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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 11 Oct 2020 12:09 #836623

  • Buzz Nichols
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A couple days ago I picked up (for a song) a '78 KZ1000. I got it from a kid who had just recently bought it himself and then (to his parents' delight) sold it at a loss when it quit running. After a day of chasing down squirrely electrical connections, I've got it running but still in need of a lot of love. Here's the machine:

Judging by this, I gather it's an LTD:

And this came as a happy surprise:


It seems like the PO (that is, whoever sold it to the kid I bought it from) was keen to do some mods, but didn't really have a defining vision for it. The lowered headlight bucket, muffler deletion, and missing tailpiece are suggestive of a bobber-type thing; the missing airbox, dainty after market turn signals, and single bar-end mirror whisper of cafe racer aspirations, and the superbike bars seem more consistent with a board tracker-ish thing.
Unfortunately, it didn't come with an airbox...and only 2 cheap pod filters. I've got a set of Uni's on the way.
Also unfortunately, that Dyna S I was so glad to find goes to the stock (2 ohm) coils with integrated plug wires, which are crispy. I've got a set of Dyna coils on the way.
And perhaps most unfortunately, it came without mufflers and the collectors are cut where they have a cavernous inner diameter of about 2.5", making it a giant hassle to try to stick new mufflers on what's there. I've got a Delkevic 4 into 1 on the way. I'm a fan of the midrange boost in HP that kind of exhaust delivers (although I've never dealt with Delkevic specifically). My real misgiving is that the 4 into 1 kind of adds to this bike's identity crisis. I'm not a fan of the idea that a bike needs to adhere strictly to the "rules" of a single style, but this thing seems a little like a soup sandwich stylistically.
I'd love any suggestions about the direction you think this project ought to take, and of course any technical insights you can throw in.
In the meantime, I'll be cleaning the carbs and rejetting them for the new pods and exhaust.
Thanks,

Buzz
Is this thing working? Is this thing on?

1978 KZ1000 LTD
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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 11 Oct 2020 12:26 #836625

  • kzstreetfighter71
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well done on scoring the new bike by the sounds of it you are not a novice at this. photos didn't up load though, love to see what you are working with.

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 11 Oct 2020 14:58 #836649

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Thanks—‚I had to resize the pics.
...and, although I've been riding for 30 years, and wrenching on bikes for most of that time, I am an absolute novice when it comes to Kaws. It kind of amazes me that in all that time, with all those bikes, I've never had a Kwaka. So I'll be looking for insights from all you veterans here.
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1978 KZ1000 LTD

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 11 Oct 2020 15:12 #836651

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By the looks of it there is still a lot of the original bike there and nothing important has been hacked off, a good canvas to start with. There is a wealth of knowledge here with some of the members and just about every thing you can do or needs doing you will be helped along the way, one of the members on here probably had a hand in building this bike off the line.

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 11 Oct 2020 22:35 #836672

  • TexasKZ
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To answer your question about which way to go, I would ask you how you want to ride it. Canyon carving? Street drag racing? Touring? Laid back cruising? purely for show?
I think having a realistic idea about how you will use it will help point the project in a direction.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 12 Oct 2020 05:52 #836681

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I think that there is still enough of the exhaust pipes left to use a set of slip on mufflers.
78 KZ1000 A2A

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 12 Oct 2020 06:36 #836687

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Well put, Texas. LIving out west, I can't imagine not wanting to go a little fast on them twisties. On the other hand, everything is far apart out west, so it's gotta be a little comfy. I think I've got a plan emerging....

I like the superbike bars the PO stuck on it, but they result in a little bit of a cramped riding position. I think I'll wind up putting rearsets on it—maybe some big chunky ones offf an early Ninja—and keeping everything else (seat, forks, engine) pretty stock.

Anyone have any insights on what models to focus on as rearset donors?
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1978 KZ1000 LTD

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 12 Oct 2020 06:42 #836688

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bluej,

I've already ordered up son 4 into 1's and feel fine about them, but I'd like to be enlightened.

The pipes where they are cut off are enormous—66 mm id. It seemed to me I'd have to go through a couple steps of reducers to get to a diameter where slip-ons would work. Am I missing something that should be painfully obvious to me? It wouldn't be the first time.;)
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1978 KZ1000 LTD

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 12 Oct 2020 08:05 #836691

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Did you order the header or the whole system? Seems you are heading into the muscle bike "resto-mod" world. It can get fairly pricey in that world, trust me on that, im waist deep there all ready.

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 12 Oct 2020 08:22 #836693

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The whole system.

I'm trying to filter every decision through the question "What will happen if I do nothing?" So far doing nothing about the exhaust, intake, and ignition system seemed unacceptable, so I'm going after those.
The Delkevic system was cheaper than I was able to find a 4 into 2 replacement, and the pods were (way) cheaper than I was able to find an airbox.
Certainly, this line of reasoning ccan lead to an "if you give a mouse a cookie" domino effect of expensive decisions, but I'm trying to avoid that. Of course, the aforementioned mods require some carb tinkering, but I'm hoping to keep the plan from snowballing more than that.

...For now.

...Except maybe for some rear sets.
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1978 KZ1000 LTD

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 12 Oct 2020 08:26 #836695

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Does Forest know about this? :laugh:
Don't be ridiculous! It's only a flesh wound!

Wife's little bike... 1984 GPZ 550 Kerker and DynaJet stage I kit
Wife's BIG bike...... 1981 GPZ 1100 Kerker and factory FI

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 12 Oct 2020 09:57 #836700

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Buzz Nichols wrote: The whole system.

I'm trying to filter every decision through the question "What will happen if I do nothing?" So far doing nothing about the exhaust, intake, and ignition system seemed unacceptable, so I'm going after those.
The Delkevic system was cheaper than I was able to find a 4 into 2 replacement, and the pods were (way) cheaper than I was able to find an airbox.
Certainly, this line of reasoning ccan lead to an "if you give a mouse a cookie" domino effect of expensive decisions, but I'm trying to avoid that. Of course, the aforementioned mods require some carb tinkering, but I'm hoping to keep the plan from snowballing more than that.

...For now.

...Except maybe for some rear sets.


The Delkevic exhausts are a fairly decent system for the cash, iv a set of their headers for my own bike, the DYNA ignition you have there is just as good as any, what coils does it have? if they are matching DYNA and all in working order you are in good shape. Re jetting , balancing and cleaning the carbs is an annoying but cheap fix. Bit pf paint and a new tail piece and you got your spring bike sorted. then its all style from there....and thats when the wallet comes out.

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