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I purchased a 1974 175cc F7 2-stroke with lots of miles as my first project bike. Id like to give it some scrambler/jap style for crusing around town and dirt roads. It has full electrics,(signals, taillight, headlight, starter button). I have had it for about 3 months. I have two questions:

1. Is there a way I can make it kickstart only? I'd like to free up some of the clutter of the switches and lines in the handlebars and I honestly think kick start is just cooler. Its a small toy project bike, i dont want fancy things. Can I simply take the ignition switch and line out or is there more to it? Are there any reasons why I shouldnt? On this bike I have no intention of keeping it "traditional".

2. The inside of the gas tank was rusty when i bought it. The previous owner put a small clear disc-shaped fuel filter in the line after the petcock, before the carb. I have since cleared the inside of the tank of all rust. I am curious, will the fuel filter slow down the flow of fuel and effect speed and performance? Will it flow better without it? Is it just always a good idea to have a fuel filter? Can I take it out?

Thanks for your help! I'm looking forward to the end of winter so I can get this baby on the road. Also anybody done this type of project to a similar bike? Any advice? Id love to hear stories and see photos.
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Howdy. Does your F7 have an electric start? I wouldn't think so. I could be wrong, but the starter switch on the handlebar control probably operates a cable connected to the carburetor & it's kind of like a choke mechanism for starting the motorcycle, hence the "starter" designation. But again, I could be wrong.

An in-line fuel filter is often times recommended for an old motorcycle to prevent any rust particles, however large or small, from reaching the carburetor. Some automotive filters don't flow enough fuel. Z1Enterprises.com lists a couple that would be suitable. Russell makes an aluminum filter w replaceable filter element.

For bare bones wiring diagrams loudhvx over at KZRider has made a bunch of diagrams for various KZ models. There probably isn't anything specific for an F7, but those diagrams might prove useful to you. See KZR topic bare bones for mattylight by loudhvx
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so so much for your response. In all honesty, I've never fired it up myself yet. I watched the previous owner kickstart it before he drove it over to my house. Here are some pics of the handlebar switches, as well as the fuel filter. The left side handlebar has a round button that pushes right back up, not a switch, which made me think it was an electric start. You might be right though. I admit I am very new to this but loving the learning.

I will check out the fuel filters at Z1 for sure. Thanks a lot for the wiring diagrams tip. I will def check that out as well.

Another question, as seen in the photo, next to my clutch lever (which is not attached) is a smaller lever and its line goes straight into the head by the spark plug. Anybody know what this lever might be?
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I don't know what that other cable is. The parts diagrams list a Dust Shield cable, but I could not find the dust shield in the diagrams, unless it's the big thing on the wire harness. youtube videos might be helpful for figuring out what's what. The junkman might still have some videos posted on youtube. I haven't seen him post any replies here in a while.
video sample search = Kawasaki F7
 

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I concur with Martin that this bike would not have electric start. I think the lever is for a compression release to make starting easier. Kawi sells a plug for the cylinder if you wish to remove the compression release mechanism. I would not think this bike would be too hard to start without it.
 

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I worked as a mechanic in a Kawasaki dealership in the mid seventies. The F7 was not electric start. The small lever is indeed for a compression release but not for starting. Don't use it when attempting to start your bike. Unlike four strokes two strokes do not provide engine braking. The compression release is to assist in slowing generally on trail down grades. They were a bit of a fad in the seventies but quickly fell out of favor. Two strokes, even large displacement, are quite easy to kick over and need no reduction in compression for starting. I could easily start my Kawasaki KH400 using my hand on the kick starter.
 

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By the way, except for the ridiculous Hatta forks, the F7 was one of the nicest 175 two strokes on the market for that time period. Pay close attention on assembly of the hose and carb cover. Rotary valves work great but do not like dirt.
 

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Just to clarify the info on the compression release. Many four strokes are equipped with compression releases, sometimes automatic, and on a four stroke they are for starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I concur with Martin that this bike would not have electric start. I think the lever is for a compression release to make starting easier. Kawi sells a plug for the cylinder if you wish to remove the compression release mechanism. I would not think this bike would be too hard to start without it.
Thanks for the info! Im gonna look at finding that plug to clean up the wires and lines a little. Thanks i appreciate it!
 

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I worked as a mechanic in a Kawasaki dealership in the mid seventies. The F7 was not electric start. The small lever is indeed for a compression release but not for starting. Don't use it when attempting to start your bike. Unlike four strokes two strokes do not provide engine braking. The compression release is to assist in slowing generally on trail down grades. They were a bit of a fad in the seventies but quickly fell out of favor. Two strokes, even large displacement, are quite easy to kick over and need no reduction in compression for starting. I could easily start my Kawasaki KH400 using my hand on the kick starter.
Thanks a lot for confirming that. Im really to hear the f7 is known to be a solid bike. I sure am having fun with it.
Question: ive heard very mixed reviews about people swapping their air box for a smaller cooler looking air pod. What are your thoughts on this? Could it negatively give me too much air? Do they filter out dirt well? Any brands i should look at?
 

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The general rule of thumb is to leave the stock airbox in place. It provides the best protection and the best overall performance. Having said that, a single cylinder bike should be easier to re-jet than a multi-cylinder bike. So if you like to fuss with carbs you may be able to get it to run decently with a pod. But particularly on a dirt bike exposed to mud and water, I would not recommend a pod filter. Bear in mind what 1981GPZ550 said about rotary valves not liking dirt. He is totally correct.
 

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The general rule of thumb is to leave the stock airbox in place. It provides the best protection and the best overall performance. Having said that, a single cylinder bike should be easier to re-jet than a multi-cylinder bike. So if you like to fuss with carbs you may be able to get it to run decently with a pod. But particularly on a dirt bike exposed to mud and water, I would not recommend a pod filter. Bear in mind what 1981GPZ550 said about rotary valves not liking dirt. He is totally correct.
Ok thank you id much rather have better perfomance since ill be taking it off road. I think ill stick with the airbox. Another question regarding the air box and air filter:
The bike came with a foam pad in the lid of the airbox, and nothing inside the box. It is 6" deep and 3.5"x3.5" around with some little tracks where it looks like somethin would fit
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When I look up 1974 kawasaki f7 air filter i see a cylindrical foam with a sort of mesh donut on the inside. like this:
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It costs $30 though, that seems high to me? Is this a common air filter these days? Is there some cheaper more common option or do i need to get this one for $30?
 

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Any foam filter will need a supporting steel or rigid plastic mesh to keep the filter from collapsing. Foam filters can be washed and reused many times.
 

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Any foam filter will need a supporting steel or rigid plastic mesh to keep the filter from collapsing. Foam filters can be washed and reused many times.
Thank you very much for the info. Do you have to keep these foam filters lubricated with oil or are they ok dry?
 

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My Kawa ZN700 4 cyl, 4 stroke came with a foam filter. The manual says soak in motor oil, squeeze the oil out, and install. They will come apart if left in too long. So replace them once in a while.
 
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