Battery Vs Kickstart...HELP!


XS400 New Member
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Hey guys!
So I have been having a string of issues lately with getting my bike to start. I have an 81' xs400 (w/ kickstart). I changed spark plugs, oil, checked ignition coils, checked fuel lines, etc and throughout my trials, my bike has almost always started up within a few kicks (my electric starter is dead).

I have been told by so many people that as long as my key is on and my ignition coils/plugs are good then I dont need a battery since I dont use the electric start. Is this true??

I ask such a silly question because recently I lost the square nut that holds one of my leads onto the battery terminal and had to jerry rig it together but I notice that my battery will go dead after a few hours (makes a super poor/loose connection). Will having a dead battery still hooked up cause my bike to not start via kicking? Yesterday I couldnt get the bike to start and had to walk 2 miles to get back home.

Also you should defnitley keep good and tight connections to the battery and have good grounds.

You need to charge your battery 100% and start the bike up. You should use a volt meter and monitor the voltag at the battery to see whats happeneing with the charging system. I think your year bike has upfated electric components so your charging system is a go/no go kinda deal...

My system is older and has a mechanical voltage regulator, if my charging output is out of range, i can adjust it up or down.. its more unstable and less reliable from your solid state charging system.
Why does the bike need a battery though if I only kick start it? I assumed (yes I said it) that as long as you a good ignition coils you will have enough spark for your plugs. How does a battery come into this? I am about a 2nd grader when it comes to electrical issues.
It doesnt make any sense to me either about the electrical systems on these bikes and why Yamaha went this way...?

Our bikes need a battery to generate magnetism for the field coil. So if your battery dies, youre stuck. If you only use a kickstart, you can get a smaller battery but it still needs to have enough juice to power all lights and E-start. I think the lowest you can go is a 120 CCA battery and thats pushing it.

Theres are ways to convert to kick only and use a capacitor or use very small lithium batteries..
It's actually a pretty ingenious charging system and pretty good for the time.
No brushes to wear out. Electrical stress on the stator is minimized to extend life.

Of course they designed it for the stock setup, including a starting motor that needs a battery.
Also on the 80-82 sohc bikes they need power for the tci ignitions to work.