Q ‘All the bulbs blew and there was a smell of burning…’
My problems started when I had to bump my Kawasaki Z1000SX with a mate’s help. It ran and restarted on the button 10 miles later, so I thought it was safe to set out on a journey. Then, travelling down the M6 at about 70mph, all the lights suddenly glowed very bright and the engine cut out. I got recovered back home where I found all the bulbs had blown, but the fuses were OK. The battery was flat again, so I connected a spare and was rewarded with a sudden electrical burning smell. It took me five seconds to disconnect the battery and when I opened up the black box igniter there was slight evidence of burning on one component. How do you suggest I repair it? John Shepherdson, Saxby All Saints
AAnswered by Chris Dabbs, MCN You have been really unlucky here. It sounds like the regulator/rectifier has been failing for a little while, hence the starting problems. When they fail, it usually breaks the circuit, so no charge gets through to keep the battery topped up, but when yours failed at speed on the motorway, it failed positive and allowed too much unregulated voltage through which made the bulbs burn out.
When you connected the spare battery there was another surge that could have taken out the safety cut-out relay as well as the igniter, basically anything with a diode in it. Tracking down every possible fault is really a workshop job for a professional mechanic. They will have to check through all electrical connections in the loom and test that the generator output is as it should be before refitting a new reg/rec, so you are looking at a few hundred quid in labour.