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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Motorcycle Project



Monday temperatures climbed from the mid 20s to the low 50s. It seemed like a good day to give the motorcycle a bit more attention.

The day before I'd rinsed most of the crud out of the fuel tank. The fuel lines were replaced and two in-line fuel filters were added. The fuel lines need to be trimmed and secured, but the temporary install allowed gas to flow to the engine.

The make or break item on the old 1974 KZ 900 is the engine. I wasn't about to do a complete engine rebuild. Was going to run or not? Once the gas was flowing I hooked up a battery pack jumper and tried to start it. The good news is that the starter turned over. However, the engine did not start. It gave a small cough. Maybe two out of four cylinders fired once and it was done for the day.

Monday I cleaned out the air cleaner and tried again with a freshly charged battery jumper. This time it fired on all four cylinders then died. A second attempt had it running strong. Once it warmed up a bit I opened up the throttle some. That's when the end of the muffler flew off. It had been repaired many years ago. While in storage the muffler had rusted just below the repair in a neat circle.

No problem. That's one of the things I needed to replace anyway. The big thing is that the engine purrs like a tiger. Everything else is fixable. I'll replace the battery and drive it into the basement. There's some electrical stuff to sort out. While the headlight works, only one directional lights up. That's the sort of thing that takes more time than money to sort out.

It appears there are now no major issues stopping the project. I'm not looking to restore it showroom perfect. The idea is to get the old bike usable for not a lot of money. Since the engine kicked over, that looks within reach. Over the course of the winter I can purchase any parts needed.

You should have seen the smile on my face when that big engine woke up. Happy memories.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. Nice bike, Sixbears. Youngest son had one years ago.

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    1. It's pretty old school, but so am I. :)

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  2. Love riding on a motorcycle. As a passenger.

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    1. My lovely wife feels the same way. No desire to drive one.

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  3. Well done, sir. More memories in the making ...

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    1. Hope so. Should be fun. I'm checking out safety gear. Getting too old for more scars. I've got enough already for some good stories.

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  4. Used to have a set of gauges to sync the carbs on those beasts. If it idles don't mess with the mixture screws !

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    1. I know better than to touch them. Once warmed up it idled well. Not bad for a bike that hasn't run since 2002.

      Wonder if my old motorcycle mechanic is still in business? Guy ran out of a car garage but really knew those old bikes.

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  5. It's always great when a plan works out.

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    1. . . . and it doesn't cost too much money either. :)

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  6. You're a man of many facets. Didn't know motorcycles was one of them.

    I had a friend who flew three tours in Viet Nam, in Hueys. He was riding his motorcyle over in Murphy, N.C. and a bunch of FBI agents up here looking for Rudolph came around the curve in his lane and killed him.

    It takes a certain amount of courage and fatalism to ride motorcycles.

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    1. I need a little shot of adrenaline now and then to feel right.

      Used to do a lot of white water canoeing when I was younger. Firefighting provided enough of a jolt to keep me going.

      I really enjoy taking a powerful bike through twisty mountain roads. Kinda miss that. Almost hit a moose once. That was a rush.

      Sorry about your friend. Damn shame to survive 'nam and get killed in a traffic accident, by the FBI no less.

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  7. may you finish it right and burn some rubber in the road

    Wildflower

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    1. I'm too frugal to burn rubber. That's a kid's trick. :)

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