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My newly acquired '77 kz900a5

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Ultim8pc
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My newly acquired '77 kz900a5

#1 PostAuthor: Ultim8pc » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:03 pm

My '77 kz900a5 finally arrived yesterday, which I purchased as a self import. The previous owner had the bike since early 1978 and has provided me with the full service history and a folder full of pretty much every receipt for any money spent on it over those almost 40 years of ownership.
Not only that, but he had strapped a small suitcase to the luggage rack which contains a ton of spares and parts which consist of:
centre stand, grab rail, new chain and sprockets, two sets of points, condensers and back plate, assorted gaskets, o-rings, oil filters, brand new regulator, spare set of HT leads and coils. Brand new sets of main gets in assorted sizes, brake pads, Lots of original fasteners, spare indicator lenses, new clutch and throttle cables, bulbs and other stuff I haven't sorted through yet!
And double bonus, the owners manual and warranty card are present under the seat tray.
From what I can tell it's all original apart from the seat, Kerker exhaust and left hand side panel (which has no badge).
Has Dyna igntion and coils fitted.
The previous owner decked the bike about 5 years ago and this damaged the headlight right and one of the clock pods.
Has oil leaks from the usual places, cam cover end rubbers, speedo drive and gearchange spindle.
The chrome on the wheels is very good and the spokes don't look to be rusted!
Paintwork is tired and the tank has a dent on the right side and it's done 73,000 miles.

However, I am really pleased with it for what it has cost me.

Here's a laod of photos, I'd appreciate any feedback!

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Here it is tucked up with my ZRX1200r and Tiger 1050..

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A dent... ;(

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Tank has been relcaquered at some point

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Very light rusting inside.

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Cases are nice and damage free!

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Leaking speedo drive and downpipes nnot too badly rusted

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Oily..

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Float bowls are weeping and have been for some time I think..

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Has the airbox silencer!

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Although it has an OEM Ltd model seat fitted, the seat pan is A1 condition. So I will probably strip it down, get the seat pan repainted and then get if re-foamed and recovered. (As opposed to buying a repro seat).

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The manuals!

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And toolkit - just one popstud broken on the wallet

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Front brake pipe is not rusty.

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Hub looks tidy

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Front rim is is good shape. A quick bit of polish shows how good they are under the muck. I would say 8 out of 10. Spokes are not rusted.

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Front mudguard is a a bit worn and chrome has peeled at the front

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Rear rim is very good under the oil film and spokes look good also

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Rear mudguards chrome is a little worn in the main areas you polish, but again, no real rust!

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Shock top and bottoms are very nice, but some rusting on the springs

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Kerker silencer is very tidy, some minor scuffs

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73,000 miles!

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Damage from going down the road

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General lack of corrosion

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Indicators have some chrome wear/fine scratching

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Lockstop is intact and undamaged

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Grotty...

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Original panel with fully intact tabs and badge

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Aftermarket panel with no badge..

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The wiring harness has been repaired. I've contacted the owner about this.

So next job is to give it all a thorough degrease and clean up and see what I think about a mild or full resto.

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paul doran
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#2 PostAuthor: paul doran » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:19 pm

Looks good as a project so good luck with it
good to see it has a few of the harder to get bits like airbox silencer
way too many Zeds

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#3 PostAuthor: chrisu » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:34 pm

all very fixable - have fun with it....

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PAULJAC47
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#4 PostAuthor: PAULJAC47 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:45 pm

Good basis for full resto,high miles for a yank import ,would guess full engine rebuild,whats your budget? depends on how far you want to go.i always make a guess then double it :lol:
PAULJAC47,,,,,"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."
-Han Solo

You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter

Salad is what real food eats.
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Ginger Bear
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#5 PostAuthor: Ginger Bear » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:35 pm

That looks very tidy, shame about the dent in the tank. Did it happen on it's way here?
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# 104

Phil Churchett Award Winner 2011 & 2016 :D
Buzzworkz Best Modified Zed 2016

garyd
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#6 PostAuthor: garyd » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:50 am

Don't restore it....it'll be just another restored bike.

keep it as it is..just fix the bit's that need it and have an true 'original'

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#7 PostAuthor: ZedHead » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:22 am

Looks a nice project ... Keep us posted on progress

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Garry.L
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#8 PostAuthor: Garry.L » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:45 am

garyd wrote:Don't restore it....it'll be just another restored bike.

keep it as it is..just fix the bit's that need it and have an true 'original'


But that would mean leaving 'that' seat on whilst actually riding the bike on actual roads..... a new Lid might be in order then....

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PAULJAC47
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#9 PostAuthor: PAULJAC47 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:31 pm

Typical Gary, on the fence as normal :lol:
PAULJAC47,,,,,"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

-Han Solo



You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter



Salad is what real food eats.

Anon



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#10 PostAuthor: zedi knight » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:09 pm

Go for the full resto.
you know you want to.

Ultim8pc
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#11 PostAuthor: Ultim8pc » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:26 pm

All,

Thanks for your replies. Here's a bit of an update and thoughts:

I am very OCD when it comes to condition and like my bike to be in as new condition as possible, so my heart says 'full resto' and my head says 'tidy it up and ride it as it is'.
The dent in the tank was already there and I know about it. It is a shame, but for the price I paid, I am not complaining..
It is high mileage and so I know I'm in for an engine strip/check/rebuild.
Spent a bit of time with the bike today to more thoroughly evaluate the condition:
Before trying to start it, I whipped out the plugs and they didn't look too bad a colour, but probably on the rich side. Kerker end baffle has some rot holes, the air box lid does not seat properly (not sure why) and the carb float bowls are all leaking at gasket (and have done so for some time it would appear). So none of this will help...
After some faffing I got it started and once warmed up it runs, but it's a bit rough.
Removed the engine bars as they were all bent from the previous owners accident and the cases are very good, but need a good polish.
Headlight is a bit dull and brightens a bit when revved so I need to check the regulator. Have quick check with a multi-meter and I have 13.8 to 14 volts when running so it should be OK. Has a year old gel battery fitted.
Had a closer look at the paintwork and used some very light rubbing compound on the tank and tailpiece and they look quite a bit better now. I suspect the tailpiece has been repainted at some time as there are some nicks under the paint in one area. If it wasn't for the dint in the tank I think I could live with the paintwork, but it's never going to be perfect though...
The seat pan is in almost perfect condition, just a few spots of minor rust and more importantly all the teeth/tabs for holding the cover on are intact and not corroded. My thoughts are that I will strip the seat, repaint the base and get it re-upholstered. That will be similar cost (I think) to purchasing a PMC or other repro seat.
Like I said earlier the chrome on the wheels is is very good, although the front rim has a gouge in one section that has gone through the chrome. Maybe this was part of the accident damage?
As well as leaking oil from the rev counter drive, cam ends and shift lever, it's leaking out of the alternator side where the rubber grommet seals the cable...
The clocks are faded (as they do) and have lots of condensation water marks inside.
Swing arm and head bearings seem OK. Fork legs are A1 and the lowers just need a polish.
Next immediate job is a proper degrease and clean.

Questions:
Is there anyone that folks would recommend for re-upholstery of the seat?
As part of the engine rebuilt I want to go for a 1075 big bore kit. I can either sleeve the existing barrels (so they still say 903cc) or I can use a set of 1015cc barrels and have them bored out. I have a complete but in boxes Z1000st I could use the barrel from, if it fits? However, I'd rather use the 903cc barrels for authenticity (at least from the outside). I've completely stripped and rebuilt a couple of Z1000 engines previously, so I'm not scared of doing this. I need to look into what it will cost to do a rebuild and I would appreciate any feedback on the stuff I should replace and the stuff I can leave.
I also have a good set of 28mm carbs from the ST which I could use instead of the 26mm ones. I think they would work better with a 1075cc upgrade anyway?

Thanks for the interest and appreciate the knowledge and feedback!

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PAULJAC47
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#12 PostAuthor: PAULJAC47 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:36 pm

Doing an A4 meself,your choice, but with so many original parts seems a pity to go the modified route,good a4 s are comanding good money and with subtle upgrades are a very nice riders bike.Phil Turner P&k seats would sort the seat,
PAULJAC47,,,,,"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

-Han Solo



You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter



Salad is what real food eats.

Anon



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Ultim8pc
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#13 PostAuthor: Ultim8pc » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:44 pm

PAULJAC47 wrote:Doing an A4 meself,your choice, but with so many original parts seems a pity to go the modified route,good a4 s are comanding good money and with subtle upgrades are a very nice riders bike.Phil Turner P&k seats would sort the seat,

I think you are correct - I need to keep it as standard as possible I think.
I'll investigate P&K seats. Cheers

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#14 PostAuthor: Zedorset » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:50 pm

Lovely bike, remember they are only original once.

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Garry.L
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#15 PostAuthor: Garry.L » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:28 pm

A little random, but I wonder how many Nebraska A5's are over 'ere?.
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