1980 KZ1300 "Kiwi"- Well, Okay Then...

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Lucien Harpress
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1980 KZ1300 "Kiwi"- Well, Okay Then...

#1

Post by Lucien Harpress »

While my 4 cylinder 'Wings were excellent bikes and (for the most part) extremely reliable, there was something missing in my life. Something that only 6 cylinders/1300cc/120 horsepower could fill. So I got me a Kawasaki KZ1300. :mrgreen:

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I've been wanting a 6 cylinder bike for a LOONG time. There's just something so ludicrous and unnecessary about having that much engine on two wheels. Looking at my options (CBX- too expensive. Newer 'Wing- not naked enough. Valkyrie- one day. Benelli Sei- Whassat?), I instantly fell in love with the KZ. Bigger than the rest (for the time period), unabashedly square, and that AMAZING teal blue-green color- what's not to like? After much searching (and a '83 GL Aspencade flip), I found one that fit the bill. In Idaho. For THAT whole story, check here:

http://ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52754

Anyhoo, she finally arrived in my front yard today. Guess we'll start at the top.

THE GOOD:

Holy MOLEY is she clean. Not mint, mind you, but dang near. What I would consider an acceptable patina. There are TINY flaws in the paintwork, and I'm probably going to get it clear-coated (if only to prevent further damage), but other hard to find parts (the airbox sidecovers, actual sidecovers) look amazing. The ONLY flaws I can find on the exhaust pipes (a $1000 item in good shape) is a tiny bit of chrome flaking on one muffler. The header chrome is amazing, and the steel parts in between aren't rusted at all.

THE BAD:

She doesn't run yet. The battery was too dead to really try anything, and while I could've hooked a charger up to it... well, we'll get to that. It's also not 100% yet. There's a few parts I have to get in order to strip off the fairing, and they need cleaned up. It's also got an 80 mph speedometer (1980 special). I've got my eye on a 160 mph speedo on Ebay, but who knows how expensive it's going to end up (they usually go for big money). I also found a bunch of green stuff on the front of the motor, some type of sealer. Not sure why. There's also a small dent in the gas tank, but I can probably take it somewhere to get it popped out. It's not bad at all.

THE UGLY:

Oh my. I'm fairly certain the PO thought he was in electrical engineer. There is electrical tape and wire nuts EVERYWHERE. Just- look at this.

Image

That's THREE wires going into a ground that shouldn't exist. Into a battery that's, if you'll notice, TOO SMALL for the area it's in. There's an extra wire off the positive terminal, and two extra off what I'm pretty sure is the starter solenoid. Also, look closely at the far right fuse. Not only is that COPPER TUBING, but it's SOLDERED IN!!!!! WHYYYYYYY??????

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Here's my right controls. You may notice that the wires go... nowhere. Of the two switches on the fairing, the one is for the radio, while the other is my actual stater switch. Which I have to turn off when the motor starts so it stops the starter motor. :IDTS: That's not even mentioning the THREE POSITION SWITCH DRILLED INTO THE HARD-TO-FIND SIDECOVER that does.... who knows? I HAVE NO IDEA!

In addition to the main wiring harness, there are TWO looms of extra wires going up front from the battery. I'm... still not sure why. I wanted to take the fairing off today, but all of my time was spend removing the bags and cleaning up the wires back there.

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This is how far I got today. Hopefully I can get the fairing off in a day or two, and clean out some of this rats nest of... junk. I'd like to get it running too, see how much of a basket case I'm dealing with. Despite that, I'm still stoked. Just OWNING a KZ1300 is, to me, special.

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It's gonna need a name. I'm thinking the "Kiwi". It's unique, rare, and completely ridiculous. lolol (Plus, it is a decent abbreviation for "Kawasaki", so I like it.)

(Crud, almost forgot! BIIIIIIG shout out to terry_208, my middle man out in Idaho. Without his help, there is NO way I would've ever gotten this bike. A real stand-up guy if there ever was one. If there's anybody out near SE Michigan who needs a hand, I'll do my best to pass it on. Thanks again!
Last edited by Lucien Harpress on Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:26 pm, edited 102 times in total.
1969 CT90- Needs rear tube and possibly rings
1976 GL1000 (Yellow)- Carb Shenanigans.
1984 GL1200 Standard- For Sale! viewtopic.php?f=6&t=69166
1980 KZ1300- Carb balancing when the weather warms up
1972 CB750 Barn Find- Tires and Head Bearings

All advice I give is only valid until an expert corrects me.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#2

Post by skydog »

Nice bike!Certainly is unique,not to many out there.Them po's can make some awfull messes,but I'm sure you'll get it sorted.Congrats!
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Lucien Harpress
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#3

Post by Lucien Harpress »

Stock KZ13 parts are hard to find. You can buy wire, solder, and heat shrink anywhere. :lol:
1969 CT90- Needs rear tube and possibly rings
1976 GL1000 (Yellow)- Carb Shenanigans.
1984 GL1200 Standard- For Sale! viewtopic.php?f=6&t=69166
1980 KZ1300- Carb balancing when the weather warms up
1972 CB750 Barn Find- Tires and Head Bearings

All advice I give is only valid until an expert corrects me.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#4

Post by Bugdaddy66 »

Back in the 80's I worked for a restaurant company that happened to get lots of Japanese tourist traveling between Seattle and Vancouver BC. My XS1100 and my head cooks KZ1300 got all their cameras clicking every time they got off the tour bus. They couldn't believe they were real bikes having never seen them in Japan. That KZ is one of the most impressive vehicles I had ever rode at the time!
Todd Logan (Bugdaddy66)
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#5

Post by irishcarbomb »

I've been on the lookout for a CBX or KZ for a while. There is a guy in Europe that turned them into V12s!
1983 GL1100 Fuel Injected Turbo Build Thread
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Lucien Harpress
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#6

Post by Lucien Harpress »

My FIRST bike was an '80 XS11, and (truth be told) I bought this trying to recapture some of the performance "wow" factor I had with that that, unfortunately, my 'Wings don't really have. While the XS is probably the "better" alternative (nearly identical performance in a cheaper, lighter, less complicated package), there's something about 6 cylinders.....

Seen the V-12 guy. What I aboslutely LOVE is how stock he tried to keep it. Apart from the extra radiator and cylinders (and lengthened frame), it's still a pure KZ1300- er, 2600.
1969 CT90- Needs rear tube and possibly rings
1976 GL1000 (Yellow)- Carb Shenanigans.
1984 GL1200 Standard- For Sale! viewtopic.php?f=6&t=69166
1980 KZ1300- Carb balancing when the weather warms up
1972 CB750 Barn Find- Tires and Head Bearings

All advice I give is only valid until an expert corrects me.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#7

Post by UltraRunner »

I'm glad you managed to get your hands on one! Looks like a great start. I'll be anxious to see how it turns out.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#8

Post by CBX n GL man »

Cool bike. Def. don't see too many of them around, going to be nice when it's all sorted out I bet.
You lucked out with all the hard to find parts still there.
I've seen the CBX 12 cyl but didn't know there was a KZ 12 cyl too. Have fun with it. Later.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#9

Post by Recycled Roadkill »

I have a 50 foot roll of those fuses hanging on a nail in the garage! Now I know what it's for! :)

Congrats on your "new" bike!!! I love it too.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#10

Post by duke182 »

I really like the way it looks without the tour pack
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#11

Post by Barney T Weasel »

Congrats. I also have a z1300 (in Australia they were not a KZ) and a CBX Honda 1000/6 Prolink. Both brilliant bikes. I have owned the Z1300 since 1986 and ridden it nearly daily since then. The only thing I could get to surpass its "long legged" ability & comfort was the Triumph Rocket 3 which sits with them both now. You'll love it. Super smooth and powerful and they handle really well if you are accustomed to a bit of climbing around. Good luck.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#12

Post by ericheath »

Somebody has MBS quite badly.
Whatever I suggest here should be given ample time for a moderator to delicately correct. I apologize in advance.
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#13

Post by Gowing »

The big six, home and safe,
I like it very much.
Dave

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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#14

Post by calif wingnut »

I bought a 79 in 87 full dressed like yours and shorty after, the stator/cdi went out. Can't say I was impressed with it looking back but it sure stomped a 79 GW into the ground. I sold it to a European with just the kawi fairing on it and their accessory seat like yours in 89, then sold my Ltd and bought a new 89 1500 for $10,750 otd. I sold the 1300 front oem signals to a guy in aussieland many moons ago...he was happy to find them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=kz1300+ ... B600%3B459
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Re: 4 Cylinders Weren't Enough.... (New Bike)

#15

Post by Red2trike »

You got a great bike. They work the best stripped naked with only a little "chest protector". Had a few running I the area sometime ago. Even saw one get hit parked along a local street. MMMmm, maybe I should do a little looking...might be able to find spares somethings??

RT2
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