FZ600 resto-rescue?


Been Around the Block
This summer I started looking for a trail bike so I could ride with some buddies on something a little bigger than the cl, and now I’ve successfully found a replacement in the form of a… Yamaha fz600? Ok so maybe I got a little sidetracked, but I got a once in a lifetime offer from member ex119x, and I couldn’t turn it down, so I’m now the proud owner of what is in my opinion one beautiful street bike. I have always been a sucker for dual round headlight Japanese sport bikes, and frankly I never expected to own one at this point in my life. Here’s how she sits right now:


The bodywork is just placed on there currently, but I had to see what it looked like. I haven’t 100% decided on a plan for this bike yet, but first order is to just get it back in running riding shape. It has very good bones, but definitely needs love. The carbs are in nice shape but definitely have some varnishing going on and the floats and float pins are stuck pretty good, and so are the choke mechanisms. Beyond that, I know that the wiring needs a little love, but I think it’s mostly going to be a matter of being good about organizing and labeling things. I don’t have the main body fairing, but I kind of like the look of just the tail fairings and headlight faring. I may experiment with slimming out the tail faring some to help modernize the look someday, but that’s far away right now. I also like the idea of small dual round tail lights, similar style to the cbr250rr fireblade of the 80’s. Again that’s a long ways away though. I expect that this is going to be a lot of cleaning, painting, and replacing hardware and wiring. Oh and I need an air box most likely since I don’t really want to mess with pods at all. Any advice or suggestions are welcome, mechanical or aesthetic!
Nice, Signing to to watch. And I agree on the duel headlights. We may have just scored an RC31 duel fairing for the hawk GT.
Ben, it was nice meeting you and your lovely girlfriend. I am just glad the bike went to a good home. It is really nice to have some of my garage space back, I am happy to just look at the empty spot on my floor. I am sure that bike has the potential to be nice and fun but will take a lot of time and effort, hopefully not much money. I do have an airbox and filter you can have, but not the rubber connectors between the airbox and the carbs as I used them with pods on the other bikes. I'll pull them out and set them aside.
Ben, it was nice meeting you and your lovely girlfriend. I am just glad the bike went to a good home. It is really nice to have some of my garage space back, I am happy to just look at the empty spot on my floor. I am sure that bike has the potential to be nice and fun but will take a lot of time and effort, hopefully not much money. I do have an airbox and filter you can have, but not the rubber connectors between the airbox and the carbs as I used them with pods on the other bikes. I'll pull them out and set them aside.

You as well, I always enjoy meeting others that are into this stuff! I’m glad I get a chance to give it another life, hopefully it will stack up to some of your FZ’s. If I get back down in the area I will have to grab that box, though truthfully it may be cheaper to just buy a used box with the carb boots already on it than trying to source just just the boots, either way, I’ll keep it in mind

So far though things seem in decent condition. The carbs have cleaned up pretty nicely, apart from two stuck float valve seats. I’m going to give one of the cheaper carb kits a shot I think since all I really need is one or two float valves and seats. I will definitely buy genuine jets though if I need to, but I think the originals will clean up. Next up is wiring, and if that cleans up nicely I expect to hear it run this summer, and use this winter to handle brakes and suspension, and maybe some cosmetics

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I like that front fairing without side panels.

By some coincidence I removed the side panels from our FZR400 to change color and I like it without them. I was planning an M1 (motoGP) look at the back end but the subframe isn't really the right shape so that plan is on hold until I finish a couple of other bikes and clear some space.
I like the look too. Kind of somewhere between full sport and naked. I think my plan is to make the tail panels come to a sharper point at the back. Not a full point like some modern bikes, but just something to slim it out a bit. I think that and adding the small dual round tails will help lean the bike out quite a bit visually. Passenger seat delete would help too but I’ve only seen a couple pictures of those out there so probably not in the cards

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This is an FZR600 seat cowl grafted onto trimmed FZ side panels. It also is just the FZ upper. The FZ600 also had mid cowls that may look ok with the upper. Airtech makes fiberglass replacements.


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sep 2006 129.jpgseats.JPG FZR400 isn't the same as your FZ but aesthetics come from a similar era. Black and yellow is as it is at the moment. Blue tank was from a later 600 and seat is off a well crashed RS250 Aprilia cup bike. That was taken when we first got the bike and before I spent hours repairing the fairing. A more modern (slimmer) seat I think would sharpen up the look. Your FZ has a lot of square lines that could be softened but I wouldn't necessarily suggest a swoopy modern seat with that tank shape. Our FZR was sort of next generation so slightly less angular lines but clearly from the same design team. Something like the EX119x rear end might just work. It's square enough and looks less tail heavy than stock.
Aesthetics is a far off project on this bike lol, but i do appreciate everyone’s feedback and opinions. I think I’d like to do something similar to those two bikes, but maybe retain the passenger seat, just bring the side panels to a sharper point.

In other news I am slowly progressing on things. The carbs are looking pretty good. I need new float valves, and gaskets, but I think all the jets will clean up nicely. I am planning on just getting a connector set and sitting down with the wiring harness to label everything and replace connectors so that I can just plug it all in once I’m ready. I was able to cobble together one “good” ignition switch from the two that I had. I only have a blank key though so I had to remove all of the pins in the lock cylinder to make it work. It now does function, but you can take the key out in the run position lol. It’ll get replaced some day but it’ll work for now. Now I just need to start ordering parts. I’m going to start with engine stuff and move to brakes and suspension later

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Let there be light.

I’ve been attacking the harness the last few days since I got my plug kit. I was able to get some of the electrical to work already, but still some to go. The reg/rec that I got with it isn’t the right one for the bike so I ordered a really nice used one from a working bike, as well as a starter solenoid. After those go on I need to hook up new battery terminals and get a new battery. I also have no spark as of right now. I don’t think this has anything to do with reg/rec but I suppose it’s possible, though the bigger issue is somewhere in the coils. I’m a little bit confused about the coils though. The shop manual states that there should be max 15k ohms resistance between plug leads on the coils, but the caps are 10k each, so I’d have minimum 20k. Without caps on I get 12k which is about perfect for both, but the manual says test with caps on, which is where my confusion comes in. I’m thinking it’s an accident in the manual? My plug caps are all bad though so I’m going to 5k caps with 5k plugs to get to my 10k per plug like stock since I couldn’t find 10k caps. Hoping this plus the reg/rec gets me spark. I also jumped the clutch and side stand switch, so those shouldn’t cause ignition cutout. Though I probably need to make sure neutral switch is good too.

I also finished the carbs up with new bowl gaskets and a couple new float valves, and did a bench sync. Hoping they won’t be off again any time soon but that’s probably way to optimistic. I have an air box coming next week so once I get the plugs and boots I’m hoping to hear it run. All four cylinders seem to have strong compression too.

In terms of chassis I have rear axle spacers coming and got the rear caliper mount in the mail the other day. I need a new rear master, and I’ll probably just opt for a cheap new one vs a rebuild. I tried to bleed the fronts today just to see if they were functional and to my surprise they actually built pressure and can hold the front wheel as hard as I can turn it by hand. The lever goes all the way to the bar though so I need to probably do a better bleed and flush but I didn’t have enough hose to see if I was actually bleeding all the air out.

If all goes according to plan I may actually see it run and ride before winter, if I don’t run out of money first lol. I set a budget based on money I made flipping an old Suzuki last month, so once that’s gone I’m pretty much done until I earn some more expendable money, but there’s plenty of cheap clean up stuff to be done too so I won’t be upset either way. Barring unforeseen issues though I think I’m down to just needing to get cables, chain, some linkage stuff, and some other odds and ends so fingers crossed!!
Starting to get to the roots of my electrical gremlins. These bikes combine the starter relay with starter lockout for some reason and it wasn’t letting ground signal for the starter solenoid through. I bypassed that and was able to get the starter button work and spin the engine for the first time with the start button. It also allowed me to check spark and i got a really good arc to ground from the open plug wire ends so my new plugs and caps come tomorrow so fingers crossed I may actually hear it fire. Also have new front and rear masters coming. Theoretically I may be able to test ride soon but I don’t have a shift arm so it’d be a first gear test I suppose hahaha

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Took my first test ride last night. Some kinks to work out for sure, but most glaring is the brakes. I have a new front master, and I tore down the calipers and cleaned everything and checked seals and put it all back together. No leaks, and I have bled multiple times, but I just can’t seem to get good pressure at the lever. Wondering if it could be a blockage in a line or somewhere in a caliper that I missed maybe? Or maybe I just really suck at bleeding?

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It is easy to have bubbles in those calipers, they are not that easy to get bled. I have had to remove the calipers and compress the pistons to push bubbles back out of them. I would also question those 40 yo rubber lines. Maybe some braided stainless lines would help. Is the new master the same piston diameter as the original?
Same piston bore as original, as far as I am aware at least based on info online. It’s a 14mm. I have a second set of lines that you sent with it that I may attempt to clean and try those as well, just to see what happens. I would really like to do stainless but they’re rather expensive. Around $125 for the kit, which I know is really not that bad at all and I know it’s worth it but still hurts a bit

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Haha I’m sure it is but 125 for 6 feet of brake line and some fittings feels like a lot in the grand scheme of things. I also found out that I can’t actually get a lot of the stainless kits made for this bike in the states without excessive shipping cost. I did take a closer look at the calipers today and I found that under full lever pull I can see something going on around the seal area around the passage that connects the caliper halves. I think that it might not be leaking from here, but instead pulling air in when I let off the lever, which would explain a lot. So I tore apart the second set of calipers I have and am cleaning them up as much as I possibly can and I’m cleaning all the lines I have, wire brushing mating surfaces, annealing the copper crush washers, and cleaning all the seals so I can give the stick system one more shot. If it fails again I’ll either upgrade to fzr600 calipers, which I believe should bolt on, or there’s a set of fz600 calipers and master for sale right now that has braided steel lines and was taken off in working order and never had any of the lines cracked open, which is probably the best option

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I think the FZR calipers have different bolt spacing due to the larger diameter rotors. I am pretty sure you would need to make adapter plates.
I am impressed that you got the bike up and running so soon. I had that thing for over 15 years and never even tried to start it. It was an incomplete parts bike when I got it. I felt a little guilty for taking that 6 pack in trade, but Spotted Cow is a good beer, so I guess it was a fair deal all around.
Interesting, I’ll have to dig more into that, though an adapter plate probably wouldn’t be too complicated. I may just end up getting rebuild kits too for mine but if there’s an upgrade that also solves my issues, I’d rather do that. I would like to get new braided lines, and I think the easiest way is to run just two lines total, directly from each caliper to a dual banjo at the master. It’s simple, and as I understand, it also helps ensure that any air bubbles have a clear path to the master. My issue is that my options seem to be the cheap lines, presumably from China, or expensive customs. So my question is, does anyone know of a good place to get customs for reasonable price? Or dare I even ask if the cheaper universal lines are even remotely a good idea? I’m sure they’re not any more sketchy than 40 year old lines, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

It really wasn’t a whole lot of work on the engine side. It isn’t perfect yet, but it runs shockingly well. I think a lot of my time will be spent on suspension and brakes now. I felt guilty that the gas station only had a 6 pack, I felt you deserved at least a full case haha. But in all seriousness it’s been a super fun project and I am very appreciative

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