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Old 16 Apr 2010
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Posts: 21
Handy with KLR Electrics, London? a plea for help

Hi guys - leaving for South Africa in October. After a test run around Belgium and France my '88 KLR 650 is developing some not so clever electrical problems.

My electrics have come and gone in stages - but now were at a stage where they are ALL gone. The bike still starts and rides on a bump start - but thats it. The electrics have obviously been 'altered a bit' by a previous owner - and whilst I've gone over the fuses and the connections, I'm just not sure how to go about diagnosing.

In the spirit of wanting to learn a bit more about the bike I'm taking half way round the world, if anyone knows a bit about KLR electrics of bike elecrics in general and is in the London area (I'm SE16) I would be ever greatful if you're able to shed some light or impart some wisdom - repayment of sincere gratitude, cold and possibly a pub lunch is on offer.


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Old 14 May 2010
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Do the lights come on? My first thought would be to remove the battery, make sure all the connections are clean and that the ground wire has not broken. Be sure to check BOTH ends of the battery leads

Hope that helps

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Old 15 May 2010
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Location: bellingham, WA, USA
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Same thing happens to my KLR on a semi-regular basis. So far, it has always been the battery ground connection. Worst, of course, after rough roads. Worse yet, for no apparent reason, just as it gets dark in remote places while it starts raining.

I stopped fastening my seat, since it stays put perfecly with the bungie I always have looped over it anyway. This makes tightening the battery post a five second job.

Do not mean to be insultingly obvious, if you´re far past this stage....but that´s been my experience (78,000 miles and going strong).


(from just outside "The hottest city in Brazil" per Lonely Planet guide)
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Old 11 Jun 2010
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thanks - new problem

In the end it did end up being simple - A busted connector and really weirdly, the connector posts of the battery terminals were completely corroded - I say weird, because the battery was only a month old.

Any way - new problem now: Bike was stolen and had the ignition cut. I then recovered it from the street 3 days later. (they got bored of pushing)

Anyway - I resoldered the ignition and it all worked fine for a day. In the morning it was dead again. Turned out two of my solders had come off inside the ignition barrel. I think at this point I put them back in the wrong order - When i tried the elec. starter the motor turned but I had no spark.

Now I have fitted a new ignition barrely BUT I'm not getting any spark still!

There is no charge reaching the CDI. Any idea what could be interrupting the flow between the ignition switch and the CDI?

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Old 11 Jun 2010
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Location: Norwich,Ontario,Canada
Posts: 788
After the theft/recovery no telling what the cretins migt have tried with the wiring.
Recheck all connections esp. the wires to the sidestand ignition lockout. If the wire from that is half plugged in to the block beside your ignition relay switch next to the carb left side it will look right but still prevent starting.
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Old 16 Jun 2010
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Location: London / Dublin
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From personal experience, I can second the issue with the side stand switch, which is on the left hand side, half-way up, and seems to have a habit of coming loose. Also, the clutch switch at the lever is prone to acting up when rain gets in there, so the CDI thinks the clutch is out (only an issue if the bike is in gear). Also, if the bike was nicked, and the ignition was cut / played with / shorted, there's a good chance you have a dead CDI, hence no spark. A company called Ignitech in the Czech republic sell a plug-in replacement for the original CDI (it was marketed for the 600, if i remember correctly), which worked well, but I ended up finding a second hand OEM one, and putting it back in, to keep that side of things as stock as possible.
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