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LTD250 (KZ 250) Project Bike

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Nicholai_Chev, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Earlier in the year myself and the Swinburne Motorcycle club set on a task of finding a cheap roughed up bike and as a workshop trainer to demonstrate basic servicing on. After a few weeks of searching we were contacted about this gem that was in need of some TLC.

    When I brought it I was informed it hadn't been started/for many years/(cough decades) and was missing a few parts including the CDI. After we took it it back to the garage and started drawing up a battle plan we were biting our fingernails wondering if we had bitten more then we could chew.

    Our first issue was the state of the electrical and ignition system, we hadn't been the first to tinker around with it and after 30 years was showing its age. The show stopper was the missing CDI unit, none of the wreckers had seen one in years, buying a genuine new one would cost over $500 and the aftermarket ones for half the cost were not compatible after inquiring.

    As we had blown our budget acquiring the bike and transporting it back we were forced to improvise!
    Google was little help, only finding one other person on the interwebs who knew how the ignition system worked (then quickly gave up and brought the genuine box) we knew it would be tough. After weeks of searching and trying our best to work out the ignition system a second hand service manual popped up on ebay giving us the answers we sought.

    This clarified why our AC CDI blew up and refused to let off a spark.
    Knowing this and the fact the bike (should have a mechanical advancer) he hit up ebay for the a $34 DC CDI with 6 pins which we could stamp a new plug onto. This turned out to be a blue Best-Tech CDI designed for a 250cc ATV.
    Blue Wire: Pickup +
    Yellow Wire: To Coil
    Red: 12+ Power (kill switch)
    Black: Pickup - / Ground
    Green: Ground

    Crudely jammed in for testing purposes we tried to turn over the bike without success however got a pop after spraying half a can of ethanol through the carb which inspired confidence. Although being assured the carb had been cleaned by the previous owner I took it off and spent the evening cleaning it out and unclogging the jets which had pretty much been cemented shut.

    After a day at work psyching myself up on getting the bike turning over I raced home and bolted it all back together for the big moment. Within 20 seconds it fired into life...then stopped and after a little bit of cursing started to idle.

    While taking us a few months, this is just the start!
  2. Update 2

    After getting the engine working was the task of getting the 20 years of rust out the tank as the bike had been sitting with minimal fuel.
    It was a debate between using acid or electrolysis however the later approach won as we couldn't afford to damage the tank and needed as much metal as we could in it!

    The tank was filled to the brim with water and a few spoons of bicarb soda to make it more conductive. Our main issue was due to the design of the tank we were very limited as to how far we could dip the sacrificial anode (tent peg) before it would short out against the tank bottom. We experimented with pencil graphite and various metallic objects however a tent peg proved the most successful and sat on ~400ma @12v for 3 days. During our testing we found flash rust was a real problem as if the tank sat empty for any longer then a few hours it would start visibly rusting. To overcome this after our last treatment we filled the tank with some oil and sloshed it around before emptying it and filling it with petrol.


    The oil and oil filter was replaced as it was disgusting and reeked of fuel. A few pesky screws stopped us in our track and required an easy out, even using the correct size JIS screwdriver!
    At the moment the airfilter is becoming the real problem as Kawasaki simply don't make them anymore and using the commonly suggested pod filter won't pass a rwc. The current thinking is to just cut the old paper out and replace it with foam.


    Otherwise the project is going along nicely and I've taken it out for a quick spin around the backyard, we still have a fair bit of work on tidying up the body, redoing the electrical's as the wires are disintegrating, sorting out the brakes and driveline then getting it on club plates. After that we might look into pulling the engine out the frame and respraying it.

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