Weak start/ Can't Start - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2016, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Weak start/ Can't Start

Hey Everyone,

This morning was a great day to ride so I decided to start up my Ninja. All of a sudden I couldn't get it to start. Eventually when I hold up the throttle I can hear it starting but it would not hold up its RPMs and will drop to zero and stall.

Below is a video.


Worst part is it was working fine a few days ago (did a 3 hour ride).

Can anyone give me some pointers?

Last edited by toastz; 07-30-2016 at 01:50 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2016, 05:39 PM
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I would check the battery with a multimeter first and make sure it's properly charged. If the problem continues then I'ld increase the idle cable

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2016, 05:48 PM
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It's not the battery. It's either running on one cylinder or it isn't getting enough fuel.

Test the cylinders by getting it to run a bit then spraying some water with a spray bottle on the headers. If one doesn't steam up then that cylinder isn't firing up.

Also, try turning it on with the gas tank cap open. It kind of sounds like it isn't breathing and not allowing fuel into the lines. This could be from poor tank ventilation or the charcoal cannister is blocked. You can delete charcoal cannister if you find the write up on here.

Also, is the fuel pump priming when you turn the key? If not then your fuel pump isn't priming.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 02:39 PM
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Just saw the video. I don't think it's a battery or starter problem. It looks like it isn't idling correctly. When my bike is cold (haven't ridden it for more than an hour), it idles around 2,000rpm at start up. Once it warms up (usually after riding for about a mile or two), the idle slowly and progressively drops to around 1,300rpm and remains there.

What is also confusing is how long it takes the bike to start once you hit the starter button. Has it always been like this?

Have you (or anyone you know of) played around with the idle adjustment screw/knob? At no time should the motor idle below 1,000rpm. Do you have an aftermarket slip on or exhaust? Your bike sounds different from a stock bike. If you have a stock exhaust, I say something definitely sounds funny.

My suggestion: Start the bike and use the throttle to keep the bike between 1,500 to 2,000 rpm for a few minutes. Don't rev it. Just hold the throttle steady at 1500-2000rpm for a few minutes. Then let go of the throttle and see what RPM the bike idles at. If it's below 1,000rpm, use the idle adjusting knob/screw to adjust the idle to around 1,500rpm and see if the bike will hold its idle there. If it does, go for a short ride around the block a few times to allow the bike to warm up. Once it does, get back to your house and readjust the idle to around 1300rpm. This may or may not solve your problem. But at least it'll get your bike idling at the proper RPM.

Where do you store your bike at night? Does it sleep outdoors? If it does, has there been heavy rain by you lately? Water may also have seeped into your tank contaminating the fuel.
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Last edited by cadd; 07-31-2016 at 02:41 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 04:58 PM
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I considered mentioning the idle but with the odd sounding idle and since he didn't mention adjusting the idle beforehand, I really think it's a fuel or firing issue

Last edited by 1uglybastard; 07-31-2016 at 05:00 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 07:04 PM
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Sorry man but it sounds crappy. I also believe it's running on one cylinder sounding like a 150cc. Start from the easiest and most basic things.
Check the idle screw.
Check the operation of the secondary throttle valve lobe that pushes the trhottle forward during cold start. No need to disassemble anything, just crouch and watch.
Check if the fuel pump is operating, listen to the prime test in the tank when you turn the ign sw on.
If you can check if the spark plugs are operating normally. You take them out, connect the stick coils and put them resting on the cylinder head. (the ground electrode should be in contact with the engine block). Push the starter and check for spark.
Verify if you have the fuel tank contaminated (wierd for a 3000 mile bike) but maybe there's water or some dirt.
It could be thousand things but start with dat.

Take a look at this troubleshooting guide from the service manual.
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Last edited by jonara90; 07-31-2016 at 07:10 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-08-2016, 09:50 AM
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That sounds like mine after it comes out of winter hibernation.
Not sure the cause of yours but mine eventually went away once I rode more

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