My story, in 2009 I was in the military in Hawaii - a good friend had a 1978 Z1-R that he had taken the engine apart to do a cam upgrade in the mid 90's, and it just sat ever since. The bike sat in a garage ocean front in Hawaii, and the salt air was not kind over the years despite being indoors. He sold it to me for a steal - I had restored a few cars there and he had faith I could get it done. My dad bought a brand new Z1a in 1974, and I have always wanted one of those or a Z1.-R.
After retiring, I stayed in Hawaii and money was tight, but I hung on to the bike. I eventually moved to Tennessee and took the bike with me. I was able to rebuild the motor and planned to just put it in the bike and ride it, but the engine was so nice I decided to take the bike apart and clean everything up, When I took the motor apart I was surprised to find it had a 1050 big bore kit, the head was ported and polished by the previous owner (he owned a machine shop) - and he included both stock carbs and a set of mikuni flat slides that he had bought. I trid getting the tank cleaned out, but it was too rusted to save. I generous person on this forum gave me an old tank they had taken off after the bike tipped over. It had a dent, but was useable.
Work kept happening, and I moved several times, and the box of parts just kept sitting in the garage. Finally with COVID and all I decided I was not getting any younger (I am 50) - and I wanted to just get the bike done. I did an internet search and found Jim, the owner of Premier, and contacted them for an estimate on a full restoration and reassembly of the bike, with the goal of being putting the bike bike as my buddy had it in the 90's more than a total factory setup. Jim gave me a reasonable quote ($7500 plus parts) and picked up the bike from my house in Orlando.
Jim and his team went to work on the bike, powder coating the frame and parts, milling and polishing the wheels, and just sorting through everything. The bike was all there, but in pieces. I had sent the gauge set to zresto previously, and they also did an excellent job. The original goal was nine months for the project, but as the dug into the bike they found many pieces in very poor condition, and more parts were needed, many from overseas. COVID slowed shipping, but the team did send weekly updates of what was going on, what they were waiting for, etc. They sent a video of the first engine stat, and man was that amazing to see!
In the end, Jim and his team spent way more hours on the bike than they estimated, but they kept the quote and adjusted the hourly rate to stay on budget, The whole project took just over a year, and the bike looks and rides above and beyond anything I could have asked. The shop offers everything from transportation, tracking down hard to find parts, basic maintenance to full restorations. They know vintage Kawasaki well, and I have seen many other examples of their work that was equally amazing. Two thumbs up from me!
2017 Versys 300X
The following user(s) said Thank You: DOHC, TexasKZ, Street Fighter LTD
Florida related. SargentCycle.com in FLA does seats & their web page has some good info for anyone going the to-do-it-yourself route. I've never used the service, but the Honda Seat Case study was a handy guide when I recovered my seat.
Absolutely gorgeous bike. The only thing I would change is the pipe, I would grind that on the road in right handers , just be wary, I also noticed on the pipe it says " Tuned racing exhaust", for it to be a tuned exhaust it would have to have equal length header pipes for a start, 1 and 2 are way longer than 3 and 4.... Not trying to be overly critical, Its just my opinion, I love the bike, its beautiful....!
Thanks! It's the pipe my buddy put on it back in the day. It sounds great, and I don't plan to ride to aggressively. I do have the factory pipe with it fully restored though. The "tuned racing" was as Star Cycle sold it in the 80's, we did not apply that