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KZ900-A5 (Project Bike)

Work in Progress

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kawasaki_man
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KZ900-A5 (Project Bike)

#1 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Tue May 21, 2013 9:36 pm

I've been looking for a suitable project bike for the past 6 months. The prices for tatty Z1/Z1A/Z1B have been just too high to justify a purchase for a project. However 4 weeks ago I came across what seemed like a perfect candidate, it is a KZ900-A5, first registered in 1977. I've now taken delivery of the bike and really pleased with what turned up, basically a frame (with some bits chopped off) and a nice low mileage oil tight engine (not been started for 7 years)
I've included some pictures of what the bike was like when delivered to me.

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It took me a while to work out that there was an ignition switch fitted on the bike and that was the reason for the bike having one sidepanel!

garyd
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#2 PostAuthor: garyd » Wed May 22, 2013 6:45 am

Good start for a project, although the running gear is Z1000 and the date means it could be one of the last Z900 A4 or a Z1000 A1.

Do you know if it's an import?

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#3 PostAuthor: Jay1969 » Wed May 22, 2013 7:46 am

I notice it has KZ1000 A2 front calipers / forks - KZ900 A5's were only sold in 1977 - so if the date on the title matches that, confirms it was A5 when standard.

kawasaki_man
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#4 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Wed May 22, 2013 9:06 am

The seller stated that the bike had Z1R front and rear ends (1978), hence the non Z900 appearance.

I was not familiar with the frame number of the bike so did a check at the Z1 Enterprises website and it showed KZ900-A5 have frames from Z1F-510341 to 515578. The bike fits in this range Z1F-5136** and engine number Z1E 1379**

Yes the bike was imported from US in 1997, total engine mileage 23K with all MOTs back to the date of import.

kawasaki_man
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Project Plans

#5 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Wed May 22, 2013 9:21 am

The Z1 is a fantastic looking bike and my idea for this project is to use the bits that I think best describe the Z1 and use other parts where suitable.

Z1 defining parts:-
1. Tank
2. Engine
3. Speedo & tacho
4. Duck Tail
5. Oval Rear Light
6. Side panels

Modern parts to fit:-
1. Forks
2. Wheels
3. Brakes
4. Swing Arm
5. Exhaust

I've decided that I'll strip and rebuild the carbs first, change oil, check valve clearance, plugs, ignition timing and then start the bike to see how the engine runs before a full disassembly. At least I'll have an idea of any potential engine problems or possibly a non starter for a project.

Following this I'll then do a full disassembly and send the frame away to be checked.

I'm planning to do as much as possible myself, so I imagine the project duration is going to be 18 to 24 months.

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#6 PostAuthor: garyd » Wed May 22, 2013 1:06 pm

Just curious...what's the diffrences betwee an A4 and an A5

anyone know?

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#7 PostAuthor: garyd » Wed May 22, 2013 1:09 pm

Taken from the ZPower site...

THE KZ900A5 WAS A RUN OUT MODEL,

ASSEMBLED FROM PARTS LEFT OVER IN THE USA FACTORY.

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#8 PostAuthor: Ginger Bear » Wed May 22, 2013 6:20 pm

That looks to be an excellent basis for a modded Zed. Do you have a short list of your prefered running gear. Will it be USD forks & a Monoshocked rear or RWU & twinshock?
Feel free to ask what works/fits easily, there's plenty of free advice available & best of all, you only need take it if you want to!
Image

# 104

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

kawasaki_man
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#9 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Thu May 23, 2013 1:23 pm

Thanks GB for the words of encouragement....Your project looks interesting also, I'll keep an eye on it.

Current ideas are twin shock rear swing arm and at the front USD forks.

If anyone has experience or ideas on what Twin Shock swing arm that allows a decent width rear wheel/tyre to be fitted and suitable front end using USD forks please let me know.

kawasaki_man
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A Little Progress

#10 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:55 pm

Image

Cleaned the carbs out and started the engine end of May, all sounded fine, decided that engine should be OK and project can move forward...very slowly. (Tank from Z1B, seat from Ikea curtains!)



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Decided to get moving with the project and get the engine out and investigate general condition of main components.

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My attempt at single handed removal of engine. It went OK, just not so easy to find correct balance point.


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Engine out and safely placed on work bench for remainder of strip.

The pistons are 50 oversize, but almost like new and condition of cylinder bores looks great.

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#11 PostAuthor: LondonZ1 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:45 pm

That looks like a great starting point. My bike started out as a KZ900 A4 and now has Z1 side panels and well as many other mods. As you may know, the Z1 side panels have very different mounting points to the A4/5. In the end I had to fit Z1 style rear engine mounting brackets and get Harris to fabricate and weld on new side panel lugs, so it wasn't a simple job. Worth it for the looks though.

You may have to modify the battery box and tool kit holder as well. The A4/5 use the battery box for one of the RH side panels lugs and the tool kit for another. The tool kit mounting point is usually broken anyway as it's a poor (weak) design. I ditched all of the A4 stuff under the seat and fitted a smaller bespoke battery box with a modern lithium ion battery.

I imported lots of parts from Japan, most of which were intended for Z1 use not Z900 so I became quite knowledgable about what fits and what doesn't.

kawasaki_man
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#12 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:31 pm

LondonZ1,
Thanks for the words of encouragement and I followed your build as it progressed. It really has given me lots of inspiration to get moving. I also read the article in Practical Sportsbikes on your Z900 "Sanctuary". Fantastic stuff and I look forward to seeing the bike on the ZIOC stand at Stafford this weekend.

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#13 PostAuthor: Jay1969 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:41 pm

It's coming along nicely, well done :up

kawasaki_man
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Re: KZ900-A5 (Project Bike)

#14 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:13 pm

In April this year I decided that if I don't make some progress I never will! So I have started the build. Here are some pictures of progress to date:-

Replacement ZRX forks and brake calipers:-
up_1.JPG


Front wheel mock -up
up_3.jpg


New front wheel with discs
up_6.jpg


Front end mock-up with new wheel
up_5.jpg


Swing Arm and rear axle arrangement
up_4.jpg
up_4.jpg (130.27 KiB) Viewed 1476 times


Rear wheel in swing arm
up_2.jpg


More to come, but hoping to get some tyres fitted once I am happy with the wheel rebuild.

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Re: KZ900-A5 (Project Bike)

#15 PostAuthor: Swirl » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:24 pm

Loving the build, looking forward to more pics


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