Kawasaki World banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, I thought to introduce myself. I'm in the UK, I've owned my ZX12R A1 for 5 years, I think! It has has received heavy use, in all weathers imaginable. From a beautifully warm summer's evening, to having to park it up at the side of the road because the snow fall was too much to continue, and then going back to it the next morning to brush off the snow,and all the rain in between.

Simply the best machine I have ever bought, and it's a major part of my life, and I can't see myself getting rid of it now. It's worthless to most people, except myself. I know the bike inside-out, it's been through thick and thin, and I just love it. It's a priceless bike for me.

I've been using Kawasaki World over these years as a source of information, but now I'm doing the rebuild, I thought to register to ask specific questions.

Let's get to it!

______________

Bought the bike in mint/concours condition, it had never seen a wet day or high a speed, it was like brand new. I then used it within an inch of its life, and it's been on life-support in my garage for the last 6 months, while I've been using other bikes.

In no order, this is what I plan to do.

- Head bearings (have a significant notch in the centre point of the steering)
- Swing arm has a potential crack in it (not sure if it's cracked paint, or a real crack). So I'm thinking of getting another swing arm off another A-model, and having it refurbished.
- Rebuild the rear shock (don't have the budget for an aftermarket one, and I never complained about the stock one - I just rode the bike!)
- Replace the radiator, as my stock radiator looks like it's been dragged out of a swamp, even after a wash.
- Valve clearances
- New rectifier (I have a brand new, re-wound stator which I will solder to the new rectifier - a piece of info obtained from Kawasaki World :))
- New battery
- Plenty of other minor stuff like new bolts where needed, small cosmetic things such as wheels powder coated, etc.

And then the major one...

- New fork lowers from a later model ZX, the ones with the radial caliper mounts. The main question, and reason I have joined the forum, is to ask:

Will my upper fork parts/bits/internals, accept radial lowers with accompanying stanchions, with no drama whatsoever? Or, is there more I have to buy?

Regards the calipers, I'll just fit anything from that period, and run a 10mm spacer to take them up over my stock diameter discs.

The bike is in bits, it's all ready to go - all I need is a definitive go-ahead from the Kawasaki World experts, as to whether or not these lowers will go straight in, with no messing.

I've been looking for years, for a set of radial forks, but none have ever come up. There are some for sale now in the USA, advertised on eBay, but they have 25k on them, and who knows how much life is left in those stanchions. My stock stanchions have worn a significant amount.

Regards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
One other question.

The head bearings. Looking on the parts site, I can see a difference in the way the stem and bearings look between the A1, and the very last B6F. Forgive me, but is there a reason for this - is the B6F stem and bearing setup, an improvement over the A1?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,462 Posts
I think radial calliper discs are 300mm diameter, and earlier models are 310mm diameter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
The lower fork sanctions from later model should work just fine in your earlier model uppers. As far as the steering stem I don't think they changed it for any performance/reliability issues. I believe they changed it to be a more universal part among other makes and models so no gains from changing to b model stem and bearings. The radial disks are 300mm and axial are 320mm so adding the 10mm spacers under the calipers will allow you to retain stock rotors. If I was you while upgrading to radial brakes I would use calipers from a zx14 or the brembos from an r1 and upgrading the master cylinder to one from a zx10r.
Just my 2 cents. Good luck hope everything comes together for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
I think A and B models have different sized head bearings, so it's not going to be a straight exchange.

It is my belief that complete radial forks from a late radial model will be a straight swap for earlier axial forks. Plus new calipers of course. Probably caliper spacers to keep the 320mm rotors.
I have inquired via Kawasaki several times to find out the compatibility of the lowers and uppers. They have failed to get back to me every time, even enquiring through main dealers has failed. As my forks need a rebuild and the tubes are bubbling, I was tempted to buy NEW, Radial, OEM lower castings with tubes at £300 per side and rebuild them into my B2H (axial) uppers and internals.
Tomorrow I shall take the radial 12R forks (that I bought from the US last month) into MCT Suspensions in Stowmarket. The uppers of the radial ones I bought look a bit marked, so I got them quite cheap. I intend to use the radial lower castings, add new replacement tubes if necessary and rebuild with my existing uppers and whichever internals suit. I would prefer them to refurb my internals and add decent springs. They can refurb the internals that come with the radial forks if necessary.
I doubt if they will look at it tomorrow, but I can feed back as soon as I can.

New, good quality inners seem to come from a bit over £100 per side if they are required.
I'm not a fan of re-chroming.

FYI
A lot of Ebay folk in the States use USPS. They have an arrangement to use ParcelForce in the UK
This was my experience....Priority International Service.
Forks tracked via 3 USPS stops in the US on the way to San Fransisco. This took 3 days.
Then they tracked again 2 days later in UK customs.
They stayed in UK customs for 4 days.
Then the tracking showed that they had crossed the desk to customs charging.
Another day later they tracked as going to ParcelForce national depot.
A day later they were at my local depot.
ParcelForce then POST you an invoice from the local office. You have to wait for the 17 digit number on the letter before you can pay the taxes. Like the fucking dark ages!!!
USPS uses ParcelForce 48 hour service.
After you have paid up, ParcelForce then take 2 days to turn up with the forks.
SOOOO frustrating.
This can take a lot longer!!!!
I have imported a lot of stuff from the States usually using UPS. The whole business is usually no more than a few days! Including customs billing.

I would suggest asking about and paying for an International Courier if you are in any kind of a hurry.

They will charge you 20% VAT on entry to the country. ParcelForce then charge you an £8 fee for all of their incredible effort. £12 if it's on a 24hr service.

If the forks cost, say... £200
Carriage £50 or 60 with USPS
Customs bill probably £55 with fees
New tubes if necessary £120 fitted plus VAT each if done professionally.
If the forks have pitted tubes and you need to replace them it's going to cost you very similar money to buying new from Kawasaki at £316 per side including VAT!
I'll also pay for refurb and springs
Then buy radial calipers. Refurb?
Pads if required
Find caliper spacers if required. It all adds up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The lower fork sanctions from later model should work just fine in your earlier model uppers. As far as the steering stem I don't think they changed it for any performance/reliability issues. I believe they changed it to be a more universal part among other makes and models so no gains from changing to b model stem and bearings. The radial disks are 300mm and axial are 320mm so adding the 10mm spacers under the calipers will allow you to retain stock rotors. If I was you while upgrading to radial brakes I would use calipers from a zx14 or the brembos from an r1 and upgrading the master cylinder to one from a zx10r.
Just my 2 cents. Good luck hope everything comes together for you.
Cheers for the clarification, I appreciate it.

I think A and B models have different sized head bearings, so it's not going to be a straight exchange.

It is my belief that complete radial forks from a late radial model will be a straight swap for earlier axial forks. Plus new calipers of course. Probably caliper spacers to keep the 320mm rotors.
I have inquired via Kawasaki several times to find out the compatibility of the lowers and uppers. They have failed to get back to me every time, even enquiring through main dealers has failed. As my forks need a rebuild and the tubes are bubbling, I was tempted to buy NEW, Radial, OEM lower castings with tubes at £300 per side and rebuild them into my B2H (axial) uppers and internals.
Tomorrow I shall take the radial 12R forks (that I bought from the US last month) into MCT Suspensions in Stowmarket. The uppers of the radial ones I bought look a bit marked, so I got them quite cheap. I intend to use the radial lower castings, add new replacement tubes if necessary and rebuild with my existing uppers and whichever internals suit. I would prefer them to refurb my internals and add decent springs. They can refurb the internals that come with the radial forks if necessary.
I doubt if they will look at it tomorrow, but I can feed back as soon as I can.

New, good quality inners seem to come from a bit over £100 per side if they are required.
I'm not a fan of re-chroming.

FYI
A lot of Ebay folk in the States use USPS. They have an arrangement to use ParcelForce in the UK
This was my experience....Priority International Service.
Forks tracked via 3 USPS stops in the US on the way to San Fransisco. This took 3 days.
Then they tracked again 2 days later in UK customs.
They stayed in UK customs for 4 days.
Then the tracking showed that they had crossed the desk to customs charging.
Another day later they tracked as going to ParcelForce national depot.
A day later they were at my local depot.
ParcelForce then POST you an invoice from the local office. You have to wait for the 17 digit number on the letter before you can pay the taxes. Like the fucking dark ages!!!
USPS uses ParcelForce 48 hour service.
After you have paid up, ParcelForce then take 2 days to turn up with the forks.
SOOOO frustrating.
This can take a lot longer!!!!
I have imported a lot of stuff from the States usually using UPS. The whole business is usually no more than a few days! Including customs billing.

I would suggest asking about and paying for an International Courier if you are in any kind of a hurry.

They will charge you 20% VAT on entry to the country. ParcelForce then charge you an £8 fee for all of their incredible effort. £12 if it's on a 24hr service.

If the forks cost, say... £200
Carriage £50 or 60 with USPS
Customs bill probably £55 with fees
New tubes if necessary £120 fitted plus VAT each if done professionally.
If the forks have pitted tubes and you need to replace them it's going to cost you very similar money to buying new from Kawasaki at £316 per side including VAT!
I'll also pay for refurb and springs
Then buy radial calipers. Refurb?
Pads if required
Find caliper spacers if required. It all adds up!
Thanks for this, good to hear from someone who has bought from the USA.

I'm not a fan of re-chroming either, although I can't do it myself, I know it has to be bang on, and on the fork stanchions I'm not easy with the idea - I've been quoted £240 to get them re-chromed, and who knows if it'll be perfect? Seen plenty of re-chromed barrels which are spot on, but I'm not so sure about the stanchions. If I buy used forks with 'x' mileage on them, I could be back to square one in no time.

I'm thinking of just sending the order for brand new Kawasaki lowers because I know they'll be right. I won't have to mess around, it'll all be done. It's good to know that they go into my uppers.

ZZR14 calipers look appealing, as do the others. I've nursed the Tokicos through the years, and they haven't been right for 4 years. One winter is all it took to kill them. I was returning home late in the nights with no ability to clean the calipers, and they died in absolutely no time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
Internals of older axial forks are the same as those in later radial 12R forks. Uppers are the same other than the colour.
I am reliably informed by people who just rebuild race suspensions for a living that they are a standard 25mm internal so you can put Ohlins internals in them if you want.
Basically, they forsee no problem with putting newer radial lowers together with older internals and uppers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
Take your radiator to a radiator repair shop and have it refurbished, if at all possible. Used ones are hard to come by, aftermarket ones can be incorrect, and new ones are very expensive. Good luck with it. :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks rundog, I have considered the B-model radiator and modifying the A-model engine mounting route to accommodate for the double-fans of the B, and also rewiring the B-model temperature switch into the A-loom, but I think it'll be too much hassle. I will keep my original radiator in the shed and get it re-cored, when funds allow. I've been quoted around the £300 mark - the guy knows exactly how much one from Kawasaki costs! In the interim, I'll use a low mileage stock radiator from another A1/2. But as you know, good used ones are very rare, with most either involved in a crash, or just worn like mine from years of use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hi!

Couple more things, I hope you all see this and the thread doesn't just fall deep into the forum to be lost and forgotten.

The bike is coming along nicely now, but next I'm sorting the electrical gremlin I've had for a while.

This is what I have, new and unused so far.

- Regulator/rectifier from Kawasaki
- Re-wound generator from a well known UK re-winding company
- Battery
- Headlight relays (that sit on the nose-cone frame)

What I want to get, but haven't yet.

- Junction box new from Kawasaki (buying a used one may be exactly the same as the one I have now)
- Relay that sits in the battery tray.

I will be hardwiring the generator to the regulator with solder.

Are there any dos/don'ts, or any things I've forgotten?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
Are you sure you need a junction box? What issues are you having that make you think you need one? I don't think they are a common problem part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
While you're working, it's VERY important to check (and Loctite) the two bolts in the center of this picture. They secure the fairing stay to the steering head, and have been known to come loose, with potentially dangerous results...................

PS +1 on what MetalMagician said.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Cheers guys.

Reason I think I need a replacement junction box is because I have had problems with charging over the years. The original stator and rectifier connector block melted and nearly set the bike on fire (loads of smoke but I stopped it before real flames caught anything).

I then changed the rectifier, stator and battery and then the whole system still failed to charge itself/work properly. So I'm guessing it's the relay in the junction box ruining the whole party?

For the last 6 months the bike has been laid up, and I have decided to get all new parts again so I can start from scratch, with more knowledge this time.

Also, new fork lowers have been ordered direct from Kawasaki and are on their way from Japan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
I don't believe that the junction box would have anything to do with your charging problem. Now if you are having problems with fuses and/or relays blowing inside the junction box then it may be a culprit. I could also see it being a problem if you are experiencing headlight issues but all theses problems stem from the stator and rectifier. I went through all this last season with my bike and it turned out to just be the stator and rectifier. Either way it is an easy part to get access to and service/change so I would get my bike charging correctly then check to see if I need one. Oh and by the way I wouldn't be so scared to buy one used especially if a member on here has one for sale. I have a couple for B models but I'm not sure they are the same part as the A1.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again guys.

I'm going to hardwire the stator and rectifier leads together - they're cut now, and I've just got to get heat shrink today before I can splice them together and solder.

Even if oil does travel up the new leads, will it affect a soldered connection, or will it just sit in the area passively, or will it be able to interfere with my hard wired soldered connection?

Basically I want to fit this right, so I can pretty much forget about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
Oil wicks up the inside of the insulation with capillary action. Once it gets to a solid solder joint it shouldn't be able to travel any further, especially if you have some of the adhesive lined heatshrink, that stuff seals up just about anything. I cut my connector off a few years ago as it had welded itself together, soldered up the 3 connections and have not had an issue since.
I'd love to know why it's an issue with 12Rs. I've not heard of it being a problem elsewhere.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top