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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to the forum and I tried doing a search but looked through 2 pages of search results and I couldn't find specifically what I was looking for. My bike is a 2000 ZX-12 with 54K miles.
I was driving to work a couple weeks ago at about 6K RPM when all of a sudden the bike sputtered and began making a tapping noise. I pulled over and it died but I was able to restart and limp the 5 miles back home under reduced power. It won't idle anymore unless I keep the rpm's high and the tapping is synced with engine speed. It's been parked since this happened.
I checked the valves today and 4 of them are out-of-spec...all on the exhaust side and all too tight. I did a valve adjustment about 20K miles ago so that's why most are still in alignment now. 3 of the out-of-spec ones are only off by one shim size but the 4th has zero clearance.
Is there a chance that the tapping I'm hearing is coming from the piston hitting that 4th valve? Is the valve opening too far and hitting the piston? It's cylinder number one.
 

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pull the oil pan and check for gold flakes.
 

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rod bearings

its possible its spit a valve shim and its sitting in there sideways taking up all the clearance, but im guessing the noise is the piston hitting the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, sounds like a rebuild is in store if that’s the case. Since the bike is fine otherwise, I may just do that. I bought the bike new so I’m kind of attached to it after almost 20 years of owning it.
 

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its just letting you know its ready for upgrades
 

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its how mine tell me lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've got most everything disconnected and fluids drained so I'm hoping to drop the motor this weekend. I've started looking at piston kits and I'd like to go bigger with a JE 1287 kit. I plan on dropping the heads off at the machine shop too and have them go through it but do you think I should replace anything in the head ( springs/seats/etc. ) since the motor does have 55K on it and I'm planning on keeping the bike for many more years?
 

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springs and valve seals
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice, guys. I don't mind spending some extra money on it since it's been pretty much problem-free all these years. I didn't get the engine dropped over the weekend as I had a hard time getting the front sprocket nut off and family stuff to do. I ended up wedging a piece of rebar in the rear wheel spokes to stop it from rotating. I'll get it dropped this upcoming weekend (I hope). I have the shop manual so I've been following that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
rod bearings

its possible its spit a valve shim and its sitting in there sideways taking up all the clearance, but im guessing the noise is the piston hitting the head.
You called it. Do you think the head can be repaired? Also, there’s a couple nicks in the cylinder wall. Do you think the wider bore will grind those out?
 

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I got the JE Piston/cylinder kit on mine, plus assorted head work & valve/cam upgrades etc. Makes a big difference in performance!
Posted my build & results in a thread under 1287 Build (I think).

Just checked, it's under "MY ZX1287 build"
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I’m not finding your build post searching from my phone. I only get 3 results and they’re all where you’ve mentioned your post but not the post itself. Lol. I’ll search from my computer later.

I checked out the JE 1287 piston kit at ZX Zone and they offer a cylinder head exchange, so if my cylinder is to chongered up to fix via boring I can go that route. I guess my main concern now is whether the bent valve has rendered the head un-usable or if I can somehow get the damage machined out. I attached pics of the damage in my last post and I’m hoping one of the gurus here can chime in with their opinion.
 

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That head and block are toast. Iy has gouged the cylinder walls so much that I don't see a repair for that. The head is in bad shape as well. I would look for a new engine and use that as parts.
 

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that cylinder block is a perfect core for a 3mm big bore kit

the head can be fixed, but replacing the seat and guide and getting a valve job might run more than a good used head. check with carpenter racing or competition cnc.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm going to go with the 1287 kit at the ZX Zone website KAWASAKI ZX PISTON KITS
I'm not finding any ZX12 stuff at Competition cnc's website...just ZX14 and Hayabusa parts. I don't minding spending up to $1K on a cylinder head/valves. I checked ebay and there's a couple on there. The one I'm interested in is this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/2000-2001-00-01-KAWASAKI-NINJA-ZX12R-ZX-12-ENGINE-CYLINDER-HEAD-T061/264315898509?hash=item3d8a748a8d:g:paoAAOSwizpc1CfV

Do I need to remove the clutch hub nut/washer to separate the cases? The manual recommends it. I can't stop that sucker from spinning. It looks like Kawasaki has a special clutch hub tool to hold it in place while you loosen the nut. I think I saw a couple threads on here about it. I'll check them out.
 
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