Newbie to the KZ 1000 [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

Newbie to the KZ 1000

07-16-2011, 04:09 PM
Hi Guys, Just bought a vintage 1980 KZ 1000.It hasnt been run in about 4 years.Full dress,and got it at a steal(at least I think) anyway,need some pointers as to what to do to get it running again.Valve train seems to be good,as well as compression.New Battery today.I have the tank pulled,and plan to go through the carbs soon.Suggestions welcome.this is a restoration project,and im in no hurry to get it on the road....Although im itchin to!:P
I have an "el cheapo" Clymer service manual.It aint much,but thrown in with the deal.

07-16-2011, 04:30 PM
I don't put much faith in service manuals from Clymer,Haynes and Chilton as some have incorrect information and for many years had black and white wiring diagrams making electrical trouble shooting a nightmare.

Manuals (some of these websites sell used manuals, so ask)
Repair Manuals Online - Workshop Manuals - Chilton Clymer Haynes Seloc Service Manuals ( Factory Service Manuals, Auto Repair Manuals ( - Every Repair Manual, Service Manual, Owners Manual and Book for your Car, Truck and Motorcycle (
RepairManualClub Download Area (
Moto manuals (

APE ( (engine differences of the Kawasaki 1000's)

I've got a lot of information on the older Kawasaki 1000/1100's. so don't be afraid to ask...

07-16-2011, 05:53 PM
Thanks for the reply.I too have no real faith in the generic manuals.I have a three car garage,and a ton of tools.At the ripe old age of 54,Ive restored my share of bikes,and cars.I figure this will be my last,so I wanna do it right.I restored a vintage Cessna 150,and completed my private license in it.The KZ-1000 has about 37,000 miles showing.I got it for 750.00,including 2 new tires,radio,speakers,and new windshield.
She came complete with saddlebags,fairing,and trunk.P/O said it was running great when he parked her,and I have no reason to doubt this.
Carbs are nasty,but overall she is in great shape.I figure to tear down the carbs,rebuild,and perhaps repaint the tank and side covers to begin with.Have been looking on ebay for some carb kits.....decisions,decisions!

07-16-2011, 05:59 PM
I'll do a several page posting as I've got a lot of information:

Ignition Coil Primary And Secondary Wiring

Ignition coils on the 80’s Kz1000,Kz1100’s and Gpz1100’s are wired the same, that is as you sit on the bike, the LEFT ignition coil primary(small wires) are two wires, RED and BLACK. The secondary (or sparkplug wires) go to #1 and #4 sparkplugs(your primary wiring may be different).

The cylinders are numbered left to right as you sit on the seat; #1,#2,#3, and #4.

For the RIGHT ignition coil, the primary wires, again are two wires, RED and GREEN, with the secondary going to #2 and #3.

The RED wire gets it’s voltage from the run/stop switch on the right handlebar switch pod.

The BLACK and GREEN wires connect to the IC Igniter(if the bike has the Kawasaki supplied electronic ignition) it actually gives the coils their grounds to fire the sparkplugs.

Primary(small wires) side of the coils will read between 1.8 to 3.0 ohms.

Secondary(sparkplug wire ports)side of the coil will read between 10.4K to 15.6K ohms. These ports are wired together, so it makes no difference which is used, as long as the correct coil to sparkplug configuration is followed.

The sparkplug caps should read 5K OHMS, any higher, or a reading of infinity means new caps should be ordered.

To stress the ignition coils, take a hair dryer, heat the coils and see if the ohm readings change from cold to hot . If they do, it’s time to buy new coils.
Keep in mind, the wiring is reversed for the 550’s 650‘s and 750‘s, that is the RIGHT coil primary will be two wires, RED and BLACK with the secondary(sparkplugs) going to #1 and #4.

The LEFT coils primary wiring would be again two wires, RED and GREEN, with the secondary(sparkplugs) going to #2 and #3.

These engines have what is known as a “Wasted Spark” that is, a sparkplug will fire during an exhaust stroke. It does no damage and many other motorcycle engines have this design.

07-16-2011, 06:00 PM
Over Running Starter Clutch Repair On the Older, Bigger 4’S

1. When preparing to repair the starter over running clutch have a few items on hand:

A. New alternator cover gasket.
B. New springs (3).
C. New spring caps (3).
D. New rollers (3).

2. If possible, put the motorcycle on the center stand and tilt to the right to reduce the oil volume in the alternator cover.

3. Place an oil catch pan under the left side of the engine to collect what small amount of oil that will escape when the alternator cover is removed.

4. Remove the foot shifter lever, left foot peg assembly and the sprocket cover.

5. Some Kawasaki’s have socket head cap screws(Allen type) and others may have fasteners with a Phillips type. If the latter is there, a # 3 bit seems to work the best for removal.

6. Remove the alternator cover and take care with the three wires coming from the alternator stator. These are the voltage supply wires for the motorcycle. Rest the cover on some newspaper or rags to prevent damage.

7. The magnetic Rotor or flywheel will probably require a removal bolt or puller. NOTE, SOME ENGINES HAVE LEFT HAND THREADS ON THE ROTOR!!

8. The over running clutch is bolted to the back of the rotor with three Allen head fasteners.

9. Separate the rotor from the over running clutch and inspect for damage in the springs, rollers, and spring caps. Replace any worn parts.

10. Re-assemble in reverse order taking care when re-installing the Alternator cover not to pinch any wires. If the cover will not re-install without force, check before any damage occurs.

11.One caution. These tend to get the skips and have difficulty with the one way clutch on the starter holding once they have been taken apart if the old parts are reused. They may not look that worn, but as a matter of course I would replace the entire part # 13193-1006 and part # 92026-112.

12,Also, if you presently have a follow-on rattle or growl once the bike has started take a good look at the starter motor gear, Part # 21167-002, and the pin on which it rotates. That gear and pin tends to wear the center bearing surface after only thirty or so years and then cocks under load and puts the starter clutch assembly in a bind causing it to skip or rattle. One problem looks like the other.

13.Use assembly lube when putting the starter gear back together with the pin.

14. Read this procedure from Red Line Cycle:
Blank Page (

07-16-2011, 06:02 PM
Clutch Cable Replacement On Some Kawasaki Motorcycles
With Proper Mechanism Adjustments

1.About mid way down the clutch cable is an adjuster; shorten the cable as much as possible.

2.Remove the small cover on the left side of the sprocket cover and loosen up the lock nut on the clutch throw out mechanism.

3.Remove the shifter lever; the sprocket cover, and lay the cover on some rags or news papers.

4.Have on hand a small cotter pin that will be needed to prevent the new clutch cable from coming out of the throw out mechanism.

5.At the left handlebar turn in the slack adjusters for the clutch cable and then take out the pivot bolt.

6.New clutch cables may or may not have lubrication; now's the time to either hang the new cable up overnight so heavy oil can flow through it or buy a cable luber kit with the special clamp and can of spray lube.

7.Attach the cable to the cover's throw out mechanism and secure it with a new cotter pin.

8. While you're in there, check the wiring from the alternator(YELLOW WIRES, or any wires from the alternator), remove the excess chain lube from the clutch push rod and check the wire routing that goes above the engine sprocket.

9. Check the lock washer for cracks on the engine sprocket and any "Hooking" of the sprocket teeth.

10 Route the clutch cable the same way the old one was and connect the cable to the clutch lever; and the pivot bolt gets re-installed.

11.Carefully install the sprocket cover, making sure the push rod is engaged and then tighten up the cover.

12.Adjusting the clutch play and cable tension is real easy; using a flat bladed screwdriver, turn the slotted screw clockwise(to the right) until it becomes hard to turn; then turn it counterclockwise(to the left) 1/4 turn and tighten the lock nut. On some Kawasaki’s, the adjustment will turn the opposite way, so keep this in mind.

13.The mid way cable adjuster and lever slack adjuster may need to be adjusted for correct cable slack.

14.My factory shop manual lists 2-3mm as the correct play in the lever after the cable has been properly tensioned.

15.Re-install the covers, and shifter lever, start the engine to check the shifting action.

16.These engines have a shifting lock out to prevent moving in any gear higher than second unless the engine is running and proper shifting is done.

07-16-2011, 06:03 PM
Best Oils To Use In Your Bike (Just My Opinion)

Engine oil : The commercial grade oils are clearly superior to the mass market oils. For the best protection in your bike or car, use Shell Rotella Synthetic, available at Wal-Mart in blue containers . For the best petroleum oil you can buy, get Shell Rotella T, Mobil Delvac 1300, or Chevron Delo 400, available at any auto parts store. On the back of most oil cans is a circular stamp with the certification. Avoid oils that say "energy conserving" in the bottom half of the donut. These oils contain friction modifier additives that could cause clutch slipping over time. All XXw-20 and XXw-30 oils are energy conserving, and should not be used in your motorcycle. Don't buy any oil additives like STP or Slick-50. Here's several listings on all about oil justifying these conclusions.

The Recommended Synthetic Oils :

Shell Rotella Synthetic
5w-40 Delvac 1 Synthetic
5w-40 Mobil-1 SUV/Truck Synthetic
5w-40 AMSOil AMF Synthetic (pricey, but it’s your money)
10w-40 Golden Spectro Synthetic
10w-50 Motul 5100 Synthetic
10w-40 Mobil-1 Synthetic
15w-50 Mobil-1 MX4T Synthetic

The best synthetics are: (in no particular order)

Shell Rotella-T Synthetic 5w-40 (blue container, not white), gallon at Wal-Mart.
Mobil Delvac-1 5w-40 (grey container, not black), gallon at Petro stations, gallon at Farm and Fleet.
Mobil-1 SUV 5w-40, qt anywhere.
AMSOil AMF 10w-40 synthetic motorcycle oil. (again, pricey)
Golden Spectro Supreme, (no price).
Motul 5100 Ester, (no price).

Mobil-1 automotive oils all contain small amounts of moly - about 100 to 200 ppm. This can cause clutch slippage in some motorcycles. I've only heard of this being a problem in Honda Shadows.

For temperatures below -40, I strongly recommend either Mobil-1 0w-30 or the Canadian Shell 0w-40 Rotella. At these temperatures, your car is your life. Using cheap or incorrect oil is risking your life.

For temperatures below -55c, -65f, stay home. Really.

The Recommended Petroleum Oils

Chevron Delo 400 15w-40
Delvac 1300 15w-40
Shell Rotella 15w-40

The best petroleum oils are: (in no particular order)

Chevron Delo 400 15w-40 (blue container) gallon at any auto parts store, gallons at Costco.

Mobil Delvac 1300 15w-40 (black container) gallon at any auto parts store, gallons at Sam's Club.

Shell Rotella-T 15w-40 (white container) gallon at Wal-Mart or any auto parts store, gallons at Sam's Club.

Castrol 15w-40 (Green container) gallon at Wal-Mart or any auto parts store, gallons at Sam’s club.

If you live in another country, you'll have to do a bit of research to decide on an oil. Generally, any oil certified for use in a late model Volks wagon or Mercedes turbo diesel is a good choice. Another good idea is to go to a truck stop and ask the truckers about brands. Rotella is marketed all over the world, but in other countries it's called Rotella or Rimola or Helix Ultra, and the formulation may be a bit different, depending on local climate and preferences. It will likely also be a lot more expensive than it is here.

07-16-2011, 06:05 PM
Cleaning Motorcycle Electrics

Get some of the De-Oxit electrical contact cleaner and figure on spending a good day going from the front of the bike to the back. It’s a plastic safe cleaner/preservative. Home ( is their website.

On the older Kawasaki's, a majority of electrical connectors are inside the headlight housing requiring removal of the headlight, then the fun begins.

Do one set of electrical connectors at a time to avoid mixing up what connects to where. Usually disconnecting, spraying with De-Oxit and reconnecting is about all you'll need.

However, when encountering the green crud of corrosion, a brass wire brush may be needed on the pins you can reach.
Some 400-600 grit wet and dry sandpaper strips rolled into a tube should reach the male and female pins in the more difficult to clean connectors.

Smoker’s pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and wooden toothpicks work as cleaning aids.

Really small electrical connectors may require the use of a welders tip cleaning tool assortment.

Most pins in the connectors are coated with a thin plating of tin, and others may be nothing more than copper or brass.

If moisture is added, the resulting corrosion lowers the voltage/current being carried causing dim lights, slow engine cranking, slow turn signal responce and lower input voltage to the ignition coils resulting in weak spark.

The left and right handlebar switch pods will need attention too as they have circuit functions like turn, horn, run/stop, and start.

Usually a spritz or two with actuation of the switch is about all needed for these switches unless corrosion is detected and then careful disassembly is required.

The ignition switch may or may be not sealed to allow spraying the internal contacts. I urge caution if attempting to open this up as springs, and ball bearings may fly out never to be seen again!

If your bike has the older style glass tubed fuses, I suggest replacing them as vibration can cause internal failure. AGX is the type used, and most auto parts stores can get them for you.

Clean the fuse holder clips, looking for signs of overheating(discolored insulation, signs of melting).
I use metal polish on a cotton swab, followed by spraying another clean swab with the De-Oxit and then rubbing the inside of the fuse clip.

All battery cables must be clean and tight for maximum current transfer. Check the cables going from the Negative(-) battery terminal/post to the engine mounting bolt

Also the one going from the Positive(+) terminal to the starter solenoid and from there to the starter motor.

If any battery cable feels ”Crunchy” when flexed, replace it as possible corrosion is inside the insulation.

Each "Bullet Connector" will have to be sprayed to ensure good connectivity, especially the ones going to the energizing coil of the starter solenoid.

The alternator output “Bullet Connectors” are usually behind the engine sprocket cover and will need inspecting and cleaning too.

The turn signal light sockets will benefit from a spritz from the contact cleaner along with the tail light/brake light socket.

Some brake light switches can be sprayed on the actuating rod, with the spray running down inside to the electrical contacts, others may be sealed requiring replacement if the switch is intermittent in operation.

Some people put the Di-Electric Grease on cleaned terminations/connectors, I don’t, as I’ve read/heard it can cause problems when it gets hot, actually insulating the connections, so the choice is yours to use or not.

I think I've covered about all of the electrical systems on the bike.........

Why WD-40 Should Not Be Used On Motorcycle Electrical Items.

For many years, I was proponent of the use of WD-40 on fuse clips, fuses, switches and connectors. After hearing of other peoples experience with intermittent and sporadic activity, I shrugged it off as maybe they did something wrong in the application of the product.

It wasn’t until the time I rode my 1982 GPz1100 B2 model to downtown San Diego that I encountered the problems others had gone through.

After concluding my business downtown, I walked to where my bike was parked, turned the key to unlock the forks, and prepared to start the engine. The key was in the "On" position, yet I had no lights in the dash panel, the fuel pump was not running(I have FI), and the horn and tail light were not working.

Puzzled as to why nothing electrical was happening, I remember my earlier conversations about how WD-40 will over time become a non-conductor(more like an insulator). I had some pieces of 400 and 600 grit sandpaper in my tool kit and with them was able to scratch away the coating from the WD-40 on the fuses and clips.

After removing the insulating film, the bike started and ran like it should. Since that time, I’ve told people about the problem with WD-40. If you must use a contact cleaner, I recommend getting some "De-oxit" from Radio Shack Stores or any good electronic supply store.

07-16-2011, 06:07 PM
Starter Solenoid/Motor Checkout Procedure

Some simple steps to determine what is working and what's not:

1.Fully charge and test the battery(most bike shops can load test the battery, and then use a floating ball hydrometer to check specific gravity in the charged cells).

2.Clean all battery terminals of corrosion.

3.Tighten all starting related connections(Positive RED(+) battery terminal, Negative BLACK(-)terminal) and from the terminal to the engine case. All connections must be clean and tight.

4.Clean the cable from the starter solenoid to the starter motor.

5.Clean and check the "bullet connectors" going to the coil side of the starter solenoid.

6.Try again to start the bike, keep in mind some Kawasaki’s have a clutch interlock to prevent cranking the engine while it’s in gear, so the clutch lever must be squeezed.

7.If no luck, go to step #8

8.Wearing eye protection, bridge with pliers or a screwdriver the two heavy duty(large)terminals on the solenoid. If the bike cranks, your solenoid may be bad.

9. If the starter won’t turn over, one of several things has happened; The starter motor has seized due to brushes binding up, lack of lubrication in the bushings of the motor, the battery is weak , the engine has seized or it could be a combination of any of the above. Some websites for starter motor rebuild kits are:


B. (not sure if the website is still viable)


10.The dealer may want $$$ for a new solenoid, but take your old one along and visit the nearest riding lawn mower shop. They have solenoids for about $15 that with a little work will fit. Be aware that the new solenoid from the lawn mower shop may require a ground wire for it to work.

11. I’d recommend upgrading from the existing battery cables to at least 6 gauge welding cables.
They are available in two colors(RED and BLACK) have more flexibility due to being constructed with finer conductors, and will fit in tighter areas.

12. The welding cable is sold by the foot, so take careful measurements or bring your old cables along. Most battery shops might be able to supply the cable too, so call to find out. The battery shop should be able to crimp/swage on the end of the welding cable the terminal ends or lugs using either a dedicated crimping machine or a tool that looks like a bolt cutter that has special dies to terminate the cable.

07-16-2011, 06:08 PM
Fuse And Fuse Holder Designations

1. The older Kawasaki’s use a glass tubed fuse with the designation of AGX 1” long. Most good auto parts stores can get them for you. They are ¼” in diameter.

2. The more common AGC is 1 ¼” long and may not fit the smaller fuse clips. Again, ¼” in diameter.

3. To clean and polish the fuse clips, I use a cotton swab(Q- Tip) and some Brasso metal cleaner or Turtle Wax Chrome Polish. I suppose any good metal polish would work.

4. These fuses can fail internally but look good, only by removing them from the clip and electrically continuity checking with either a self powered test light, or a multimeter set on OHMS can they be determined to be in good shape.

5. A physical inspection of the metal end caps for tightness will tell you if the fuse is serviceable.

6. Most modern motorcycles are now using the automobile “Blade” style fuse with the designation of ATC or ATO.

7. The reduced sized “Mini” Blade style fuse holder uses the ATM size of fuses.

8. If the fuse and fuse holder overheat, it could soften or anneal the grip of the clip, it might require squeezing the clip to restore the tightness.

9. A list of where to purchase “Blade” style fuses and holders:

Waytek Inc, Home page to buy fuses, circuit breakers, cable ties, wire and other electrical supplies By Waytek Inc. ( Welcome to Waytek Wire (

Susquehanna MotorSports - High Performance Vehicle Lighting and Competition Accessories ( Susquehanna MotorSports - Auto Performance Product (

6-way fuse blocks (!way-fuse-blocks/p_10822.a_1)

10. A source for the glass tubed AGX fuses:
Browsing AGX Fuses (,4986.html)

07-16-2011, 06:11 PM
Color Codes On Most Kawasaki’s (written for 1980’s bikes)

RED with BLACK stripe, High Beam.
RED with YELLOW stripe, Low Beam.
BLACK with YELLOW stripe, the ground circuit.

BRAKE/TAIL LIGHT Can be an # 1157 dual filament bulb
RED, Running or Tail Light.
BLUE,(sometimes with a Red stripe) Brake Light Circuit.
BLACK with YELLOW stripe, the ground circuit.

LEFT FRONT TURN SIGNAL Can be an #1157 dual filament bulb
GREEN, Left front turn signal circuit.
BLUE, Left front running light circuit.
BLACK with YELLOW stripe, the ground circuit.

RIGHT FRONT TURN SIGNAL Can be an # 1157 dual filament bulb
GREY, Right front turn signal circuit.
BLUE, Right front running light circuit.
BLACK with YELLOW stripe, the ground circuit.

LEFT REAR TURN SIGNAL Can be an #1156 single filament bulb
GREEN, Left rear turn signal circuit.
BLACK with YELLOW stripe, the ground circuit.

RIGHT REAR TURN SIGNAL Can be an #1156 single filament bulb
GREY, Right rear turn signal circuit.
BLACK with YELLOW stripe, the ground circuit.

I think this is probably enough for a while, If you need more just ask....

07-16-2011, 06:13 PM
Great info...and alot too! I guess what I really need at this juncture is Carb advice.They are still on the bike.I plan to remove them tomorrow at some point.Im not un-familiar with the Mikuni Carbs,but have never removed the actual carb assembly(all four) at one time.I have however noticed that there is a "fuel rail" that evidently feeds all 4 carbs.There was only two hoses coming off the tank had a filter and the other didnt.I assume that the filtered one is the primary feed.This is my first encounter with a 4 banger,as my last restoration project was a 1972 Honda CB-450....TWIN of course.......:-)

07-16-2011, 06:19 PM
My popular carb cleaning procedures(2 part)

Carb Cleaning 101

By M. Shively

The elements of internal combustion engines are: correct fuel/air ratio, spark at right time, and adequate cylinder compression.

There are many passageways and openings to check and clean. All are important in function and when obstructed or not working properly, have subtle to radical effects on engine performance. Vacuum leaks and carburetor synchronization also effect performance and should be inspected and adjusted following the below procedures.

Warning: Remove all rubber parts before you begin. These parts usually include vacuum diaphragms, needle valves, o'rings, hoses, and other parts. Spray cleaners will damage these parts. Do not disassemble individual carbs from the carb bracket.

Air & Fuel Passageways: Trace and learn individual fuel and air circuits from beginning to end. Machines can only drill straight through the cast passageways. To change direction, another angled passageway must be drilled. The union is plugged with a brass or bronze bead. Inspect and clean each passageway with spray cleaner, brushes/pipe cleaners/etc, and compressed air. Remove any discoloration and debris. Look for spray cleaner to exit from one or more passageways.

Jet Cleaning: Inspect jets by holding to light and look through them. You should see an unobstructed round hole. Clean the jets with one or more of the following: jet cleaning wires, soak solutions, carb spray cleaners and compressed air. Re-inspect jets after cleaning and install when clear of obstructions. Some main jets have paper-like gaskets. Most have metal spacers between the jet and the emulsion tube. Some screw directly into a brass emulsion tube which is machined for a 7mm wrench at its float chamber exposed base.

Inlet Fuel Valve: Inspect the needle valve & spring. Press down the tiny metal rod that protrudes from the butt or float end of the needle valve. The spring should move freely and return the rod to its location. Check the needle valve's seat area for a groove or other wear. It should appear highly polished. Some needle valve seats are rubber and wear may not be visible. Inspect the needle valve jet seat. You can clean the jet seat with Q-tips and semi-chrome polish if necessary.

Carb Body Castings: Blow air through the atmospheric vent holes located on the dome of each float bowl chamber. Air should exit via hoses or brass nipples. Inspect the emulsion tubes and passageways (cast towers that jets thread into) for discoloration and debris. Clean interior emulsion towers with a soft bristle gun cleaning brush. Clean each Venturi (main carb bore).

Needle Jets & Jet Needles: Clean the needle jets, jet needles, and passageway or tower that needle jet screws into. Clean the emulsion tube (pipe between needle jet and main jet) (Main Jet may screw into emulsion tube). Jet needles are part of the throttle slides. See below…

Throttle Slides: There are several types of throttle slides: Mechanical linkage, vacuum, diaphragm, and cable. Disassembling the jet needle from the slide is not always required for cleaning. If you have vacuum piston type throttle slides (large diameter solid metal slide), avoid cleaning the lubrication from sides and caps. If piston type check cap vents and passageways with air. Clean if necessary and re-lube. If you have rubber vacuum throttle diaphragms, inspect for dry-rot, defects, and tears by gently stretching rubber away from center. Do this until all areas around diaphragm have been inspected. Replace any defective part as described above. Clean carb body areas around diaphragm including air passageways and air jets. Diaphragms have a locator loop or tab fabricated into their sealing edge. Observe this locator upon reassembly. Avoid pinching the diaphragm when reinstalling caps.

Fuel Screws: Fuel screws have sharp tapered ends. Carefully turn one fuel screw in while counting the turns until it seats lightly. Warning: These screws are very easily damaged if over tightened into their seats. Record amount of "turns-in" and remove the fuel screw, spring, washer, and o'ring. The fuel screw is part of the enrichment (choke) circuit...clean passageways as described above. When carbs are assembled, spray low PSI compressed air into diaphragm air vents located at intake side of carbs. Throttle slides should rise, then fall when air is removed. Lightly lube external moving linkages. Reinstall carbs and follow through with carburetor synchronization.

Throttle Cables: Lubricate cables periodically. If cables are disconnected from carbs or removed for replacement, etc . . . remember cable routing and ensure proper reinstallation routing. Avoid bread-tying, sharp bends, and pinching cables. Adjust cables so throttle grip has about 5mm of play or throttle slides or butterfly valves may not open completely (full throttle)(wide full open).

Float Bowls: Inspect float bowls for sediment, gum or varnish, crystallization, and defects. Clean all pipes, tubes, passageways, and embedded jets with cleaners and compressed air. Remove and clean the drain screw and area. Inspect bowl gasket and replace if necessary. Clean and inspect overflow pipes and tubes, look for vertical cracks.

Floats: There are several types of float materials: plastic, brass, black composite, tin, and others. Handle floats carefully. Avoid bending, twisting, denting, or other means of mishandling. Most floats are adjustable by bending a small metal tab near the float axle end. Do not change the float adjuster tab unless tuning fuel service levels. Clean metal floats by soaking or by spraying cleaner and wiping clean. Other material type floats may require replacement if cleaning is necessary. Inspect the needle valve (float valve) and seat. Check needle valve's spring loaded pin. It should depress and return smoothly and without resistance. Check the needle valve's tip for a worn groove. Replace needle valve and seat if either symptom exists. These parts wear together and must be replaced as a set.

Synchronization: This is a fine adjustment performed usually and preferably with the carbs installed and the engine running. The unusual part is performed with gauged wire with the carbs on the work bench. Carburetor synchronizing balances Venturi vacuum at the exhaust side of each carburetor, resulting with smooth idling and optimized performance at all throttle openings. Synchronization is checked using a set of gauges which are either air vacuum type or liquid mercury type. The gauges are connected to vacuum ports on the intake manifolds via nipple tubes or if sealed with screws, sync gauge adapters will be needed. With the engine running at temperature, and with a fan or means of forced convection aimed onto the engine, the carbs fuel screws and idle are adjusted, then the synchronization is adjusted via adjustment screws on the carbs. A reserve fuel tank is recommended for convenience of accessing carbs during this procedure. See gauge instructions and repair manuals for detailed use of synchronization gauges.

Notes: While carbs are apart, record the jet sizes. Look for a very small number imprinted on the body of the jets. Verify that numbers are the same for all jets on models with in-line cylinders. A few transverse-4 models and V-engines, the inner and outer carbs use some different size jets and it's important to not mix them up. If you have dial or veneer calipers, measure and record float heights. Perform measurements with floats just touching needle valves, though not depressing the needle valve rods. Replace fuel and vacuum hoses. Be sure to use fuel rated hose for fuel. Install or replace in-line fuel filters. It's a good time to remove and clean interior petcock fuel filters. Inspect carb manifolds for dry-rotting, inspect all clamps and air ducts. Inspect, clean, lube, and/or replace air filter(s).

07-16-2011, 06:21 PM
Part 2

Carb Cleaning 102

Written by MShively

Most carburetor problems seem to come after the motorcycle was stored or not started for a while. If it won't start or only runs with the choke lever pulled out, you have one or more jets obstructed by gummed or varnished fuel. Notice the enrichening lever...most of the motorcycle carbs have enrichening passages inside the carburetor that WHEN THE THROTTLE IS CLOSED, provide the rich air/fuel mixture to start the engine. If you open the throttle any at all it cuts this enrichening out of the system. So if you are having trouble starting and everything looks ok, see if closing the throttle helps. This does not apply to carbs with a butterfly choke.

To access the jets you will have to take the carbs off the engine. A service manual will be very helpful here for specifications, images of the carburetor, and procedures. Take a float bowl off and remove the jets. Sometimes removing the jets can be difficult because the fuel has gummed or varnished over the parts. If so, clear as much of the gum out as possible. Use carb cleaner and compressed air to aid removal. Before soaking carbs in a dip tank or powerful cleaner, look for rubber seals, O'rings, and other parts that may be damaged by the cleaners. Remove any rubber parts prior to cleaning. Look closely, sometimes these parts are hard to see. If they are there and you can't get them, you will have to clean the carb body carefully by hand and not soak it.

Before you remove the fuel/air screw, gently turn it in until it seats. Count and record the number of "turns in." After cleaning and when you replace it, set it at this setting. Most carbs have a rubber o-ring and steel washer under the fuel/air screw spring. Look for them and remove them with a piece of wire or suitable fabricated tool BEFORE you spray carb cleaner in there. The fuel/air screw may be covered by a tamper cap or plug. You will have to remove this plug to access it. Upon reassembly and after cleaning, a base setting for the fuel/air screws of 1.25 turns out is good to start if you don't have the factory specs or forgot to record the turns out earlier. When the engine is warm, turn the screw in until the engine stumbles, then out until it stumbles, and leave it at half way in between. Adjust the idle with the throttle stop screw as needed.

You will need to remove the main jet and the needle jet. The main jet is usually larger and screwed onto the lower end of the needle jet, locking it into the emulsion tower and carb body. Remove the main jet and tap out the needle jet. Do this very carefully. It is soft brass and may break or damage very easily. Sometimes the needle jet will have an O-ring. Remove the O-ring and soak both main jet and needle jet in carb cleaner. Upon reassembly, there may be a locator pin in the emulsion tower/carb body that fits in a grove on the needle jet. Make sure they align properly.

You will need to remove the pilot jet. Pilot jets may be located similar as the main jet, covered by a rubber plug, deep inside an emulsion tower, or other. Be careful not to strip or break the small pilot jet when you try to remove it. It may be necessary to grind the end of a small screwdriver to fit the jet just right. Even after soaking, the jet may still be plugged. Use a small "E" guitar string and push it through the jet. (A wire strand out of a wire brush may work. The wire brush should measure about .013" in diameter.) The smallest jet drill you can get is #80, which has a diameter of .0135". You can use the wire and not enlarge the hole, at least not by much. Yes, some manuals say not to insert any wire jet cleaning tools into the jets. However, Honda and other manufacturers produce them as special tools for the dealer technicians.

Use compressed air with spray cleaner and the wire to clean jets. Spray carb cleaner into the carb passages, and then follow with compressed air. Watch for cleaner to exit from other passage ways and openings, and ensure that those small idle passages are clear. The smallest tubes, passageways, and openings are critical to the operation of the carburetor. EVERY PINHOLE IS IMPORTANT. Make certain that your see and hear air and cleaner pass freely through every opening. Wear goggles and don't get so close that you get carb spray in your eyes.

Sometimes the pins or rods that hold the floats can be gummed. Spray a bit of carb cleaner and let it set awhile. Repeat and try to gently move the float. Eventually, the pin will loosen enough so that you can drive out the pin with a very small punch. If necessary, tap on the punch very gently with the handle of a small screwdriver or similar tool. Penetrating oil also works good to free up gummed float pins and stuck throttle slides. If the slides have a rubber diaphragm on them, spray carb cleaner on a rag and wipe the slide clean. Do not get carb cleaner on the rubber diaphragms. It will ruin them. While you have the Diaphragm out, inspect it for holes. If you have an engine that has good compression and starts well, but just has no power and revs up ever so slowly, check that rubber diaphragm. It may have a hole or tear. The throttle slide will not rise if it is damaged.

When you put the float valve or needle valve back in place, put a drop of light oil on it so it will move freely in its seat and not stick before the gas first starts to fill the bowl.

Don't clean the outside of constant velocity (CV) carbs with spray carb cleaner unless you are sure they are not the rubber diaphragm type. Carb cleaner will ruin the rubber. There is a piston type of CV carburetor, but it's still not a good idea to use the spray because of rubber float bowl gaskets (O'rings).

If you turn on the fuel petcock and gas pours out the overflow tubes, tap lightly on the carb body with a suitable tool. That will vibrate the float valves loose. Same thing if there is dirt holding the valves open. If it doesn't work you need a new float valve & seat. The tips of the float valves can be steel or rubber. Tips with a groove worn in them should be replaced. The float pin springs often become gummed by fuel and cause the pins to stick. Test with your finger. They should be free moving - no resistance. Replace all if you feel any sticking. If they first stuck, but you worked them free, try and use them. They may fail when gasoline gets into the spring again.

Floats control the fuel level in the float bowls. Adjustable tangs on the floats rest on the float valve pins. When level is low, the float lowers and the valve follows. More fuel enters the bowl. Similarly, shutting fuel flow off when it replenishes supply. If the tang is metal, you can adjust the float level by bending the tang up or down. If it is plastic, it is non-adjustable. Float levels are different for each bike and are found in the bikes shop manual. If you don't have the float setting and can't find it anywhere, set it so the fuel level is a bit below the top of the float bowl. Make sure no gas comes out of the float overflow tubes or hoses. The float overflow tube is at the bottom or side of each float bowl. There are many styles of floats: copper, brass, bronze, plastic, urethane, tin, cork, and maybe other materials. Brass and plastic are the most common.

If the rubber ducts that connect the carb and air cleaner housing are hard and dry-rotted, you should replace them. Replace rubber intake manifolds if necessary, too.

On the side of some carbs is another diaphragm that temporarily closes the pilot or slow speed jet air passage when the throttle is closed. This richens the fuel mixture to reduce backfiring when coming to a stop. Check the diaphragm for holes and tears.

At the bottom of some carbs is an accelerator pump to pump extra fuel when the throttle is opened. The pump is attached or connected to one float bowl. Check the pump's diaphragm for holes or tears. A rubber coating called "Plasti-Dip" has been used to fix diaphragms. I have never used it but I hear it works. Get it from NAPA part #765-2527.

Adjustments that you can make from outside the carburetor:
1) Synchronizer screws balance the carburetors for smooth performance and idling. 2) Idle screw (throttle stop screw) adjusts the speed of the idle. 3) The idle fuel/air screw adjusts the idle mixture. This is only at idle and does not effect anything above idle. Another method to adjust it: turn the fuel/air screw in and out until you get the highest idle speed. Then lower the idle speed with the idle screw and do it again until you get the best idle. The air screw can be located in a variety of places on the carb. If you have a 1980 or newer machine, it may have a cover over it to keep you from messing with it. You will have to drill it and then pry it out using the hole you made. It may be illegal for you to do this, depending on where you live.

If you can't get it to idle, or rather the idle stays real high then drops off and dies, check for an air leak. Spray starting fluid, WD40, brake cleaner, carb cleaner, etc... on the manifold, carbs, air box, vacuum hoses, and petcock to see if the revs change. If they do, you have a leak. If your valve clearances are too tight, it will also effect the idle.

You can make your air/fuel mixture a bit richer or leaner by moving the carburetor needle clip up or down. Move the clip down a notch to raise the needle, to richen the mixture. Move the clip up to lower the needle, to lean out the mixture. The needle is located in the throttle slide.

07-17-2011, 07:24 AM
Thanks Mike...My main problem at this juncture,is I cant seem to figure out how to get the air box off the bike.It seems to be tucked in there so tight,there appears to be no way to get it out.Needless to say,this has gotta come off before I can get the carbs off.Whats the secret?

Update....Replaced the plugs,new fuel filter,and main fuel line.Fired up right away!
Had been soaking the cylinders with Marvel Mysterey oil over the last 24 hours.Needless to say there was a little smoke.
Since this,I have noticed a fuel leak somewhere close to the #2 carb.What Im seeing is OLD,and nasty.Kinda of a brown color.Should I expect this drainage to stop by itself,or do I need to replace more fuel line?

07-17-2011, 02:31 PM
Usually using a hair dryer to soften the rubber ducting or "Boots" after the clamps are loosened/removed is about all you'll need when removing the air filter box. I'd replace all the rubber pieces if possible as Ozone/sunlight will crack them making for vacuum leaks.

New fuel lines are probably needed too. Try to get some alcohol resistant ones if possible as this gas/alcohol mix is very nasty on rubber fuel bits.

07-17-2011, 02:32 PM
A source many forum members use is Z1 Enterprises, Inc. - Quality New Parts for Vintage Japanese Street Motorcycles (

07-17-2011, 03:33 PM
Usually using a hair dryer to soften the rubber ducting or "Boots" after the clamps are loosened/removed is about all you'll need when removing the air filter box. I'd replace all the rubber pieces if possible as Ozone/sunlight will crack them making for vacuum leaks.

New fuel lines are probably needed too. Try to get some alcohol resistant ones if possible as this gas/alcohol mix is very nasty on rubber fuel bits.

We had a Cessna 150 a few years back,with the autofuel STC.They had just started putting ethanol on car fuel at the time.
We went through Primer O rings like crazy...But it was a cheap fix,and took about a minute to replace....

07-17-2011, 04:03 PM
I've change over to Denso W24-ESU sparkplugs from NGK B8ES's, as I've noticed a failure right out of the box several times with these. A similar sparkplug is the yellow Accel # 116, and I'll use either gapped at 0.032".

Sparkplug Cross Index
Motorcycle Spark Plug Cross Reference (

Your ignition coils,sparkplug wires & sparkplug caps are probably at the end of useful life, Z1 Enterprises, Inc. - Quality New Parts for Vintage Japanese Street Motorcycles ( sells the Dyna 3 ohm green ignition coils and Dyna sparkplug wires in either supression(Carbon string)or non supression(Copper wire). What came from the factory was copper sparkplug wires with resistive sparkplug caps to reduce the RFI. For greater spark energy, new ignition coils with copper sparkplug wires with non resistive caps will produce a strong,hot,blue spark.

If your new bike has the Kawasaki supplied electronic ignition, a wizard at ( named "Loudhvx" has made a replacement for the IC Igniter using off the shelf GM electronic ignition modules: General Motors HEI Ignition Module For GPZ550 (

07-17-2011, 04:06 PM
Ohm Checking Pickup(Pulsing) Coils

The pickup coils on the Kawasaki’s with the factory supplied electronic ignition can sometimes fail or become intermittent due to heat and vibration.

1.Trace back from where the pick up coils are mounted,(under a right side CD sized cover) locate and disconnect a small 4 pin connector. Using a multi-meter set on OHMS and range of 2K, check between the BLUE and BLACK wires(#1 and #4 sparkplug wires) for between 360- 540 OHMS.

2.For #2 and #3 sparkplugs the wire colors will be YELLOW and RED, again 360-540 OHMS. The 550’s,650’s & 750’s may be backwards to the Z1’s,Kz900’s,Kz1000’s & Kz1100’s.

3.If the pickup coils are suspect of failing due to heat, they can be stressed using a hair dryer without the need of the engine running.

4.A replacement set of pickup coils might be obtained from a dealer who serviced the police Kawasaki’s.

5. If replacement pickup coils are not available, your next choice would be to order a Dyna “S” electronic ignition system from Z1 Enterprises, Inc. - Quality New Parts for Vintage Japanese Street Motorcycles ( It replaces the IC igniter with a smaller module located where the mechanical ignition advancer was mounted.

6. Checking with website has determined that the Pick up(pulsing) coils are available . The pulsing coil # is 59026-1133 and replaces the older # 1002, 1012 which were used from the MKII motors until the 2005 P24.

7.Check the small 4 pin connector that the pickup coils connect to for corrosion/loose pins too.