Vintage Kawasaki - 1978 KZ1000

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1978 KZ1000 - Jan. 27, 2002    Day One

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In the driveway

  The next day, Sunday, is perfect April weather.  But it's January.  I spend the afternoon putting the gauges and bars back on, cleaning the bike, taking pictures and admiring it, working on the rust spots, adjusting controls, oiling and cleaning the chain.  The chain doesn't need tightening and the sprocket is fine.

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6,987 miles showing


On the road        


   Since it starts with the kickstarter, I warm it up and change the oil. I find a filter from KZ Keith's stuff.  The clutch is very stiff so I think the mechanism behind the left cover needs lubrication because lubing the cable wasn't the solution.  I take apart the handlebar switches and lube them.  Big improvement.  None of the fastenings have ever been taken off before.   I have to be careful not to be the one to mash any screws.  This bike is virgin.

    The fairing frame mount with the turn signals comes off.  The battery gets charged and now the starter works fine and so does the horn.  The headlight is re-connected and it works, too.

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    The guy in Maine sends me a notarized statement with a photocopy of the last Maine registration from 1999 that NYS DMV accepts with minimal hassle, so I get the bike insured and register it the end of February.  I take it for the first ride on Sat. March 2.

  There are still some items that need attention.  I replace the rust pitted steering stem bolt with one from KZ Keith.  The left carb snorkel from the airbox is cracked slightly.  It gets a wrap of electrical tape for now.  The breather cover under the air box is very rusty.  It's hardly visible and not a functional item, but it's a candidate for replacement.  I buy a NOS air filter through eBay for $10 but I see that the one already installed is a K&N wire mesh filter that can be cleaned and re-used if I get the right type of filter oil.

  The clutch is still not fully engaging, so a week later I work on adjusting it and cleaning the mechanism.  But I don't get it fixed until I ease off the push-rod mechanism under the lower cover.  The first ride to work is March 14.  The bike runs well with only minor buzzing of the mirrors which fades as the speed increases and is not noticeable at an indicated 80 mph.


Art's stock 78 KZ1000 and John's custom 78 KZ1000 - March 2, 2002

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