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Thread: Alright Barnett....I need some of that Kawi expertise

  1. #1
    BarnBoy is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
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    Alright Barnett....I need some of that Kawi expertise

    Picked this up the other day for $200. '83 Kawasaki KLT250C. Totally complete, but obviously it's been sitting for practically ever. Pulled the plug and ran a compression test dry, got 110 psi. Put a little ATF down the cyl and got 140-145 psi after it settled down.

    Problem is I have no spark. Where do I start? Have been using jumper cables straight to starter to crank it. Tried connecting them to the battery leads and don't get anything. Maybe I have a kill switch keeping it from sparking? It's different than the Hondas I usually mess with....any chance you (or someone else?) could get me a wiring diagram?

    Has factory speedometer which is cool....idk if that was a rare option or not. Reads 1,798.6 original miles. Overall looks pretty solid and I think it ought to run.

    Thanks for the help!
    1984 HONDA ATC200M

    Da velder

  2. #2
    BarnBoy is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
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    1984 HONDA ATC200M

    Da velder

  3. #3
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    Picked this up the other day for $200. '83 Kawasaki KLT250C. Totally complete, but obviously it's been sitting for practically ever. Pulled the plug and ran a compression test dry, got 110 psi. Put a little ATF down the cyl and got 140-145 psi after it settled down.

    Problem is I have no spark. Where do I start? Have been using jumper cables straight to starter to crank it. Tried connecting them to the battery leads and don't get anything. Maybe I have a kill switch keeping it from sparking? It's different than the Hondas I usually mess with....any chance you (or someone else?) could get me a wiring diagram?

    Has factory speedometer which is cool....idk if that was a rare option or not. Reads 1,798.6 original miles. Overall looks pretty solid and I think it ought to run.

    Thanks for the help!
    Oh, I definitely don't have a monopoly on kawi electrical knowledge, but all bikes and trikes have one of the 4 common systems, and they are similar, so you can use the same basic diagnostic procedures etc for the klt as you would for a honda or other bike with a similar style system. Unfortunately I don't have a diagram to can post a photo of, but there appears to be some online but you have to sign up to something to get them free for the first month etc. Below is the link to one of them.

    http://10.artuj.tpk-diningroom.de/h7...g-diagram.html


    A few of the basic procedures that you may already know are the following:

    Park bike in a low light area when checking for spark.

    Use a new spark plug or one that is known to be good.

    Remove the spark plug boot then cut around 5/16" off the end of the plug wire if it is long enough, then reinstall the boot.

    Check for any sign of voltage by putting a screw driver in the plug cap then holding the screw driver ad engine wit the same hand then turn the engine over with the key on and kill switch in the run position with the other hand.

    Check the neutral finder indicator switch with a volt meter or continuity tester to see if it is working properly.

    If the bike was sitting outside for a while or in a humid shed etc, make sure all the connections are clen, including the ground wires, one of which I think is mounted to, or near, the ignition coil bracket.

    Make sure the kill switch works or bypass it for now. Without a wiring diagram you obviously need to use a continuity tester to isolate the wires for all the controls on the switch. I then write down what they are on a sheet of paper and sometimes also write it on a piece of masking tape then tape it to the end of the wires by the connectors.

    Check the coil with an ohm meter if you know how.

    Make sure none of the wires are broken.

    .

  4. #4
    BarnBoy is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
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    Ok, wiring looks pretty intact so far. Doesn't appear to have been messed with. Supposedly it was running fine when parked (like everything right) but nobody parks a good bike unless there's a reason. Usually.

    Thanks for the link.

    There is no voltage whatsoever. Held with my hand and grounded to block. Nada. Will bypass kill switch and neutral indicator tomorrow.

    What are the specs for the coil? I'll look in the manual too if I can find one.

    Are replacement coils and CDI's still available for these old Kawis?
    1984 HONDA ATC200M

    Da velder

  5. #5
    BarnBoy is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
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    Also...Barnett, what are your thoughts on these Kawi 250 trikes? Are they reliable/well made (worth fixing lol)??? Common bits that go wrong??? I've heard CDI's can be problematic???

    I assume you must have a fair bit of experience with them, being a Kawasaki engineer and all.
    1984 HONDA ATC200M

    Da velder

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    ...What are the specs for the coil? I'll look in the manual too if I can find one...
    http://www.3wheelerworld.com/showthr...0-Service-Data

    https://threewheelermanuals.com/kawazaki

  7. #7
    BarnBoy is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
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    Aha! Thank you sir! Hadn't had a chance to search yet.
    1984 HONDA ATC200M

    Da velder

  8. #8
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    Also...Barnett, what are your thoughts on these Kawi 250 trikes? Are they reliable/well made (worth fixing lol)??? Common bits that go wrong??? I've heard CDI's can be problematic???

    I assume you must have a fair bit of experience with them, being a Kawasaki engineer and all.
    OMG...now you are causing me to relive old nightmares, lol. I do in fact have a fair bit of experience with them because I did every second of the testing on that model, and I can tell you that they are nearly indestructible and it never died or broke anything during any of the tests which were fairly extreme, like riding it up and down a freezing cold, 100 yard stretch of a 2 foot deep rock strewn river ever fkng day for 5 days straight in the middle of the winter, then riding it for days on end on a small motocross type track that had small jumps and big bumps etc, then towing around a 300 lb trailer for hours on end after I had to shovel it full of dirt and then un-shovel it after the test, then towing our big 8,000 lb box van in the R & D parking lot etc. I hated that fkng bike so bad that I really wanted to break it, but the muther flocker just kept on running so I had to keep on riding it.

    As far as anything specific being problematic back in day, there wasn't anything whatsoever, however, years down the road I would be inspecting the gas tank for gunk, and the fuel pump might be the first thing that needs attention besides the usual fuel lines and brake shoes, and the brake shoe actuating arms and brake pedal pivots needing grease etc.

  9. #9
    BarnBoy is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnett468 View Post
    OMG...now you are causing me to relive old nightmares, lol. I do in fact have a fair bit of experience with them because I did every second of the testing on that model, and I can tell you that they are nearly indestructible and it never died or broke anything during any of the tests which were fairly extreme, like riding it up and down a freezing cold, 100 yard stretch of a 2 foot deep rock strewn river ever fkng day for 5 days straight in the middle of the winter, then riding it for days on end on a small motocross type track that had small jumps and big bumps etc, then towing around a 300 lb trailer for hours on end after I had to shovel it full of dirt and then un-shovel it after the test, then towing our big 8,000 lb box van in the R & D parking lot etc. I hated that fkng bike so bad that I really wanted to break it, but the muther flocker just kept on running so I had to keep on riding it.

    As far as anything specific being problematic back in day, there wasn't anything whatsoever, however, years down the road I would be inspecting the gas tank for gunk, and the fuel pump might be the first thing that needs attention besides the usual fuel lines and brake shoes, and the brake shoe actuating arms and brake pedal pivots needing grease etc.
    Man, that's some crazy stuff. How did it do in the deep water? I noticed it seems to pull air from the bottom of the air box which seems kinda dumb.

    Also, when I shake the CDI am I supposed to hear stuff rattling around inside? Lol. I can't get good readings off it, a few readings I could get were a few hundred ohms out of spec. Also the stator coil read 450 ohms and spec is like 570-800 something ohms.

    I disconnected the kill switch and key switch. Kill switch was super nasty too, really rusty and muddy. No luck, can't get any fire out of it. I know it's in neutral, though I can't the the bulb to light. Ignition coil tested good, so I know that's not it.

    Are CDI's something that is repairable? Or still available aftermarket? Appears pretty cheap compared to my Hondas, and not waterproof. Click image for larger version. 

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    1984 HONDA ATC200M

    Da velder

  10. #10
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    @Barnett

    That testing almost sounds like my family's daily use of our Hondas. I've loaded my ATC200ES Big Red with so much brush on a 8x8 trailer that I had to jump to throw more on it, something like 12ft tall load of green brush stacked very carefully with some side supports. Also it was a pretty muddy trail and the load was as big as the hole in the woods for the trail lol. I made atleast 5 or so loads like that clearing the brush out in the area. Those engines don't have the greatest cylinder for cooling either so I'm sure it was running pretty hot, no real oil filter, just a simple screen, etc.

    Probably less dramatic but the TRX450S my dad has, has hauled a LOT of sand via trailer, about a yard 3ft x 3ft x 3ft square per load. When we have a machine for work, we use it like a tractor, even though it's just a little machine lol. I never had personal experience with much of anything else, just 2nd hand stuff like Suzuki that seem to always need rings, and the 350 warrior my dad bought had a ton of starter problems since new (after like 3 or 4 starters we found one that was noisy but worked). Not bashing or anything, just reminded me of the abuse I do on machines lol.





    More on topic, I'm not super strong with the Kawi, only have had a big horn 350 that I want to use the engine in an atv, very impressive torque for a 2 stroke. Anyway, 83 KLT250 on partzilla comes up as the C1 model which is nick named as a Prairie. Anyway, I have the wire diagram pulled up, but I have take a bit to wrap my head around it just because I'm used to the Honda wire diagrams. BTW I attached the wire diagram below pulled from the service manual.

    Still letting it sink in a bit more lol, side note, 110 psi, then jumping up to 140psi with some atf suggests the rings are having a lot of blow by, might be a good time to replace the rings. Clearly you'd want to get spark first though. I couldn't find a spec for what the compression test should be giving but the engine spec is 9.3:1 compression, so pretty high compression stock, so 140psi or so sounds about the right number if that was the dry test.

    Alright, a little has clicked with the wire diagram, but man it's a bit of a pain to follow. If I'm understanding things right, the CDI is DC powered, and the ignition coil always has power ran to it (with switch on) and the CDI breaks the ground side to make it spark like the old car ignition systems. This might mean you need a good battery for the machine to run, so make sure it has a good battery charged up to around 12.6v after sitting.

    I suspect the first thing we should focus on is to get the system working the proper way with out bypassing the ignition switch and safety system. This is kind of my first "deep dive" into the kawi wiring, so I'll try my best to be accurate. If you have a multi meter and a basic understanding how to use it, that would be super great.

    First thing first is to check the fuses on the machine. I can't really say where they are, but based on a Honda, there should be one near the battery for the charging system and power pulled from the battery, and the other two likely in some fuse holder, on Honda's it's normally near the neck area. Multi meter test for the fuse is remove the fuse and OHM test the two sides of the fuse, 0 ohms or dead short is good.

    The next thing I'd want to check is the ignition switch, I have no clue how reliable they are, but the function of it is documented well. There's 3 wires coming off from it, looks like a brown, white, and red/white. With the switch off, no wires should have connection to each other (OHM test again with a multi meter), with it to the first On spot it should connect brown with white, and with it on the second On spot (run + lights I think), it connects all the wires together.

    I suspect to poke at those tests and see what you find and let us know what your results are. If you don't have a multi meter, one of the like $6 ones on ebay work alright, I can look up the ones I bought for a project for you to get. Might not be super crazy accurate, but most test's don't need to be 100% perfect, just kind of yes or no, or high vs low resistance etc, we aren't building circuits here lol.

    Good luck with the diag work, let me know if you need help with the multi meter, or anything else. Since I don't know these machines very well, I can't really give test light instructions.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image26.jpg  

  11. #11
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    Man, that's some crazy stuff. How did it do in the deep water?
    Never missed a beat, so I had to put my cold wet boots on every single morning and do it again.


    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    Also, when I shake the CDI am I supposed to hear stuff rattling around inside? Lol.
    ummm...it's really best if you don't hear anything.

    Is yours metal on the back side?


    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    I can't get good readings off it, a few readings I could get were a few hundred ohms out of spec.
    Yeah, I really don't think that you can thoroughly test the CDI's even though there are instructions for testing it in the manual, but member rubbersalt may know.


    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    Also the stator coil read 450 ohms and spec is like 570-800 something ohms.
    Even though it is out of spec, it should still easily generate enough voltage to get spark.


    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    I disconnected the kill switch and key switch. Kill switch was super nasty too, really rusty and muddy. No luck, can't get any fire out of it. I know it's in neutral, though I can't the the bulb to light. Ignition coil tested good, so I know that's not it.
    So you have power to the neutral light but the bulb will not turn on?

    It now sounds like it was left out in the rain for years on end, so every connector should definitely be cleaned as I suggested. Also, a volt meter can show 12 volts but it may still not turn the light on if the connections are dirty. I know it seems like if the connections were dirty, it shouldn't show any voltage but that is definitely not the case.


    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBoy View Post
    Are CDI's something that is repairable? Or still available aftermarket? Appears pretty cheap compared to my Hondas, and not waterproof.
    Unfortunately I can not see your photos because the moderators have blocked me from viewing photos in most formats, lol.

    Member rubbersalt may be able to tel you if it is repairable, however, even if he can repair it you are likely better off buying a good used one if you can find one.

    If I recall correctly, member KBONLY had the info on how to wire one particular cheap $5.00 cdi to some of the hondas to make them work, and I'm guessing that the same thing could be done to the Kawi, but I for one have no idea how to do it.

  12. #12
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    Here's the photo Barnett, it's pretty large so I'll just leave it as a link.

    https://i.ibb.co/Hp43JfY/KIMG3809.jpg



    That kill switch looks pretty bad, does it even move? The wire diagram I don't fully grasp in the kill switch area, based on the photo and taking some guesses about the system, I'm guessing that for run the brown and red wire need to be connected together, and kill is disconnected. If you can ohm test it and see if run or off is connected and the opposite is disconnected, that would let us know if it's at least functioning. I'd love the data so I can learn more about these diagrams.

    If I can get enough notes together on the lighting switches and kill switch and such, I might be able to help source some sort of OEM replacement parts or aftermarket parts for other machines. My big thing lately has been modding parts intended for one machine, but making it work on say older machines like the 3 wheelers and such. Sadly a lot of info for non-Honda machines is lacking, and I'm unsure of some meanings on the wire diagrams, or just the details aren't there.

    Anyway, bypassing a kill switch is generally pretty simple if we can figure out what it's normal function is for run (shorted or open connection on the two wires).

  13. #13
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps2fixer View Post
    Here's the photo Barnett, it's pretty large so I'll just leave it as a link.

    https://i.ibb.co/Hp43JfY/KIMG3809.jpg
    Thanks, that works.

  14. #14
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Based upon the condition of your switch, I'm betting that the engine cylinder is rusty also.

    I would drain the engine oil and see if it has water in it, if you haven't already.

    You have a very long road to hoe in front of you, and possibly a fairly expensive one.

  15. #15
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    Oh forgot to upload the first post images. Machine doesn't look super horrible, but it probably did sit outside for a long time. Hard to really say what kind of condition it is in. I always forget the basic things first, yea oil should be checked for water first (it settles in the bottom and cranking it makes it look white/milky), also want to make sure the oil level is correct too, over full can be excess gas in the oil (carb flooded into the cyl and leaked into the oil), or water, and low could be a sign of a slow oil leak or burning oil.

    After sorting that, personally I'd see what it would take to get the electrical system working and if you're still looking at fixing it, conciser options for the engine. Personally, I'd probably go after fixing on a budget, and since it's cranking freely I'd hope the internals would be fine to be fired up after the electrical system is sorted. After that I'd make sure it moves and such and get a feel for what it might need. Pretty sure it needs rings, some people just run engines even if they smoke, it's a cheap part, but taking it apart can revel some expensive needs (bore, new piston, etc). Blindly running it as is would be a risk, could be fine, could blow up next week. Not trying to be a downer or anything, if you got it cheap, and are not super invested in the you must fix it to 100%, maybe get it running on the cheap and have some fun with it with min work put into it, and slowly work on saving money up for the possible higher cost repairs. It seems to be in fair shape, so just running I'm sure you'd make a fair profit on it, and worst case if the blows up, there's people out there that need parts.

    Anyway, looking at the photos, it's defo a unique designed machine. If I saw that in my area for $200 I would have jumped on it too lol.

    Barnett here's the first posts pics:

    https://ibb.co/gdZC3Z8
    https://ibb.co/gD3T1DG
    https://ibb.co/4SKpNbW
    https://ibb.co/Xp30M2k
    https://ibb.co/CwBbz9s

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