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Thread: where can I get a 1978 Kawasakie [K]Z400 restored

  1. #1
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    where can I get a 1978 Kawasakie [K]Z400 restored

    At the moment, it is sitting in a warehouse in Montreal waiting to be rolled onto a ship to come to England [thank you for the contact, Sgt Bilco]. The bike has all of 6700 miles on it, and was owned by late father from new. About half of those miles were put on by me back in 1990 when I was last hanging around my home town. Since then, it has spent its time in unheated Canadian garages [temps ranging from minus 30 to plus 30C].

    It is not in bad shape [I hope]. The friend who was babysitting it summarises the condition as:

    - it will need a new battery
    - It will need two new tires (or tyres if you prefer). Originals look fine, but I wouldn't trust 40 year old rubber.
    - it needs mufflers as the originals had rusted though.
    - the clutch needs adjusting. I tried to adjust using the shop manual, but I seemed to make it worse.
    - I replaced the oil and filter, but you may want to redo as oil is a couple of years old now.
    - After trying to adjust clutch, I noticed oil leaking from the bottom of the motor when running. (not sure if that will go away once clutch adjusted, or maybe more serious like a blown seal).
    - I rebuilt the carbs, but never had it professionally tuned, as I never took it out at full speed (see clutch issue above). They will most likely need attention.
    - I put new brake pads on front and drained/refilled hydraulic oil. I never touched the back as wear adjuster was showing adequate brakes left.
    - I removed chain, cleaned it of all gunk, reinstalled and heavily lubed it. No signs of wear, lots of miles left on it.
    - Other than the leak around the clutch, the engine seems strong, it turns over nicely, so no anticipated issues with that.


    I am keen to get it back to nice and shiny and new looking. I live in Oxford, but the bike is coming into Southampton, so I can get it taken anywhere near either city.
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    Define 'restoration' ?

    Do you mean restored to Stafford Show winning standards or do you mean fettled and put back on the road?

    I'm thinking it may be the latter as the bike looks pretty well together from the photos
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    Give Ian a ring a Bike Motor Works....07890 085891

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nice 'n' Fat View Post
    Define 'restoration' ?

    Do you mean restored to Stafford Show winning standards or do you mean fettled and put back on the road?

    I'm thinking it may be the latter as the bike looks pretty well together from the photos
    I quite fancy having it nice and shiny. But depends on the cost, I suppose. so both cosmetic and operational.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by barak666 View Post
    Give Ian a ring a Bike Motor Works....07890 085891

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    Try our very own Chris (TunnerUK on here)....
    He restores/rebuilds and paints.....

  7. #7
    Just stumbled across this thread after searching "Z400" as I'm going to collect one for myself on Thursday.

    OP - How are you getting on with yours?


    Restoration and Paint services

    07714 266 627


    www.ctmotorcycleservices.co.uk

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  8. #8
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    well, it is on a ship from Canada this very minute, expected to arrive the day before... I go back to Canada for a few weeks. Good luck with your's.

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    I bought a new one in 1976 and although it took me wifey on a tour around northern France I always thought either the Yamaha or Honda 400cc options were nicer bikes, just less pillion friendly. The frame paint on mine was shite and it was stove enamelled under warranty, a plastic cover rubbed through the chrome on the rear grab bar, though why I needed one in 1976 I can't think. Unless for sentimental reasons I can't imagine wanting to spend serious money on one of these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenman14 View Post
    I bought a new one in 1976 and although it took me wifey on a tour around northern France I always thought either the Yamaha or Honda 400cc options were nicer bikes, just less pillion friendly. The frame paint on mine was shite and it was stove enamelled under warranty, a plastic cover rubbed through the chrome on the rear grab bar, though why I needed one in 1976 I can't think. Unless for sentimental reasons I can't imagine wanting to spend serious money on one of these.
    Got it in one, it's my late father's bike that he owned from new. I am not sure why he ever bought it though, he seemed terrified of taking it on the road [hence the low mileage].

  11. #11
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    Try Terry at Stotfold Engineering (Biggleswade). He's done work for me in the past and is very good.

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    What about the guy that Henry Cole works with on the Motorbike Show? He's local to you isn't he?

    Pete the Restorer - here you go (and look what's on the home page!): https://www.aspirerestorations.co.uk/

  13. #13
    I've just done 100 or so miles on mine and it's a cracking little bike to ride. I'm actually surprised at how much I like riding it.

    Of course it's not a powerhouse of performance with sponson like handling. But it's got enough of everything to zip about on quite happily. I have to set the float heights on mine as it's over fueling slightly but I've just done jct8 to jct7 of the M20 and it hit an indicated 90 without too much work.


    Restoration and Paint services

    07714 266 627


    www.ctmotorcycleservices.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/ctmotorcycleservices

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy B View Post
    What about the guy that Henry Cole works with on the Motorbike Show? He's local to you isn't he?

    Pete the Restorer - here you go (and look what's on the home page!): https://www.aspirerestorations.co.uk/
    nice find, thank you!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenman14 View Post
    I bought a new one in 1976 and although it took me wifey on a tour around northern France I always thought either the Yamaha or Honda 400cc options were nicer bikes, just less pillion friendly. The frame paint on mine was shite and it was stove enamelled under warranty, a plastic cover rubbed through the chrome on the rear grab bar, though why I needed one in 1976 I can't think. Unless for sentimental reasons I can't imagine wanting to spend serious money on one of these.
    Spot on with my experiences.

    The rear frame paint basically rubbed off during the first winter. I hung mine from a fruit tree in Mum's back garden and stripped the back end for a repaint

    Chrome generally wasn't too bad TBH, but I did grease it up for winter to keep the salt off. .

    Exhausts rotted out from the inside. I fitted a Dunstall 2;1 with a Norton pea shooter silencer. It messed with fuel mixture but a 1.35mm drill though the main jest sorted that. (130 jest too weak 140 too rich Never managed to find an actual 135 main jet).

    Biggest (and it's a biggie) issue is the cam chain drive sprocket machined directly onto the blank crankshaft. When it wears there's no way to fit a new sprocket. If the bike has done more than 15K miles you will need some serious engineering to sort it. The crank will need turning flat with a split sprocket making up to go over the same area. Dowelled/pegged/bolted into place of course.

    Cylinder head gasket fail at the oil feed points. The design has a special oval O ring as the oil holes do not line up. Correct head gaskets are hard to come by.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bendy toy View Post
    The rear frame paint basically rubbed off during the first winter. I hung mine from a fruit tree in Mum's back garden and stripped the back end for a repaint
    ....
    Exhausts rotted out from the inside. I fitted a Dunstall 2;1 with a Norton pea shooter silencer. It messed with fuel mixture but a 1.35mm drill though the main jest sorted that. (130 jest too weak 140 too rich Never managed to find an actual 135 main jet).
    Yep, I had both of those issues. Painted the frame by hand. Fitted a Piper 2 into 1 to replace rusty original zorsts - sounded better, ruined the performance. Liked the way it screwed together though. If something had 4 screws, the last 2 were the first 2 of the next bit to come off. I think I sold mine with approaching 30k on it with no mechanical issues.

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