The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Home Repair And Restoration

Kawasaki Z250SL Battery Access

Job Date - 8 April 2018

By Ren Withnell

I'm scared. Actually I'm terrified. Working on Sharon's precious Kwakker worries me because if I break something she will break me. Badly. I always like her to be with me so I can say "you pull it...". We need to access the battery as we're fitting a 12v power socket. This will allow Sharon to charge her power pack, charge her phone and most important of all - use her 12v hair straighteners. 

Remember the good 'ole days when the whole seat came off with the click of a key? Under the seat was the battery with easy access? Just like my CB500X? Well Sharon's Z250SL is a sporty little number with a rider and a pillion seat, angular plastic trims and more parts packed under the wrapping than a modern mobile phone. Anyhow, it's time to be brave.

Remove the pillion seat. Under the seat remove the 2 crosshead bolts as shown in the image. Remove these.

two bolts under the pillion seat of the Kawasaki 250

Under the tail piece are 4 (2 on each side) panel fixings and are located as in the image.

The location of the rear seat trim fixings being pointed to with Ren's hand

These fixings are released by pushing the centre in with something like a small screwdriver. once popped in you'll need Sharon's fingernails to actually pull them out.

The fixings from the undertray

Before you start heaving at the panel just note there are clips as below.

The plastic trim for the rear has 2 clips that steady the panel

Also there are 3 push into rubber ring pins to note...

The pins on the side panel that fix into rubber mounts are circled

So now...very carefully we can start to pull the rear seat trim panel off the motorcycle. Carefully...gently...noticing clips and sticky out bits and lugs. With a wiggle and a pull the panel should come away from the bike. Do this for both rear panels.

Now we see this...

The rear subframe of the bike is now exposed and the seat fixing pins are circled

Note the item circled in red, there is a similar one on the other side. This holds the seat in place. Undo the 10mm bolts and draw the seat fixing pin our from the frame.

The pins, once loosened, can be slid out from the frame

Now the rider's seat can be lifted up at the rear and slid backwards to remove it from the bike. This will finally expose the battery.

The battery can finally be accessed once the rider's seat is removed

And there we have it! I am still alive, Sharon's bike is not broken and I have fitted the 12v power socket. 

The 12v power socket is now fitted to Sharon's Kawasaki

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Reader's Comments

David said :-
Looks like Sharon will be able to straighten that hair out right after she gets off from a long ride.
Could you maybe show us how you fitted the 12V power socket?
10/09/2018 01:13:42 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I hadn't thought to cover the actual fitment of the socket - because we barely fitted it. Simply put there were "rings" on the end of the wires that were bolted to the battery terminals on top of the existing ones. The socket merely rests under Sharon's rear seat. It's not mounted or secured in place, it doesn't seem to mind being loose.
10/09/2018 07:01:22 UTC
David said :-
Aha, so you didn't decide to mount it so that she can charge on the go? What does she use it for?

18/09/2018 07:13:18 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Well the PRIMARY and most important purpose of the power socket straighteners. I don't believe she could use these while riding.

But yes she can charge on the go. I discovered the best way for myself to keep everything charged works thusly. During the day when I'm on the bike under the seat I am charging a USB power pack. I have my phone etc "to hand" rather than under the seat. Then at night the charged power pack is used to charge the phone, the torch, my e-cig and even my tablet if I have it with me.

Sharon's space under her seat is barely big enough for a phone! So she too has a power pack but a smaller one. We have also now fitted a USB wire from the socket under the seat to a Sat Nav case on the bars - in case Sharon needs to Sat Nav.
18/09/2018 07:41:43 UTC
Borsuk said :-
I fitted a 4 socket car lighter extension unit inside my top box. Each socket is individually switchable. I leave it permanently connected to the battery with its own inline fuse.
Works well and so far hasn't drained the battery after 3 months of non use of the bike so the switches must work.
Though if it was flat not exactly the end of the world. It also it allows me to charge the battery through it which I presume Sharon's can do as well.
The boy's CBR500 had a battery charging connection fitted by the previous owner when he got it, different make from my charger but there was an adapter for a 12V socket available so we can now charge his bike with my charger without faffing about with the battery terminals, in fact all the family vehicles are set up for charging without accessing the battery compartment. Some have direct connections as their power socket goes through the ignition. I usually run them through a maintenance cycle around October to see if the batteries will be okay for the winter.
18/09/2018 07:47:42 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
4 sockets in the top box?! Just how many things are you running Borsuk?

I have often considered putting power (either 12v or 5v USB) into the top box but then I often remove the top box to use as a seat when I'm camping...which is when I usually need power too.

As for charging batteries? The best way to do that is ride lots and lots and lots of miles every years. Spring, summer, autumn or winter. I know you're away a large part of the year Borsuk so...

I'm thinking of starting a business. Right. Right. So YOU pay me to ride your bike through the bad weather right which keeps the bike running sweetly right and the battery charged up. Right. Right. For an extra fee right Sharon will clean the bike after I've gotten it all horribly dirty right. Or you can leave it dirty right and pretend to be a real all year round all weather biker right. Yeah I'm gonna be soooooo RICH!!
19/09/2018 11:58:53 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Normally two things max. The 4 way switchable was cheaper than the 2 way.
I've connected extra tail and brake lights to the top box so it's not coming off any time soon.
If you add the righty toughly bike service to the let me run your bike in gently service you could be onto a winner.
After all who wants to run their bike for 500-1000 miles at max speed of fiftyish.

19/09/2018 07:27:55 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Additional lighting - a subject close to my heart. As per another post the rear bulb blew on the CBF125 last week and it was good to have the extra rear LED just to get me the 4 miles home.

Yes - as part of the "Ren's Bike Riding Service" we can offer a "running in" service. I will ride your shiny new motorcycle at a genteel pace for 600 miles. I'll be sure to vary the revs and ride in a variety of road conditions to ensure a thorough bedding in. Thing is I won't be TOO careful though and risk not working the engine sufficiently. It's a balance thing.
20/09/2018 07:48:45 UTC
David said :-
If I ever buy a new motorcycle I'll be sure to talk to you then!
20/09/2018 07:54:45 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Thanks David. It's good to know I have my first customer. All you need to do now is buy a shiny brand new motorcycle!!
20/09/2018 08:05:40 UTC
David said :-
Haha I only have my Z250 for about a month, and I already want to go bigger! Meanwhile I also bought a USB charger for it.... Now I've got to follow your guide.
27/09/2018 02:20:20 UTC
Ben said :-
Hi how do you get the push pins back in please as I need to access my battery too? Thanks
21/04/2019 10:51:26 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I've done a quick video about them Ben
23/04/2019 06:19:43 UTC
Martin said :-
Thanks for the excellent video explanation Ren, I now need to change the battery as the bike has stood too long! I am itching to get it over to where I now live so I can finally put some miles on it.
06/07/2020 08:56:01 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Standing for ages without being used does the battery no good at all does it. If a bike has to be stored the battery needs some kind of trickle charger, I think these small solar panels are a great idea for that.

The first time we accessed Sharons battery was a bit scary but now we understand what goes where and how it's not too bad at all. Just take your time and don't get over enthusiastic with pulling on panels.
07/07/2020 08:09:01 UTC
Martin said :-
Thanks Ren,

I will ge gentle with it, I dare say spares are expensive if you crack a side panel! Hope you are enjoying some road miles now.

07/07/2020 09:04:48 UTC
Martin said :-
Hi Ren,

Just to say thank you for the helpful account and video for the battery change. I followed your instructions and have now restored the zed to life. My mission was almost totally successful except that one of the plastic pegs popped through the rivet cup never to be seen again. Despite vigorous shaking of the bike it refused to disclose its whereabouts, I will have to see if I can source a replacement though the panel seems to remain in place well enough without it. Having restored the bike to life I decided to explore a "green lane" I had spotted on the map. Unfortunately it seems the Z250SL was not intended for riding on loose stone (about 2" stones) and after a few hundred yards I decided to turn back to the tarmac before injuring either myself or the bike. On the tarmac its a great little bike. I am hoping to move it down to Gloucestershire shortly now that the swallows seem to have finished nesting in my garage and I can now install a door.

01/08/2020 02:26:23 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm glad it was useful Martin, that's why I write them up.

As for the fiddly little pins. They do have a habit of magically vanishing but you can buy a pack of them off eBay for next to nothing. Might be worth getting a pack then you have plenty of spares.

Sharon too finds the Z250SL wasn't really designed for "off road" use. Here's a thought, I think part of the problem is the narrow bars, not enough leverage to keep the front wheel secure? Of course the geometry and suspension aren't tuned for it either.
01/08/2020 09:08:34 UTC
Martin said :-
Hi Ren,

Thanks for that, I will look on ebay. I had thought I would have to go to a kawasaki dealer. I agree the narrow bars dont help off road but neither does road tyres on small wheels. I bought the z250sl after riding the klx250 with the same engine on a trail experience day as I was impressed with the engine, the klx was of course much better offroad as would be expected. I thought to myself when first riding the bike after fixing the battery, can this be legal? Where is the seatbelt and airbags? It had been that long off the bike! I still think the Z250sl is a great package even though they are no longer imported, hardly surprising when you consider they were sold for the price of a 125 with 0% thrown in. Oh well.

03/08/2020 06:41:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The problem with the UK (read wealthy Western countries) is that we're too rich and too ego driven to buy a "small" 250 when we can pose at Starbucks with our RR1000-RRR or Adventure 1250 (RRR). For most human beings unless particularly large that 250 is just a bag full of giggles wrapped up in a tidy, compact, frugal and fun package. Of course it ain't an off-roader but on the roads it's a corker.

The pins are common to many brands, they're not just a Kwakker thing, my Honda has a few. I should probably get a pack myself as I'm sure to lose them.
03/08/2020 08:30:29 UTC
Sharon said :-
Ren likes to find back lanes on our adventures. Not serious off road stuff with me in tow but the type with grass down the middle, strewn with gravel washout, pot holes, bad cambers and poo from horses cows and sheep, you get the idea. While he goes merrily on his way with his semi off roader I shake and sway and slip and slide behind on the little Kwak. The fact I have managed to stay upright (lets just forget the gravel on the bend slide down the road) probably either says the Kwak is pretty mustard for a road bike or I am a better rider than I ever thought I could be. :-D As much as I do love the Z250SL because I too love the back lanes I have begun to wonder if there is a better bike out there for such riding. However being a weak hobbit does limit my choice as always.
04/08/2020 10:20:38 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
She makes it sound like I'm taking her down the UK's worst lanes! I am, I know, but still...

Tell me dear readers. Having briefly ridden Sharon's diminutive 250 across a campsite's gravelly track I noticed something. It's harder to steer than my 500. I have checked the head bearing and Sharon regularly checks the tyre pressures without fail. I suspect it's the narrow 'bars and thus lack of leverage. On road and moving this isn't a problem but at slow speeds and off road the lack of leverage means the 'bars fight back more.

Would it be a reasonable experiment to fit wider bars? My hope is that while not ruining the road manners it may help a tad with the slow speed and off road manners. I can't decide if I'm clutching at straws or onto something here.
04/08/2020 03:04:37 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Brake pipes, cables, electrics, are you MAD!
I don't think the bars will make much difference other than....
1. Sharon will resemble a sail at anything more than 40 mph.
2. Er arms will grow longer and she will start to walk like an orangutan from wind blast.
3. She will hit you very hard if you mess er bike up.
Now get off to that garden centre.
04/08/2020 05:35:04 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm not mad, just usually a bit peeved. Yes yes yes it's not a bolt off bolt on job. But. I refuse to go to the garden centre.
04/08/2020 06:06:44 UTC

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