ke4456 asked: I have an '82 KZ 1000 K with a 16" wheel at the rear. Will an 18" wheel fit the frame? What else should I consider? Thanks. Ken
A KZ1000 Police 18” wheel should fit. Try and get as many parts with the 18” wheel as you can (sprocket carrier, brake disc etc). You might also need to change the brake caliper to the Police model. It can be done.
I got this KZ900 fixed up and running recently. The previous owner had gooped up the tach drive on the motor, the part where the tach cable attaches. It was an ugly orange blob near the #3 exhaust pipe. As part of the renovation, I cleaned all that stuff off.
Now that the bike is running, I see there’s an oil drip where that cable attaches to the motor. Did the orange blob cure it before I peeled it off? I’m not sure because I only drove the bike about 10 miles from the dock to my home before I parked it for about a year.
A seal kit is available to fix the oil leak. I looked through the shop manual and on the internet and didn’t find much info describing how to replace the seal. Here’s how I changed it.
The yellow arrow is pointing at the tach drive and the drive cable. There’s usually a boss (a threaded extension right where the tip of the arrow is) but some past owner broke it off. The tach drive is still pretty secure in there. I’m going to take the tach cable off and get to the old oil seal.
To get at that seal, there’s probably a specially made tool, I don’t have it though. I pulled a small screwdriver from the toolbox. I put it next to the kickstand so you can get an idea how small it is.
With the tach cable off and a cool engine, you can stick the screwdriver in there and pry the oil seal out. It’s not a piece of cake but be persistent and try not to gouge the metal - just get that seal out! Here’s the seal surrendering and coming out.
Once the seal is out, it’s easy to slide the new seal in and put the tach cable back on.
Did this cure my oil leak? I think there’s still some dribbling. The seal kit also comes with an o-ring. Changing the o-ring requires pulling the cam cover and maybe the exhaust cam too.
Another factor is that broken boss on my KZ. The boss holds the tach drive together. Mine seems to be in there pretty tight, but that missing boss might have something to do with the leak.
I’ll update this post when I figure out how successful this seal change was.
When I bought the brown KZ900 it had a seat and cover that I didn’t like. To replace it, I bought a stock seat off E-bay. Only thing is, when I got the E-bay seat the cover was kind of beat up. The seller didn’t cheat me, I was just too eager and didn’t look closely at the pictures.
I got around to buying a cover on E-bay recently and it seems to be a great deal. Let the pictures do the talking:
Here are the two covers. The old cover on the left and the new one on the right.
You can see how weathered the old cover was.
Removing the old cover is just a matter of carefully bending the toothed tabs and then pulling the cover off.
The tabs and the edges of the seat pan were rusty. I painted on KBS Coatings Rust Seal. This stuff really works, better than anything else I have ever used. It stops the rust.
Next, I pulled the new cover on, starting at the front and making sure it was centered on the seat pan. The metal tabs on the seat pan cut into the cover and hold it in place. Then the tabs are bent to lock the cover on. It was not hard to do, just take it one step at a time to make sure the cover fits the seat pan properly.
Here’s the completed seat. Looks good eh? Now I gotta clean up the rest of the bike.
This seat should also fit 1977 - 1978 KZ1000’s. If you have an LTD, you will need a different seat cover.
I paid $33 plus $8.99 shipping for this cover. It’s sturdy and I think it will last a long time. The E-bay seller’s name is step-collection.
trusty2 asked: The machine shop I took my J head to says he can set the "lash" by grinding the valve stem. He wasn't interested in the shims. Is he ignorant or am I?
If motor has high miles, the valves may have sunk into the head to the point where even the thinnest valve shims can’t provide the correct clearance. In that case, the valve stem can be ground to a certain point.
Maybe you should have the valve clearances adjusted at a motorcycle shop if you don’t want to try it yourself.
After taking apart KZ1000 forks, I thought KZ900 forks wouldn’t be too hard. Wrong!
KZ900 fork tubes have the same diameter (36mm) as KZ1000’s. At a glance, the forks look similar.
Brake caliper mounts are on the front on the KZ900 and on the back (lower and closer to the ground) on the KZ1000.
KZ900’s have fork caps with big hex heads and KZ1000 forks have square 1/2 in drive slots in the caps, with rubber covers on top.
And then there are the internals… The KZ1000 fork damper can be taken apart using a large nut welded to a rod. KZ900’s take something different.
So I was reading tips on the KZrider website for taking these forks apart.
First, I tried a broomstick sharpened so that it has four corners. That didn’t work.
Next, I went to the hardware store and picked up a Gator Grip socket with extensions. The Gator Grip will conform to different shapes and would fit around this damper rod. Only problem is, for whatever reason my Gator Grip socket had an outside diameter that was just a little too large to fit down the fork tube. Did they change the sockets? I don’t know but I wasn’t going to grind the socket down to make it fit.
So I tried a 3/4 inch pipe, bent and ground to give it four sides, like the broomstick. That wouldn’t hold either.
Bust out the propane torch with MAP gas, heat up the bolts and try again. Still no progress.
Looking down the tube, it seemed like the damper rod was round. Now how the heck is something going to grip it?
Next day, I went to the gas station in Palolo Valley and brought along my hex socket and extension. I politely asked if they could spin the bolts out and they did it for $5. Good deal. One bolt came all the way out and the other bolt was partially loosened.
I went home and with that one bolt out, was able to disassemble the fork and look at the damper rod, then reshape my 3/4 inch pipe so that it would hold the other damper rod in place. Success at last!
KZ900 damper rod - it’s almost round
At a different angle you can see the sides of the rod better.
Here’s my tool to hold the damper rod in place while turning the hex nut at the bottom of the fork.
I used a 3/4 pipe and hammered it slightly elliptical. Then I ground the sides to create a taper. And finally with a drill bit, opened it up to about 12 mm, so that those sides would hold the damper rod in place.
The pipe is about two feet long. That’s enough to reach all the way into the fork tube. Now that this end was holding the damper rod, I needed something on the other end to keep the pipe from turning when I was unscrewing the hex bolt. I just attached a vice grip and put my foot on it. That worked.
I picked up a 1978 KZ1000 a couple of months ago. It was ran pretty well after some changes to the jetting and some simple fixes, like a leaky carb bowl drain screw.
The cam end cap on the left front side of the motor was dribbling oil. I ordered a new set of the rubber caps from Z1 Enterprises and thought this would be another easy fix. Oh, was I wrong.
I replaced all the caps. The new caps leaked oil worse than the old ones! Now I had two oil leaks on the left side of the motor. What was wrong?
First, understand that when the KZ1000 is parked on its sidestand, oil around the cams goes to the left side of the motor, since it is lower than the right side of the motor. That reservoir gets completely filled with oil while the motor is tilted to the left.
Getting back to this problem, I had used some Permatex Ultra Black around the edges of the caps, put them in place and bolted the cam cover down with a new gasket. I had not realized how critical it is to do this job neatly in order to prevent oil leaks. After all that work the oil leaks were worse than before.
Looking on the KZ Rider forum, I saw that someone had wrapped teflon tape around the plugs, put sealant and installed them with success (no oil leaks). I tried it and had a small disaster. Early in the morning, before the sun was up I was riding to meet someone and found that the left front cap had blown out! Hot oil was gushing out the hole, onto my leg and the left side of the bike. I managed to ride home by getting a rubber stopper from the hardware store, cutting it in half and jamming it into the hole just far enough to stick without rubbing on the camshaft. Now I had lost a cap and needed at least one replacement.
Next, I bought aluminum cam end caps with viton rubber seals from Z1 Enterprises. These caps have ridges on both sides, making it impossible for them to blow out in normal situations. The caps did not come with instructions. I installed them with the viton rubber seals and no other sealant. This did not work either. Oil still dripped down the side of the motor after it warmed up.
Then I figured out what worked for this motor. Here’s what did the trick:
With the cam cover off and the caps removed, clean the surfaces of the end caps as well as the part of the head where the caps are inserted. Use acetone and wear a glove and eye protection so you don’t get hurt. This will remove pretty much all of the oil residue.
Apply Permatex Ultra Black in a thick bead onto each cam end cap. Spread the Permatex with a small flat bladed screwdriver or something similar. Install the caps onto the head. Wipe away the excess.
Install the cam cover (no gasket) and screw the bolts in finger tight.
Let the motor sit for at least 24 hours so that the Permatex will dry thoroughly. Is it really necessary to wait 24 hours? I’m not sure, but it worked for me.
Remove the cam cover, install the gasket and then reinstall the cover. This time tighten up the cover as you normally would.
Note: I did not use the viton rubber sealing material that came with the caps. Permatex Ultra Black was all that was needed to seal it up.
Problem solved, let’s move on and take care of other maintenance issues!
How many is too many? Good question. This 1976 KZ900 (same year and model as the black one I bought this summer) was for sale on the Big Island. The price was right and I got my friend Vince in Hilo to go pick it up, then ship it to Oahu.
This one has about 17,000 miles and it’s in good shape, just in need of some freshening up. The paint looks original, although somebody airbrushed a pattern on both sides of the gas tank. Lester wheels replaced the original spokes and a Vance and Hines drag pipe is fitted.
When I picked it up at Young Brothers on November 9th, 2011 it was running but not all that great. One of the first things I did when I got home was replace the caps that go on each carb intake boot for carb synching. The caps were shot and leaking air into the intake manifolds. I noticed an improvement right away in starting and idling. The cam cover gasket is leaking some oil. It’s a very easy fix. The only things keeping me from taking care of it right away are the other two KZ’s.
I think this one is a keeper. There will be some minor touching up of the frame paint, replacing the rusty fork tubes and repainting the bodywork, then it’s going to look cherry!