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MrHonda, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 534
Experience:  40 years of Honda motorcycle ownership & repair. Author of the Classic Honda Buyer's Guide (MBI)
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My motorcycle wont start. The battery is good. When I turn

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My motorcycle won't start. The battery is good. When I turn the ignition key I hear a click under the seat but nothing else. It's an '87 Kawasaki Ninja 750. It's in great shape, only 30k on it. Any ideas?
Hi, how did you "check" the battery? Did you load test it at a shop or have you checked it with a volt meter when there is an electrical load on it?

Batteries can take a surface charge, where they show voltage, but not too many amps are left to do the work.

Check the battery voltage level when you hit the starter button. If the volts drop down into the 10-11v range, the battery needs replacing. If it stays up above 11 volts the starter solenoid may be failing. Jump across the starter solenoid big posts with a screwdriver momentarily. That will give you a few big sparks and then the starter motor should kick over. If not, then either the battery is flat or the starter motor is having issues.

We are seeing a lot of starter switch failures now as these bikes age and that is always a a possibility to check out with a 12v test light.

Bill S.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi, I had it load tested at a shop and it came up as good. Besides it's a pretty new battery, only a few months old.

It sounds like it could be the starter switch. I'll try your screwdriver trick. Are there any precautions I should take before trying it?


Eric, just make sure that there isn't any open gasoline fumes around the bike... carb spills or leaky fuel lines. Do it outdoors, but it only sparks as you contact the posts. Just don't get jumpy when it sparks and hold it down steady until you get a response.

Bill S.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sounds good. Thanks for the help!
Thank you for accepting the answers.

Best wishes,

Bill S.