1979 Kawasaki KZ650 C3 "Blue Bessie"

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
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) ::)



 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"

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.

 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"

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.

 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"

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.

 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Re: 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 "Blue Bessie"

Thanks! A Kz440 was my first street bike.. Had a soft spot for them since... Love the look of this body style.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
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.
 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
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. :mad: 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
 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
rodos18 said:
'Twould be cool to see an FZR front end on it..
There it is, 1979 KZ650 C3 with a 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 front end 8) ... Rear to come!... I ordered the all balls tapered steering bearing kit for it and havent received it yet so it is just mocked up temporarily.
The old bearings had hardly any grease at all and it was firm and feeling like it was starting to dry out if that's even possible. ??? and that is why the bearings ruined the races.
I have the other front end stuff temporarily held on with zip ties just to get an idea of what it will look like.
I ordered a VF700 cowl/chin fairing for the bottom of it also. Going to have my brother paint the front fender, chin fairing and possible front fairing the same blue color.

Thoughts: Bars need to be higher, maybe changing the headlight/fairing, the steering stop tab on the Kawasaki is towards the engine side of the frame and the Yamaha faces the headlight.





 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Rear one is still on there until I can figure out how to get the swing arm and mono shock installed then that one will be off also... Unsure what the plans are with them though after that. Probably just throw them in the attic for possible future use.

Are you interested in them? They could always find a new home ;D I have no idea when I'll be able to get that rear one ready though. My brother is very busy and he is my welder. I have to have him weld on my brackets for the mono shock.
 

VonYinzer

Active Member
mark13018 said:
Rear one is still on there until I can figure out how to get the swing arm and mono shock installed then that one will be off also... Unsure what the plans are with them though after that. Probably just throw them in the attic for possible future use.

Are you interested in them? They could always find a new home ;D I have no idea when I'll be able to get that rear one ready though. My brother is very busy and he is my welder. I have to have him weld on my brackets for the mono shock.
I am interested, yeah. Let me know man. I'm in no hurry.
 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Got the rear off and measured everything up better with it all off and looks like I'll be doing more modifications than expected and the stock exhaust may not work. :'( I love that stock exhaust and I just put new gaskets on it.. Wish I would've taken that DTT member up on his cheap offer on his exhaust he was selling.

I am going to have to modify the swing arm and the frame slightly for the swinger to fit. It's about 1/2" too wide and I think I can shave off 1/8" per side of the swinger and 1/8" per side of the frame and make it fit. Then need some support/attachment brackets welded on for the mono shock... May be in the market for a 4 into 1 exhaust, hopefully don't have to rejet again :mad: .



 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Got my all balls steering bearing conversion for the front end and put it on today... FZR1000 lower tree has a step up lip built into it and was probably the most difficult race I have ever pulled.. The all balls kit worked perfectly and was an exact match to make the swap easy and painless... The top nuts require a 6 pronged torque socket which I currently don't have and didn't have time to make yet so it's not torqued down but put together.. If anyone has one of those sockets feel free to mail it to me and I'll mail it back ;D


 

Doogie

New Member
Dude this build is impressive. Crazy to see what can be done. Can't wait to see where it goes.

Well done sir.
 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
Oh, I almost forgot... Since I have to change the exhaust anyways. I told my wife if I sold the Buell, I was going to splurge and get this exhaust for the kz650: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Kerker-Meg-Black-Exhaust-Kawasaki-KZ-650-1977-1980-KZ-750-SP-1983-/370690240139?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item564edc2e8b&vxp=mtr

It was painful to spend that much but there wasn't many options for used 4-1's or options that would work and I wasn't buying a Mac... This was the best option. 127-60650 Kerker in black. Sweeps up more than the stock pipes as well so should be plenty of clearance for my swinger and monoshock... Modification of the swinger and frame starts this weekend. :D
 
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