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TOPIC: Resurrecting my '79 KZ1300 from a 28-year nap

Resurrecting my '79 KZ1300 from a 28-year nap 3 months 1 week ago #22839

  • propav8r
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Hey everyone, figured I'd go ahead and start a thread over here to keep track of the work I do to get my '79 KZ1300 on the road. It's been stored since 1991, and is, cosmetically at least, in outstanding condition.

I purchased this bike from an acquaintance, who in turn bought it at an estate sale. According to the sticker on the plate, the bike has been off the road since 1991. However, it is in absolutely incredible condition, at least cosmetically. The paint isn't faded, there's not a single blemish on the bodywork, and even under the seat looks like it could've come out of the showroom yesterday.

As we all know, threads are worthless without pics, so here we go.













A quick once-over of the bike only shows a handful of readily apparent issues:

Front brakes inoperable. Master cylinder piston moves smoothly, but no fluid. Hopefully an easy fix.
One leaking fork seal (will replace both)
Missing upper airbox (I've posted a want ad already)
Spare key stuck in gas cap

And that's it! Like I said, that's just the once over. I was really only able to buy it and get it home before I had to go out of town for a week. I'm about to hop on a plane headed home now, and have no other plans this weekend, so I'm gonna pull it out in the driveway and start poking around.

I did pull the engine through with the rear wheel and it's not seized, and feels like it has good compression. Plan for the weekend is to remove the tank, rig up a temporary fuel jug and battery, and give it a crank. Gonna change the oil first though, and maybe pull the plugs and put a little oil in the cylinders.

All the control cables and carb slides move smoothly. I pulled one float bowl off already, and that carb looked clean inside. Whoever put this bike up for storage seems to have taken the time to store it right.

I've already ordered a ZX11 tensioner after reading the FAQ. Hopefully my timing chain idler gear will last at least a little while. The bike only has 20k or so on it.

Anyhow, thanks for the welcomes, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions along the way.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kawboy

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Resurrecting my '79 KZ1300 from a 28-year nap 3 months 1 week ago #22842

  • StanG
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The spark plug caps and HT's are not stock, so definitely someone was taking care of it. I wonder what coils are under the tank, and if the stock resistors bloc still there as well. The missing air box could mean the carburetor was serviced prior to letting it sit. I think a good idea would be to flush it with Sea Foam and then fuel before start up.

Other than that, a beautiful complete bike! You're a very lucky guy!
1982 Kawasaki KZ1300 A4
Building an engine from random parts. This will eventually morph into building a bike from random parts - if it ever happens. Need a frame to begin with.

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Resurrecting my '79 KZ1300 from a 28-year nap 3 months 1 week ago #22843

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StanG wrote: The spark plug caps and HT's are not stock, so definitely someone was taking care of it. I wonder what coils are under the tank, and if the stock resistors bloc still there as well. The missing air box could mean the carburetor was serviced prior to letting it sit. I think a good idea would be to flush it with Sea Foam and then fuel before start up.

Other than that, a beautiful complete bike! You're a very lucky guy!


That's a good catch. I think I saw yellow under the tank, so probably probably Accel.

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Resurrecting my '79 KZ1300 from a 28-year nap 3 months 1 week ago #22845

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I think I saw yellow under the tank, so probably probably Accel.


That would most likely confirm this. I just hopped quickly on Google and there it is, the kit - same color brownish spark plug caps. I think you have Accel kit installed. Which is a bonus - they aren't cheap and they do work!
1982 Kawasaki KZ1300 A4
Building an engine from random parts. This will eventually morph into building a bike from random parts - if it ever happens. Need a frame to begin with.

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Resurrecting my '79 KZ1300 from a 28-year nap 3 months 1 week ago #22864

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Unfortunately I didn't make any progress at all this weekend. I pulled it out Saturday morning to give it a bath, and while I was putting it up on the center stand, I threw my back out badly. Luckily I didn't drop the bike. It was just something about the way that I was pulling/lifting on the grab handle. Felt my back let go and down I went.

It's improving as the days go on, so hopefully I'll be able to get back to it later this week.

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Resurrecting my '79 KZ1300 from a 28-year nap 3 months 1 week ago #22868

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Sorry to hear you did your back in that sucks man, however there is a foot pad on the left center stand leg as well as a small rod/stick on the same leg its a heavy bike and a poor center stand setup. I've found if you use your left toe to put the stand on the ground (using the rod/stick) then take your right foot and place it on the foot pad on the stand leg then straighten the bike up onto both legs of the center stand then its still heavy to lift up use the grab handle (hope your bike still has it installed) and then its 1,2,3 lift with your legs and pull up on grab handle and back on the left handlebar and it should go up. I've never found it easy.

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