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Bike Profile - Posted 17th August 2011

1974 Kawasaki Z1B: Kev's Klassic Kawasaki...
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RealClassic message board regular Kevin The Bodger tracks down a bike he's always wanted on eBay, but will it turn out to be the bike of his dreams or an overpriced disaster?...

"I now have a bike I have longed after for many years, an August 1974 Kawasaki Z1B. It's not pretty, it wears its age with pride, it needs a few things doing right from the off, but it's mine.

As it arrived 1974 Kawasaki Z1B

"This bike is an eBay find; it had a Buy It Now option so I did just that and dragged home another old nail, complete with a big box of spares. 20,000 original miles, wrong shocks, aftermarket seat, and a tank and carbs full of rusty slime, but it's mine....

"So here it is, ready to go in the van for the trip home...

...and ready to be put in the van. 1974 Kawasaki Z1B

"First thing to do was pull the tank and give that a flush out, but I think it will need a fair bit more work before it can be used, so it is off to be power washed tomorrow. Then it will be time to pull the carbs, these are going to need a full clean and build job

"Then it was time to start degreasing the old girl, while we tried to see if the battery would take a charge. Underneath all the gunk and stuff the bike was surprisingly clean, so we greased the swing arm, cleaned the chrome, and fitted the old battery just to test the electrics. Everything works just fine, lights, horn, starter, all working.

Z900s on Right Now......

"Sunday morning was soapy water time. A chance to have a good look over what I have bought, see what's needed, see what's there, remove some parts, and start the real cleaning.

Home at last.

"First to go was the oil cooler, this appears to be a genuine Kawasaki part as it has the correct mounts to match the frame. A USA part? Anyway that is now off and gone, well going, to a certain Dorset race bike.

"I had a look through the box of spares; I am pretty certain most are not Kawasaki parts, but one nice part that was in there was the correct original document tray, how cool is that?

Remarkably clean already.

"Oil cooler off, carbs off. They are pretty bad in the float bowls, so will need sonic cleaning, but the fuel tap was pretty clean inside; that can also go in the sonic tank.

Know what goes here?

"Something seems to be missing from the seat lock area (yellow arrow) can one of you guys show me what it is, and does anybody have a spare?

Know what this means?

"Wheel rim has a '4I' date code, what does that come out at?

"Finally I took the tank round to Tesco to power wash the cr*p from inside. It came up fine, and I mean real fine, no rust in the tank, just a nice silver colour. It could still use a bit more cleaning to get rid of some of the residue where the power washer couldn't reach, but all is looking good in that area.


Words and photos - Kevin Dean.


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