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TOPIC: KZ1000 P, handling question

KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #119660

  • z1rick
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I have a '99 1000P, with 42xxx on the clock. It seems to handle fine up to 60MPH, but, when I hit 65 or 70 on the freeway, going straight, I don't feel comfortable on it. seems to have a slight rear wobble, and minor shimmy from the front. Here is what I know, the rear shocks are stock, and on the stiffest setting, Tires are Dunlop K327 rears, Dunlop F16 front. Look to have about have of their tread. I had the bike in the shop for a major tune-up, they replaced the swingarm bushings, rebalanced the tires, inflated the tires to the proper PSI. What else should I do to get better handling? I am thinking of replacing the tires, witch brand and model would you recommend? I want to keep it close to a sport touring Bike. Would a fork brace help? Steering dampner? I can spend a few hundred on it. Thanks for the advice :)
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #119663

  • Pterosaur
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I'd give the neck bearings a good looksee.

If they're original with 40-odd on the clock, they're likely shot, and will give you the symptoms you're noticing.

Go for tapered rollers, much superior to ball bearings.

While you're at it, a little trick I did on mine after noticing that the bottom surface of the lower bearing is essentially open to the elements was to trim a rubber diaphram to fit over the bearing cap, then packed it with grease to keep road gunk outta there. ;)
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #119670

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Thanks for the tip, I will try that, Z1enterprises here I come...;)
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #119677

Depending on your weight you might want to bring down the settings according to your weight also
1979 KZ SR650, stock candy persimmon red and crossover pipes
1981 KZ 1000LTD with non stock and more comfortable handle bars and 4 into one V&H
Original man of the Caribbean
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #119678

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Yeah, I thought about that, just difficult to get to the shock adjusters, with the sidesaddles and crash bars on. But, I will drop the settings to the middle, and try that. Oh, by the way, I just ordered the stearing bearings from Z1E, they have a kit with the seals...

Post edited by: z1rick, at: 2007/03/13 00:02
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #119683

Thats cool. I have to start my 1000 project soon. Fork rebuild, new seals, change oil again, along with new magnetic drain plug and get out those broken bolts in my clutch cover and find that noise in my bike's rear end, possibly bearings for the wheel and somethingelse I can't remember right now. I gotta write this down
1979 KZ SR650, stock candy persimmon red and crossover pipes
1981 KZ 1000LTD with non stock and more comfortable handle bars and 4 into one V&H
Original man of the Caribbean
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #120379

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Pterosaur wrote:
I'd give the neck bearings a good looksee.

If they're original with 40-odd on the clock, they're likely shot, and will give you the symptoms you're noticing.

Go for tapered rollers, much superior to ball bearings.

While you're at it, a little trick I did on mine after noticing that the bottom surface of the lower bearing is essentially open to the elements was to trim a rubber diaphram to fit over the bearing cap, then packed it with grease to keep road gunk outta there. ;)

I could not agree more. If the problem continues let the forum know....if it goes away tell us as well...B)
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #120572

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Thank you all for the tips, as soon as I get my stearing bearings, and get them installed, it's off down the freeway...;) I will post again once I know how she is doing... Also, I am going to purchase the Craftsman Bike lift, someone posted a link for it in ChitChat, I will let you know how that goes as well.
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #121214

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As a mechanic I've learned to ask this question... Did this problem start after you got it back from servicing? If so, it was NOT there before the work done. You need to check their work. Something not adjusted right, something loose? (My first impression was low tire pressure) Let us know...
1980 KZ650F1, Bought new ($2,162.98) All stock except K&N, Dyna S, Andrews Coils, Acell wires.
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #121250

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Bluemeanie wrote:
As a mechanic I've learned to ask this question... Did this problem start after you got it back from servicing? If so, it was NOT there before the work done. You need to check their work. Something not adjusted right, something loose? (My first impression was low tire pressure) Let us know...

Entirely cool way to look at the issue.

Though the original post didn't specify, the implication is that the condition existed before the shop got ahold of it - hence the bushings and tire swap, etc...

But oh yeah, a loose swingarm bolt will definitely cause that kind of feeling at those kind of speeds...

Double checking shop-performed servicing is *always* a good idea.

Still, at "42xxx", I'd expect those neck bearings to fall apart as soon as daylight hits 'em...

;)
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #121294

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A couple of things not mentioned could also possibly cause what you're experiencing:

1) Mis-matched (diff brand or compound) tires can sometimes cause instability that might not be noticeable at low speeds, but will make you very aware of it at higher speeds.
2) Worn or damaged cush damper, which is located directly behind the sprocket hub on the rear wheel.
3) Worn front and/or rear wheel bearings or spacers.
4) Ribbed treaded (straight grooved pattern) front tires are notorious for catching those little rain grooves in the freeways here in So Calif, and will certainly make the bike feel "squirrely" at speed.


Have you had a chance to take her up to the speed where she feels unstable on a plain old asphalt or concrete road w/out rain grooves yet?
That would at least rule out the ribbed tread pattern issue.
Covina, So Calif!
78 KZ650-B2 = IN A COMA
84 ZN700 LTD = SLEEPING
84 ZX750 GPz = SOLD
89 GSX1100F Katana = RIDING! :-)
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #121309

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I know you said it was at the shop and the tires have proper air ,,but do the tires show any signs of cupping, sign of tires starting to wear out
77 kz650, owned for over 25 years
77 ltd1000, current rider
76 kz900, just waiting
73 z1,, gonna restore this one
piglet, leggero harley davidson
SR, Ride captian, S.E.Texas Patriot Guard Riders.. AKA KawaBob
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #121326

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Hi guys, thanks again for the info, the tires seem to be wearing fine, no cupping or feathering. Tires do look to be miss-matched, front has "straight grooves", rear has the diagonal grooves, will be getting new rubber soon. Cush dampers are something else I should change, do to the millage. Wheel bearings and spacers? Probably worn, do to millage, good idea to change. I still haven't got the stearing bearings yet, but I did get A 38t sprocket in the mail. Got to get it on the bike yet. Will keep you posted.

Hey Retro, where do you get your tires balanced? I was thinking about going out to Chaparral in SB to buy the tires, don't know if they balance them or not.
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #121345

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Hope the new tapered steering head bearings completely resolve the handling stability issues . . . but if not, all the previous suggestions are excellent IMO, and here are yet some more possibilities perhaps worthy of consideration.

(1) Verify rear wheel alignment. Don't place blind faith in the chain adjuster alignment marks. Sight down the chain (eyeball chain for straightness from top of rear sprocket to front sprocket making sure the chain goes straight onto the sprockets without making any sideways turns).

(2) Verify alignment of front wheel with rear wheel. When the front wheel is pointing perfectly straight forward, the rear wheel should also be pointing perfectly straight forward. May use a long straight edge or string (sight down it) to assure this. When coming off sides of the rear tire (from rear end of rear tire) toward the front and on past the front wheel, the straight edge or straight string should be exactly the same slight distance from both sides of the front tire. The straight edge or string won't be up against both the sides of the front tire because of the smaller width tire on the front. If both tires were the same width, the straight edge or string would supposedly be fitting smoothly up against the rear tire sides and front tire sides. (Does this make sense?).

The objective is to assure that both front and rear wheels are perfectly in line with each other and both pointing straight ahead and in line with the bike when motoring straight down the road. Should be able to remove hands from the handlebars and easily steer it with only gentle knee pressure indefinitely along a straight road and with the bike remaining perfectly upright without any sideways lean and without any tendancy to pull one way or another as you motor along.

(3) Loose swing arm bolt (already mentioned) or worn swing arm bearings (bushings in earlier models) may also cause an unstable ride. On centerstand (rear wheel in the air), try to move the rear tire from side and look and listen for any play in the swing arm between the swing arm and the frame.

(4) Confirm both rear shocks adjusted to same preload, and that neither shock is leaking.

(5) Assure forks are equally adjusted in their clamps and are not binding; front wheel fork caps are properly installed and tightened; correct amount and viscosity of fork oil.

(6) As already mentioned -- Assure front wheel bearings are not worn out (or rear wheel bearings).

(7) Has bike ever been dropped? Could result in triple tree (steering head) damage which is sometimes difficult to see by visual examination. Swing arm bent or twisted? Frame bent? Fork bent?

(8) tires balanced? either wheel bent or warped?


FWIW, I get new mail order tires mounted and balanced at the local Kaw dealer for $25 each wheel and consider it money well spent. And would pay the $35 - $50 charged by other places if necessary. Just hate, hate, hate personally mounting new tires :P .
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #122562

Hi,

I believe the P already has tapered steering bearings. If I were you I'd check everything the shop did. I have heard a lot of scary stories of near-accidents because parts were not torqued down right (and coming loose as a result), brakes that were not bled (an especially nasty surprise) etc.
It sounds like you have too much free play somewhere. Start with putting it on the center-stand: lift the front wheel, and try to wiggle it back and forth. Any play? Tighten the steering bolt. If not, check the forks: do they stick? Does the front wheel go side-to-side? Maybe they forgot a washer. Of course you'll need to check your fork-oil as well.
At the rear: grab the swingarm and check for play. Is the swingarm bolt tightened? Is the wheel centered and lined out right? A set of Koni's or so are way better than the original shocks btw, but you'll notice this only when you're pushing the bike, not on the straights at a normal speed like 70mph.
It should be a stable bike.

PS: paint it black and lose the fairing! It's a much better bike that way. The paint really helps.
:)

Post edited by: Zthou1977, at: 2007/03/22 14:47
1977 Z1000A1, 1982-1986 KZ1000P (built from two piles of parts), Moto Martin Z1200 (trying to get it registered), 1977 Z650B1
Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #122654

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z1rick wrote:
Tires do look to be miss-matched, front has "straight grooves", rear has the diagonal grooves, will be getting new rubber soon.
What I meant by mis-matched, was different brands (Dunlop, Metzler, etc) on the same bike, and/or diff compounds (touring, sport, etc.) on the same bike.
FWIW, the '84 GPz550 I once owned (as well as a lot of other bikes Kawi and the other import Manufacturers produced) came stock with a diagonally treaded rear tire but a ribbed front tire, and they were of the same brand and compound.

z1rick wrote:
Hey Retro, where do you get your tires balanced? I was thinking about going out to Chaparral in SB to buy the tires, don't know if they balance them or not.
There are a few places local that will mount a tire that isn't purchased from them, but I'm not sure if Chapparal cycle is one of them. It's worth a call to check. ;)
I did however buy front tires for both Rose's bike and my ZN from them last year, since they had the best deal going locally.
If you take the wheel(s) off your bike and just bring them to Chapparal it only costs about $20 each for mounting and balancing, plus another $2 each for disposal of the old tire.

If the tread on the tire you plan on getting is directional (arrow on sidewall pointing travel direction), be extra sure that they mount it correctly. I had to have them re-mount/re-balance one of the tires we got because the guy goofed and mounted it backwards. :pinch:

Post edited by: RetroRiceRocketRider, at: 2007/03/22 21:09
Covina, So Calif!
78 KZ650-B2 = IN A COMA
84 ZN700 LTD = SLEEPING
84 ZX750 GPz = SOLD
89 GSX1100F Katana = RIDING! :-)
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #122672

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Thanks for the answers, just got my new bearings, will try to put them on this weekend. Had the bike up to 80 on a different freeway, seemed to be more stable. I think it is most likely the front tire. Will try to replace them this weekend, going to try the Dunlop D404's. I will let you know how it handles with these improvements.
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #123586

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Just a quick update, I finally removed the side saddles and adjusted the shocks from the stiffest setting to the middle. Took it out on the same freeway at 70 MPH plus, seemed a lot better, much more stable. Oh buy the way, wrenched my back a little while putting her up on the center stand, that bike is heavy, I think I will put her on a diet (Modify). Back is feeling better now that I have to go to work, darn it :whistle:
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #123590

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z1rick wrote:
...Oh buy the way, wrenched my back a little while putting her up on the center stand, that bike is heavy, I think I will put her on a diet (Modify). :whistle:

Not the first time the topic has come up:

Arrrrgh..Centerstand

The problem with KawCop center stands is that they're located relatively far away from the center of mass. Not much is going to change that, so getting one of those beasts to behave and "sit" is always gonna be a bit of a tussle...

There is, however, a method that's made it quite a bit easier for me:

1. Grip the radio carrier upright with your right hand.

2. Take hold of the left bar grip with your left hand.

3. This is important: Stand PARALLEL to the bike, facing forward so that your hips are in line with the your shock mounts, facing forward toward the windshield.

4. Get the stand tab in the heel crook of your boot, press it to the ground. Bend your knees slightly.

5. At the SAME time, straighten your leg and pull upwards and back on the radio carrier attachment with your right - your left merely guides the motion. Kind of like a one-armed "deadlift" motion.

I found that really made Kaw-dogging much easier - this way, your joints - ankle, knee, hip and lower back are in line with the relative motion and working together, not in opposition.

Took a fair amount of knee, hip and lower back pain to figure that one out... :S
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Re:KZ1000 P, handling question 7 years 4 months ago #123728

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Thank you for the tip, I will give it a try.:)
Anaheim CA
1999 KZ 100P
1974 Z1 900 Project
1977 (2) KZ 650 projects
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