Well, I wasn't going to post anything in this section because I don't look at what I'm doing to this bike as a restoration and it is not going to be some kind of awesome transformation like I see so much of here on this forum. Don't believe anyone will learn anything new or acquire any new insight. Having said that, I figured why not. So here's my goal. Picked a 1976 KZ900 barn find last May for $750.00. Sort of barn. More like an open air, mud floor, corrugated paneled roof, 10x15 ft structure. Pretty bad condition. Lots of rust, carbs were open to the environment with lots of wasps making them their home. Bike was originally from Alaska were it sat a few years and then a few years in Florida and has 25,450 miles.
Once I gave it a good washing.
My immediate plans are simply to get it running (which I have) and looking decent so I can ride it for awhile before giving it a complete tear down. So this thread will be the minimalist approach. Having three young children and a wife leaves very little time to myself. I am hoping to have it painted and riding in the next couple of months. My long term goal is to get the bike looking and running good as much as possible and leave it pretty much stock. Next summer, I will have the frame powder coated, do a rebuild (compression is not great) and general cleaning and polishing. I love seeing the nice, clean bikes on this site which almost look like showroom new and have only minor modifications.
dont kid yourself....to someone in want of one ....you sure shined it up nice...that is the begining of a nicer and nicer ride..little buffing here....replace a thing or two as needed over the next few years... as is you got real deal,nice, Kawasaki 900...nice....
@Marneman and @trianglelaguna thanks for your comments. I searched on Craigslist in central Florida for a month. Didn't have much luck. Out of all states I thought I would have much better luck. When I saw this one was about 75 mi from my location, I went for it. Below is the look I'm after:
Here is a picture of my old '74 taken in '84 after having painted (the seat was replaced with a Corbin Gunfighter soon after this picture). Decided to go with a solid black this time. Especially since I will be doing the painting myself.
Great find and a nice start. I know its hard to want to do projects and have no money or time. Ive put my bike on a yearly project status. I only see my daughter on the weekends so I really dont get much time to wrench, and after getting home from a long day at work all I want to do is crash....dont get discouraged if your not finished next month or in 6 months.
1976 KA900. VM28 pumper carbs, K&N pod fiters, RC performace 4/1 exhaust, Dyna ignition, Accel coils and wires, Ohlins rear shocks.....more to come
I am taking one step at a time as time permits. The bike also came with a complete new front suspension set which needs to be installed. Will be replacing the head bearings with a tapered set at the same time. Also came with a new battery (not yet mixed), new still in the box pods and a new petcock.
So far I have purchased the following.
Kawasaki tank emblems (2).
EMGO Euro bars.
Left side cover with kz900 emblem (still need another of these emblems).
Chrome LTD (short) style front fender.
Brass fuel tees (2)
Carb rebuild kits
Chrome clutch cover
non-chromed valve cover
pair of shocks
rear signal lenses
tachometer seal and oring
Points housing (one installed is cracked).
Urethane clear coat with activator.
Still need to order:
Front turn signals
Tapered Head bearings
new clutch and throttle cables
speedometer and cable
Better condition stator and chain covers than the chrome ones on there now.
After cleaning off most of the grim (seemed like baked on mud on front and bottom of the case) I tackled the carbs.
Here's the results.
The tank had been cleaned at this point by soaking it in vinegar for a 3 weeks. But it still needs to be painted. But I couldn't wait and had to take it for a spin. Pretty randy gas tank don't you think?
sold my kz400 to a buddy of mine today since hes into the smaller bikes,and he'll keep it all nice and origional.
anyway hes a real estate agent and was telling me about a 900 sitting in a field next to a property he sold for somebody last month about 30 miles north of here,hes going to get me the address tomorrow when i drop the 400 off at his house.
what can i say these things just drop from the sky into my lap,i guess growing up 50 miles from the lincoln kawasaki plant had its advantages!
our weather may suck but 900/1000s seem to grow like weeds around here if you do a little looking and spreading of the word.
now if i could just find a crop of z1r's like leon id be a really happy camper,must be that good oklahoma dirt they have!
posting from deep under a non-descript barn in an undisclosed location southwest of Omaha.
congrats on getting the bike running.that is the best day of owning an old barn find bike.you have a nice bike there.sure didnt look like that on the trailer in the first picture.if the bike has been sitting for a long time you may want to look at those tires. might be dry rotted.sweet find.
Thanks for all the comments. @trianglelaguna, love the paint and looks on the Z1, is the bike from your stable? @wireman, looking forward to seeing what you do with yours. I'm sure you will progress faster than myself. But that's good because I will learn from your experience. Hoping you will post it all. @clutch and @650ed, lol, I had that video up on Youtube for a couple of months. The comment about not grilling the cabs was definitely not directed to this forum. But at the general Youtube public. KZR is were the experts are as far as I'm concerned.
I believe they were K&L's (said made in Japan). Anyhow, I'm pretty sure the manufacture number was 18-2453. My only grip is the float needles didn't feel right. The spring action on a couple felt hard or not much travel. If I have problems I may put the old ones back on. But for now, I haven't noticed anything wrong while its running.
Trying to get ready for paint. Tank is almost ready for primer. Plan on doing filler over epoxy primer. Would like to find a way to pop the dents out in order to use less filler. Don't know if its worth the trouble. Don't feel like investing in a stud welder for a one time deal. And to have someone pull them is not much less.
If you look at the clutch cover, I have been trying an experimenting to take the chrome off. I already purchased a replacement chrome cover from flebay which has slight pitting. So if this one turns out better, I may keep it. Once I take it off the bike I will be able to get it nice and polished up. This how far I got on it so far.
Most of it flaked off with some help of a painter's blade.
Kzjoe its seems like I read somewhere and it could have been this site to fill the tank with water and freeze it with the gas cap off then take and run warm water down to the dent making a cavity where the dent is and then fill that up with water and again freezing it.
I don't know if this will work just thought I'd suggest it.
Another easy dent removal process is by using dry ice. The tank has to be warmish, as it would be if it were sitting outside on a hot day, and wearing heavy gloves, rub a piece of dry ice over the dent. Dry ice is pretty cheap around where I live, and most grocery stores sell it. Just wear really heavy gloves when you handle it. But it should shrink the metal just enough to pop the dents right out. No spot welder needed.
in z1 the movie they show a german guy (naturally)with a piece of 3/4" - 1" bar stock that is bent into a j shape the he has bolted to a shelf at the right working height.he takes the tank and slips the gas tank hole over the rod and positions it so that it "backs up the dent"then carefully works the dent out with a hammer.
pretty neat idea.
skiatook,oklahoma 1980 z1r,1978 kz 1000 z1r x 3,
1976 kz 900 x 3
i make what i can,and save the rest!