June 2006 26
TX500 Frozen Engine
After deciding the TX500 engine was not going to break loose with any amount of soaking or pressure I tore into the top end. What I found was an incredible amount of rust and gunk built up on the cylinder walls and the pistons. No suprise there I suppose. A replacement cylinder is on the way, as well as new piston kits. A replacement cam chain (had to be cut) and gasket set will be much harder to source.
Both 400 Twins are Sold!
Both of the 400cc inline twin bikes got picked up a few days ago. The same buyer took both of them. I’ll certainly miss the XS it was a blast to zip around on.
Battle of the 400cc SOHC’s
I currently have both an Yamaha XS400 and a Kawi KZ400. They are both single cam bikes from the mid seventies, and for grins I rode them back to back. Here is a little break down of their respective performances.
The KZ400 motor seems to be lacking power in the lower RPM range but then screams flat out up top. The XS400 is quite the opposite and is very torquey and quick off the bottom but loses steam once the speeds go up. Neither bike has a good performing front brake, but no brakes excelled in the 70’s. The XS400 feels lighter and is certainly more nimble than the KZ but does not feel as stable at high cruising speeds as the KZ does. Asthetically both bikes look fairly similar, the XS is a bit more linear where-as the KZ has more rounded edges. The KZ is built for a very short rider and has a lower seat height and closer pegs and controls, the XS is a bit more spacious (but not necessarily more comfortable). All in all the KZ seems to lend itself more to cruising and travelling, and the XS seems like it was built more directed at zipping around town and running errands.
If I had to ride only one I think I would lean towards the XS soley for the reason that it is a bit more roomy and I am a tall rider. If the KZ had its pegs lowered and short handlebars were put on it I’d imagine this would change my mind.
1974 Kawasaki KZ400
This bike is fresh from the barn. It looks pretty poor, there is a lot of rust and the paint has certainly seen better days. It took about 30 minutes to bring this bike back from the dead. I hadn’t run since 1988 I am told. After a good tune up this little bike will be a great beginners bike. Did I mention it has less than 6,000 miles on the clock?
1975 Yamaha TX500
This bike just rolled in yesterday. It’s in pretty good shape, but the engine is locked up tight. Hopefully it can be freed up and started but either way this motor is getting torn down. Unfortunately TX’s are few and far between, because of this replacement parts (particularly internal engine parts) will be difficult to source. Progess will be posted here.
KZ Rear Wheel
This is the bikes rear wheel after it has been thouroughly cleaned, painted and polished. It looks absolutely awesome and has a fresh Bridgestone BT45 tire on it.
Final Paint Coats Finished
It took a while to get all the coats on this motor, but the kz550 motor is ready to rock and looks nice and shiney. There are many layers of primer, paint, and clear on this engine, hopefully I won’t have overheating issues. I guess we’ll just wait and see.
Just rolled a 1974 Yamaha TX500 8-valve into the shop tonight. Tomorrow I’m going to pick up a 1980 Kawasaki KZ400. Both bikes are in pretty decent shape. The motor of the TX is stuck pretty good, but the head will get pulled tomorrow and we’ll sort out what the problem is. Both bikes will be turned around and up for sale very shortly, so if you’re in the market check back soon.
1978 CB836 Sold!
This bike sold a little while ago but I felt it should be noted. It was fun to put together and awesome to cruise on. It had an 836 kit in the motor, and electronic ignition, and some other goodies. The new owner couldn’t be disappointed.
1982 CB650 Sold!
This is the bike as it was brought into the shop. I forgot to take a photo of it as it left, so there is no after. This was a great little bike. With some minor assembly, a good carb cleaning, and a couple odds and ends this bike looked and ran great. Bye.