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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am looking to buy another kz1000 and have found a non-running 1981 cheap. The owner says it ran fine until the magneto went bad. Do the 1000's even have a magneto? I haven't seen the bike yet, just pictures. Thanks.

11,328 Posts
Those bikes and most of the 80's Kz's have an alternator that has a magnetic rotor. This generates the Alternating Current(A.C.) about 50 volts at 4000 rpm.

This is changed to Direct Current(D.C.) by the regulator/rectifier running the bikes electrical system and charging the battery.

Several websites for replacement alternator stators(the part with the wires that produces the A.C.):

ElectroSport Industries - Motorcycle, Dirt Bike and ATV Aftermarket Electrical Parts
Custom Rewind -- High Quility Remanufactured Motorsports Electronics, Rotors, Stators, Ignition Systems

11,328 Posts
Alternator Testing For the Older 4’s(Z1’s,Kz 900’s, Kz1000’s,Kz1100’s and GPz1100’s).

To check to see if the alternator is working you need to follow these simple steps:

1. Fully charge the battery as this will be the power source during this test.

2. Disconnect the Regulator/Rectifier at the plug that has the six wires in it.

3. Start the engine and let it warm to operating temperature.

4. If you're worried about overheating, position a large fan for cooling the engine.

5. After the engine has reached operating temperature, have a helper assist you, and using a multi-meter, read the output at the three yellow wires (or the alternator output wires)at the disconnected connector.

6. Raise the engine speed to 4000 rpm, and see what the three YELLOW wire combinations(or any alternator output wires) are(1-3,2-3 & 1-2). The output will be around 50 Volts A.C.(Alternating Current). BE CAREFUL, AS THERE IS A SHOCK HAZARD HERE!!

7. If any of the combinations are low or non-existent, the stator(wire windings) are bad and must be replaced.
Some of the older Z1’s and KZ900’s were phase sensitive, so check the wire colors carefully.

8. Before ordering a new stator, check the connections from the stator as there are electrical "Bullet" connectors that may be damaged or dirty.
Inspect the wiring for signs of shorting or overheating too. Z1 Enterprises, Inc. - Specializing in Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Parts sells replacement rubber grommets for the alternator output wiring, they get hard and could leak oil after a while.

9. Check the wiring coming out of the grommet as there have been situations where the wires were damaged causing a short.

10. The sprocket cover may have to be removed to access the electrical connectors coming from the alternator and possibly the left foot peg, and shifting lever will have to come off.

11,328 Posts
Alternator Stator Replacement On the Older 4’s
Source for replacement Stators:
A. ElectroSport Industries - Motorcycle, Dirt Bike and ATV Aftermarket Electrical Parts (They have a trouble shooting page)
B. Custom Rewind -- High Quility Remanufactured Motorsports Electronics, Rotors, Stators, Ignition Systems
C. www.rmstator.com
D. ricksmotorsportselectrics.com
E. www.regulatorrectifier.com

1. If by testing either by checking the output voltage from the stator or by using and ohmmeter for resistance and the stator is determined to be bad, replacing the stator is not a difficult job.

2. The motorcycle owner should have on hand a replacement alternator gasket as it will tear on removal and leak if reused.

3. Put the bike on the center stand if possible and lean it to the right to minimize the oil volume that could come out when the alternator cover is removed.

4. Have selection of Metric wrenches and sockets along with Metric Allen keys to be able to accomplish this repair. ¼” and 3/8” ratchets and extensions may be needed along with Allen bits.

5. Remove the gear shift lever, the sprocket cover and possibly the left foot peg assembly.

6. A catch pan for what little oil will be lost should be positioned under the alternator on the left side. Newspapers will soak up any oil lost or some kitty litter will do as an absorbent.

7. Remove the alternator cover fasteners, some bikes use a socket head cap screw(Allen type) and others use the Phillips head type, the #3 screwdriver bit fits best for those. Use a small dish or can to collect the removed fasteners from the parts to prevent loss/damage.

8. The alternator stator is secured to the inside of the cover usually with three Allen headed bolts, Some bikes may have Torx style fasteners, Remove them and disconnect the three yellow wires that have bullet connectors on them from the bundled wires inside the sprocket cover.

9. If your bike has some color other than yellow for the alternator output wires, make note of what goes where as the older Kawasaki’s were phase sensitive in regard to the regulator/rectifiers.

10. When installing the replacement stator, clock or position the output wires and grommet so they fit into the small port under the alternator cover without being pinched or damaged.

11. Tighten the three Allen or Torx fasteners, securing the replacement stator to the cover. I like using the BLUE Loctite # 242 for hardware that can be removed with hand tools.

12. Remove the old gasket from the mating surfaces of the alternator cover and engine case by scraping with a piece of sharpened plastic like Lexan or Plexiglass as these will not gouge the soft Aluminum
Cases. Avoid using a metal gasket scraper for this.

13. Position the alternator cover, checking for pinched wiring and install the fasteners with a little silver anti-seize on the threads, tightening to the correct torque.

14. Connect up the output wires to the mating female bullet connectors and while you’re in there, check the routing of the wire bundle that runs through there.

15. Inspect for signs of heat damage to the wire insulation and vibration damage too.

16. The side stand switch, neutral switch, and oil pressure switch wiring are all bundled with the alternator output wiring running above and behind the engine output sprocket. This bundle runs in a channel as it goes up toward the various electrical connections.

17. The regulator/rectifier plug on the 80’s bikes usually has six wires in it:

A. One WHITE with RED stripe, this is the bikes main power wire usually 12 gauge in size.

B. One smaller Brown wire, probably 18 gauge or so, the voltage sense wire for the regulator/rectifier, helps keeping it from overcharging the battery.

C. One BLACK with YELLOW stripe wire, part of the ground circuits, maybe 16 gauge in size.

D. Three YELLOW wires, the alternator output wires going to the regulator/rectifier which converts the Alternating Current(A.C.) to Direct Current(D.C.) using rectification, producing the power to run the motorcycle and charge the battery.

18. Reinstall the sprocket cover, again checking for pinched wires before tightening. Install the shifter on it’s splined shaft checking for proper location, and the left side foot peg assembly.
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