How to troubleshoot a Kawasaki Voyager

by Brianna Collins

One of Kawasaki's super-sport touring motorcycles, the Voyager came out in two different models over the years. The Voyager VII lasted the longest, debuting in 1986 and lasting all the way through 2003, while the slightly more-powerful Voyager 1300 lasted only from 1983 to 1988. Still, despite any differences in longevity or engineering, minor repair tips remain similar for both Voyager models. Kawasaki includes troubleshooting information for both bikes in the owner's manual of each.

Electrical

Use the Voyager's electric starter. If the engine doesn't even turn over, there may be something wrong with the electrical system.

Ensure the engine stop switch, located on the right handlebar of both Kawasaki Voyagers, is switched to the "Run" position. Otherwise, the starter motor cannot operate.

Make sure that the clutch is pushed in and the transmission is switched to "Neutral."

Remove the front-right panel near the right handlebar to access the main fuse. Gently remove the original fuse with a pair of pliers. If the connection at the center of the fuse is broken, it has blown. Replace it with a new 30A fuse.

Unscrew and remove the dummy tank cover in front of the Voyager's seat to access the battery and case.

Unscrew the battery holder bolts and remove the holder. Disconnect the lead from the negative (-) terminal, followed by the lead from the positive (+) terminal. Carefully lift the battery from the case.

Inspect the condition of the battery terminals. Use a wire-bristle brush to scrape away any corrosion. For buildup or other debris, clean the terminals with a solution of one cup of water mixed with one tablespoon of baking soda. Dry the terminals fully with a clean cloth.

Replace the battery if the original is damaged. The Voyager VII takes a 12 volt, 20 ampere-hour battery while the Voyager 1300 takes a 12 volt, 26 ampere-hour battery.

Charge the battery fully with a separate 12-volt battery charger.

Return the battery to its case, this time connecting the lead to the positive terminal first and the negative terminal second. Reinstall the battery holder and dummy tank.

Use the starter. If the engine still won't turn over, take the Voyager to a dealer to have the electrical system inspected.

Engine

Operate the starter. If the engine does turn over but doesn't start, or runs but does so irregularly, check the fuel gauge, located on the front instrument panel.

Refuel with unleaded gasoline if the fuel gauge reads empty.

Check the condition of the fuel in the tank. Take the Voyager to the shop to have the fuel tank drained if gummy or watery fuel is present, as this is a sign of gasoline contamination.

Park the Voyager on level ground to check the engine oil level via the engine oil level gauge on the bottom-left side of the Voyager.

Unscrew the oil tank cap and refill engine oil if the oil did not reach the bottom line of the oil gauge. Both the Voyager VII and the Voyager 1300 take SAE 10W40 engine oil. If oil gauge reading was above the top line, remove excess engine oil with a syringe.

Inspect and set the spark plugs next, located in each of the Voyager's cylinders underneath the front dummy tank and battery case.

Undo and remove each spark plug cap. Then, using a spark plug wrench, rotate each plug counterclockwise to lift it from the cylinder.

Replace a spark plug if the original was cracked, brittle, or burnt. The Voyager VII takes NGK DPR8EA-9 or ND X24EPR-U9 plugs while the Voyager 1300 takes NGK BPR6ES or ND W20EPR-U spark plugs.

Set the spark plug gap to the measurement stipulated in the owner's manual. This is the measurement between the hook at the end of the spark plug. For the Voyager VII, the spark plug gap for each plug should measure between 0.32 and 0.036 inches. It should measure between 0.028 and 0.032 for the Voyager 1300.

Use a spark plug gap tool to widen the spark plug gap, if necessary, by gently pulling the hook wider.

Press the spark plug against a firm surface to shorten the spark plug gap.

Reinstall each spark plug into its respective cylinder. Then, reinstall the battery case and dummy tank.

Restart the engine. If engine trouble persists, take the Voyager to the shop.

Tip

  • check Kawasaki recommends that major repairs be handled by a certified dealer.

Warnings

  • close Gasoline releases explosive fumes. While handling fumes, do not smoke or work near open flames.
  • close To avoid battery acid burns, wear gloves and goggles while inspecting the Voyager's battery.

Items you will need

About the Author

Brianna has been writing professionally since 2009. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and is excited to be part of a community that contributes to the free sharing of information and ideas.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera wrench tools image by AGITA LEIMANE from Fotolia.com