Hi Everybody, New guy here, new to older Kawi's but not to bikes or cars. My son picked up a new z900rs earlier this year and wanted a project (cafe or brat). We found a 77 kz650 b1 in incredibly complete condition, only thing missing is the rear brake switch. So instead of a cafe or brat it's a restoration- the bike is way too complete and original to chop! 22000 kms! There's a few things that need replacing due to age though. The guy we bought it from says it was an estate barn find and he was going to restore it (he even had the carb rebuild kits)but lost interest and was moving. We have cleaned the carbs ultrasonically, rebuilt with said kits, restored the left and right handlebar switch assemblies, tested the ignition system and gave it a thorough cleaning. Compression is good 120 across all cylinders. Now we're waiting for intake boots, flasher, fork seals and boots, and other small items. Thanks to all of you for a great resource for these old machines, without it many great bikes would be scrapped.
Be sure to check the valve clearances straight away. The clearance reduces with mileage and once it's all gone the valves will hang open and carbon up or even burn.
Also realize that the huge majority of problems people have with getting an inactive bike back on the road traces back to incomplete carb cleaning. There is a lot more to restoring the carbs than replacing jiet (which are often the wrong sizes when purchasing "carb kits") and performing a basic cleaning. This tutorial is for Suzuki Mikuni's but it's basically same for KZ VM carbs...members.dslextreme.com/users/bikecliff/i.../vm_carb_rebuild.pdf You might want to read through to see if there is anything you missed.
Thanks for the link and tip on valve clearances. I own a couple of old Yamahas that require the occasion carb clean and they are really sensitive about cleanliness. These carbs were in relatively good shape besides some varnish. We checked/ measured all parts from the kits vs the installed parts. These carbs don't appear to have been disassembled before. We have a valve cover gasket on order. I think it's better to have one on hand before disassembly. Waiting on a lot of parts on order, there's quite a bit to do before it's rideable, front and rear brakes- I don't trust 44 year old brake shoe lining adhesive, rebuild master and caliper, brake hoses, we need air box boots, rear brake switch, turn signal flasher, chain and sprockets, fork seals/ clean and rebuild, steering head bearing clean and grease, swing arm bearings clean and grease. It's in amazing condition overall but there's safety items that I can't help but replace and or service before going around the block even. I'll post some pics once I'm allowed to. Thanks again!