My motorcycle (Kawasaki Ninja 300) does the normal dashboard light-up sequence when I turn the key, but the normal electrical whine that happens simultaneously stops earlier than usual. The headlights don't come on, but the tail light does. When I push the start button, there isn't even an attempt at swinging the motor. Strangely, the hooter works perfectly and at normal volume. The bike worked perfectly until this morning. I've checked the killswitch.

This seems like some sort of electrical problem with the ignition system. Is there anything I can do myself to diagnose/repair the problem without being an autoelectrician?

  • 1
    The "electrical whine" you're hearing is almost certainly the fuel pump building pressure. It's unlikely that this is related to your starting problem. It's probably only running briefly because there is still pressure in the system.
    – raydowe
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:01
  • Yeah I thought that was the fuel pump but I didn't know for sure. What you're saying makes sense. I must just have an electrical issue somewhere. Thanks. Oct 27, 2017 at 13:23
  • Also check the kill switch (I forgot about that for a whole afternoon once), and try to start with the kickstand up to rule out that switch/circuit causing a problem.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


If you have a multimeter, check the battery voltage. Should be something between about 12 and 13 volts. If it drops significantly when you press the starter button, you could have a battery problem.

Check that the neutral light is on. Make sure you're in neutral and try pulling the clutch in to see if it makes a difference. It could be a problem with the neutral switch.

Realistically, you're going to need to trace the starting circuit to see where you have power and where you don't. Otherwise, we're just guessing at what the problem could be. Grab a multimeter, start at the battery, and work your way toward the start switch and toward the starter motor.

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