How to Replace Spark Plugs on My Kawasakiby Chris Gilliland
Regular replacement of the spark plugs will improve the performance of your Kawasaki motorcycle, ensuring the consistent spark quality required to create combustion within the motor. Earlier Kawasaki models made spark plug replacement an easy task, placing the plugs in easily-reached areas. Newer models, however, place the spark plugs beneath fuel tanks and fairings. The job can still be accomplished with a few hand tools, and requires a bit more work and determination on harder-to-access models. If you have access to a Kawasaki service manual for your specific bike, you may want to familiarize yourself with the process.
Ninja Series (ZX and EX models)
Locate your spark plugs before beginning. Accessing the spark plugs can vary greatly depending on the model of motorcycle. The Ninja series bikes place the spark plugs near the top of the motor, hidden beneath the fuel tank and air box.
Remove the seat and fuel tank. Locate the bolts that secure the fuel tank to the frame and remove them with a socket wrench. Lift the fuel tank upwards and disconnect the fuel lines. Pull the entire tank away from the motorcycle and set it aside.
Unscrew the air box lid with a screwdriver and remove. Remove the air filter and locate the bolts that secure the air box to the motor. Unscrew the bolts with a screwdriver and pull the air box off of the motor. Take note of the locations of any wiring or hoses that may be attached to the air box before disconnecting them.
Pull the spark plug wire off of the first spark plug and clear the plug cavity with compressed air to remove dirt or debris that may been trapped. Remove the spark plug with a spark-plug socket. If needed, use a socket extension to reach the spark plug in the cavity.
Insert a new spark plug into the cavity and carefully tighten with a spark plug socket. Slide the spark plug wire onto the end of the spark plug and press down until the wire clicks into place.
Repeat as necessary for any remaining spark plugs. Reinstall the air box and reconnect any hoses or wiring removed earlier. Insert the air filter into the air box and seal the lid by tightening its bolts with a screwdriver.
Reinstall the fuel tank, reconnecting the fuel lines and tightening the mounting bolts with a socket wrench. Replace the seat.
Vulcan Series (VN Models)
Locate the spark plugs on both cylinders of the motor and clear the cavities with compressed air to remove trapped dirt or debris.
Pull the spark plug wire off of the first spark plug. Remove the spark plug with a spark-plug socket. If needed, use a socket extension to reach the spark plug in the cavity.
Insert a new spark plug into the cavity and carefully tighten with a spark-plug socket. Slide the spark plug wire onto the end of the spark plug and press down until the wire clicks into place.
Repeat as necessary for any remaining spark plugs.
Items you will need
- Socket wrench
- Socket set
- Air compressor
- Spark plug socket
- Socket extensions
- Spark plugs
- "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program;" Professional Career Development Institute; 1995
- "2004 Ninja ZX6R Service Manual;" Kawasaki Heavy Industries; 2004
- "2009 Vulcan 1700 Classic VN1700E9F Service Manual;" Kawasaki Heavy Industries: 2009
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images