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Old 7th July 2016, 11:45   #16
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

I think one of the models i.e. the one where they have four headlamps (two single units on either side), had one pair with the bulb in the centre.

And the plus point was that they can fit halogen bulbs (with even 100w).
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Old 7th July 2016, 23:32   #17
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

@Atul: Nah, this is definitely an on-road hooligan in its current avatar... that was the whole idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankpin View Post
I used the KB100's mid-crankcase to use a delta-box/ resonator on my 125. I also had to grind off the bottom fins on the right of the alu-block of the 125. Later on upgraded to a Shogun power-box unit which I tucked away under the fuel tank
I had also modified my clutch case/ housing to accommodate more plates as the 125 had a more powerful engine but sadly the clutch ( at least the 1'st lot 125s) was the same as that on the 100cc bike.
Thanks for your comments / info.

I'd thought of that delta-box mod for the 125, but figured it might move the power band even lower down the rpm scale, which in the case of the 125 is actually the opposite direction from where I'd like to be going. Would be interesting to observe the effects, though. Bet it would do nice wheelies...!

Clutch: I did the same using the Caliber 115 "Hoodibaba" (5-plate) clutch setup. I think I had to machine the splined hub down a bit (maybe couldn't get the c-clip on without the mod, can't remember exactly), but otherwise it was quite easy.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 7th July 2016 at 23:36.
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Old 24th January 2017, 12:47   #18
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 25th January 2017 at 21:43.
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Old 17th June 2017, 23:09   #19
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

Well, with me needing to get the 20-year registration renewal done before July, it was time to start fixing up the KB...

A couple months ago T-Bhp's moderators - perhaps with some mystical perceptions (or common wisdom) driving them - had moved my Hyosung Comet 250 (naked) thread to the "Assembly Line"... where it has remained... on account of that "done deal" becoming, well, undone.

Since that thread will never be completed or have content added now, well, this was the bike - a beauty, a kind of dream machine for me:

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170325_112747smudged.jpg


The sound of this 90-degree v-twin - particularly with the Kaulson Racing Products pipe - was just such intoxicating music to my ears. Addicting. Mesmerizing. Thrilling.

It's a very simple machine - no fairings, no instrument cluster, no radiator or sensors, no frills. Simple to work on, and plenty of power (around 30bhp I suppose, with the pipe and K&N filter, and good tuning).

The higher frequency power-strokes of a twin allow you to lug it down low so smoothly... and it would still get shrill and really pull harder as the revs went up. Meaning it was very flexible - and very satisfying whether putting around or really hitting it hard. It handled nice. It braked nice. It looked absolutely great with the original metallic red paint in near mint condition. The top end had been meticulously rebuilt. And it had relatively low miles done. In fact the former owner was really a little nuts about maintenance. These v-twins are pretty Suzuki-like in design (same engineers responsible), and quite reliable (this was the carb'ed version) to begin with. Gosh, I WANTED this bike...

I'd already paid half... and the other half was only an ATM away... So why did I ultimately ask the owner - a friend - to let me off the hook?

Well... the answer - oddly enough - was sitting right beside it here:

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170325_114227b.jpg


Oh. I already HAVE a naked, small-displacement, no-frills, fun (and originally / again soon to be RED) little "sportbike"!!!


I rode the Comet around for a couple days and really enjoyed it... but then got back on the KB125 RTZ and realized I enjoyed it pretty well just as much.

The Comet is a better all-rounder, capable of much higher sustained speeds... but here in the hills there is no opportunity for sustained high speeds, and if I were to tour in the plains (which I've almost never done), then I'd have to be worrying about spare parts issues with the Comet. And the Comet, beautiful as it was, was going to cost me around a lakh... and the KB was sitting there in my parking already, just needing a little TLC. Power-to-weight ratio is about the same. Braking performance is about the same. And the KB's a lot more nimble / toss-able / light, and still plenty stable at typical hill highway speeds.

One final note: My five-year-old, like me, loved the sound of the Comet when he heard it, becoming rather enthused. But after about five minutes of riding on it, he felt uncomfortable. Sitting in front was impossible due to the high tank and small seat recess. Sitting on the back, with me leaned toward the bars, he was too far from me and didn't feel confident holding on. Retrieving him from school one day on the Hyosung, I asked him, "How do you like this bike - should we buy it?" He replied with a big, more-reasonable-than-his-papa, "WHY???"

Hmmm... excellent question.


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The owner's wife herself hated riding on the back of this thing...

And it was becoming evident that this was really going to be all about ME... one nice ride a week maybe to go have dinner with a buddy...

What a ride it would've been... but then again, the KB fit that bill perfectly too, and I could still put both my kids comfortably on it... and sometimes, even the whole family.

My wife's been complaining of its ugliness for years now...

But that is soon to change.

More soon,

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 17th June 2017 at 23:23.
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Old 17th June 2017, 23:44   #20
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

First up, WIRING. Neither of my KB's, in all my years of ownership, had ever had working turn indicators. After some intense begging and assurances that I'd TRY to get them fitted, the MVI had let it slide last time - but had kept a note in the file specifying that it was not to be passed again without them.

Main trouble here is that, well, besides the indicator switch lever being missing (I'd taken it out years ago and seem to have lost it), the wiring was just a mess - old, brittle, cracking insulation, with a couple choice splices and plenty of the harness missing entirely, including whatever lead may once have gone to the turn indicator relay unit.

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170608_175844.jpg

(Couldn't for the life of me remember where I could've kept the levers from either the KB100 or the 125... Ultimately had to adapt one from a discard RX100 unit).


Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170608_104502.jpg


Second of all, the original system had three separate output leads from the stator: One for the ignition (CDI); One lead (connected downstream to a regulator) for headlamp / horn etc; and a separate line for the indicators / brake (if I'm remembering all this right), which was rectified but oddly not regulated (I do have the entire wiring diagram as contained in the KB100 owner's manual, and I guess the now missing battery was supposed to do some rather crude / rudimentary regulating on that line; Without it, serious, bulb-fusing over-voltages have always been my woe).

Well, with new, low-current LED indicator, brake, and tail-lamps now being fitted, I figured I could do without the unregulated, rectified DC lead entirely and just run everything off the main headlamp lead. I put in the new Swiss stator assembly I'd bought years ago but never installed, made my own jugaard rectifier/stabilizer using a single diode and a 4700-microfarad, 25v capacitor, ran complete new wiring (extremely simplified now) the entire length of the bike, and wrapped it all up in electrical tape... and by God's grace (yes, I was praying) everything actually worked!

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170609_172534.jpg

(note, unrelated, my solution for the heavy, leaky, original airbox - a perfectly-fitting automotive air-intake piece from the scrapyard, and a K&N type cone filter...)


Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170609_172542.jpg



Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170609_172548.jpg


Also went to the trouble to re-wire for DRL's (Daytime running lights as they're called in N. America, A.K.A. AHO, Automatic Headlamp On) as per 2017 Indian safety norms. So no, can't switch 'em off now... I almost always ran with them on all these years anyway, and now that otherwise bored bystanders (and occasionally even police) won't be harassing me about it all the time, I'm going to shine my light with pride!!!


I'll post pics of the LED units after the bike's fully assembled...

But now onto the bodywork / paint...

Last edited by ringoism : 17th June 2017 at 23:53.
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Old 18th June 2017, 00:05   #21
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

The tank had been modified back in my days of touring on this machine (Leh, Western Nepal, etc) for greater capacity. Up from the original 11+ to around 13.5, done up nicely by a friend from Delhi who's in that line of business. It was delivered rough though, just formed / welded / ground. I thought the added height looked good in contrast with the thinned seat of my little "cafe racer" so stuck with this vs. the original. It's actually the KB100 piece, which has the original gold-colored K-Bajaj insignia... which really should set off nice against the red paint...

But now, with the exposed extra welds and some small dents besides, it was time to get to some painstaking work...

I've done the bodywork / paint on several cars over the years but am no expert... meaning that I CAN get it done right, but it takes me a huge amount of time, work, and re-work...

This is, come to think of it, the first time I'd done a bike.


Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170609_205030.jpg

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The frame had to be cleaned up / painted a bit, too. For lack of time (inspection date rapidly approaching) couldn't totally strip it down totally, so this will have to do for now...

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170612_200529.jpg

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170612_194010.jpg
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Old 18th June 2017, 00:27   #22
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

I discovered just last week that a newly-established, much-better-than-typical-local-standard automotive workshop (friendly / professional / clean / well-stocked) north of Manali actually had, nestled away in a back corner, a REAL PAINT BOOTH!!!!

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170617_121130.jpg

Yeah, the kind with I guess many hundreds of watts of well-placed flourescent lighting all around, massive fan-driven, filtered, downdraft ventilation, continuous, clean air supply, and floor-exit exchange air and drainage so that the whole place can be easily washed down and made suitable for near dust-less, factory-quality refinishing.

I almost jumped for joy!!!

(all the other local workshops are pretty much painting outdoors in the dirt, with mostly corresponding results - my having done so for lack of other options with our Marshal was a major compromise / hassle ).

I've got a little, ailing Chinese compressor in my workshop. I knew it could give up at any moment... And I'd been already struggling to SEE properly in my own workshop; Even when trying to simply lay primer I was getting a poor finish and runs. And gosh, this is just not the kind of thing I do everyday. I don't even know how to mix the paint to the right consistency, without using a viscosity cup (which is nowhere locally available)... and my hardener/activator for the paint was fully five years old and of questionable efficacy...


"A MAN'S GOT TO KNOW HIS LIMITATIONS" said that modern-day 'prophet', Dirty Harry (a.k.a. Clint Eastwood)....

So... I had a talk with this establishment's painter - young fellow by the name of Khalid - who turned out to be a real Godsend...

Not only helped me find and rectify the few remaining minor flaws (two heads are better than one - and four hands better than two, I suppose!

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170617_121209.jpg

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170617_121519.jpg

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170617_123752.jpg


But boy, does this man know how to lay on a nice coat of paint!!!


Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170617_132012.jpg


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Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170617_133245.jpg),


Just very, very attentive to detail; there were several points where I saw some minor thing and said, "Thik hai, chalega", and he'd reply by telling me it was no trouble whatsoever to take care of it and make it right. He really took his time with this (a few hours altogether, I suppose) and the results speak for themselves...

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170617_133253.jpg
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The denting, for all my efforts, seems to have turned out just about perfect, and I'd like to express a huge thanks to Khalid, a truly conscientious tradesman who appears to be as demanding of himself as anyone else could be of him. Kudos!!

Well, tomorrow's my off day, Sunday, though I hope to pick up the dried / cured parts in the morning. I'll have to be up early Monday morning assembling everything on the bike, before heading an hour down to the district capital to pay my "passing fees" and hopefully see the thing inspected same day...

Let's see!!!

Last edited by ringoism : 18th June 2017 at 00:40.
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Old 18th June 2017, 18:51   #23
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

Newly painted stuff just kinda hung on there to finish curing...

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170618_134559011.jpeg


I have to say, regardless of what anyone else may think, I am REALLY liking the whole look and stance of this bike.

I need to get a speedo cable and a tach needle put on, otherwise all's about ready and the rest is pretty fully functional. Am hoping the MVI feels it's fit for the road for another several years - it may not be stock, but in almost every way is much safer / better than the original.


For anyone else who's doing a resto/refurb of one of these old KB's, I thought I'd include a copy of the original wiring diagram here, taken from a '92 KB100RTZ owner's manual:

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-kb-wiring-complete.jpg


Not quite as complex as it looks, but if you're doing a mod and don't need things like a neutral indicator light or battery-run parking lamps, etc, then whole thing comes down to just a few indispensable wires, for which maybe I'll post my sketch later.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 18th June 2017 at 18:53.
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Old 18th June 2017, 20:38   #24
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

@Eric, the bike's coming up nicely ! Wish I could ride at least once, for old times' sake

Any plans / chances of an original instrument cluster ?
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Old 19th June 2017, 07:12   #25
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Newly painted stuff just kinda hung on there to finish curing...

Attachment 1649296


I have to say, regardless of what anyone else may think, I am REALLY liking the whole look and stance of this bike.

I need to get a speedo cable and a tach needle put on, otherwise all's about ready and the rest is pretty fully functional. Am hoping the MVI feels it's fit for the road for another several years - it may not be stock, but in almost every way is much safer / better than the original.


For anyone else who's doing a resto/refurb of one of these old KB's, I thought I'd include a copy of the original wiring diagram here, taken from a '92 KB100RTZ owner's manual:

Attachment 1649299


Not quite as complex as it looks, but if you're doing a mod and don't need things like a neutral indicator light or battery-run parking lamps, etc, then whole thing comes down to just a few indispensable wires, for which maybe I'll post my sketch later.

-Eric
This KB100RTZ was a superb bike. I had one between 1993 to 1996, getting rid of it only because I bought my first Maruti 800.
It was a very well balanced motorcycle and its longer wheelbase gave it greater stability than the other bikes around at the time. Good for a tall chap like me.
Great bike.

I remember it used to cost Rs 15860 when it was launched in 1987-1988. And their ads were very nice. They used to say - "You can also ride it to the Club".
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Old 20th June 2017, 20:11   #26
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
@Eric, the bike's coming up nicely ! Wish I could ride at least once, for old times' sake

Any plans / chances of an original instrument cluster ?
Well, if you're ever up in Manali, do stop in...

Re: the original cluster, well, absolutely not. The purists will hate this fact, but I happily threw mine away after riding with it for a few years. I mean I literally junked it. Just too rattly / plasticky, yet still not that lightweight, because it had a metal mounting frame and was rather large. And since I was going more to the roundish look (vs. the squarish) of the original headlamp, etc, the minimalist round meters were exactly what I wanted. I don't even have a high-beam indicator, and may not bother adding one. Minimalism - whatever doesn't add considerable value / functionality, discard. Focus on the motoring part, the performance part, not on whether you've got a parking light circuit (bikes are hardly any fun for the would-be-rider at all when parked)!!!

BTW, the speedometer, to be even less pure, is a replica Smith's of England (that was just for fun)!!! What I WOULD like to do would be to find another rubber bezel like the one on the right, which was salvaged, I think, from a Thunderbird meter.

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-p6200944.jpg


For anyone not already clear on this point, the project was all about improving / enhancing the original, while retaining its basic spirit. Anyone with a doubt about whether that objective has been attained can feel free to bring along any stock KB and put it through its paces alongside mine ! See which bike gets more looks / compliments out on the street, and honestly assess which one you'd rather be riding on twisty mountain roads, on the highway, or stoplight-to-stoplight...

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-p6190920smdgd.jpg


Read through the KB threads and you see that they were under-geared, under-braked (by modern standards), and under-clutched, all things I've rectified here. Some were saying they seemed most naturally in their "groove" at 40-50kmph, this one's perfectly confidence-inspiring and comfortable on hill roads at 70. They were more stable than the competition on account of the longer wheelbase, and I've done it one better by increasing it another couple inches (which also helps prevent uncontrolled wheelies!). They were nimble and light, and I've made it even lighter. They were quick, and this one is almost certainly quicker. I really could care less whether it had the original mirrors or any of the other peripherals, so long as it is functional and aesthetically pleasing.

(the mirrors - very lightweight and nicely designed - that I got in Mizoram over this last winter just happened to be the same color as the paint I'd bought for the bike over five years ago and never got to applying!)

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-p6200941.jpg


Just sayin'... If I'd wanted to do a full restoration, I could have quite easily, as almost all the original parts were (and some still are) in my hands (check the pic of my black KB100RTZ at the end of my first post). But that is just not what I was interested in AT ALL.

(The gold-anodized triangular KB100 emblems here look so much better than the plastic chrome ones of the KB125 that I fit the one I had (if anyone knows where I can find one for the other side, please inform).
Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170620_163122.jpg
Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-img_20170620_141502.jpg


A lot of the reason that many 'classic' cars/bikes are hardly actually used on the road is that they are seriously deficient in some ways in comparison to modern machinery. But this one, apart from the NVH, is really in every way competitive with any other small-displacement sporting machine available in the market currently. It's geared right, handles right, has loads of torque, has powerful brakes, and is wonderfully responsive in every way.

Way back in the beginning (2005) I rode my KB100 RTZ in stock form for only a few days before realizing that it was just not going to do what I wanted it to: Rear suspension was hard, seat was terribly uncomfy, 1st to 2nd gear ratio gap was huge, front brake was quite poor, etc... and thus the evolution began...

Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-p6200940.jpg
Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog-p6190923.jpg

It has served me will and presumably will continue to. Oh, what a ride I had yesterday on the twisty hill roads on the way back from its "passing" (20-year inspection)... a real smile-generator.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 20th June 2017 at 20:18.
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Old 22nd June 2017, 09:18   #27
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

From purely a function over form POV it would be better if you could scrap those fancy plain mirror RVM's and go for a decent pair of purpose built RVM's. My personal favorite is the RTR RVM's the view is just commendable.
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Old 22nd June 2017, 09:35   #28
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

Eric, Your bike looks nice. One doubt, The induction resonator came in the next model is it. Also are you based in Manali?. I will be touching Manali on next friday after Pangi valley drive
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Old 22nd June 2017, 11:16   #29
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

Your bike's tank has the mounting for the " Intake resonator". The KB125 didn't have those and they came on the earlier 100s. So you could also try installing the KB100s Power-Box/ intake resonator box onto this. I had one installed on my KB125 back then and it did make a significant difference on the initial and mid-range rpms. You'll have to grind a bit of the last 2-3 fins on the RHS side of the block.

Also, you'll have to get an older KB100s RHS crankcase to be able to fit it as that came with the nozzle to attach the resonator hose onto...bit of a headache to find now I guess.

I remember I had modified my bike's clutch as well...the 125 came with the 100s clutch plates and clutch basket so wasn't too effective to handle the extra 25cc power...can't remember what exactly though!

Last edited by Crankpin : 22nd June 2017 at 11:21.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 10:44   #30
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Default Re: Revived, rough & ready: Kawasaki KB125 RTZ Junkyard Dog

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Re: the original cluster, well, absolutely not.

And since I was going more to the roundish look (vs. the squarish) of the original headlamp, etc, the minimalist round meters were exactly what I wanted.

Read through the KB threads and you see that they were under-geared, under-braked (by modern standards), and under-clutched, all things I've rectified here.
The round headlamp and circular instruments do look better than the original rectangular set-up. Now, if you could only find a way to incorporate 'Kawasaki' monogram (which the original bike had on its instrument pad), it would be a tribute to its origin

Just my two cents on the latter part of your post -

a. KB had a rotary (intake) disc. Getting the timing right was a skill. If you get it right, it had one of the best pickups. Loose it, then it was all smoke and no fire!

b. The accelerator cable used to be split into two - one for the cable and the other for the oil pump. I can see that you have retained the set up - from the pictures. In my experience, the quality of 2T oil is critical for its performance. Preferred to Gulf to Castrol. Later on switched to ELF - don't know what is available in the market now.

c. Similarly, the engine oil. The result of these two will get reflected in the exhaust and the spark plug.

d. The exhaust itself needs its own care - workshops used to wrap steel wool on the inner (perforated) pipe which was then inserted into the silencer. One can easily make out when it needs cleaning from the exhaust (growling) sound. (I hate the closed units of today's 4 strokers).

e. After the first re-bore (while approaching 1,00,000 kms), switched over to Mahle piston kit. There was one more available - 'Usha'? My mechanic swore by them (especially, as Yamaha rode on (escorts) Mahle). The pick up was definitely better.

f. Finally, the chain and sprocket kit - bajaj replacement kits weren't up to the mark. I used TI Diamond (racing) Chain kit, which was much better.

I had owned KB100 from 1988 to 2004. An experience which I will always cherish......


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankpin View Post
Your bike's tank has the mounting for the " Intake resonator". The KB125 didn't have those and they came on the earlier 100s.
The original KB100 (the monogram of which eric has used in the side panel) -
- was followed by KB100 RTZ (the monogram of which is on the petrol tank - the original had 'Kawasaki' as opposed 'K-bajaj') -
- which was then given an 'upgrade' to KB100 RTZ DELTA Super Tuned Engine (when the 'Resonator' box was introduced) -
- and was retained in 'KB125' if I am not mistaken.....

Last edited by vrprabhu : 23rd June 2017 at 10:47. Reason: Corrected grammatical errors
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