Sunday, 29 August 2010


All the bits arrived quick as lightning and packed better than anything you get off ebay care of Bo, so big thanks again to him. I got instruction by email:
Here are a couple of pics showing how to hook up the rec and reg. When I say switched 12V source I mean any wire that has 12V on it with ignition on and 0V with ignition off - you can hook it up to the wire that feeds your coils, the wire that feeds your brake light switch, basically any switched 12V source will do. I don't know how much of the stock wiring is left on our bike, but stock colour for switched power is brown. The green wire coming off the regulator is the power wire for the field coil - there should be a green wire running along the stator wires, that's the one you should connect to.The rest should be fairly self-explanatory, but don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
As for leaving the parts open to the elements, I don't see any problems there - I had the rectifier mounted under the stock battery box, which leaves it pretty much unprotected. The regulator was mounted in the stock position under the left side cover which is sort of semi-protected, never had any problems. It's a bit hard to see in the picture you sent me, but is the front of your electronics box solid? If so that may be a problem (wrong rec/reg aside) - the coils will get a bit hot when running and will need some air too cool them. You might want to cut some slots or holes in the front of the box, maybe a large hole with some grating installed to get airflow around the coils.

We put the rectifier on first and jammed it into a tiny space behind the battery, alongside the light switch with a bit of rubber inner tube shielding it and keeping it separate. Alongside that was a strange looking thing with the main + wire to the battery.

I am guessing from the manual that this is a starter relay. Alongside that is the back of the ignition key so its quite a squeeze. Wiring up the three yellows tidied up my wiring a lot and it was fun crimping up new connectors on old bits of wire.

Once the rectifier was wired up and in place my friend drilled a new hole to fix up the regulator under the battery box and we made up some longer bolts which came with the ignition coil mounts which I didn't use. We attached the brown straight to the back of ignition key, the black to the frame, but then we realised we couldn't find the green. The equivalent on the reg/rec we removed went nowhere and was folded on itself in the box. Tracing the stator wires we found an extra wire which went straight to the ignition key so we took that off and wired it to green on the regulator.

Fired it all up and it started great. Riding round the block (I hope I don't get an ASBO) it wasn't running right, but it seems to be one of the cylinders so I'll have a look at the top of the coils etc again in the morning. Anyway I was pleased it started.

UPDATE: Nope. I pulled an HT lead off the coil and widdened the hole so it jammed on a bit better, put it all back and now I am getting no spark nowhere. I am sure I have done something obviously stupid. I am running out of warm days to ride as well..

Saturday, 28 August 2010


To be honest I prefer the look of four cylinder chops, and I am glad I bought a chop with a "classic" engine as I might have been a lot more lost with something obscure. If I hadn't bought a four, I'd probably have bought a chop with an XS650 engine like one of these. Looking through the XS650 Chopper blog I have yet to find a bike I don't like...

The images link to the blog posts about these machines

Thursday, 26 August 2010


I've got a friend who loves trikes. Can't see the point of them myself but I've got to admit this Kawa GTR based machine looks really special. Especially the squiggle exhaust at the front.

Image links to the ebay auction.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Turns out the Z650 guru who has been helping me on the forum is from Denmark. He is sending me the separate rectifier and regulator I need, and has also been giving me advice on how to cool my coils without getting the internals of the electrics box wet. Bikers all used to be like this back in the day, obviously bikers who still gravitate around the machinery still are. Mind you its not surprising looking at the Z650 this guy owns, I'd be smiling! I particularly like the black exhaust pipes.

There has been a lot of love put into this, apart from the powder coating completely by the owner Bo:

- 1977 KZ 650 B1 frame, frontend and bodywork
- Frame braced and powdercoated
- 1979 KZ 650 D2 engine, completely rebuilt and painted w/PJ1 wrinkle
- Race cams, brand unknown, 9 mm/.354" lift
- Ape manual cam chain tensioner
- Harris 4 in 1 exhaust
- Henry Abe airfilter
- Dyna S ignition
- Dyna 3 ohm green coils
- Dyna plug wires
- Ignition relay mod
- Electrex 3-phase hi-output stator
- TourMax 3-phase reg/rec
- Completely rebuilt custom wiring harness
- H4 headlight conversion w/relays
- Mini blinkers front and rear
- Tomaselli clubmans mounted upside down Euro style
- Paolo Tarozzi chrome bar weights
- Chrome gauge covers
- SSK tapered steering stem bearings
- Wirth progressive front fork springs
- Hagon rear shocks for an EN500, 2" shorter than stock
- Polisport fork boots
- KZ 650 C front wheel w/ Metzeler ME 33 Laser 3.25/19
- Z1R front brake discs and calipers (stripped and polished)
- SS braided brake lines front and rear
- Zephyr 550 swingarm w/ custom made rear axle and pivot bolt
- GPZ 900R rear brake disc, mc, caliper and caliper mount
- Homemade bolt-on rear mc mount
- GPz 900R rear wheel w/ Metzeler Perfect ME 99 130/90/18
- KZ1000J rear sprocket hub
- JT 38T rear sprocket
- K&J 16T 14mm offset front sprocket
- RK XW-ring chain
- Homemade rear fender eliminator kit w/cats eye taillight
- Kawasaki sports seat
- Most bolts replaced with ss
- Various homemade bits and pieces

As far as the state of my bike so far, its pretty obvious to me now that the previous owner must have had no end of problems, thankfully the instructions for how to fix it look simple- even to me, but as I have said before, none of this bodes well for the overall condition, which makes me think I should dig a little deeper.

I found somewhere a bit further out of London who set bikes up on a dyno. Carbs and ignition in about 2-4 hours for £35 an hour. It costs £25 to hire a bike trailer, so I think once this rectifier and regulator are rectifying and regulating a day out is on the cards.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Looking through the Z650 forum has got me nostalgic for the bikes that got me, and the rest of British youth into Jap bikes in the first place. I remember there was a time when all you could get from Japan were these pocket rockets and they were wondering why they weren't selling. Then someone must have done some market research and things like the Zephyr came out and sold shed loads. They got the memo- if it works why change it?

The images link to the ebay sales.

First, a 1977 Z650B sold for £700. Note the three bolts on the alternator cover.

a really nice GS750

a totally rebuilt XS750 sold for £971

everyone's favourite- the Z1000 (though I preferred the shaft drive Z1000ST)

and who's this tosser with the mullet? Shit! That's me. On my first proper bike, a 1982 GSX400F, new to me about 1986 from a dealer for £545. In the background is a 1973 C50 which did 50 mph and still worked after standing two years when I gave it to some kids as a heath basher. The 80s was shit. But the bikes were great!

Sunday, 22 August 2010


Edited from here

KZ650 guru:

Hi Dave, welcome aboard.

It's a bit hard to make out from your pic, but does your stator cover (left side of engine) have 3 bolts sitting in a triangle in the center of the cover? If so your engine is a 77 with an excited field alternator that won't work with a combined reg/rec for a permanent magnet setup.

KZ650 newbie:

Yeah my bike has 3 bolts sitting in a triangle. You think someone has put the wrong rectifier/regulator on it? It was working for a month or so when I bought it. I just got a rectifier regulator (2 phase) this one thinking it was the right one but the one on my bike is three phase.

KZ650 guru:

Yes, I think someone put the wrong reg/rec on it. Your engine should have a separate rectifier and separate regulator.

The reg/rec in the first link is for a 1-phase (two yellow stator wires) permanent magnet setup, this setup is used on most 650s from 78 up to around (if I recall correctly) the 81 CSR models which use a 3-phase alternator.

The seller has the model years wrong - not necessarily his fault mind you, as themselves has incorrect info regarding 650 alternators on their website, but still wrong, should say 78 - 81.

The reg/rec in the second link is for a 3-phase (three yellow stator wires) permanent magnet setup as used on the CSR models and also for aftermarket 3-phase stators like the Electrex stator I have in my 650.

Your 77 has an excited field alternator, here's a very basic explanation of the differences between the two setups:

As the name suggests a permanent magnet alternator has a rotor/flywheel that is permanently magnetic (or rather, the rotor has permanent magnets attached to it). As the rotor/flywheel rotates the magnets pass by the stator windings and alternating current is induced in the stator and sent to the rectifier which turns AC into DC.

Then the regulator controls voltage by shunting excess voltage to ground before before sending voltage to the battery - the brown wire on the reg/rec is the voltage sense wire, used to read system voltage and control the reg/rec output.

In an excited field alternator the rotor/flywheel is not magnetic - a magnetic field is created by applying power to the field coil that sits inside the rotor/flywheel. The rotor/flywheel has some oddly shaped ribs - as the rotor/flywheel rotates through the magnetic field, the ribs disturb the field and alternating current is induced in the stator windings. This voltage is sent to the (separate) rectifier that turns the AC into DC and sends DC to the battery.

The excited field type regulator also has a brown voltage sense wire, but unlike the permanent magnet type regulator that works by shunting excess voltage to ground, an excited field type regulator works by interrupting the power supplied to the field coil.

The excited field type regulator is basically an adjustable electromechanical relay with a coil and a points set - when there's excess voltage on the brown sense wire the regulator/relay clicks and interrupts the power output to the field coil (green wire), there's no longer a magnetic field in the alternator and no AC output from the stator until voltage on the brown wire falls, the regulator/relay clicks back and restores power to the field coil.

Here's a brief overview of how reg/rec's are connected on the different systems:

A permanent magnet 3-phase type combined rec/reg has 6 wires: 3 yellow stator wires, a black ground, a brown voltage sense wire and a white (or white/red) output to battery.

A permanent magnet 1-phase type (as most of the 650's from 78> have) has 5 wires: two yellow stator wires, a black ground, a brown voltage sense wire and a white (or white/red) output to battery.

Note: some reg/recs do not have the brown sense wire but control reg/rec output internally.

An excited field separate rectifier has 5 wires: 3 yellow stator wires, a black ground wire and a white (or red/white) output to battery.

An excited field separate regulator has 3 wires: a brown voltage sense wire, a black ground wire and a green wire that is the output to the field coil.

In all 3 systems the brown voltage sense wire should connect to a switched 12V source - switched meaning no voltage with ignition off. On my 77 the brown sense wire connects to the a double plug on the brown wire supplying 12V to the blinker relay, but basically any switched 12V source will do.

The way your bike is set up (using the permanent magnet reg/rec), the rectifier part is working but since the permanent magnet type reg/rec has no way of controlling/interrupting power to the field coil, unregulated (too high) alternator output is sent straight to the battery which is probably why your coils are melting.

Can anyone else see billowing clouds or is it just me? And I have finally found something useful to do with the internet!


but forwards look.. This bike looks hilarious but there is no way I could sit like that for more than a minute in any situation let alone in control of a Motorbike. If I fell out of a plane I would probably end up in that position on the way down but with feet and hands skyward..

Friday, 20 August 2010


A new Rectifier/Regulator arrived in the post. I was taking panels off looking for a regulator till I realised I had a manual for the wrong bike! Looking on ebay I can only find Haynes manuals for the first 77/78 version of this bike with separate Regulator and Rectifier and three phase points, where as mine has a combined unit. So at the moment I have no idea how to check the alternator.

I joined three forums which look really useful:

Britchopper which is connected to a magazine of the same name which looks like it has some really interesting stories from India and Thaliand.

Kawasaki Owners Club where people are already helping me, and probably the one which is going to be the most useful to me: where I found this really beautiful Z650 bobber from the States.

I think I am fairly confident to fit this Rectifier/Regulator. I'm pretty certain it is fucked as the battery just drains and the bike conks out and the voltage across the battery drops rather than jumps when I rev the engine, but I am uncertain how to find why it burnt the coils in the first place.

I called a fairly well known bike fixers in Southwark asking if I could bring it in for them to check over once I had fitted the Rectifier/Regulator. The guy who answered the phone said he would ask his boss. I heard a really narky voice in the background saying "I hate working on home made bikes.. Well there is obviously something wrong with it.. he is going to have to give me shit loads of money.." and implying I was in some sort of position to be untrustworthy or rip them off.

Its a shame cos I heard of Chasbikes for years from various couriers who really rated them as very trustworthy with a good knowledge of Kawasaki engines. The guy who answered the phone said to bring it in but its not really encouraging is it. I thought the exchange was a bit ridiculous really as

I can't and don't want to force someone to work on my bike

If I am the customer who is handing over money to someone to do something I can't how can I rip them off?

What possible fucking advantage would it be for me NOT to tell a mechanic what is wrong with my fucking bike?

I would imagine mechanics are narky fuckers for good reason most of the time so anyway, no harm done. Next.

Talking "no harm" its 4 am and we just narrowly avoided having the house burnt down by fire jugglers who I gave a bucket of petrol I emptied out a while back! Swinging balls of flame next to an open bucket of petrol. hmmmm maybe not such a good idea. When I gave it to her she said "I know what I am doing..." I will post a picture of the damage in the morning.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Was taking everything apart with a friend on Sunday and checking it all out. Bike was grumbling on two cylinders. I was starting to worry about the wisdom of buying second hand coils on ebay. As a last resort I started taking the coils out to swap them and see what happens and I noticed I hadn't connected the HT lead properly on the far coil. The bike started fine which made me grin with embarrassment and off I went up to Camden. Almost there the bike started grumbling again and cut out. Nothing happened at all when I turned the ignition but I managed to wheel it round the corner and park it outside MTV on Hawley cresc. I met the rest of the band and a prospective new drummer at the Inspiral cafe fully expecting to have to call the recovery again afterwards.

I think I was moving pretty slowly due to a hangover and my phone couldn't call out so Mr fastfingers came round to where I was parked- and the bike magically came to life again. He kept the engine running while I frantically got the lock off the bike and my jacket and helmet on and off I went. I lasted as far as Kings Cross before the grumbling, power loss and general feeble ailing sound returned. This bike is so nice when it works!

It finally cut out again on Old st roundabout where I set about trying to blag a phone to call the breakdown. Everyone said no, and really enjoyed saying no except for a really nice Russian taxi driver. I gave him three quid and he ended up lending me the phone three times over the two hours I was waiting, as he went off on a job and came back every half hour or so.

It was a bloody cold corner to stand on. It took two hours because the vehicle which came out for me broke down! The guy who picked me up was really cheery and another chopper fanatic. What is it with breakdowns and choppers? I know. I shouldn't have asked. I'm bloody glad I got breakdown as part of my insurance.

Anyway he reckons it was a flat battery or the rectifier and told me a way to test it which I can't work out for the life of me and the manual says something totally different. Looking around google throws up more questions than answers. Some people say powder coating frames leads to bad earthing. A friend tested it and the voltage across the battery is supposed to jump, and it didn't so I am going to have one last look for where it could be shorting and then replace the rectifier, see what happens.

Its fun owning motorbikes eh.

Saturday, 14 August 2010


Well I got back from France and took the side panel off. Both coils were totally burnt. I got some second hand coils off ebay and fitted them. It fired up for a bit but wasn't happy to idle. Lot of black smoke from the left exhaust. All the plugs were sooty except for plug 1 which was oily -the same side I had an oil leak when I first got the bike home. I am not sure if maybe I have a leaky gasket or the mix wrong. The guy I bought it from said he had new valves fitted so maybe they are just wearing in? An old friend I reconnected with on facebuk told me about something called a colourtune which looks quite useful.

Anyway I flattened the battery pretty quickly trying to start it. The battery level was very very low. The bike had been standing for a year so maybe its time for a new one. The points look good though. The new coils felt really hot at the top and the bottom. Is that normal? I am charging the battery overnight see what happens in the morning.

Before I went on holiday I got a paddock stand from a bike shop round the corner which was closing down. I thought I might as well put some oil on the chain so I took it out of the packet and it is almost the same colour as my bike. Very nice. If I was a hippy I would say it was a sign.


Well it starts but its running really rough and doesn't really want to tick over. It is giving out the chip smell again so I am worried that it is going to burn out these coils too. What makes a bike burn its coils?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Neither of these are bikes that I would ride or buy, and only one of them has a Japanese engine. I am not really into show bikes at all but I thought I would slip these two in here because everything else is fuck ugly on ebay at the moment and although they are both way over the top they are both almost tasteful. Its all about the lines man..

First a Subaru wheeled VT600 engined err.. skull machine? Its even got a name.

Next a classic Bulldog Bash winning Triumph with an amazingly clean engine and incredibly stupid forks.