Kawasaki Z750 Starting Problems (Solved & Explained!)

The Kawasaki Z750 is one of Kawasaki’s eclectic range of street motorcycles and part of the overall Z series.

Though no longer in the current range of Z motorcycles, with its last model rolling off the production line in 2012, it remains an ever-popular bike for those buying on the pre-owned market.

The Z750 is known for its economy, 750cc engine, and reliable inline-4 engine.

This article explains the most common starting problems with Kawasaki Z750…

What Do Other Owners Say?

The owners of Z750 have commonly complained about problems with starting the bike, especially after long periods of continuous use.

They say that the Z750 will crank and turn but then only click or just simply fail to start up.

Another issue that some owners have mentioned in online forums is some difficulty in shifting from neutral to first gear. It’s not so frequent, but frequent enough to be noticed.

One more common complaint was the sudden appearance of warning lights and “Check Oil” lights when there were seemingly no issues to be checked.

Some put it down to faulty electronics, but with warning lights, it can be dangerous to take the gamble.

If your Z750 really does have a problem, and you ignore the warning lights thinking it’s just down to electronics, then you might be ignoring a genuine engine fault.

One final thing on some older models from 2004-2008 was engine vibrations when the bike started to hit 6,000 to 8,000rpms in the engine.

The vibrations would typically be felt all through the bike and even up into the mirrors, which is dangerous because a shaking mirror is one through which you can’t see behind you.

Most Common Problems

The most common problems by far are related to the engine turning over but not starting up.

We’ll deal with this particular issue further down in its own section.

Other common problems, as we touched on above include:

  • Shifting gears from neutral to first
  • Sudden appearance of warning lights
  • Engine vibrations
  • Strange ticking and clicking noises
  • Rear brake and caliper problem

Troubleshooting Guide

The first thing to note is that just about any problem on the Kawasaki Z750 can be avoided by sticking to proper annual services and by following the recommended maintenance schedule as laid out in the owner’s manual.

For gear shifting issues, what mostly solves the issue is pulling the clutch back in, revving the engine, slightly decelerating, and then re-engaging the clutch with some throttle.

If you do this, the gear you’re trying to get will shift more easily into place.

For those warning light issues, you should first and foremost verify whether the warnings are accurate.

Do so by checking the electronics, wiring, and related sensors to ensure there are no problems.

If these components are good, then take the warning lights at face value and seek the help of a mechanic.

Vibrations are typically caused by wear and tear within critical components like the drivetrain, brakes, or suspension.

Do you notice that the vibrations happen more when you take corners?

Or when you apply the brakes?

Servicing the engine, drivetrain, brakes, and/or suspension should yield good results.

Ticking and clicking noises are often signs that the battery in your bike is failing.

You should visually inspect the battery for signs of external damage and/or corrosion.

If it appears to look alright, then check its current with a voltmeter and make sure it has a steady supply of power.

Clicking could also be coming from the hydraulic lifters on your bike.

If you hear the noise when you start riding, but then it goes away, then it’s likely just the hydraulic lifters and that is a normal sound.

Finally, brake and caliper issues can be caused by brakes overheating from being overtaxed, or from worn brake pads.

When was the last time you changed the brake pads?

They need changing at least every 20,000 miles or so, but possibly sooner if you often rely on hard braking.

Turns Over But Won’t Start

Some Kawasaki Z750 owners experienced a very particular problem with their bike, which was that when trying to get the bike started up, it would turn over, and would even have compression, but wouldn’t ignite and power up.

The natural assumption from these owners was that it was the spark plugs or the battery that were experiencing the difficulty, but as it turns out, it was not.

As it turns out, there are many things that one should check if their Z750 is turning over but not firing up.

The first of these things is the vehicle down-sensor, as well as the clutch, stand sensors, and water sensors.

The fact is that any one of these things, among others, could cause the issues.

When these things turn out to be fine, then the problem lies most likely in the cam position sensor on the outside of cylinder number 1 head exhaust.

Very close to that – just inches away – is a plug you can disconnect and check for resistance.

You should find that there are anywhere from 400 to 460 Ohms of resistance there. If that reading doesn’t show up, then that’s most likely the cause of this problem of the engine turning over but not starting.

7 Things To Check If the Motorcycle Is Not Starting

If your Kawasaki Z750 or other motorcycle is not starting, here are some things you should definitely be checking first:

Check the Battery

A problem in the battery is a likely culprit for when a motorcycle won’t start up.

When you turn the key to start your bike, do you hear a hollow clicking sound?

That’s one of the primary signs that the battery is experiencing problems.

You can also perform a visual inspection of the battery and see if you can see any signs of broken terminals, corrosion, leaks of internal fluids, as well as any bumps, cracks, or other signs of damage on the battery casing.

All could contribute.

If the battery is physically alright, then you can check it with a voltmeter.

If you get a reading below 9.5-10.5 volts and/or don’t get a steady reading for at least 30 seconds, then it is most likely the battery at fault.

But what about when the battery appears to be in good order? Below are some further steps.

Assuming Battery is Good, Check There’s Gas in the Tank

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who attempt to start up their motorcycle without first ensuring there is sufficient gas in the tank.

If the battery and general electrics appear to be in good health, this lack of gasoline is actually quite a likely cause of the problem.

Ensure the bike is kept topped up as often as possible to avoid this possibility.

Did you Engage the Clutch?

Don’t be embarrassed if you discover that this was a mistake.

When you’re a new rider, it’s easy to miss this kind of detail and simply forget to engage the clutch before starting up.

If you have engaged the clutch but the bike is not starting, then one possibility is that the problem lies in your clutch switch.

In this case, instead of engaging and holding the clutch, try “pumping” it.

This means engaging the clutch in on/off bursts a few times.

It may help perform a kind of “reset” and get the system working again.

Is The Motorcycle in Gear?

Your Z750 or another motorcycle may well need to be in gear before you can start it up.

So, if you engage the clutch, but still have the transmission set to neutral, then your bike may not start up.

As is the case for engaging the clutch, for very experienced motorcycle riders, this problem is unlikely to be the main cause of a bike not starting.

Veteran riders would know to engage the clutch and get the bike in gear in order to get started up.

Are There Any Loose Wires?

Since any vehicle’s starting up process is so dependent on healthy electrics, you should also inspect the bike for any signs of loose wires or connections.

Even a single one can interfere with the starting process.

Include the battery connector cables in your inspection, as well as any other wiring and connector points that you can safely check.

Don’t attempt to fix or change the wiring in the bike.

Electrics are always better left to the professionals.

Is Your Kill Switch Off?

You might not be one of those riders who makes use of the engine cut-off button, but many do and then they forget that it is active when they come back to restart their bikes.

Take a quick look at the engine kill switch and make sure that it is not active.

If it remains in the active position, then your bike simply will not start.

Check the Fuel Injection System and Spark Plugs

In your fuel system, it’s not likely to be the injectors that have a problem, but rather the pump.

When you start the bike, you should be able to hear the sound of the fuel pump running.

If you don’t, you can check its fuse to see if it is blown.

Beyond this, it may take a professional eye to check the fuel injection system in more detail.

For the spark plugs, you can simply take one out and see it is wet.

A wet spark plug isn’t broken but is just unable to fulfill its sparking duty because of the moisture.

Dry it off, replace it and it should work.