Looks like summer riding season is moving into more comfortable riding weather and we find ourselves already gearing up already for the coming months. My wife Robin and I will be heading to Barber Vintage Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL to celebrate our first anniversary at Barber Vintage Days in October and we’re pretty excited about it. One of the bikes we plan to take with us for display will be Hilo’s recently-completed Kawasaki H2 750 Triple project bike. Check it out.
We’ve also been in contact with the American Motorcycle Association and our company has been chosen to restore the official 2011 AMA Raffle bike, with all of the proceeds to benefit the AMA Hall of Fame and Museum. We’re psyched about this project and we will be showing pictures of the completed piece in the next blog.
Here is the bike in it’s current state. We’re starting out with an all original Z1-900 that has about 18,000 miles but had a rough storage life. It seemed to have all the normal things done to it, like aftermarket exhaust, recovered seat, little goofy things here and there. We’re just getting started with it cleaning it up and stripping off the old parts. We are fortunate to have a bike with the original motor, transmission, and swing arm intact, resulting in a fairly easy restoration. Some of the things that were changed on the bike where someone had put on a different rear brake backing plate, to the best of our knowledge this is for a 76 only, as it had the raised lettering where the wear indicator would normally go. On a ‘73 it came smooth with no indicator at all. We are planning to replace the springs on the rear shocks as well as go through the swing arm bearings after the powder coating. Also we’re going to put a 630-92 non-o-ring chain, as they did not come out with the o-ring chain until 74. We are reproducing the shock bolts ourselves, here in the states, along with the chain adjuster bolts, as the ’73 Z1 took the 8mm thread, rather than the normal 10 mm thread. (As in the late ‘74 and ‘75 Z1.) We are not exactly sure what we are going to do for fenders as of yet, we are leaning toward having a genuine fender re-chromed as on modern-day front fenders you can see the small spot welds from the outside. Whereas the weld process on the original fenders was a little different. This motorcycle is a later 73 model, which takes the modern day intake manifolds.
Avon Tyres has been very generous to send us 2 tires for the motorcycle. We are using a Roadrider AM26 120/90-18 65V on the rear, and a Roadrider AM26 Universal 100/90-19 on the front. We have entered into a nice relationship with Avon, so look for their product to appear on our web pages in the near future. The posters you see here are original Avon sales tools from 1953. These pieces of historical motorcycle memorabilia are handing in our shop. Check them out here. Avon has been manufacturing tires since 1904.
Spectro Oil of Ohio is providing chain lube, motor oils and other lubricants for this bike. We want to thank Greg Limber for supporting our projects as well as donating product at our local flat track races at Western Reserve Motorcycle Club of Salem Ohio.
We are going to try to build as correct a restoration as possible, with the idea of this motorcycle being used as it’s original intent – as daily transportation. This is why we are using modern-day tires and the Buchanan spokes which have been provided by Robert Buchanan. http://www.buchananspokes.net/. Look for Buchanan spokes on our web page. We’d like to thank Buchanan for supporting our interests and keeping vintage motorcycles on the road and competition bikes on the track.
We are starting to get a lot of support for the project in the way of our good friend, sponsor, motorcycle collector, and owner of ACE Powder Coating of Akron Ohio, Mr. Ed Vanaman. We’ve done several motorcycles for Ed, and he’s a strong supporter of our cause and between he and Hilo, they come up with some really cool off-the-wall ideas. If you’re looking for an expert powder coater, we strongly suggest you contact Ed and you can find his info on our links page. Hopefully you will meet him at Barber this year with us.
We are having the body work painted by Paintworkz of Mt. Clemons, Michigan. Ralph is very meticulous, lets the paint cure for a long time. Our intentions are to have this motorcycle done by Barber and will keep you posted on its progress. Thanks for checking in and we’ll see you on the road.