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Author Topic: 1979 Kawasaki KZ650 C3 "Blue Bessie"  (Read 30224 times)

Offline mark13018

  • Posts: 811
  • "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
1979 Kawasaki KZ650 C3 "Blue Bessie"
« on: Aug 15, 2013, 04:33:52 »
I have this 1979 Kawasaki KZ 650 from a local performance shop owner who ran it for a long time then got a new bike and left this one sit for several years. This is how it looked on the trailer freshly loaded up.



That god awful fairing was coming off first thing. Got that off and stripped some other parts off to get minor cleaning done to the main part of the bike. The first pic is before and the second after obviously. I tried to take them as close as I could to the same location.. I used carb cleaner and then the Gunk engine degreaser/cleaner then the shine. Didn't wear my safety glasses again like an idiot and got carb cleaner in both of my eyes this time and DAMN that crap stings like hell. I'm not sure if the carb spray or flushing my eyes out for 15 minutes hurts worse. (I only made it to 7 min) ::)



« Last Edit: Aug 16, 2013, 10:32:04 by mark13018 »
need wire for your custom build? Click here!

1971 CL450 cafe "Project Amelia" 
1979 Kawasaki KZ650 "Blue Bessie"
1982 Kawasaki KZ305 CSR belt "Project X"
1995 Honda Magna Deluxe
1987 Honda Super Magna - sold :-(
2006 Honda CBR600RR
1964 CB77 superhawk
1965 CL72 scrambler
2013 honda metropolitan

Offline mark13018

  • Posts: 811
  • "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #1 on: Aug 15, 2013, 04:43:32 »
The tank had a pin hole in it and was leaking gas so I used some jb weld and repaired the tank. No more leaks.



I took some parts and cleaned them up and got some of them ready to sell to help fund the parts I would be buying. Here is a picture of it with that nasty looking rack and bag from the first pic sitting at the back end of my trailer.



I took the carbs off and started playing with them. Luckily for me, I just had a set of carbs off a 79 gs850 in here that I rebuilt and they are almost identical. So it was fresh in my head and a breeze. Started out by noticing that the pods and breather filters he put on were K&N's!!!  ;D I JIMP right there, I was so happy. They were so dirty I couldn't tell while they were on the bike and I didn't really look closely either since so many people use those cheap emgos I just assumed that's what they were.
 I messed with the carbs and they have been rejetted with, what I think, are good sizes for the current intake/exhaust. I will know better when I get her running. Upon cleaning and inspection though, I noticed the valve seats appeared to have some light scratch marks on them and it did not look like the valves would get a good seat so I went ahead and ordered new rebuild kits all together because it was cheaper that way anyways. I will just have some spares and extra jets for something else.


need wire for your custom build? Click here!

1971 CL450 cafe "Project Amelia" 
1979 Kawasaki KZ650 "Blue Bessie"
1982 Kawasaki KZ305 CSR belt "Project X"
1995 Honda Magna Deluxe
1987 Honda Super Magna - sold :-(
2006 Honda CBR600RR
1964 CB77 superhawk
1965 CL72 scrambler
2013 honda metropolitan

Offline mark13018

  • Posts: 811
  • "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #2 on: Aug 15, 2013, 04:52:05 »
Now here's where she sits now... My brother wanted this kzr1000 engine I had for a buggy project so I said sure, why not and I ended up keeping the front and rear end for a future project and this one looks like a good candidate. It was a 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 and it needs new fork seals and levers but the brakes worked before I took it apart so maybe I can avoid having to rebuild them.
  All balls makes tapered steering bearing conversions and they make one for this setup. I will be buying that and getting the front end squared away but the rear end I am still going to have to figure out. I was thinking about seeing if someone can make me some custom bronze bushings to make the swap work. I haven't mocked it up or taken any measurements yet at all so that may have to wait a little bit until I can get some other stuff rearranged to have a look at it. But that is what I really want to make happen so I'm going to try everything I can. I like the rims and the mono shock so hopefully all will go well.

need wire for your custom build? Click here!

1971 CL450 cafe "Project Amelia" 
1979 Kawasaki KZ650 "Blue Bessie"
1982 Kawasaki KZ305 CSR belt "Project X"
1995 Honda Magna Deluxe
1987 Honda Super Magna - sold :-(
2006 Honda CBR600RR
1964 CB77 superhawk
1965 CL72 scrambler
2013 honda metropolitan

Offline mark13018

  • Posts: 811
  • "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #3 on: Aug 15, 2013, 05:00:08 »
The seat is getting changed also. The way it sits and the pan is weird though. I want to keep the tail fairing as I love the duck tails and I think it will flow well with a more flat seat and I will probably never ride 2up so the plan is to shave the foam down and have no foam left on the back section where the hump comes up on the pan and use a 1/2" piece of foam cushion from the fabric store and my brother-in-law does custom leather goods and I showed him a picture of this seat and he said it would be no problem to make me a cover exactly like this style but with a light tan leather and any color stitching I want... I figured, I already had a foam seat on one bike, vinyl on one, custom ostrich vinyl on one, so why not? I'll give it a shot. I am still in the process of doing a lot of the things on this one and will try to keep updates coming. My other main project is delayed due to current events so this one will be getting most of my attention.

need wire for your custom build? Click here!

1971 CL450 cafe "Project Amelia" 
1979 Kawasaki KZ650 "Blue Bessie"
1982 Kawasaki KZ305 CSR belt "Project X"
1995 Honda Magna Deluxe
1987 Honda Super Magna - sold :-(
2006 Honda CBR600RR
1964 CB77 superhawk
1965 CL72 scrambler
2013 honda metropolitan

Offline gee_tee_p

  • Posts: 26
    • my KZ650
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #4 on: Aug 15, 2013, 17:49:37 »
count me in... can't wait to see the progress!
i don't know what i'm doing.

Offline canyoncarver

  • DTT SUPPORTER
  • *
  • Posts: 4005
  • 'hacking is learning'
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #5 on: Aug 16, 2013, 00:50:26 »
Love the KZ's.

Offline mark13018

  • Posts: 811
  • "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #6 on: Aug 16, 2013, 02:02:02 »
Thanks! A Kz440 was my first street bike.. Had a soft spot for them since... Love the look of this body style.
need wire for your custom build? Click here!

1971 CL450 cafe "Project Amelia" 
1979 Kawasaki KZ650 "Blue Bessie"
1982 Kawasaki KZ305 CSR belt "Project X"
1995 Honda Magna Deluxe
1987 Honda Super Magna - sold :-(
2006 Honda CBR600RR
1964 CB77 superhawk
1965 CL72 scrambler
2013 honda metropolitan

Offline canyoncarver

  • DTT SUPPORTER
  • *
  • Posts: 4005
  • 'hacking is learning'
Re: 1979 Kawasaki KZ650 C3 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #7 on: Aug 16, 2013, 12:44:41 »
I've got a KZ650 project that I'll probably part out.  Three good but untitled frames, two good complete motors, a few wheels, misc parts....  The no title thing caused me to set them aside.  Maybe a track bike oneday. 


Looking forward to seeing you transform yours.

Offline chris7981

  • Posts: 55
Re: 1979 Kawasaki KZ650 C3 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #8 on: Aug 18, 2013, 21:07:45 »
I'm in
1980 xs650
1979 xs650
1977 xs650
1974 xs650
1974 cb360
1974 rd250

Offline mark13018

  • Posts: 811
  • "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1979 Kawasaki KZ650 C3 "Blue Bessie"
« Reply #9 on: Sep 02, 2013, 03:21:43 »
Got the old girl running pretty good yesterday and only had to take the carbs off to adjust/rejet twice... Hard to get a feel for it and if it is tuned well since the brakes are sticking and the clutch cable has about a 3" long spot where the cable jacket is cut off and exposed, rusted, bent, and catches when pulling in the lever... I put the bike on the stand and started to work on the front calipers when I noticed the steering bearings are bad.  >:( dammit... So now I'm faced with the option of either rebuilding the factory stuff or doing the FZR front end swap now and rebuild those items if needed.... Hmmmm
need wire for your custom build? Click here!

1971 CL450 cafe "Project Amelia" 
1979 Kawasaki KZ650 "Blue Bessie"
1982 Kawasaki KZ305 CSR belt "Project X"
1995 Honda Magna Deluxe
1987 Honda Super Magna - sold :-(
2006 Honda CBR600RR
1964 CB77 superhawk
1965 CL72 scrambler
2013 honda metropolitan