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Author Topic: KZ400 Resto-mod  (Read 459 times)

Offline freemonty

  • Posts: 18
KZ400 Resto-mod
« on: Jun 30, 2017, 18:17:06 »
I've been meaning to do a build thread for a while even though the bike is basically done by now. So I'm just gunna start this damn thing and take it one step at a time. It may not be chronological, it may not even be logical but I think it's worth sharing because I learned a shot load and I think I've got some good info to share about things I've seen other people struggle with.

So here's the story. Bought the bike in 2012 from a nice man while I was living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Craigslist find, 9000miles, wasn't running, cost....$400. 1976 KZ400-D3. The thing that drew me to this bike was the condition of the metal. No corrosion anywhere, perfect chrome. It might have seen some sun from the faded paint, but it looked like it rarely saw rain.

First pic of many. Rolling it into my then apartment to get it running.


And here's a tease of how things look about 5 years later.



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« Last Edit: Jul 04, 2017, 00:59:06 by freemonty »

Offline Nebr_Rex

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  • Posts: 810
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #1 on: Jul 01, 2017, 00:17:30 »
Nice looking bike. Are your modifications cosmetic or have you done anything mechanical?
I had to ask since I'm a gear head. In the automotive world a resto mod is stock looking with
drivetrain and/or chassis changes.


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Offline freemonty

  • Posts: 18
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #2 on: Jul 04, 2017, 00:57:04 »
Nice looking bike. Are your modifications cosmetic or have you done anything mechanical?
I had to ask since I'm a gear head. In the automotive world a resto mod is stock looking with
drivetrain and/or chassis changes.


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Oh yes my friend. Resto-mod is the correct nomenclature. She is heavily modified. I don't want to just list everything because I plan to go through a bunch of it, so you'll have to wait!



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Offline diggerdanh

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  • Posts: 297
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #3 on: Jul 05, 2017, 16:51:22 »
That's a beauty. I'm looking forward to getting the details and the story.

Offline freemonty

  • Posts: 18
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #4 on: Jul 18, 2017, 16:53:40 »
First update is kind of a boring one. After I got the bike into my apartment I did the standard "back to life" treatment. Although at the time I'd never done any of the stuff before besides an oil change. This is where KZ400.com came down from the internet heavens to bless me with a wealth of knowledge that I might some day hope to retain a small percentage of. If you own a kz400 or 440 and you haven't spent time on kz400.com then why are you even riding motorcycles? You will hear me praise this resource throughout the entire build. Without it, there's a good chance this bike never gets restored, ends up not running and collecting dust in my or someone else's garage.

So anyway I rebuilt the stock Keihin CV carbs, changed the fork and brake fluid, put a new set of Shinko tires on there, changed points and oil and filter and with a new battery she fired right up.

Couple notes here:
1. It's difficult to source the correct rebuild kit for the stock keihins. All the kits I've found include some correct parts and some not. I think the important one to change is the fuel valve aka needle and seat as that is an item that wears over time, and of course any gaskets or o-rings. All the carb rebuilding info can be found on good ole Kz400.com.
2. Stock tire size is 3.25-18 up front and 3.50-18 in back, but I put a 110/90-18 on the back with the Shinkos. That's about 4.33" wide and it fits just fine.
3. Holy crap, the fork and brake fluid were disgusting, it looked and smelled like sewer water mixed with clam juice.


The tank was in great shape on the inside so I just gave it a rinse, cleaned out the petcock bowl and away we go.

Here's the bike way back then:


Then I ran into my first and still only real issue the bike has ever given me. On my second or third ride the bike stranded me. No push start no kick start nothing. After some digging around I found the battery was completely dead. I ran a couple tests from the shop manual and realized I was only getting something like 10volts at the battery at idle, so I decided to change the voltage regulator to a more modern solid state unit from Oregon motorcycle parts. Put that on and still not charging correctly. After scratching my head for a while.I finally found out that my stator wires had gotten eaten up by the chain on the front sprocket. There's a small bracket on the engine case that holds these 3 yellow wires up tight to the case and away from the chain. The bracket had loosened or bent and the wires got chewed, hence, no charging. I wonder if this is why the previous owner had parked the bike in the first place….???

Anyway, unfortunately, I don't have pictures of this issue, but I taught myself how to solder and resoldered the wires and wrapped them up nicely. Success! I started getting about 13v at the battery at idle, which is not the spec (it's supposed to be 14.5v), but it was enough to keep the battery charged appropriately for like 4 years of riding. This will end up biting me in a later post, but at the time it was not an issue.



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Offline Nebr_Rex

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Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #5 on: Jul 19, 2017, 22:24:41 »
Rev it up to 4000 rpm and then check voltage.


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Offline freemonty

  • Posts: 18
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #6 on: Jul 20, 2017, 01:28:51 »
Rev it up to 4000 rpm and then check voltage.


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My build thread is in reverse so I'm just recalling what happened 4 years ago, but fwiw I followed the shop manual procedure and tested at the appropriate rpm levels and it was always returning 12.8-13.4.


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