Got this bike from a friend. It belonged to his uncle who moved overseas in '88, it then sat in the shed for the next 32 years. Its got 68,000km on the clock but I have records that it was rebuilt at ~60k.
No huge plans at the moment as I have to do a bit more research on what it possible with minimal frabication as here in Australia getting fab work done is extremely expensive. The look I'm going for it kind of brat look: black frame, black engine, bright (orange?) tank (considering wrapping as the original paint is still good), brown flat seat with a small lift in the back, LED lights all round.
Engine has been rebuilt, so I'm not in a hurry to touch it. Just change the oil, oil filter and spark plugs. I do plan to pull it out and give it a proper exterior clean and paint. along with that chasis will need to get blasted and powder coated. It has a 4 to 1 exhaust, the baffle is rusted beyond repair but the rest of it just looks like surface rust so hopefully I can just polish it give it a coat of high temp paint and wrap it up. I plan to run pods, just cos I love the look of it.
Suspension wise I would like to swap to USD forks, monoshock is not that big of a deal for me but I think going this route would make the cost go through the roof. I'll likely just end up rebuilding the front forks, paint and buy new rear shocks. Front and rear brakes will be rebuilt as well.
So I have some questions:
1. Should I be tearing the engine down and replacing all the seals, gaskets and o-rings since it has been sitting for 32years, even though it was rebuilt?
2. I've read some ZX-9R fronts go onto the frame without too much fab work and rears of ZX-6R goes on without too much fab work either, is that true? What other options of USD + swingarm options do I have?
The reality is that there is nothing you can do to it that will make it competitive with a new performance bike. So instead of screwing up a nice old stock survivor rather than ruining its value why not just clean it up, sell it, and use the money to buy a modern high performance bike? In the end I believe that would make you much happier. Ed
I agree with Ed. It’s your choice, but you will only ruin the value of this rare bike but trying to “upgrade” it. I’d suggest like Ed says, clean it up. Put in a few dollars into making it mechanically sound and sell it and buy a modern bike.
It's your bike so you can certainly do what you want with it, but here's the bottom line. The more time that passes the more your motorcycle becomes something of an oddity. I say that because it looks pretty much bone stock and that's what collectors want. More collectors also realize "barn finds" are more desirable than a completely restored bike. A complete restoration is great and the bike will no doubt look great, but the market centers more these days on bikes like yours. As Ed and Mikaw said I would clean your bike up as best as you can and get it running. At that point you can make an honest determination of what it actually needs as far as seals and such. You can automatically figure on buying tires, possibly brake pads and hoses and at a minimum pulling the carbs to rebuild them. If you elect to keep the bike "as is" try to find OEM parts instead of aftermarket stuff. You are generally much better off with OEM components, but beware of fakes! You may find that your bike will be more fun than you think it will be but be prepared for unsolicited comments from people that like your stock bike. And as has been suggested, if you really don't have fun with it you can opt to sell it and buy a more modern bike. I certainly wouldn't go changing a bone stock '79 like yours. Of course this is all my personal opinion, but once major changes have been made it's really hard to go back.
P.S. Make sure you get a new good battery for it and clean the gas tank asap! I would also get some OEM carb holders and eliminate that potential, but common problem especially if you take the carbs off to clean/rebuild them. Change the oil and filter and get a factory service manual to help yourself out.
I can't figure out how to quote multiple quotes in the same post so yeah.
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. My plans for the bike are definitely not set in stone and I have second guessed my choice of modifying the bike many many times over the last couple of months. I think I will follow the advice to get it back to original, my original defense to modifying it was that I could possibly sell the original parts I had to offset the cost of getting it running and looking good again. So as to how original I go would depend on the ease of accessibility of the parts.
Again, I have some questions.
1. LED lights, getting new flashers that work with LEDs. It's as simple as that?
2. Engine paint. How would you recommend I go with that? Paint then replace all bolts? I'm assuming I should be replacing all the gaskets if I'm replacing bolts.
3. Pods. I love the look of pods. I have a set of air corrector jets coming from Zed1015 already. Is there any huge reasons that I should stick with the factory airbox?
4. Carbs have been cleaned, just waiting to buy a set of gaskets and seals for them. They currently have 110/15 upped from 102.5(105?)/15 stock, I'm getting that's due to the 4-1. If I do decide to run pods, would 110 be a good place to start or should I start with 112.5/115?
5. Chain and sprockets. I'm thinking to run a new 630 chain unless the sprockets need to be replaced. Is this a good idea or should I just get new sprockets and go with a 530 chain?
I dunno what the bike market is like in Australia, or what you paid for that, but an original paint unmolested MKII will get big bucks here in the USA. Personally i would clean it up get it running, and sell it to buy a project bike with plenty of money left over for all the mods you want to do. People here really don't like to see original bikes get customized. Its your bike so do what you will.
Hi Doc, i'm an Aussie and can tell you that these MKII's are rare as hens teeth over here, the bike would be worth way more stock than modified, it would be a real shame to modify that bike, and I'm someone that like to modify bikes, properly that is... I'd leave that one stock as a rock, airbox and all. Where abouts in Australia are you fish ?
If you decide to leave it stock then leave the airbox alone. Pods may look cool, but mean extra jetting work. If the chain and sprockets look to be in good shape then leave them alone for now and concentrate on other items of need. It comes down to your decision on what you want to do with the bike. Leave stock? Modified stock? Restore? or complete change over? I suppose you could try and paint the engine in the frame, but it will never look right. I have to go back to what has already been said. Spend some time and elbow grease and get the bike as clean as you can without major disassembly. You will be surprised how good you can get an old bike looking with some spit and polish. Get it running and road worthy (safe) and go from there. Once you get to the point of making it a safe dependable bike I think you will have a ball riding it around to events and such. No it will never be like and brand new bike that's for sure, but getting the old gal fixed up and rideable not only gives you a sense of satisfaction in your efforts, but you WILL learn a lot in the process without destroying a piece of Kawasaki history. If you want a hot rod bike just go to your local Kawasaki dealer and they will be able to take care of you. Now if I could only figure out a way to put cornering ABS on my '77 I would be happy. Good Luck in your decision making process....