I thought I should document my journey on restoring a 1978 KZ1000 here, and perhaps get some help along the way.
For as long as I can remember, there's been an old bike sitting in the barn on my grandparents' farm. With both of my grandparents' having now passed away, we've begun the tedious process of cleaning up the yard for sale. One of those items that had to go was that bike, so I snapped a photo sent it to my buddy that is constantly working on bikes and asked if he wanted it. He said sure and offered $500 sight unseen and the bike was sold.
The next day he messaged me again and said he changed his mind based on how many projects he had on the go, but he'd let the word out to his riding buddies. Not 30 seconds later I got a phone call. Someone else was going to take it for $500. Done. Next day, same thing, changed his mind with too many projects.
A third suitor came around. He actually came to look at the bike. It still hadn't been washed up, and was still covered in 30 years of barn dust, mouse poop, and racoon pee. He decided it was more of a project he was looking for and passed until the next day when he called and offered me $200 as a parts bike. I knew it was worth way more than that, so I called my first friend to come out and take a look and let me know what he thought. What he found blew him away. An incredibly clean, low mileage (13301km) bike with nothing missing (save for the rotted exhaust). It was then that I decided I had to keep it and bring it back to it's former glory.
The story goes that my grandpa picked it up at an auction. He must have got one hell of a deal on it, because he never paid fair price for anything. He registered it in 1990 and had plans of driving it to work, but scared the hell out of himself with how fast she ripped, so parked it in the barn.
After a quick wash, it looked a heck of a lot better.
The carbs were completely seized up, so I took my time, watched lots of YouTube, followed the service manual, and started taking it apart to clean. The now look like new. Time will tell how well I did.
The tank was looking pretty rusted inside, but in otherwise good shape. Unfortunately, with the amount of rust inside, it needed to be boiled. I had the tank lined while I was at it. Not sure that I'm in love with that decision, but it just seems like the right thing to do to keep this bike alive.
That brings you all up to speed on where we're at today. Hoping to get the tank primed next week so I can try to get the thing started. Then the real work begins.
Welcome to KZRider !!
Great story and project
Original owner 78 1000 LTD
Mr Turbo Race Kit, MTC 1075 Turbo pistons by PitStop Performance , Falicon Ultra Lite Super Crank, APE everything. Les Holt @ PDM's Billet Goodies . Frame by Chuck Kurzawa @ Logghe Chassis . Deep sump 5qt oil pan. RIP Bill Hahn
Welcome. Good to here your taking on the job of keeping a vintage machine running. To many times our new throw away society just over looks the value of history. Thank you! Please consult the members of this forum on procedures to restore some of the items before you completely erase the authentic patina and battle scares of the bike. Some should be worn as a badge of honor.
You could break those brackets by simply walking into them by accident, or trying to use them to muscle the bike around in the garage. I am glad you decided to try to bring this bike back to life. No doubt it will cost you some money and time, but in the end it will be well worth the effort I think and the personal satisfaction will no doubt be enormous. Besides, $500 for this bike would have been robbery.
Im working on my second Barn find. Unfortunately the second find is too far gone and so many pieces are not oridional and has been cowboyed together in some very strange ways yet there are some awesome period correct after market parts But what I like the most are the vintage bolts and screws I hope you use jis screwdrivers and a lot of lucyjuice to protect them. Keep a cool tool Pard Nice find. It appears to be You two were meant to be
If you are going to have it primed, I would use an initial 2 part polyurethane primer as the base primer. If you use normal primer and don't plan on painting for awhile start rusting again. Primer is pores. Two part polyurethane will seal it. Then you can wait as man weeks as you want to continue the painting process. Would be a mater of putting a coat of filler primer to fill and sand out any imperfections prior to laying down the base coat color. If you are doing any of this yourself, be careful when using any 2 part polyurethane primer / paint, it is highly toxic and you should use proper safety measures with a correct mask.