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I received a 1976 kz650B1 from a buddy for doing some remodeling. It worked when he had it, but there was a short somewhere from the previous owner installing a home made splice in the starter. SO he ripped out the whole wiring harness (thanks, douche). I bought another wiring harness from ebay, and now I am faced with the task of installing it. I'm mechanically inclined but have never worked on a bike. It being feb here (MN) I have the time after work to fix it. However, I have no idea where to start. I'm waiting on the manual to arrive, but ANY help/advice would be much much appreciated. The newer harness is in pretty good shape, but I have no idea what I'm doing with it.
 

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I'd start at the headlight housing area where a majority of electrical connectors are. Then work toward the rear of the bike, connecting the various systems together.

Allow plenty of slack where the harness goes around the steering stem as having it too tight will pull conections apart.

While you've got the harness apart, get some good electrical contact cleaner and inspect the new harness for corrosion. Radio shack in the U.S. sells De-oxit contact cleaner/preservative. Their website is caig.com - Home of DeoxIT - CAIG Laboratories, Inc.

I use it on all my motorcycle electrical connectors,home audio patch cables,and cordless phone charging cradles.
 

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Motorcycle Electrical Maintenance

1. List of needed tools:

A. Set of pipe cleaners (found in tobacco shops).

B. Small package of cotton swabs.

C. Small brass bristle brush (found at hardware stores).

D. Set of welders tip cleaners(found at welding supply stores) or a set of jewelers files.

E. Selection of 400-600 grit sandpaper.

F. One can of electrical contact cleaner/preservative (The De-oxit brand at www.de-oxit.com is a good one).

G. Tube of dielectric grease as a water shield for connectors.(Optional, as some people see more problems with the grease acting more like an insulator).

H. An accurate multi-meter either digital or analog for voltage, current, and continuity checks (the digital meters may pick up “noise” from certain alternators and have fluctuating readings).

I. Self powered continuity light for basic continuity checks.

J. Battery charger rated for not more than 1 to 2 amp to charge the motorcycle battery( the battery tender brand is a good one at 1.25)

K. The motorcycle factory shop manual (FSM) with the wiring diagram.

L. Set of screwdrivers and wrenches for the various fasteners.

2. Corrosion on any electrical connection causes resistance and lowers the current flow. The green crud is a form of corrosion on brass/copper terminals.

3. All electrical connections must be clean and tight or intermittent operations will result sometimes stranding the rider, and can damage/destroy electrical components such as Alternator Stators, Batteries, Ignitors, Light bulbs, Switches and/or related wiring.

4. Battery cables can fail internally due to corrosion and appear serviceable.

5. The male bullet connector can be scrubbed with the brass brush while the female connector with the jewelers files or tip cleaner. Both should be spritzed/wiped with a pipe cleaner or rag moistened with contact cleaner.

6. Square and rectangular connectors must be disconnected from each other to be able to clean the contact surfaces. Again the use of files and or brass brush with a application of contact cleaner makes it operate as it should.
Re-connect the male and female parts and do another.

7. The battery cables condition are an area few people think about but are very important. The positive(+) RED terminal and the negative(-) BLACK terminal must be clean and tight to both the battery and to their respective connections on the motorcycle. On most Kawasaki Motorcycles the negative battery cable goes either to the frame or engine while the positive battery cable connects to the electric starter solenoid. The other terminal on the solenoid connects to the starter motor.

8. If the battery cables must be replaced, use the appropriate gauge of wire for the current draw. Use flexible cable as solid wire will not bend into tight areas. Both 6 and 8 gauge can be purchased through electrical supply houses on the internet such as Welcome to Waytek Wire, Terminal Town's Electrical Connector Home Page, and Del City - Wiring Products and Professional Electrical Supplies and have the correct wire or cable terminations. Welding cable is very flexible and makes excellent battery cables, it’s sold by the foot and can be purchased at welding supply stores.

9. OEM style electrical connectors can be purchased at: www.easternbeaver, OEM-Type Bullet & Spade Electrical Connectors for 1960's to 1980's Japanese Vehicles... Bridgestone, Datsun, Hodaka, Honda, Kawasaki, Landcruiser, Suzuki, Tohatsu, VW, & Yamaha, Vehicle Wiring Products Ltd. Suppliers of auto electrical parts., EC - Good stuff for your Moto-scooter, Z1 Enterprises, Inc. - Specializing in Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Parts,

10. The starter solenoid function as a heavy duty relay having large contacts to close when the start signal is given from the handle bar “start switch” and the motor turns the engine over to run.

11. When the internal return spring on the starter fails/breaks due to metal fatigue or vibration, the engine will turn over(or crank) when the key has been removed and will continue until the positive battery terminal is dis-connected from the solenoid. Just like if the large terminals were bridged with a screwdriver.
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While it won't be exactly the same as yours you can look through the assorted pic's linked in my sig and see a lot of the wiring from when I put mine back together from scratch. As Mike said, start at the headlight bucket, since there are a lot of connections there, and as the harness winds it's way to the back the other connectors will fall in the general area where they go. Just look for the matching plug in that area to match up to the connector on the harness.
 

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I must be backwards :)

I'd take the harness and string it along the frame first. That way you don't get to the tail end after hooking everything up, just to discover you routed the main harness wrong and it's now too short, so you have to start over.

Surely this has happened to someone besides me? :D

Doing it the above way will put the connectors in the area they need to be.
 

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Don't be afraid to ask for help, the many and various websites are a wealth of information. I'm constantly finding new locations about parts or people that know how to keep these old bike's running.
 

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I must be backwards :)

I'd take the harness and string it along the frame first. That way you don't get to the tail end after hooking everything up, just to discover you routed the main harness wrong and it's now too short, so you have to start over.

Surely this has happened to someone besides me? :D

Doing it the above way will put the connectors in the area they need to be.


took the same route on my 1000 ltd and everything went sweet....first harness i ever did.....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE:
I found a 1978 kz 650 on craigslist, with 27k miles and it looks really clean, posting says it needs a battery otherwise it runs great. So I'm thinking I'll bring a battery out there and if it starts up and rides well, I'll bring her home. My question is will the parts from my '76 work on a '78 if something should break down the line?
 

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Go to kawasaki.com and use the parts cross ref for a few parts and see if they are used on both bikes. Just a guess, but I'd imagine a lot if not most of the parts are interchangeable.
 
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