I live in Nevada and have a 73 Z1. The bike has not run since 1980! I need a good place to send my engine/trans/carbs for a complete rebuild/restore. Anybody have any suggestions or experience of who can do it?
Thanks! I will join that group and see where it takes me. BTW. That is my frame number I just acquired it from a fella whose Dad bought it new in Dec. 1972. His dad rode it until 1980 and then parked it in his garage. The owner (dad) passed in December last year. It is 99% complete but obviously needs to be restored.
One of the posters there is John Brookes. He has published a book on date codes for early Zeds that is essential reading for anyone who wants a correct restoration. A friend of mine who posts there is currently restoring 1006.
If the bike is still original you may not want to do much to it, as it's worth a lot more unrestored.
Edited to add that a few photos would be nice!
I ride Z1's. I have a couple of '75's, plus an '80 KZ1000LTD. My lovely Sweetums rides a 1981 KZ550.
The carbs probably must be rebuilt. The motor? Maybe not.
Miles on the odometer? And pics! Please post pics.
If you're mechanically inclined, get the Kawasaki service & parts manuals, and the Kawasaki service bulletins. Learning the bike will pay enormous dividends in knowledge, reliability and cost savings.
Before you make it go, make certain it'll stop. Focus on the brakes early.
The old air-cooled Z motors are very robust. Unless water has entered the motor there may not be much that truly needs to be done. As long as the motor can be turned through a few complete revolutions by hand with the kickstarter after a squirt of oil down each plug hole, we'd try starting it depending on the results of a complete maintenance servicing. Check the valves, oil & filter change, ignition tune, camchain adjust, etc., etc., etc. Do a cold compression test, maybe a leakdown test if compression looke suspect. If compression looks anywhere near to normal, start it & run it for a while. It may well be that it'll run just fine.
The clutch plates are almost certainly stuck. Replace the fiber plates and check the steel plats for flatness.
If the motor is cosmetically challenged due to flaking paint (likely), it is possible to refinish it assembled but out of the frame. We keep a set of covers (valve, dyno, points, etc.) for just that purpose.
Then there's a philosophical question that might be considered: It's only original once. There's something to be said for retaining the patina of age. If it is indeed 99% original, there is worth associated with an unrestored original.
Next step up is to do a refurb, as in disassembly, simple cleaning & re-assembly, but no refinishing. That splits the difference between unrestored and restored, leaving "clean" patina.
Then there's the full-on resto. Time & money are the keys to a good, full resto.
We'll second hardrockminer's invite to join us at
. Our membership will welcome and offer encouragement for new owner of a 99% Z1.
slmjim & Z1BEBE
A biker looks at your engine and chrome.
A Rider looks at your odometer and tags.
Not only the possible damage due to condensation in the cylinders another reason to open it up are the "rubberized" cam chain rollers. They get hard and brittle with age and can come apart resulting in major engine damage. It would be best to open it up to inspect the rollers and guides. If the cylinders look good you can stop there but replacing the valve guide seals is a must on a older engine.
I would suggest Liska rollers, the guides and center roller along with other parts can be found at Z1E among other places.
If you decide to do it yourself you will get plenty of advice and guidance here.
Besides, as I always say, "There's a certain security and satisfaction in knowing what's going on in between your legs.
I know that some would simply want to restore and sell it, but I am leaning towards restoring it and keeping it. I am 58 yo and have owned and ridden bikes since I was 8. I remember being in "awe" of the KZ 900 as a kid and always wanted one. For some reason, despite owning numerous bikes, I never had one. I just want to restore/refresh it so that it is a reliable ride.
I have already started the teardown, but I will upload pics of what I have.