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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 20 Oct 2020 06:51 #837288

  • Rick H.
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If you can get a slot made on the jet you may want to set the carb body up in a mill and use the spindle with your best fitting screwdriver bit in it to draw down on the jet and keep the bit in the slot you made. Then slowly try to MANUALLY turn the spindle to get the jet out. Putting it in a mill reduces the chance of the bit walking out of the slot and keeps things straight. As you turn the spindle you just have to raise it up as the jet turns out. A little heat might help but not too much heat. Hopefully the young man didn't cross thread the jet installing it.
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1977 Kawasaki KZ-1000A1
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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 20 Oct 2020 08:37 #837295

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Done. Reading glasses, a headlamp, and a variable speed drill.

Thanks for the input, everybody.
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1978 KZ1000 LTD

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 27 Oct 2020 09:02 #837813

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Okay, I've re-jetted and rebuilt the carbs, replaced the original coils and plug wires with Dyna (to get along with the Dyna S ignition unit), stuck a set of Uni pods on, and fitted the Delkevic 4-1. Fired it up and it sounds sweet as pie. I'll do a dynamic sync and take it for a spin to find out if I in fact got the jetting right on the first try (#120 mains and #20 pilots). Meanwhile, I've come across this no-title parts bike:

Attachment 5275c3e9d9b49f925a68bcdbf099bf21 not found



The seller doesn't know the year and (it sounds like) can't be bothered to decode the info from the steering neck. This is the only photo he's posted. Can anyone identify enough design points to put a year to this bike? The final drive, tank, and wheels make me suspect '80-ish, but I'm betting somebody here can ventrue a way more educated guess.

I like the mkii-style tank, and I'd love to have a spare lump. I initially asked the seller what he'd want for the tank, and he said $40, although he didn't specify whether that would come with the cap and petcock. I haven't yet heard back about what he wants for the whole machine. It would be a 2.5 hour road trip to get it—or to look it over.

What do you think; should I pursue it, and what's it worth?
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1978 KZ1000 LTD
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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 27 Oct 2020 09:41 #837818

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Parts is parts untill it runs!
76 kz 900 1075 76 kz 900 a4 78 kz 1000 ltd

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 27 Oct 2020 10:03 #837820

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9er rider wrote: Parts is parts untill it runs!


...which raises the question of whether this is really a parts bike, or another project altogether. Just in case I settle on the latter, how do the KZ shafties stack up? More trouble? Less?
Also, has anybody dealt with getting an abandonment/salvage title in Utah? I know that's not a big deal in some states, and in other states...
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1978 KZ1000 LTD

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 27 Oct 2020 10:36 #837822

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Thats the kz1000st far as i can tell, starts at 79 to 80. nice solid bike...that deserves a second chance at life...maybe?

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 04 Dec 2020 10:30 #839360

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It's been a minute. Things have been pretty nuts here...and everywhere else.

Anyhoo...

The bike's running nicely now, although it leaks oil like the Exxon friggin' Valdez. I'll effect a top end rebuild after the holidays, which is the soonest my budget will be reset. In the meantime, I figured I'd do what I can for free, and that got me thinking; I titled this thread "Ugly Duckling" because I wanted a title that's easy to find, and because I found the bike as left by the PO pretty homely. It occurs to now that a lot of that homeliness can be attributed to the PO's decision to lose the rear fender and the ducktail that IMHO did an awful lot to make these bikes pretty.

Somewhere there must be a "How to customize a motorcycle" website where it says "Step 1: remove the back fender." Whoever is behind that foolishness needs to be stopped. But I digress.

I don't think I'll be able to fabricate a good looking ducktail without pulling a mold off one—and I don't have one. Therefore, I think I'll make a simple bump stop cowl seat, It's entirely possible that could look stupid on this bike, so I'm going to make it so it mounts onto the existing hinges. That way, even if I do like it, I can always swap it out for the original seat. So, here goes:

I had some steel pipe hanging around that had the same ID as the OD of the frame rails:



So then I did a little CAD (cardboard aided design) work:



That got around the inner fender. I mocked it up with a piece of ABS, but I didn't have any suitable steel tubing, and ultimately decided it would be better to build a flat bridge out of sheet metal. I harvested the metal from this old backboard:



It's pretty darned heavy (12 gauge), but it's free, and it's got convenient 90 degree bends all around it—a real bonus for a guy without a metal brake. So after a bunch of cutting, grinding, and welding, I came up with this:



Then I made a mount for a tail light and made some hinges with 90 degree backboard brackets and a few old bushings I had hanging around:



I climbed on and decided the front of the little sheet metal "bridge" was a good (and convenient) location for the bump stop, so I mocked it and a cowl up with a piece of 1/4" plywood, some poster board, and painter's tape:




It's getting to be way more of a cafe racer aesthetic than I had originally intended; I'm no purist about that stuff (or much else), but I usually think bigger bikes tend to look a little odd cafe'd. Still, I gotta say, I'm pretty happy with how it's looking. I'm also happy knowing I can pull it off and put the old seat back on if the finished product underwhelms me. Moreover, even if I do like it, I'm likely to snap up an original fender and tail piece if they crop up, and I think it's kind of cool that, with minimal work, I could have a totally different looking bike on short notice.
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1978 KZ1000 LTD

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 04 Dec 2020 11:03 #839364

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I love garage engineering with existing left over metal! Nice work...
Retired gearhead
'81 KZ-750 E2
'86 Suzuki Savage 650

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'78 KZ1000 Ugly Duckling 05 Dec 2020 16:51 #839447

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I didn't really need a reminder that I'm not much of a welder, but this cowl was exactly such a reminder:



I formed it from a piece of thin steel I found in my backyard; I think it might have been a panel off of a defunct swamp cooler. It was thin enough to bend with main strength (I don't have a slip roll, an English wheel, or any cool stuff like that) and, really, too thin for my big mig welder. Unfortunately, I just discovered my little mig welder is in need of some attention before it's once more operational. The upshot was, a little welding and a ton of grinding. Still, I'm digging the look so far. I reckon I'll find an old camp mat (I know I've got several) and some upholstery—maybe an old leather jacket, if I can find a 2nd hand store that's open despite the pandemic.

I'm thinking plywood with countersunk carriage bolts to attach the upholstery to the horizontal panel (which I made to attach to the stock mounting hardware) and upholstery attached to plywood with rare earth magnets epoxied into mortises (so I don't have to figure out hinges or anything) for the bump-stop. If anybody has better ideas or insights, I'm totally open to that.
Is this thing working? Is this thing on?

1978 KZ1000 LTD
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