I'll start by saying that electrics is something I really struggle with. Give me something mechanical and I'm fine, give me something electrical and it's like my head is full of white noise and stupidity.
The bike is a Z650B1 with the inevitable decades of history, minor mods etc. It still isn't on the road. Symptoms are that it feels like it wants to start but on the rare occasions it does, it's dies after a few seconds to a minute, and once it does it won't restart again. I'm comfortable it's not the fuel system - I've done a huge amount of work cleaning it out and refurbishing everything there.
What I'm really coming down to is that it's probably a problem with the ignition system or timing. Both worked when I laid the bike up, but that was years ago so things may well have deteriorated although I haven't seen the gnomes fiddling with a timing setup that worked fine when I took the thing off the road. When I look at the spark, it is there but looks quite weak, so I wonder if it is hardly sparking at all under load or failing once it starts getting warm.
It's a Dyna setup for both coils and ignition, plus the Wired George mod used to ensure the coils can pull all the voltage they want. I put that all in during the 1990's, and it worked fine for many miles. One of the coils tested bad a couple of months ago and has been replaced. I've gone through and replaced as many of the connectors as I can get at (testing continuity on each after doing it), and used original-type quality parts not cruddy Halfords bullets. I paid special attention to ensuring the earth connection is good.
When I try static timing it, I'm getting nothing - the test light doesn't come on at any point for either set of coils, and trying a multimeter doesn't show any change. But I admit that I don't know if it's me not knowing enough about what I'm doing when it comes to using a multimeter, or a problem with the Dyna ignition unit itself.
So what I am looking at doing is taking it right back to stock with as many new parts as possible, at least to establish whether it is the Dyna unit that's the problem or not. I'm aiming to get pattern coils & leads, and new condensers and points. The original contact breaker plate is still in good condition.
When I bought the bike back in the 1980's, it came with a ballast resistor. Strangely, it doesn't appear in any of the manuals or circuit diagrams I've seen. When I fitted the Dyna setup, the instructions said to take it off, so I did. I've still got the original but it isn't in very pretty condition. Can anyone advise how I test it and what the spec should be ? Also, do I even need the thing ? If I do, is there anyone in the UK selling new ones ?
Sorry for the long post - I'm reckoning the more info I give, the more helpful it is !
No UK B1 was delivered with a ballast resistor, so no its not required.
You can easily test the Dyna by using a test bulb at the point where joint to the loom is.
Pattern points and condensers are Chinese crap that just makes everything worse. If you have serviceable oem denso components I'd use them over pattern every day.
I've restored about 20 b1's and have some guys bring their bikes to me.
It's a weird one - I've had the bike for nearly 40 years, and only it's third owner. It was definitely an official UK machine, and was totally stock apart from an aftermarket exhaust when I bought it. It had the ballast resistor already in place, and it showed every sign of having been there from the start. It makes me wonder if Kawasaki pulled machines from other markets to meet demand, just changing the bodywork to UK spec. Very strange !
I'll find the docs on how to test the Dyna system and give it a go. I found Dyna's own instructions pretty incomprehensible.
Warren - I'm in Hampshire, so certainly at the right end of the country, although I'm not sure how I'd get the bike to you. I'm totally with you on the quality of Chinese aftermarket parts; I've got quite a pile of old bits in various states, and often find it better to try to recondition an existing old one than fit new Chinese rubbish. Luckily things like points and condensers are something I'm likely to have a few of somewhere still in their original boxes....