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January 2005

Wish I had a heater in the garage !  Decide to drain the transmission oil today - it'll drain easier if I warm the engine up first.  Turn the key, three kicks and it's running - that was easier than I expected.  It's very loud though - although the alloy sleeves on the end cans are just cosmetic, removing them opens up 6 small bolt holes in the cans and you wouldn't believe how much noise (and smoke) they let out.  You could always ask my neighbours though !  I let it run for five minutes with the ocassional twist of the throttle, then shut it off.  The drain plug is under the gear lever and soon there's a steady flow of black gunk making it's way into an old glass jar (yeah, and over the garage floor, see photo below).  Now I don't need it to run for a while, I remove the tank and airbox and stash them away with all the other bodywork.

So what's with those other two photos below ?  Did I carry on with the spanners and remove and strip the whole motor ?  No, that's a new acquisition, kindly donated by Gaz (see  Owners  page).  It's not all there 'cos there's no clutch basket or plates and the kickstart shaft is missing too, but I was dead pleased to get it - you never know when you're gonna need some vital part to keep your bike on the road.  Also this month I finally rigged up a little electric fan heater for the garage which let me spend enough time in there to build up all the various ZXR400 bits I'd acquired into a complete front-end.  What do you think ?  Leave it nice and standard or bolt the fat forks and wheel in ?

Doh ! Lucky dip Not as bad as it looks Mmm...

February 2005

Well the verdict so far is that I should keep the KR standard, rather than turn it into some kind of special.  Either way there's a lot of work needed to make the rest of it look nice again.  The exhausts have always spoiled the look of the bike, having suffered the usual crash-damage in the past.  Milan in Canada reckons he can make me a new set of end-can sleeves from alloy tube so the least I can do is repaint the main pipes black to set them off.  The front one comes off easy enough - I was worried about stripping the threads on the barrel studs but they're OK.  They're not actually that tight because you can't get a socket to them but a 12mm ring-spanner loosens both nuts without having to disturb the radiator.  A single bolt at the back releases the pipe from the footrest hanger.  The rear exhaust is more of a problem.  Again the two barrel studs and single silencer bolt come out easy enough, but there's no way I can extricate the pipe from the rest of the bike...

What does the manual say ?  Ah, remove the toolbox, oiltank, battery box, rear-brake master-cylinder and disconnect all the electrics before removing the entire subframe !  I compromise.  I remove the toolbox and battery box, loosen the rear-mudguard and subframe which can then be lifted up enough to allow the pipe to be wiggled out.  Looks like this quick tidy-up of the bike is turning into a full stripdown then.  I check the condition of the exhausts.  The rear one has a couple of holes where water from the back wheel has caused it to rust - I was expecting that 'cos I'd seen wisps of smoke coming out from behind the sidepanel.  It needs wire-brushing and the holes welding up before I can repaint it, although I could try my 'patent-pending composite' repair - layers of aluminium foil painted on with heatproof two-part epoxy successfully kept an old trailbike of mine on the road for several years !  The front pipe has a tiny hole in it but of more concern is how to repair the crash damage ?  Anyone had any success with HT metal filler or should I be looking at the exhaust on my spare bike for a replacement ?  You may be wondering at this point what the last photo is - the front exhaust rattled when it was removed and I luckily managed to shake loose a large chunk of baffle.  Of course, it'll be much faster without that in there...

And they're off ! Any tips for making this look nice again ? That explains the smoke behind the sidepanel then... Does this picture remind anyone else of some kind of spooky gasmask ?

March 2005

Well, arranging and attending the Japan KR meeting has taken up most of my free time recently but you'd have to say it was worth it !  Now I'm back, I manage to spend an hour or so stripping more parts from the KR - let's face it, it's gonna be a full rebuild isn't it ?  I removed the oil tank and that let me take off the whole subframe properly.  Then I removed the wiring loom which is an absolute mess.  Plenty of scope for tidying there - let's just hope I can remember where all the connectors go...

I was only supposed to be fixing the front brakes... Neil's abandoned race project All the latest bits I got off Neil Spot the difference...

April 2005

What's going on ?  I thought you were keeping it standard - why have you painted the frame black ?  April Fool !  No, it's not a PhotoShop job, I've bought another one !  Yes, that's three now, I know.  And none of them run at the moment.  But I do have a specific plan and it doesn't involve the world's largest collection of KR's (I'll leave that to you eh Fred ?)...

You may have noticed that black-framed KR before - it was on the Racing page.  Neil Haslam had plans to build a sort of pseudo-fake works KR250 racer around a road bike for the Forgotten Era 250GP class.  He started to build it up but quickly realised that it would never look the way he wanted - apart from the carbs being on the wrong side, the basic frame shape was far too angular to look convincing.  The engine was already with Fahron Engineering being bored out to 350cc and tuned and Neil's keeping that for a future project based around a Spondon frame intended for the Rotax tandem-twin motor.  But everything else was surplus to requirements so he advertised the rolling chassis on Ebay and I snapped it up.

I'd already met with Neil last year to discuss his race project so he very kindly threw in all the other KR bits he wouldn't be needing for free and delivered it all to me too !  That photo above shows everything I acquired.  The forks/yokes fitted to the chassis are KR-1S - they bolt straight in and there's a KR-1S front wheel too (minus discs, spindle and spacers) and a brand-new set of clip-ons and brake hoses.  Bodywork bits include a good top fairing with screen, front guard, bellypan, tail unit and a pair of seats.  Neil sent the tank away to be copied in alloy but he'll let me have it when he gets it back.  There's also an assortment of other KR bits like a wiring loom, set of clocks, footrests, chainguard, mudguard etc. and some other KR-1S parts including bars, switchgear and a pair of carbs.

The original KR front-end is leaning against the wall.  Except it's not - original that is.  I noticed the wheel was different straight away - it's the same size but the spoke pattern is different.  But it wasn't until a week later when I was about to swap things around that I realised the forks are different too.  They're anti-dive (although the units have been removed), but 2mm bigger in diameter and the caliper mountings are much wider apart.  And the discs are bigger too.  And the calipers.  And the yokes are different too.  And yet it all looks right and fits the KR perfectly.  Anyone got any idea what it's all off ?  I reckon GPZ600R.  Anyway, it's certainly buggered up my plans to swap all the best bits over to the main bike !

The new bike has a numberplate so this is the one that's going to become the road-going special.  The footrest hangers have already been cut down so it'll get the single seat and the best bits from my selection of alternative forks, wheels etc.  It'll inherit the engine from my spare bike, although I'm going to get it tuned and hopefully bored out too.  It'll look special but subtle too - as if Kawasaki had developed the KR further into the 90's instead of switching to the parallel twin.  My original KR will be kept standard and restored nicely without getting too obsessive over it.  And whatever's left when both bikes are finished will be sold off to give me some free garage space.

I'm typing this with exceedingly sore fingers.  I spent a couple of hours today with a wire-brush and a jar of petrol trying to clean up the exhausts and the spare rear-shock and front calipers in preparation for them being painted and then fitted.  I'm concentrating on the main bike and finally sorting out the brake problem - that's the reason it's off the road, if you remember.  The tiny holes in the exhaust have been filled with that 'chemical metal' filler stuff and I've used some more to fill the scrapes and dings you can see in the photo up above - we'll see how they look after they've been painted...

Doh ! Mmm, nice shiny fasteners from Inox You'll never know with some paint over it... The old and the new

May 2005

Sorry for the lack of updates on here recently.  I've been too busy working on the KR's to type anything !  The exhausts are looking pretty good now - there's no holes or crash damage any more and although there are still some scabby bits you won't be able to see 'em when it's back together.  The calipers look a bit garish repainted in a bright gold colour (trying to replicate the standard brassy finish) but they'll be a big improvement on the seized ones that came off.  I discovered the front wheel was badly bent so I've cleaned up the one from the spare bike and fitted that, along with the best two discs I could find.  The anti-dive units have been stripped, cleaned, painted and rebuilt and they should now work properly (the internals were seized before) and the forks refilled with fresh oil.  The bottom yoke and radiator cover have been repainted black.  Oh, and I've painted a spare sidestand black and fitted it to the 'special' - it was previously leaning against the garage wall.

The spare rear-shock has cleaned up nicely and been repainted so the next job is to fit that and then put the back end together.  Most of the various bolts and fasteners I've been removing have badly corroded so there was the pleasing thump of a padded envelope full of nice shiny nuts and bolts from Inox landing on the doormat the other day.  And hopefully there'll be one or two other interesting deliveries any time now...

Rebuilt front end, waiting for new brakelines Quite happy with those... Just trying it for size Fits perfectly, without a sprocket...

June 2005

Well this website is two years old this month, so it's been a bit quiet on here whilst I've been negotiating an upgrade and doing a bit of a quick redesign.  And working on the bikes of course !  The rear shock's been fitted so that gives me damping adjustment where previously there was none.  I've fitted the back wheel, disc and sprocket from Neil's bike as they were in much better condition than mine - I also had to fit his rear caliper bracket as mine had seized solid and defeated all attempts to extract the broken stud.  I've dismantled the footrests (more to them than you'd think), cleaned and repainted them - they won't flap about while I'm riding now.  And I repainted the sidestand and gear lever too.  As you can see from the pictures, while the rear wheel was out I tried slotting the RGV and ZXR ones in just to see how much room there was.  Erm, not much - the ZXR is a non-starter I reckon, but hopefully the RGV one will fit and you won't notice they don't quite match when they're painted green...

Also this month I snapped up a spare CDI unit (well, you never know) and some goodies arrived from Australia - a new taillight unit and a set of bodywork blanking plugs that the proddy racers used to replace the indicators with (these are a genuine Kawasaki part), also a top fairing and bellypan.  I also tracked down a brand new tank and some other tasty bits - it might turn out to be an expensive month !  Soon there should be a little bag of hard-to-find genuine grommets and fasteners on their way to me from Z-Power Australia, and a full set of brakelines and fittings are on order too if the seller can source double-ended banjos from somewhere.

How difficult would you think it is to buy some of those sprung wire clips that hold fuel pipes on ?  First surprise was that Halfords didn't have any.  Then the local fastener specialists couldn't help and nor could the local bearing specialists.  The local motor factors didn't have any either and nor did the off-road bike shop so I was forced to visit a main franchised motorbike dealer.  Unbelievably, rather than just pull a bag of them out from under the counter, the parts muppet wanted to know exactly which model they were for.  Of course, 'KR250' confused him so I told him to get me some for the KR1 instead.  He had to look up the part-number on the computer and then said they'd have to be sent direct from Japan for 1.13 each.  Yeah, for a little universal spring clip !  I said I'd think about it...

Another free weekend, so I painted the clutch cover with a view to doing the whole engine.  It looked cack and I decided it's never going to look the way I want so I might just as well throw the whole thing back together and get riding it.  I cleaned up the whole rear subframe/mudguard and refitted it - it took ages before I got the upper exhaust, oil tank, battery box and tool box all refitted in the right order.  But it started to look like a proper motorbike again, and when the clutch cover dried, it looked a lot better - not a good finish but a nice satin black colour.  I might still do the rest of the cases and barrels.  Whilst refitting the battery box I spotted that it had been modified with a hacksaw.  This is because the battery has the breather vent at the wrong side.  Even so, there's still no room to run a breather tube.  I should really source a correct battery and replace the battery box with one from one of the other KR's, but I think this can wait for some future rebuild.

I repainted the fairing subframe, headlight surround and various little brackets and refitted all those along with the clocks and speedo cable.  Then I remembered it still had no oil in it so filled that up too.  The next step is to refit the wiring loom which will need plenty of tidying as we go.  Airbox, carbs and lower exhaust after that, and I still need new brakelines.  Then it'll just be bodywork to go.  It's gonna be a long way from mint but it should be fairly presentable.  Let's hope it still runs...

Genuine Kawasaki blanking plates for the indicator holes fairing and bellypan, all the way from Australia wiring loom, before several hours tidying and repair damaged and badly repaired fairing, being bodged again...

July 2005

A whole week off work to play in the garage !  Why would I want to lie in the sun when I could be skinning my knuckles and covering myself in petrol instead ?  Anyway, first I spent several hours tidying and repairing the wiring loom.  Sometime in the past, both CDI boxes had been hard-wired to the loom with fragile solder 'joints' so I cut all those out and fitted new crimped connectors - not as good as the original block connectors but hopefully an improvement.  Refitting the loom was hard work too - you'd think the routing would be obvious but it took several goes before everything lined up.  Serves me right for not making lots of notes and drawings as I stripped it I suppose...

I refitted the lower exhaust which was easy, installed the airbox, then cleaned and checked the carbs before fitting those, replacing all the butchered screws with shiny new ones.  Impatient to get the bike back together, I spent an hour cleaning the old brake lines and polishing the fittings - I still need a set of new hoses but these will do for now.  Bleeding them was fairly straightforward, though note there are bleed-nipples on the calipers, anti-dive units and junction boxes - a total of six just for the front.  I pinched the numberplate bracket and light from the spare KR as the originals were horribly rusty and fitted those after a quick repaint.

Almost there ! Almost there !

Almost there now, that's everything except the bodywork.  If I fit the tank, I should be able to (try to) start it up !  The underneath of the tank is filthy and quite rusty so I clean it up as best I can and fit some black screen edging to the seam that runs along the bottom - that should hide some of the rust until I can get the tank resprayed.  There should have been a brand-new tank going on instead except I was stiffed on Ebay for the first time ever (Grrr !).  Refitting the tank should have taken five minutes but it took ages - I hope whichever designer decided to put the carbs on the right and the fuel tap on the left subsequently did the honourable thing with the departmental sword.  I mixed the fuel pipes up and they wouldn't reach, and swapping them back with the carbs and airbox in place was very difficult.  Even then one was at full stretch so I pinched a longer one from the spare KR to make it a bit easier.  Not forgetting the fuel-gauge connector and vacuum pipe too.

So, fuel in the tank, ignition on, give it a kick.  No, not first time, that would have been too sweet !  But five minutes later there's been a few coughs from one pot and that's it.  Out with the plugs and clean 'em up, then check for sparks.  Hmm, nice fat sparks for the rear cylinder and nothing for the front.  Check the wiring for the front CDI (that's the one on the right) and find one of my new connectors has pulled loose.  Fit a new one, try again and after a couple of kicks it runs !  I let it warm up on tickover, holding the oil pump wide open by hand.  It's blowing a bit from the rear exhaust but I nip it up a couple of turns and it seems OK.  Knock it into first gear, sidestand up, clutch out, dead.  There's an interlock circuit that stops you riding away with the sidestand down but it's not working right.  I must have got some wires mixed up somewhere but I'm sure I can fix it fairly easily.  That'll do for today, the front brakes are still a bit spongy too but I need something to do tomorrow.

Hmm, I really don't understand the cutout circuit.  It's supposed to work as follows : if the sidestand is down, it's in gear and the clutch lever is let out, it'll kill the ignition.  On my bike the sidestand bracket is bent so it should think the sidestand is up all the time and therefore never cut out anyway.  The neutral switch works fine.  The clutch switch was hanging loose before but I've now fitted it properly in place, after testing the switch.  But it still cuts out.  Disconnecting the sidestand switch makes no difference, disconnecting the clutch switch makes it cut out when you put it in gear.  So I leave the clutch switch connected but hanging loose again and it all works properly.  Very odd.  A closer look at the front brakes sees a fine jet of brake fluid squirting out of the left junction piece under pressure !  Serves me right for using all the old hoses and fittings.  A quick tweak with a spanner and a re-bleed fixes it (I hope).  But I've also spotted a slight weep from the left fork seal - arrgh !

I clean up all of the bodywork and begin to refit it all with shiny new fasteners and plastic washers.  I've touched up some of the dodgy paintwork in a few places but I'm not sure it's better than before.  There's more bodywork than you'd think : tailpiece complete with new taillight (the old one had crash damage from being flipped !), sidepanels, seats, front mudguard with fork brace.  Then the top fairing, side pieces, bellypan and the hand-guards, not forgetting the mirrors although there's nothing I can do with their scuffs and scratches.  All that's missing now is the exhaust heatshield which needs rubbing down and painting shiny silver.

OK, it's the moment of truth - a sunny afternoon off work to take it for an MOT.  Anyone taking bets ?  Not a good start - I was going to take the long way round to the bike shop to blow the cobwebs out but on the way home I spot a sneaky police van parked up with those cameras they use to identify untaxed/uninsured vehicles.  I think the direct route will be best !  The bike starts OK (it didn't the night before) so I throw my lid on and shoot off in a big cloud of blue smoke.  There's a bit of blowing from the front exhaust (I think) but everything else seems OK and five minutes later I'm there.  Within two minutes the mechanic gives me the bad news - it's failed.  The swingarm is catching on the lower exhaust - even worse, it's gouged a chunk out of the lovely shiny new end-can that Milan made for me (sorry mate).  Bollocks !

Despite all the different bits borrowed from the various KR's, I can't understand why the swingarm and pipe should now be interfering with each other.  I borrow a 8mm spanner and whip the end-can off.  It doesn't catch now, although there's only a tiny clearance.  But that's enough for a pass 'cos everything else is fine - the magic certificate is written out !  I ride home (with the end-can stuffed up my jacket) and call in at the post office for a tax disc.  The KR's back on the road !

Finished ! Finished ! Back on the road ! Back on the road !

Despite the damage to the end-can, I'm very pleased with how everything's turned out.  The front-end feels a million times better - there's no more juddering from the bent discs/wheel and the anti-dive is no longer locked solid.  I can't feel a difference yet from the new rear shock but I should have full adjustment to play with now.  The photos above flatter it a bit 'cos it still looks a bit flaky in a few places but it's a big improvement on before.  And I didn't have any bits left over after the rebuild either !

A week later I slackened the chain a bit and fitted the exhaust heatshield after rubbing it down and repainting it silver - you hadn't spotted it was missing had you ?  I also got myself a cool new numberplate made up - you hear of people paying thousands for personalised plates but mine only cost 12 and as a 'foreign visitor' it should protect me from speed cameras too - ha ha !

Japanese-style numberplate Finished ! Not perfect, but better than it was

Here's a quick list off the top of my head of all the parts now fitted to the KR that were taken from one of the other bikes or my stock of spares :

front wheel, front tyre, front discs, front calipers, anti-dive units, rear wheel, rear tyre, rear disc, rear caliper and bracket, sprocket and carrier, rear brake hose, rear shock unit, left front footrest assembly, airbox, numberplate bracket and light assembly, fuel pipe, taillight, bellypan, heatshield and screen screw cap.  Plus the toolbox and sprocket cover and a couple of indicators from earlier.  The only new parts used were the end-cans, a full set of brake pads and assorted fasteners.

August 2005

Right, it's the VJMC Lotherton Hall show in a week, I'd better get the KR ready.  This involved touching up some of the paintwork a bit better including the scabby bits visible under the tank.  I also refitted the lower exhaust without the spacer on the back of the footrest hanger - this moved the end-can out a few mm which was enough to clear the swingarm when the suspension compresses.  The front tyre needed pumping up again and that was it - time for a run out one night after work to make sure everything's OK.

Humber Bridge, August 2005 Humber Bridge, August 2005 Humber Bridge, August 2005 Humber Bridge, August 2005 Humber Bridge, August 2005 Humber Bridge, August 2005

I set off for the show in the sun, although it looked increasingly like rain the closer I got.  The bike was running well although halfway there I stalled it in traffic because the clutch cable had loosened itself off - very strange !  I quickly adjusted it back at the lever and luckily it started again easily.  I got there with no further problems and parked up with the other Kawasaki's.  I swapped the numberplate for the Japanese-style one, fixed my advert to the screen and wandered off to admire the other bikes.

3 hours later after the trophies has been awarded (I just missed out on Best Kawasaki due to the presence of about 20 other much nicer bikes...) it was time for the bit I'd been dreading - starting it in front of crowds of people.  And it made a disgrace of itself, coughing a bit but showing very few signs of life.  After 5 minutes of trying, I gave up and found Doug Perkins who said he had a foolproof technique for starting his.  It didn't seem to apply to mine, although he was successful in the end and I kept the revs up while weaving through the crowds to get out.  As usual, once it was running it was fine and it was great fun on the back roads on the way home, although stopping off to visit a mate meant another embarrassing push-start again.  I even managed to rip open my trainers and damage my foot trying to kickstart it.  Did they ever make an aftermarket bolt-on electric starter ?  Still, at least it never rained...

I've described my poor starting problem to all sorts of two-stroke experts on the various web-forums and received a variety of possible causes.  One thing that afflicts the KR1/S is failing stator coils, which can cause a weak spark (low voltage) at very low engine speeds, eg. when you kickstart it.  Turn the engine over faster (by push-starting it) and the voltage picks up a bit, you get a fatter spark and it's easier to start.  Makes sense.  One tip to help avoid this is to upgrade to a spark plug with a thinner precious-metal electrode - it'll be more tolerant of a lower voltage.  Whilst thinking about this, it also occurred to me that if you're running plug caps with a built in resistor, you shouldn't need to use plugs with a resistor too - that's just making the ignition system work harder.  Incidentally, you should have a resistor somewhere in the circuit to suppress interference, as it can cause problems with both your electronic ignition and your neighbours TV.  Also powervalves and electronic tachos although obviously that's not something we need to worry about.

I double-checked my bike - NGK B9ES plugs and resistor caps.  The standard plugs are designed for everyday riding in average conditions, the downside of upgrading will be possible shorter plug life and the increased cost of purchase of course - B9ES are 1.75 each, BR9ES (resistor) 2.19, B9EG (fine wire nickel-alloy electrode) 3.76, B9EV (fine wire gold-palladium electrode) 6.19 and B9EGV (gold-palladium racing type) 7.99.  There's also iridium electrode plugs at 8.77 each (BR9EIX) but they all seem to be resistor type.  I splashed out on a pair of B9EGV - it'll be worth it if it starts first kick every time !  Watch this space for results of my scientific testing - I'll post a picture either of my smiling face or a melted piston...

But before that, time to clear the garage out for the annual KR stocktaking :

All 3 of my KR's Accumulated spares The special (in kit form) All 3 of my KR's

October 2005

Er, is it October already ?  What happened to September ?  OK, so there's not been much progress with the KR(s) lately, I really don't know where all the time's gone to be honest.  In fact, the only thing I've done with the bike itself is remove the choke-cable.  Nothing wrong with it, but it appears that they're no longer available new from Kawasaki or anywhere else and people have been in touch asking where they could get one from.  I was therefore hoping to commission a batch to be made by one of the businesses that specialise in such things and make them available through this site, keeping a couple myself for spares.  Venhill are perhaps the best-known cables specialist in the UK and were keen to help, but after much examination and discussion it turns out they can't obtain the angled plastic bit at the lever end and therefore can't supply whole cables.  The next step is to look more closely at the choke-lever housing to see if something else can be adapted for use.  Unless one of you out there has a secret stash of KR choke-cables ?

I made my annual visit to the Stafford Show this month.  Took my choke-cable with me and spoke to the cable specialists there but they couldn't help with the adjuster end-fitting either.  I visited the Z-Power stand and gave them a shopping list of KR parts for them to check - they responded the next day and I've now placed an order.  I also visited the NK Racing stand and spoke to Nigel about my plans for the KR special - he was very enthusiastic and said he'd be happy to do whatever's needed to make everything fit together.  He's very busy though (that's a good sign, although if you've seen his stunning YZR500 replica you'll realise that's not necessary) but we've pencilled something in for after the New Year - that'll give me time to clean some of the parts up and check out things like handlebar position etc.

Hey Fred, have you only got 3 KR's ?  I've got 4 !  Well, sort of.  I'm currently looking after 'the jigsaw' for Darin.  This is the one-owner ex-Huddersfield bike that Ian Perry bought new from Mallory Kawasaki, stripped down, partially restored, then never got round to putting back together.  He sold it to Paul Wilshaw who offered it to me, I pointed Darin at it, he bought it but now wants rid of it as he's got another one off Paul (still with me ?).  I haven't decided what to do with it yet, the options are : keep it and send Darin some money, sell it on Darin's behalf or build it up and let Darin have it back.  If I do keep it, I'll then be torn between rebuilding it and selling it on at a profit or stealing all the best parts for my KR and selling the rest.  I don't want to cannibalise it as it deserves much better, and I don't really want another green/white KR either.  It would make a really nice base for my special though...

This is getting silly now... One and a half... KR1 rear wheel KR1 rear wheel

November 2005

'Kawasaki Genuine Parts'.  That's a lovely phrase, isn't it ?  Especially when it's printed on a collection of small boxes and packets, all enclosed in a bigger box marked 'Z Power' !  Yeah, I finally got round to ordering a pile of new KR bits, mainly to finish off my main bike but also with a view to the special.  Firstly, I got a pair of brand-new mirrors - there's no way of renovating the old ones and the scuffs and scrapes really make the whole bike look tatty.  I could just have bought a pair of generic black mirrors from the local bike shop for a tenner but the proper items are still available and not too expensive so we might as well do it properly.  In the same vein, there's also a set of the little black plastic caps that cover the screen screws, black rubber covers for all the brake bleed nipples, and a set of fuel hose clips.  Oh, and a 'Uni-Trak' sticker for the swingarm.  The other stickers I wanted are no longer available, along with the handlebar-end plugs.

The other bits I did get were ordered with the special in mind - whichever engine eventually gets used will require a thorough service and overhaul so I've got a set of gaskets (head, 2x base, 2x exhaust, clutch cover) and a pair of new pistons and rings.  Well, one set of rings actually, the last set on the planet !  If anyone's local Kawasaki dealer has some spare sets of KR rings sat on a dusty shelf, can they get in touch please ?  Serves me right I suppose for recommending all you KR owners to try Z-Power for parts for your top-end rebuilds...

Z Power

Also this month I got a complete set of new brake hoses made up by Classic Hoses.  The double-ended banjo fitting for the antidive takeoff is unusual but they managed to source them from Japan.  The fittings and protective springs have all been powder-coated black and the metal anti-dive pipes polished.  There's a full set of new banjo-bolts and bleed nipples too (I'll need to get the copper crush washers locally).  I also picked up a cheap KR1 rear wheel at a local autojumble for my special.  It should be a better visual match for my ZXR400 front wheel, and I got hold of a matching caliper, bracket, sprocket carrier, spindle and spacers courtesy of one of the fine chaps on KR1S.NET (cheers Col !).  Finally, the battery seems to have lost it's charge quickly so I took it off to check and recharge.

Merry Christmas from Z Power Merry Christmas from Z Power Merry Christmas from Z Power New brakelines from Classic Hoses

December 2005

I finally bought one of those Kawasaki Parts CD's off Ebay - I wasn't sure it would be any use because the KR's not listed, but if you know the part numbers already (which I do) then you can see if any of them are used on other models.  Of course, I'll start listing any useful parts matches I find on here.  The special's booked in to go to NK Racing in January so I refitted the back wheel properly with all the correct spacers so that Nigel can line everything up OK.  I got a brand-new 40t KR1 Renthal aluminium sprocket from B&C Express for it and there's hopefully a used rear disc on it's way to me too.  My local bike shop supplied a full set (that's 19 !) of copper washers I was missing for my new brake hoses and that's about it.  Let's see if Santa brings me any shiny new parts...

Oh yeah, check out the January 2006 PB magazine - not only is that my special on the 'Work In Progress' page, but those two little pictures underneath it are of me too !  Merry Christmas !

Performance Bikes January 2006 Christmas 2005

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