Friday, 29 December 2017

KZ750 Restart

As I may have mentioned I have a KZ750 twin in the garage with the goal of restarting it and getting it road worthy.

Bled the brakes and pushed through some new fluid, drained the oil, and today I measured the valve clearances and prepared for removing the cylinder head. The head was leaking oil from the left hand side, the Kawasaki has oil ways sealed by o rings the move the oil into the cam chamber, and I think it is leaking from there. I hope I will see the damaged O ring tomorrow when I get the head off.

On another subject I removed and cleaned the RD350 's carbs and the 500 is a part awaiting for a rebuild. I have made contact with a guy who can rebuild the cranks with the thrust washers at the big end.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

No news is good news?

Clutch Basket holding tool
Carbs and crap
Well I have been pretty busy recently and haven't had much time to post.  Here is a quick summary.
I have built up an FZR engine partly with bits that Bil gave me and partly from the engine that I got that had been in the water at some stage.
As on most engines the crankcases are matched so I went with Bils cases and the cylinder head from the watered bike - the valves all sealed OK and it seemed much younger. The cams came from Bils stuff, as the water ones were rusty!
I replaced the plain bearings on the crankshaft and the cylinder rubber seals and I am now up finishing the clutch cover and sealing it up so I can add oil and get it off the bench.

The RG has broken another thrust washer in piston NR.2 the damage is significant although I haven't even got as far as lifting the cylinder head yet! I am leaning towards getting the cranks setup with the thrust spacers at the big end to avoid this issue again. Have been in contact with a guy in Lyon who rebuilds cranks and used to mechanic for a guy who raced RG's.

I have an old KZ750 Kawasaki in the workshop that needs starting - doing this for a guy at the gym, so I will be posting some of the photos from that build.

The biggest news I have is that I am back at school, doing a CAP in bike mechanics! Every other week in Paris! I travel up on a Sunday and back on Friday. The level is quite low, but I need a minimum qualification in order to start my company up next year. So far results are great

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Back home!

Just got back around 15:00 Wednesday 2300 kms, my front tyre is toast (new one ordered), in 4 days. Libby says I should've taken more time and looked around more!

The route on this day, was up to Aurillac and then across to Puy en Verlay, then Annonay and home. Not the most exciting way to get across this part of France, mostly fast A road type roads, but with a flagging front tyre (yes at one point I thought it was flat) I wasn't up to any last knee down experiences. The bike has now been cleaned and the front wheel removed for tyre changing on Friday. A great trip! Oh the photos here are near St. Bonnet Le Froid the colours of the autumnal leaves were spectacular although it doesn't come out in the photos.

Roadtrip 3

I left the hotel this morning in the direction of St. Jean de Luz, it wasn't raining but the roads were damp. I regretted going right to the coast as the weather got worse and the traffic equally worsened.

I took the obligatory photo of the Atlantic and then made my way up the coast to Bayonne and then went inland, finally ending up at Tom & Di's for cup of tea just after lunch (13:00). Just before arriving at their place the heavens opened and the wets went on again. I left their place after 15:00 and headed towards Montauban and then finishing at the pretty town of Villefranche de Rouergue. The bike is parked up in a private hotel carpark so I am having a look round before dinner.

Road trip 2

Well it's pissing down today so a late start is in order, and it gives me a chance to update you on my travels.

Yesterday I left Perpignan in the rain. I took the N116 which although being a faster "A" type road it ends up climbing into the Pyrenees at Font Romeu which is a ski resort, if I am not mistaken I think I went over a pass at over 1700 metres!

After that you are in Spain. The N-260 was the initial road of choice, and although starting off in the valley straights and wide, you get to see all colours of roads. Once it starts into the hills it is fantastic, the Spanish are not good at building constant radius bends, they just follow the lie of the land resulting in some surprising rollercoaster roads, absolutely bringing a smile to my face, oh and I took off the waterproofs after about 90 mins into the journey. I took some photos but nothing really can describe the changing colours and the light over the mountains. I stopped for a late lunch in Jaca. 16 euros for a 3 course posh dinner with coffee and dessert wine (which I didn't drink - sober October). Looking at the map I should just about make it back over into France for a hotel. Unfortunately I got lost in some very small single track roads, and it took me ages to find the border, by this time the wets were back on and I turned up in St. Jean Pied de Port at around 20:00. Luckily the first hotel had a room, so pizza and bed! A long but great day marred by dropping my phone and smashing the screen!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Road trip

I am off this week on the Daytona for my first hedonistic trip on the bike. I am heading for the "coast to coast" from the med. To the Atlantic. Apparently the roads are better on the Spanish side so I will be mainly in Spain, but starting from Perpignan in France and ending up at st. Jean de Luz in France also.

Today's part was to travel down to Perpignan, I decided to go a pretty direct route through the Ardeche, Cevennes and the Tarn. Finishing up on a portion of motorway (A75) down to Bezier and then Perpignan. I stopped at the beach to prove I at least got that far!

The roads I chose were for most part pretty good, although lots of the smaller roads had loose gravel newly spread on them, and these were less fun.

Tomorrow starts the real trip across the Pyrenees I hope the weather stays OK.

Saturday, 30 September 2017


Pierre-Luc and I went to Ledenon with my 3 bikes (350, 500 & 600). The 500 worked OK, but later on the Saturday it wasn't great, so took the 350 out for a couple of runs.

On the Sunday I tried the 500 for the first run, but even in the cool morning it wasn't going well, so went back to the 350 and PL on the FZR. We swapped over for a couple of runs, the 600 is really good fun and easy to drive.

No break downs or crashes, so a good weekend. Once home found a leak on the pickup again, which probably leaked because of using non petrol resistant silicon sealer (at Paul Ricard), also discovered a leak from one of the petrol connections, so that's all been fixed! Should be good to go for Ales next month!