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Chapter Two; Troubleshooting; Starting Difficulties - Kawasaki KZ500 Manual

1979-1985.
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Table of Contents
C H A P T E R T W O
TROUBLESHOOTING
Troubleshooting motorcycle problems is
relatively simple. T o be effective and efficient,
however, it must be done in a logical step-by-
step manner. If it is not, a great deal of time
may be wasted, good parts may be replaced un-
necessarily, and the true problem may never be
uncovered.
Always begin by defining the symptoms as
closely as possible. Then, analyze the symptoms
carefully so that you can make an intelligent
guess at the probable cause. Next, test the prob-
able cause and attempt to verify it; if it's not at
fault, analyze the symptoms once again, this
time eliminating the first probable cause. Con-
tinue on in this manner, a step at a time, until
the problem is solved.
At first, this approach may seem t o be time
consuming, but you will soon discover that it's
not nearly so wasteful as a hit-or-miss method
that may never solve the problem. And just as
important,
the
methodical
approach
to
troubleshooting ensures that only those parts
that are defective will be replaced.
The troubleshooting procedures in this
chapter analyze typical symptoms a n d show
logical methods for isolating and correcting
trouble. They are not, however, the only
methods; there may be several approaches to a
given problem, but all good troubleshooting
methods have one thing in common
-
a
logical, systematic approach.
ENGINE
The entire engine must be considered when
trouble arises that is experienced as poor per-
formance or failure to start. The engine is more
than a combustion chamber, piston, and
crankshaft; it also includes a fuel delivery
system, an ignition system, and an exhaust
system.
Before beginning t o troubleshoot any engine
problems, it's important to understand an
engine's operating requirements. First, it must
have a correctly metered mixture of gasoline
and air (Figure 1). Second, it must have an air-
tight combustion chamber in which the mixture
can be compressed. And finally, it requires a
precisely timed spark to ignite the compressed
mixture. If one or more is missing, the engine
won't run, and if just one is deficient, the
engine will run poorly at best.
Of the three requirements, the precisely
timed spark
-
provided by the ignition system
-
is most likely t o be the culprit, with gadair
mixture (carburetion) second, and poor com-
pression the least likely.
STARTING DIFFICULTIES
Hard starting is probably the most common
motorcycle ailment, with a wide range of prob-
lems likely. Before delving into a reluctant or
non-starter, first determine, what has changed
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