1980 KE 175 Hesitation - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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1980 KE 175 Hesitation

I recently purchased a used 1980 KE 175 with 8900 miles on it, it is the exact same year and model i had when i was 16, i loved that bike and when i saw this one i had to have it. It is in good shape and everything works. When i test drove it it stalled at stop signs and hesitated a bit when cracking open the throttle from low rpm, i figured carb needs to be cleaned no big deal. After bringing it home in the truck i noticed gas under the bike and was sure the carb just needed cleaning for sure(sticky floats). I took the carb apart cleaned everything with carb cleaner( had varnished up a LOT), blew it dry and reassembled, took off the tank and cleaned it as well, put an inline filter on it and filled it with fresh gas, took out the spark plug and cleaned it.
It still hesitates from low rpm, if i goose the throttle a little bit before snapping it open it takes off great.
Anyone have any ideas on what else i can do?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 08:13 AM
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Re: 1980 KE 175 Hesitation

I have a 1977. Other than making sure the timing is dead on (it should be if it's CDI but somebody might have messed with it--if your's has points/condensor they may need replacement?) -no vacuum leaks on the intake, your air filter and exhaust pipe baffle are clean, you should be ok? When I take mine out, I have to remind myself it's only 175cc -not my KZ1000 !!!----- 2nd note= your bike is likely not a rotary valve engine so check the reed valves on the intake??
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1980 KE 175 Hesitation

No vacuum leaks, i will check the timing to see if its been messed with as it does have the cdi, i also never even thought to check the air filter (duhhh)and you are correct, it is not a rotary valve engine. What exactly should i look for with the reed valve ?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 09:19 AM
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Re: 1980 KE 175 Hesitation

My 2 strokers are rotary valve so I'm no expert but from what I understand, it acts like a check valve in the fuel/air flow to the cylinder to improve low speed running mostly? You have to remove the carb and intake manifold to get at it--- there are flexible "petals" that close when the cylinder is not on the intake part of the cycle= make sure none are broken/torn and that they close properly but be careful handling them! Make sure your baffle in the exhaust pipe is not plugged up as that can bog down performance.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1980 KE 175 Hesitation

OK, I've checked the reed valves and they are fine, checked the air filter and it was clean, i will remove the baffle and check and clean that too but its looking to me like it must be in the timing. Removed the baffle and cleaned, it was a little dirty but not the problem, removed the carb again and ran a small wire through the low speed jet and cleaned the whole carb again. Guy at the Kawasaki dealer suggested spraying brake cleaner around the rubber boots for the carb and intake, if the idle goes up i had a leak and was sucking air, nothing happened when i tried that, idle stayed the same.
Problem still exists any other ideas?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1980 KE 175 Hesitation

Figured it out, it was the piston skirt. After removing the head and cylinder i saw the piston was missing a piece of the skirt on the side that faces the reed valves. There are 2 holes at the bottom of the skirt that as i was told by the Kawasaki dealer help to balance pressure in the cylinder and 1 of the holes was opened completely up by the missing piece of skirt. Got a new piston .010 oversize and had the cylinder bored to match and it runs like a champ again now.
Thanks for the suggestions though everyone.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 08:04 AM
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KE175enthusiast, I have so many questions for you. So I recently picked up a 80' KE175 myself. The oil pump had been plugged, so no lubrication. Needless to say the piston and cylinder are trash. Where did you find the oversized piston? Have a part number or source? Also where did you have the cylinder machined? Did they nikasil the cylinder? Please get back to me as soon as you can. You can also e-mail me at Kevinfoxrpm@Gmail.com. I REALLY appreciate it!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 01:38 PM
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1980 Kawasaki KE 175

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Originally Posted by KE175enthusiast View Post
Figured it out, it was the piston skirt. After removing the head and cylinder i saw the piston was missing a piece of the skirt on the side that faces the reed valves. There are 2 holes at the bottom of the skirt that as i was told by the Kawasaki dealer help to balance pressure in the cylinder and 1 of the holes was opened completely up by the missing piece of skirt. Got a new piston .010 oversize and had the cylinder bored to match and it runs like a champ again now.
Thanks for the suggestions though everyone.

Good that your KE is now back running the way it should be I am new to this forum I just join about few minutes ago. I have kept these bike quite a few two red in color and one was blue but in my country Pakistan these bikes are Japan Assembled and did have the rpm where else I see in USA they do not have rpms. If I may ask how much did you buy your one for? and does it have rpm? Thanks
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