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Ninja 650 Rebuild Series Episode 2 - Will It Start

The $1000 Ninja 650 Rebuild Series: Episode 2

A Ninja 650 rebuild series by YouMotorcycle.

Two weeks ago I shared with you guys how I came to buy a like-new motorcycle, with only 200 miles, for $1,000. I also told you that given the age of the bike (it’s a 2006), I’ll be putting a lot of time and effort into restoring it, and I’ll be making a “rebuild” series chronicling all of the maintenance and steps along the way.

In last week’s episode I brought the bike home, pumped up the tires, and found a mouse nest where the battery should have been. There’s your problem! Now we know why it won’t start. End of series! Not so fast…

In this week’s episode there was, as there always is with motorcycle project bikes, a new surprise. When I replaced the battery with a brand new Yuasa YTX-12BS, the bike still wouldn’t start. I placed it on my Ctek charger and switched the charger over to Car Mode as I knew I’d be cranking the bike a lot to wake her from a five year long nap, but I still wasn’t having any luck…

After a little digging I discovered the issue:

The motorcycle had a Scorpio alarm system installed on it. I should have guessed that because earlier in the week I noticed that the turn signal wiring had a suspicious amount of electrical tape surrounding it, but I guess I thought that’s just how they do things in the Kawi factory. This was not the case. Sincere apologies to Kawasaki.

The problem was amplified when I reached out to the previous owner, and he didn’t even remember that the bike was equipped with a security system, nor has he seen the keyfob for the better part of a decade.

To add further insult to injury, the alarm system on the motorcycle was also equipped with a factory immobilizer, and a siren would chirp any time I even looked at the turn signal switch for too long. I had no way of disabling this and was completely up the proverbial river.

Check out Episode 2 of the $1000 Ninja 650 rebuild series to see how I worked it out:

So the question is, do I really have to undo the security system installation, undo all that Kawasaki-factory electrical tape (haha), and what would this mean for my starting system?

Well, I’m not gonna answer that on here right now, but if you want to find out how I bypassed the alarm, faced another issue, and then still managed to get the bike to start:

watch this video

Click the little unmute button in the bottom left corner to unmute the video.
Watch this video!

COMMENTS: Next week I’ll be removing the old gas. Should I drain from the bottom of the tank, or can I siphon it from the top?

UPDATE: If you missed the previous episode of the series, you can check it out here, or skip ahead to Episode 3 where I drain the old gas and get the bike running!

About Adrian from YouMotorcycle

I started riding motorcycles in 2007, founded YouMotorcycle in 2009, and was working in the motorcycle industry by 2011. I've worked for some of the biggest companies in motorcycling, before going full-time self-employed in the motorcycle business in 2019. I love sharing his knowledge and passion of motorcycling with other riders to help you as best I can.


  1. I’ve got the exact same bike, and I’m dealing with starting issues too. Went out and fired it up multiple times over the winter, and I even got a battery charger just in case, but the bike still won’t start.

  2. So glad to hear you got that incredible find up and running, and kudos to ‘Nate Dogg’ for the assist. Fresh gas, and you should be hitting the road soon. Now, what’s the plan for dealing with all that snow?

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