finish lane.

Shortly: I closed the crankshaft case including the kicker mechanics by using fluid gasket and rolled the chassis of my Zilver4FourT into the workshop again. Felt so good, touching the handles again. Now, the engine requires and reinstallation into the frame, put on the honed cylinders, the freshly ringed pistons and the cleaned head & valves.  


Kickstart lever is on its way to its new assignment. 

And then: carefully re-engage the powerplant to a new era.. 

Hold on, I’ll be back! 

Kickstarter project & other reassembly

The kicker shaft is mounted and reassembly is to begin.

Last week we wanted to focus onto the actual reason why we disassembled the engine of my Z440LTD. As you can remember, the Z440 was never built with a kickstarter. And as its older ancestor Z400 used most of the same engine parts and came with a kicker, my idea was born.

All the drillholes in the crankshaft case are in place, the complete kickstart shaft including all parts, springs, lockrings are mounted and the simple and clever mechanism is understood now (my co-wrencher and I had no idea what the trick in it was).  Only the necessary drillhole for the starter shaft to pass the crankshaft case lid needs to be made including a seat for the oilseal. We’ll work on that.

Meanwhile, reassembly began with polishing the valve seats, remounting the valves including new valve shaft oil seals. Assembly is much easier with a special valve spring tensioner — and helping hands of my co-wrencher.

Hang on for a sec. I’ll be back.

Complete opening of Zilver4FourT’s powerplant

Today, the crew and I reached the most important and exciting part of the trip to “how to install a kickstart at a non kickstart model” – we took the baby out of the frame and opened it. There was still plenty of blackish oil despite the crankshaftcase was drained before.

Fascinating to look deep into the heart of what powers you to where you want while riding your motorcycle: all that fragile machinery, a clockwork with many dependencies, precise dimensions – and still simple though.

Enjoy the pictures – I let them talk instead of using many words.

This blog should have appeared much earlier – and will be belatedly published today.

Hang on for a sec. I’ll be back.

Wrenching a Kawasaki Z 440 ltd beltdrive 

Customizing my retro motorcycle. Read more about the story, how I will change my Kawasaki Z 440 ltd into an authentic kickstart motorcycle.

Thoughts

I ride motorcycles a longer time than I’m allowed to. I rode trips that my friends tried to prevent me from. Even worse: i started wrenching engines and all motorcycle stuff from 50 ccm to 750.

I am strongly linked to design and materiality as well.

Two years ago I bought my Kawasaki Z 440 ltd beltdrive for small money. Rode it as it was, it worked, performed better with each mile, we rode and lately, my Zilver4FourT and I went down south to my place of birth, back and forth a trip of 720 k each way. No problem. Two travelling days.

Now, it’s cold outside including slippery lanes and foggy visors. Time for a major wrenchtime. My brothers garage including a wrench lift and some basic tools will be helpful, also brotherhood feelings in dark wrenching hours such as a overwinding a thread or you name it.

The plan

What is the most authentic way of starting a motorcycle’s engine? I am referring to the YouTube motion pictures “Who the fuck is El Solitario”: ” […] if you want this thing to make you smile, understand it and kick it.”

I want to get my motorcycle to life kicking it gently, understanding at the same time, what would be the best in terms of fuel-air mixture, temperature, ignition and of “how hard was the night for my bike”.

My Zilver4FourT hasn’t got a kicker. But I swear it will by my birthday. Then, we are going to celebrate a double birthday.

Hang on for a sec. I’ll be back.

Hamburg, Germany

CeeTee