Q ‘All the bulbs blew and there was a smell of burn­ing…’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

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.

We sus­pect your reg-rec failed in the ‘open’ po­si­tion

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