OK, here goes. This was given, yep, that's right - given to me last Sept. by a buddy for helping him move back to town. He bought it in VT and used it to learn how to ride street. I felt so guilty for accepting this offer that I gave him a barely used flyrod! I dig the kick start.
So, I began tear down over the winter. Engine was crusty, but ran two years prior. 21k on the clock, lots of leakage from the bottom end. Exhaust was toast with rust holes in both cans though the head pipes look good.
I set that aside and chopped on the frame a little. This spring, I started stripping the tank.
I encountered the first headaches - dealing with wheels. The front hoop was just about perfect, the rear was really bad with rust eating pinholes from the inside of the rim to outside. Looked for replacements on flee bay and they all looked terrible. I bought one that the seller claimed was not too badly corroded and would clean up with a wire brush. That turned out to be total bull shit. This was the best I could do with a wire wheel.
I had it blasted and the pits were so deep that no amount of powder would cover it. Frack Powder coat guy suggested a type of coating that H-D guys were using that was heavy and textured. I gave the go ahead and was pretty pleased. It resembles sprayed on truck bed liner. Very heavy, very tough. I bought a front hoop off ebay and had it coated with the same stuff. Good hoop to be sold off for big bucks, I hope. Next issue was finding rear spokes. Front spokes in remarkable shape. Took months to find OEM rear spokes and I never got them all. I had to take 8 of the best original spokes and use them. Not the best look, but I was not about to pay what Buchanan's wanted. The thing that made me think of a dual brake set up is that the KZ400 front hub, once the chrome caps are removed (4 Philips head screws) is treaded on both sides for rotors! Awesome discovery.
Jumped the gun before finding a good rear wheel and cleaned up and mounted a tire on the beautiful front wheel. Frack Had to pull the tire off, spokes off, and wait for what seemed like an eternity to find a decent hoop to powder.
In the mean time, I was making progress on my XV750 project with an R1 front end swapped in. That gave me the bright idea to do some kind of swap on the KZ. I was intrigued with the anti-dive systems of the 80's that Yamaha and Kawasaki did, all those fins and brake lines and shit sticking out. I chose a GpZ front end, but all the ones I saw were in really bad condition. I finally came across a complete front end from a '85 ZX600 GpZ. That brings me to headache #2 - the corroded anti dive valve. I pulled the first one to clean and look over. It looked great, The second valve...
The only valves I'd seen for sale were selling for almost what I paid for a complete front end! I decided to leave it as is in the middle position where it remains rusted permanently. Problem solved! The project right now is focused on the front end. Oh yeah, I swapped the stems to complete the triple tree swap and replaced the ball bearings with upgraded tapered units from AllBalls. Later, I had a machine shop turn down the GpZ front axle to fit the KZ wheel. Worked out pretty good, but I have to shim the calipers just a tiny-tiny bit to center them over the rotors. Watching for a decently priced rotor on flea bay. Some of those sellers are nuts with what they're asking!
Plans are to next chop more of the rear frame in order to change the rake of the bike without major changes to suspension. Then a pair of RYF reservoir shocks. Trying to find sprockets for a 520 chain conversion. It's beyond me why a 36hp bike needs a heavy ass 530 chain. What up wit dat??? I ran 520 chains on my sportbiikes! :-D Finally, attention turns to the engine and exhaust. I give this project a year at the most. I think I'm being optimistic! Ha!