I have completely stripped the front and rear brake systems on my 79 KZ1300 recently to inspect and replace the fluid and any seals / parts necessary.
What is very interesting is I have done the same procedure on my 2003 ZRX1200 over the winter, and cannot help but laugh at the huge difference in the design and technology of the brakes on both bikes........its amazing !
The Front Brakes on the ZRX1200 have 6 pistons per caliper and pads nearly 4 inches long............whilst our good old KZ1300 has a single piston with tiny 2 inch pads.......scary !
Needless to say the ZRX1200 weighs in around 240kg, yet the KZ is around 100kg HEAVIER at around 340kg but are both around the same 120 BHP !!!
Amazing how things progressed in the brake department between 1979 and 2003......thank goodness !
On that note, I dont know how many of you have realised the clear benefits of DOT5 SILICON Brake Fluid for your 1300 yet, but I have now used it on my bikes for the past 10 years and now will not use anything else.
It costs a little more than the horrible corrosive regular fluid, but has many benefits including the fact it is not in anyway corrosive, so does not affect or eat your nice new paintwork on your calipers or master cylinders.........like the awful regular stuff does.
Only down side is THEY CANNOT EVER BE MIXED...........so you do need a complete strip and clean of the system before using it..........but well worth it !
UK (or whats left of it).
The Older I Get........The Better I Was !
I kind of regret not switching mine to D0T5 as all was spanking clean after total disassembly and rebuild. I filled with 5.1 and I avoided damaging any paint, so all is good for now. For sure, those calipers are outdated! Too bad when we want to keep them stock. I had a new stainless sleeve pressed in the front master cylinder, all seals new and caliper seals as well. The bike stops well but the action is quite stiff. I wish there was more lever travel - it takes just a little to feel full resistance from all the way out. I think getting the adjustable aftermarket levers would solve this, at least bring the lever closer to the handlebar. But then again, a problem if I want to keep it stock.
Any suggestions for adjustable clutch and brake levers?
By far the best way ahead is to do a Hydraulic Clutch Conversion.
I came up with a "How To" bulletin on this in 2009, which was on the Z1300 UK Owners site then and also the USA KZ1300 Owners site too, but not sure if it is still available ? Unfortunately I lost all my copies on a PC many years ago so no longer have it.
It involves a Slave Cylinder (from a common range of Kawasaki models) a Master Cylinder from many Kawasaki's, a Fluid Line and a Bespoke Plate made to accept the Slave Cylinder at the engine end.
It worked perfectly once fitted and eliminates the clutch cable and fragile cable arm at the engine end.
UK (slowly slipping back into the disgusting grips of the EU).