I've wanted to buy my old Turbo Zed back for awhile, as its owned by a friend. He started to restore / modify it but hasn't been able to do much with it for a few years. Like me he has other bikes that need work, and there's only so much time and money he can devote to his projects. So today I bought it back, though its now in pieces.
The bike was built in the mid eighties as a road legal drag bike.. I'm told by the original owner that it was one of the fastest such bikes of the time.
Fast forward twenty years, the poor Zed had been left languishing in a damp shed when I saw it, bought it and brought it home. The engine was stripped and found to have bent conrod and other serious problems.
My original plan ten years ago, was to restore it back to its turbocharged glory. But as ever life gets in the way and I sold it on to my friend who had other plans for the old Zed.
The turbo has long gone, as have the lightweight wheels, forks, frame an bodywork! But even so the engine is still something special. It has a Orient Express big block which allows it to be take a set of big pistons, taking the engine from 1000cc up to 1400cc. Oh and it also had homemade Nitrous Oxide injection too... that was super dodgy so it wont be used.
The good news is that the bike comes with a different Z frame, that's been braced and strengthened and modified to take wider modern wheels, its even powder coated. In place of the classic Z1 bodywork, it comes with a mint set of bodywork from a late seventies Z1000 Mk2, along with a swingarm and forks from a later ZXR1200.
I'm still thinking about which way to take the Zed... build it as a road bike, turbo it, or maybe go for broke and build a 'show bike' with lots of high end parts... inspired by the Japanese custom house ''Sanctuary RCM'' Google them they are v impressive bikes.
How it looked when I bought it more than ten years ago..
While many years later, this is what I bought, Forks need new stanchions, wheels are from an R1, suspension and swing arm from an ZRX1200. Dont like the shocks or wheels so they will be replaced..
Having finally pulled the tank and bodywork out of its packing, I've had a change of heart regarding the repaint. The original paint is just too good to be resprayed. The tank did around 2000 miles on the bike, before it was removed and stored for many years. So now I'm just going to have the ZRX12 front mudguard colour matched, while need to source a seat.
As for the second Zed, That project has only just began.. starting with a Z1000A1 frame imported from the US
Back to the first Zed, which I collected last year, with slow progress ever since. The forks are now rebuilt with new Tarozzi stanchions, the sliders had been powder coated satin black awhile ago, which caused a problem. The damping adjusters at the base of each leg had to be removed when they were powder coated, something that isn't supposed to be done. As the spring and ball bearing inside slightly damaged the 12x1 thread in the mechanism. Fortunately they were cleaned up with a tap and die and the forks could be finished. The chassis looks a bit nose down, but once the engine is back in the frame, its weight should bring the lower frame rails parallel with the ground.
Got the engine cases and block back from the powder coaters... in satin black, very similar to the factory finish..
Fortunately the engine internals were in excellent condition, with unworn bores and new looking forged pistons, so the engine rebuild was too expensive. The engine had a spacer plate under the block to lower compression when it was turbo'd back in the eighties. Removing this plate brought the CR back to spec. However, the original head was long gone, so bought a used one and had it ported and rebuilt. Still waiting for the head to be completed. When it is returned, the engine will be complete. Its been agreed that the Mikuni RS36 carbs I have are too big, so have to source a set of RS34s.
Nice projects ..I will be watching this closely
I vote turbo
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
Nice projects ..I will be watching this closely
I vote turbo
The original turbo and pipework has long gone, the engine is being built as a 1400cc NA motor. That said have a friend putting a tuned 810cc Gpz750 Turbo engine in his Z650. Would like to have a Gpz750 Turbo someday. I also have a special block cast here in the UK in the late 70's, which allows the head to be fitted backwards, so the blower is at the front, exhaust at the back... too many ideas, not enough time..
Finally decided what wheels to use. Had been considering Dymags, but at £2500 they were a bit over budget.. I wanted a pair of 17 inch, 5 spoke, lightweight, good looking wheels, with a 5.5 inch rear, in gold. After much looking, found a pair of new old stock wheels that fit the bill, from a late model Yamaha R6. Of course they wont fit the ZRX12 forks and swingarm, but I hope we can make them fit... Discs are made by Armstrong.
Fitting the R6 wheels to the ZRX12 forks / swing arm isn't straight forward, as the R6 front spindle is thinner and quite different from that of the ZRX. While the rear R6 spindle is 28mm Vs 20mm for the ZRX.
For the front end, I bought an R6 spindle from Ebay, which turned out to be bent.. so slight delay while I bought another. The plan is to use the R6 spindle with spacers to fit the ZRX forks.. Not sure yet if the standard 6 pot calipers will fit the discs ok with the new wheel in place, without the need for spacers..
While the rear should be easier to fit, as it'll just need a pair of suitable top hat spacers.
We're coming up to date now, as all the work above happened in the last few months. Not an easy conversion, but the R6 front wheel is now fitted to the ZRX12 forks, had to space out the calipers by 2mm to align them with the discs. Resisting the temptation to fit the the front end to the bike, as I want to lower the bare frame over the engine which will be on its side, when the engine is ready. Thought the rear wheel will be a little easier, but it wasnt..
Fitting a rear caliper to the R6 wheel has proved more difficult than expected.
First attempt was with a small Brembo twin pot caliper, but the disc is so small.. 220mm .. that the caliper hit the hub before the pads were completely over the disc.. not good.
Second attempt used a standard R6 caliper.. which fits of course, but its mount is integrated with the caliper body, and is in turn made to fit the R6 swing arm... which is no good, as I'm using a ZRX1200 swing arm.. sigh
Third attempt used an old front caliper from some 90's Kawasaki.. it would fit, but a mounting bracket would look ugly, while the caliper itself was heavy and old..
Forth attempt. I needed to find a modern sliding piston rear caliper, as this type has a narrower profile and so would fit over the disc without hitting the hub. Eventually bought one made to fit a BMW 1250GS, which will work, so made a mounting bracket in 10mm alloy plate, which will be coated black.. hard anodised I expect. The torque arm and wheel spacers were made from stainless steel.