Tuesday, November 15, 2016
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.