Picked up a 80 kz1300 with 3600 miles from a guy that pretty much just rode it around the block for 34 years. Being parked the last couple the tank is rusted and varnished on the inside and i'm sure the carbs are the same. The bike was kept in the garage so its just waiting for a nice custom restore i think. The full vetter hardbags and trunk are going to go out the door with the windjammer shield.
My question is where should I start? It's a big intimidating project and i'd love some direction.
Best advice I could give you is to go into the KZ1300 FAQ tab at the top of the page and get your head wrapped around all of the most common issues that everyone has had over the years. At 3600 miles you're no where close to getting deep into the big issues.
I would decide which way you want to go with changing out the camshaft drive chain tensioner and proceed with that first.
Next I would concentrate on checking /cleaning all of the electrical connections. Corrosion in the connectors will cause havoc and it's the age of the bike in this case and not the mileage that may have startted issues in this area. This also forces you to "have a look around" the whole bike. The MOST IMPORTANT GUY on a team at the race track is the guy running around before the race with a cloth wiping down the entire race vehicle. He's the guy that's going to spot the loose bolt or missing lock wire or tiny leak that will "lose the race" Most people think that it's a job for an idiot when in fact he's the guy that will save your ass.
Take care of the fuel tank and put of a fresh fuel filter.
If it runs and idles fine, you're laughing. Chances are though you'll be looking at cleaning the carbs if it's sat for any length of time. Scotch has a great write up on cleaning the carbs and if I remember correctly, it's also in the FAQ tab.
The FAQ's will give you a "Hit List" and you can work your way through it as you enjoy the bike
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dion, bluefan44
Hi from NZ
im with Kawboy, but regards the restore, if it was me after my experience with this model bike, idd just ride the thing the old adage (if it aint broke dont try and fix it)
enjoy it for what it is and use it. if it starts giving problems then maybe look at stripping it down.
its pretty easy to give a repaint, if she looks rough, then ride ride ride the girl!.
anyways just my thoughts
I'll start the tank soaking with lacquer thinner for a few days and use that time to swap out the cam, and check and clean the electrics like you said. i'm worried the carbs are ate up and the pistons may be glued in place just off the top of my head.
Dion, if i stick a battery in there with fresh oil i'm sure something will catch on fire with my luck. lol