immediately went to "full," then back to "fault." So I give up and call the dealer, and they want the bike in. I said "well, if you come help me push-start this 850 pound tank, then I just might be able to get it in..." He agreed to just see the battery...lol. Well, the battery tested out just fine. He looked me up in the comp, and came to a startling discovery... A few months ago (during summer) when they did my inital 1000 mile oil change, the idiots put 20W50 oil in it!!! I tell the guy, as I told them at that time, "that makes no sense, I ride year-round." So, all this for one lesson, if you have trouble getting started in the winter, don't rule out the option of maybe it's your oil!!!
 

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Oh.....someone has to clarify this..... Makes no sense to me.
Thick oil...????
Your able to get the engine turning but won't spark to start :confused:
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Discussion Starter #3
too cold for oil to let engine turn over fast enough to get going... or something like that... he said if they would have put in 10w40, a better weight oil for winter than 20w50, than I wouldn't be having as much trouble... I warmed the bike with a space heater, and it started right up...
 

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1946-2014
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I find that surprising.

What? Surprising that I don't like the snow and REALLLLLYYYY cold weather?

I can handle the cold but when the white stuff starts falling I'm heading South or when the temp gets down below freezing, I'm staying indoors with the heater going.

BTW, what part of Houston do you presently habitate? I'm over in Atascosita, North East corner of town. We should get together sometime and swap lies, er, I mean stories.
 

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I should have quoted V2K's post about the cold thick oil preventing the engine from starting. That's what I find surprising. I mean, if the engine turns and it gets a spark, I would think it should fire and run. I guess the cold oil wouldn't let it turn over enough to spark? Whatever. I know the oil viscosity needs to be lower for colder temps, so that must be why!

@CP59, I live in Copperfield, NW area. I live in this part of the country precisely because of the lack of cold. I'm originally from northern Indiana, Ft Wayne area, and I got here as quick as I could! Also, I was going to reply to your post about going darkside because I am contemplating it and when you return from your trip I want to meet up with you to discuss your findings... and maybe get a test drive, maybe...? Anyway, have a great trip!
 

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1946-2014
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@CP59, I live in Copperfield, NW area. I live in this part of the country precisely because of the lack of cold. I'm originally from northern Indiana, Ft Wayne area, and I got here as quick as I could! Also, I was going to reply to your post about going darkside because I am contemplating it and when you return from your trip I want to meet up with you to discuss your findings... and maybe get a test drive, maybe...? Anyway, have a great trip!
I just got home from having the Goodyear Tripletred put on. 205/65/16R fits like a glove and it was $102.00 plus tax, naturally. I could not be happier with it. I'm going to post a complete report over on the other thread so go there and read it.
We should get together some time soon and swap bikes so you can get the feel for it. Do not hesitate, go Darkside, you will not regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, the story continues.... Using the space heater in the shed overnight helped greatly. Every evening, when I'd leave for work, it was warm enough for the bike to start just fine. Well, on Wednesday, the temp was around 30 when I was leaving work.... Bike wouldn't start. I even tried pushing it down the ramp in the parking garage...twice.... huff puff.... Called the dealership. He said to try in the morning, and he'd come get it if it wouldn't start. It didn't, and he picked it up. They had to charge the battery. So the next day, he goes into telling me that because I use my driving lights all the time, that it gradually drains out the battery, and that is why the bike wouldn't start........ WHO THE HELL DOESN'T RUN DRIVING LIGHTS ALL THE TIME????????? OK, lots of ya, but there are millions of us who use the lights "always on," and NEVER have a problem.... I still think it was the oil... He changed the oil, and is leaving the bike sit in the cold over the weekend, and we'll see tomorrow, if the bike starts with the 10w40 oil instead of the 20w50. Oh, I hope it does good, and I can get back on it........ Update to follow....
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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v2k LT, light tank? I once dated an army girl, she said she was in the light infantry. I asked her if she knew why they call it the "light infantry". she said no, why? I said it is because in a war they send you in first and then they turn on the lights!
am no longer dating.. her. C'est la vie. out, ponch
 

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Discussion Starter #13
v2k LT, light tank? I once dated an army girl, she said she was in the light infantry. I asked her if she knew why they call it the "light infantry". she said no, why? I said it is because in a war they send you in first and then they turn on the lights!
am no longer dating.. her. C'est la vie. out, ponch
The irony of it all is that when I was in the Army, I was trained as a crewmember and gunner of a "Light Tank" called the "Vulcan." And with the bike weighing about as much as a light tank, I just thought it was a fitting name...lol.
 

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So, the story continues.... Using the space heater in the shed overnight helped greatly. Every evening, when I'd leave for work, it was warm enough for the bike to start just fine. Well, on Wednesday, the temp was around 30 when I was leaving work.... Bike wouldn't start. I even tried pushing it down the ramp in the parking garage...twice.... huff puff.... Called the dealership. He said to try in the morning, and he'd come get it if it wouldn't start. It didn't, and he picked it up. They had to charge the battery. So the next day, he goes into telling me that because I use my driving lights all the time, that it gradually drains out the battery, and that is why the bike wouldn't start........ WHO THE HELL DOESN'T RUN DRIVING LIGHTS ALL THE TIME????????? OK, lots of ya, but there are millions of us who use the lights "always on," and NEVER have a problem.... I still think it was the oil... He changed the oil, and is leaving the bike sit in the cold over the weekend, and we'll see tomorrow, if the bike starts with the 10w40 oil instead of the 20w50. Oh, I hope it does good, and I can get back on it........ Update to follow....
Why not just go with 5W40 oil. I've been running Rotella T6 in mine all year. It starts at 10 degrees nearly as well as at 80 degrees.

And for those of you who don't believe the cold affects 20W oil, it does. I can attest to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Our summers do get over 100, here, so that's why they put 20W in. Well, I also told them I smelled a coolant leak. They found that it was coming from the "transfer hose" behind the air cleaner between the cylinders (sp) . They had to order parts, so I still don't have the bike...grr. December 30, and a high of 62.... DAMN the bad luck!!!! lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
OK, so, seriously, has anyone ever had a problem using driving lights in the winter? I have had driving lights on every bike I've owned, and have never had a problem with the battery being drained. The dealership is trying to say the "driving lights slowly drain the battery over time," and that's why it wouldn't start.... He tested the charging system, and said it was puting out over 14V, which I know is normal, and will recharge the battery of any drain from normal use, as well as accessories. I keep the lights on all the time, since they are a safety feature, to me. I think this guy is trying to pull the wool over my eyes so I have to pay for everything.... Anyone have more educated information, or am I sounding correct???
 

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I would think that a load test of some sort could be done? if you have all your electric in use and it's putting out 14 volts vs all things shut off. I would hope someone with more mechanical knowledge than me would reply :) in my town there is a small electric motor repair place that does rebuilds etc and I always take things like this to them. I would think they would be a good second opinion as to the health of your charging system though.
 

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LT, 14v? is not a true test of actual load but an indication that the charging system is producing more voltage than the load(s) are drawing. Volt x Amps, is the more true test and would require a ampmeter reading at the rectifier.

Do you have a DC volt meter? check the output voltage at the battery with the aux lamps off, low beam on and the bike idling. bet its not 14v. turn up the throttle a bit and you will see it climb some. Hit the Hi beam and do the test. Write down all your findings. Now test with Aux lamp and low beam on at idle. Throttle up, Note the increase. at about 2k rpm is 90% charge rate.

In the specification is the total wattage output of the Alternator. Its best not to exceed this total load. Kawasaki makes light bars for thier bikes and use 2x 35w lamps. They build thier bikes to handle some increase in electrical load. Need to find out what that is and if you are within limits.

I have run 2x 50w aux lamps on all my skoots for the last 10yrs. Thats about 25 bikes worth. On many, I have increased the stock headlamp from 30/50 to 50/100. Never have I had any problem or issue with overdrawing the electric system.. Now take note that I wire all my aux lamps off the battery and not off the bikes wiring harness.

I suspect that you may have a marginal charging system, ie. weak alternator or rectifier(s), 2 on this bike. and that my be why your battery is draining.. or you could just have a weak/bad battery? let us know your findings. out, ponch
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am using the Kawasaki driving lights (Fire and Steel) or whatever they callin it...lol. Anywho, thanks for the info Ponch, and I do have a volt meter, and will do as you suggest when I get the bike back....
 

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new word

I recall a time when I didn't know what a modem was so please don't flog me but, What does it mean going to the "Darkside?"
 
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