Kawasaki is a popular brand of motorcycle sold around the world. Because of this popularity, Kawasaki maintenance and repair parts are readily available in most places. Consumers looking to purchase Kawasaki electrical parts can benefit from understanding the different electrical systems on a typical motorcycle and how the various system components interact to power all the electronics of the bike. Some components are shared by different electrical systems on the bike, but all systems must work together for the motorcycle to function as it was designed.
Becoming familiar with the basics helps buyers identify electrical system components and ensure that they are asking for the right part when purchasing electrical items. One can purchase motorcycle electrical parts, and specifically Kawasaki electrical parts, at Kawasaki dealers, motorcycle repair shops, motorcycle parts suppliers, and motorcycle swap meets. Kawasaki owners can find a large selection of Kawasaki parts online from sellers on eBay. Buying from sellers on the eBay marketplace is also easy and convenient.
Understanding Motorcycle Electrical Systems
While certain aspects of a motorcycle's electrical system vary depending on the type of bike and the bike manufacturer's design, the basic components of electrical systems all perform similar functions. Basic electrical systems on a motorcycle include the starting system, the engine's ignition system, the charging system, and the bike's wiring system, which includes lights, gauges, and other components that run off electricity.
Basic Components of a Motorcycle's Starting System
When a motorcycle rider punches the push button starter, several things have to happen for the motorcycle to start. The starting system needs electrical power, wires must deliver the power, fuses and circuit breakers need to regulate the flow of electricity, and a solid ground is required to complete the electrical circuit. With those pieces in place, the components of the starting system work to turn the engine over.
The starting point in the system is the ignition switch, which must be turned on to allow the electricity to flow. Once the circuit is brought to life, the push-button starter switch then activates.
The battery acts as a reserve bank to store electricity until it is needed. The battery allows the draw of electricity from its reserve and to replenishment by the charging system.
Starter and Solenoid
With the ignition switch turned to the on position, the battery provides electricity to the starter and starter solenoid. Electricity is also supplied to the starter relay, and when one pushes the starter button, the relay completes the circuit for the solenoid. The solenoid engages the teeth on the starter with the teeth on the flywheel of the engine; as the starter receives electricity, it spins, thereby causing the engine to make revolutions.
The process is relatively the same for a kick-start motorcycle, except the push-button starter switch, starter motor, and solenoid are replaced by a kick-start lever. The lever is used to spin the flywheel and make the engine turn over.
Basic Components of a Motorcycle's Ignition System
Once the starter has the engine spinning, fuel and spark need to be added to a cylinder to ignite combustion and drive the motor. Ignition systems vary based on whether the bike has electronic ignition and fuel injection. As electronic ignition and fuel injection is the current standard, the system described is assumed to have those features.
Electronic Control Unit
The electronic control unit (ECU) receives information from engine sensors and controls the electrical impulses delivered to coils and fuel injectors. The ECU gets power from the battery and activates when the ignition switch is turned to the on position. When the ECU receives timing indications it sends electricity to the coil and injectors.
Fuel injectors spray petrol into the combustion chamber so the spark plug may ignite the air fuel mixture to produce power for the engine.
Ignition coils upon receiving a signal from the ECU send electrical pulses through the spark plug wire to the spark plugs causing them to fire.
As the engine revolves, air and petrol are pulled into the cylinders of the engine on the intake stroke of the piston. On the combustion stroke of the piston the air and petrol are compressed and the spark plug fires after receiving the electrical pulse from the coil and this action ignites the mixture in the cylinder.
Basic Components of a Motorcycle's Charging System
The purpose of the motorcycle's charging system is to replenish electricity drawn from the batteries reserve during starting and to provide a continuous source of electricity available when the motorcycle is operating.
The generator or alternator is powered by the engine and produces electricity for all of the electrical components that operate while the bike is running. The generator also feeds a supply of electricity to a regulator for use by the battery.
The regulator monitors the reserve level of the battery and keeps the battery fully charged so that reserves are available next time they are needed. The regulator makes sure the battery does not overcharge and sustain damage during the electrical replenishment process.
Motorcycle Wiring Components
The rest of the electrical system on a motorcycle consists of the wiring harness and the electrical components that are serviced by the harness. The alternator or generator of the bike provides electricity to power these components. The following chart provides a basic overview of components.
Headlights, tail lights, brake lights, marker lights, turn signals, dimmer switch
Stereo radio, speakers, horn, alarms, radar detectors, cig lighter, heated seats
The wiring harness must connect every electrical component to a source of electricity and to a ground to power the device through a complete circuit. In addition, the harness must control the amount of electricity by running the circuit through a fuse, relay, or circuit breaker to prevent the circuit from overloading and causing an electrical meltdown or fire. The wiring harness also must connect the electrical component to some type of switch or activation device so the component knows when to power up and when to remain off.
Buying Kawasaki Motorcycle Electrical Parts
In order to purchase Kawasaki electrical parts, the buyer must know how to identify the required part or determine the component's part number. Kawasaki cycle repair manuals provide part identification information and may have part numbers, if the manual is for a specific year and model bike. A Kawasaki dealer parts department can usually identify a part by looking at it or from hearing a description of what the part does; it can also be helpful to describe where the part is located on the bike. With the name of the part properly identified, buyers can be certain of getting the correct electrical component for the year, make, and model of motorcycle they own.
How to Buy Kawasaki Electrical Parts on eBay
Buyers looking for Kawasaki electrical parts on eBay have an easy means of searching for the part they need for their bike. Simply by going to the eBay Motors page and selecting motorcycles in the search parts and accessory tool box, buyers can find parts for their specific bike. Using the pull-down selection menu, select Kawasaki from the list of motorcycles displayed, then enter the model of the Kawasaki motorcycle you own and the part you are looking for. From the resulting list of all matching parts, you can browse through available listings. Contact the seller if you have specific questions about the parts the seller is offering for sale.
Some electrical parts are not make- and model-specific, such as light bulbs. To view the entire eBay marketplace listings for a specific part, use keywords such as motorcycle headlight. Enter the keywords into any search bar and hit search button to display a listing of all matching parts. You can narrow search criteria by using specific keywords such as round motorcycle headlights to see just those items displayed. After selecting the part you need for your Kawasaki, complete the purchase by agreeing with the seller on the purchase price; fund the transaction using PayPal to safely and securely send money to the eBay seller.
Identifying Kawasaki electrical components can be as easy as knowing what a headlight is or as complex as trying to determine which part is an ECU. Professional motorcycle techs have the advantage of technical libraries and experience to help them properly identify bike parts. Novice but component buyers might be well advised to purchase a technical manual for the cycle they are working on. Understanding what a component is and how the part functions in the Kawasaki motorcycle electrical system helps electrical part buyers more easily identify the component. If a buyer can describe a part and what function it performs in the electrical system, then consulting with a Kawasaki dealer's parts department is helpful in determining the part's correct name or the part number for the item. Once the part is identified, then shopping for and buying the part becomes a matter of price and convenience.
Sellers on eBay offer competitive prices, the ease of ordering online, and the convenience of having the part shipped directly to the buyer's home or work location.