You get the joy of removing

  • The pillion seat
  • The rider seat
  • The tank plate
  • The tank cover
  • The left hand side fairing
  • The battery compartment cover

Still sounds reasonably straight forward right? Wrong!!! For starters, they decided to make sure that every single pair of bolts requires a different tool. Then someone extremely frustrated on the design team decided to throw a real challenge in there and fit a pair of bolts with star head; seriously, how sadistic do you have to be to come up with this one?!

Luckily years ago I had purchased a kit of screwdriver heads that fit just about any bold known to man ... so suck on that Kawasaki - you can't stop me.

However, once you have stripped your bike down and can get to the battery ... you find that it's not actually the battery you're looking at ... it's a cassette that holds the battery. So then you need to slide out the cassette a bit to disconnect the negative lead. Following that, slide out a bit more and disconnect the starter cable and some other plug.

Then you're finally able to slide out the entire battery cassette. Disassemble, swap batteries, re-connect positive and the charging cable, re-assemble cassette ... only to find out that the cassette now won't slide back into it's slot in the frame; turns out the charging cable must be connected to the positive terminal in a very specific way, otherwise the cassette is just that little bit too high and won't fit back into it's home. There goes half an hour of my life I'll never get back ... sigh.

Re-connect all the cables, put battery compartment cover back on, re-install LHS fairing, put tank cover back on ... only to realise that two of the bolts are held in by some special grommets with thread ... and one of them had sneakily fallen out during disassembly and disappeared in between the tank, hoses and fairing. And this is the only part where I snapped and actually started swearing out loud ... seriously!

Aaaaanyway, finally found the bloody thing, finished putting on the tank cover, re-installed rider seat, put on passenger seat and done.

Put in key, place in start position ... turn over bike. Well, the bike started and I'm still around so I guess all is well and the operation was successful ... fingers crossed and knocking on wood simultaneously.

Hopefully going for a ride tomorrow ... unless the universe is as sadistic as that Kawasaki designer ...

Couple of images here: ZX12R Battery Replacement.