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Pesky reserve switch, maybe ?

Started by johnnyalpha, May 29, 2012, 04:32:30 PM

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Hi Folks, had the bike, ( 1991 3xw FJ1200 - with fuel pump) limp to a halt in very busy traffic the other day. Waited a bit, and fired up OK, few miles it did the same,getting a tad upset but trying to stay calm. Now, I switched onto reserve,(only time on my memory), and the bike fires up again, and this time I get home.
Now, the tank was at least 1/2 full, by visual check into the tank, the fuel low light did not light up, the tank didn't go "pppssssttt" when I opened the cap, no sign of a kink in the line to the fuel pump. Odd thing was that my fuel gauge AND my indicators stopped at the same time, it was a blown fuse.
Trying to make sense of all this stuff, worst thing is I don't trust my FJ to get me where I want to go at the moment :(
Could the fuse blowing, fool the bike into thinking it was low on fuel and cutting power to the fuel pump ? BUT do the indicators and the fuel gauge work of the same fuse, my Haynes isn't clear on this.
TBH this rocker reserve switch is a bit over the top, I mean you have a fuel gauge, an odometer AND a low fuel light, why do you need this switch ?  I know that some folks ride with this rocker switch permanently on the reserve position. What is the best way to isolate or bypass this switch, I presume simply unplugging it won't do it, perhaps running the two wires together/splicing them ?
Anyway, any ideas as to what may have been going on when the bike started to misbehave is very much appreciated. Seems odd that the fuse went at the same time, makes me think it has a part in what happened. cheers folks, ride safe Johnny (Edinburgh,Scotland)
FJ1200 1991, K75S 1988, CX500 "Bride of Frankenstein"


You asked, "Could the fuse blowing, fool the bike into thinking it was low on fuel and cutting power to the fuel pump ?"

The fuse blowing could have cut power to the pump.  It doesn't have to "think" anything.

I find that my bike will show Empty on the gauge, then ~50kms later, light the "low fuel" light, then ~50kms further start to splutter when I need to switch to "reserve".  That gives me another ~50kms to get some fuel before pushing.  I really dislike pushing, and try to pay attention to one of the earlier reminders. :-)




I suspect the fuel pump. When they start to fail they do so intermittently due to bad contacts. Check by disconnecting the outlet pipe. When the ignition is switched on the pump should run for 5 or 7 seconds. If the pipe is connected to the carbs it will stop when the carbs are full and you won't know if it's working correctly. You can run an FJ without the pump (I did this for a year) just connect the pipes to/from the pump with a length of tube. We should all carry one of these to get you home if a pump fails. I also have a spare pump if necessary - I'm in Glasgow. This pump came off a Kawasaki Ninja ZXR6 (I think)




I had the same issue, blown fuse and bike stopped. I ended up pushing her home. Since replacing the pump (mine also came from a 600 kawasaki at the local bike wrecker) I haven't had any issues.  I make sure i listen for the tock tock tock noise whenever I turn on the ignition though.

Heres the link to my posts on the issue:


I replaced my 1991 FJ1200's fuel pump with this one (mine was failing intermittently too).  I have about 1,000 miles on it so for and so far so good.