Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

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Rettax3
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Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:53 am

So after my ZX-11 (Kawasaki's answer to, well, EVERYTHING back in 1990, as it was the fastest production streetbike in the world, EVER, for about six years running until Honda's Blackbird and Suzuki's 'Bird of Prey' showed up) was made unusable by vandalism a couple of years ago, I have been looking for another open-class bike. I've looked at old Honda VF1000F Interceptors -really cool classic sportbikes, but overpriced for what they can do-, other ZX-11s, even ZX-9Rs. I revisited old interests like the Honda CBX -a straight six sitting sideways in a bike frame calls for at least one double-take-, older Kawasaki Z-1s, and the VF1100S Sabre (I still own a pair of the original, first-year VF750S Sabres, great bikes). I checked out newer models, like the TL1000s, and I even test-rode a ZX-14. Nothing quite called out to me though, and with a very limited budget I had a smaller pool of options to pick from.

I finally ran across this:
Kat1b.jpg
Kat2b.jpg

A late eighties open-class sport bike -not a repli-racer, but a softer-edged performance-oriented all-around bike. Suzuki's Katana 1100 (this one has been punched-out to 1216cc) was a good performing bike in its' day, and with the big-bore kit and racing-header exhaust that this one has, I would say it is competitive against my old ZX-11D. It uses tappet adjustment screws for the valvetrain, as opposed to the nightmare shim-under-bucket setup my old ZX ran with, so maintenance isn't as bad. It still needs a lot of attention, but it is good to ride right now. At 60, cranking the throttle open in third gear makes the bike feel like it wants to wheelie. I do think the clutch is a little warped, and coming off the line is weird -it pulls then hesitates then grabs-, so I'm not sure that it accelerates quite as hard as my ZX did, but I think with a new clutch it actually will pull as hard or maybe harder -and the ZX ran a 130+MPH 1/4 mile in 10.55 seconds with a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds, so this old bike has got power to spare. The paint is actually pretty well done on this bike (not a color I would have picked for it myself though), and the plastics are in good (not perfect) shape. One of the best parts is that the power window still works!


1989 SuperCharged 3800 Srs-II (First)Six-Speed GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 5-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 5-Speed Indy GTi (Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 LA1/L82 4T60E Z-26
1995 3.4 DOHC Turbo 5-Speed Z-26

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whiteretta
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Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby whiteretta » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:01 am

That's gonna a be a fun ride man. I'm not big on crotch rockets, but they've been growing on me. One of my employees just picked up a 675? CC Triumph, and it's 50 lbs. lighter than his old 250 CC Ninja.

I just want a late 70's early 80's Suzuki GS and I'll be happy!


No cool signature because Photobucket is a bucket full of douches.
1994 Chevy Beretta, mild 3500 swap.

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Rettax3
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Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:40 am

GSs are great all-around bikes. Like Honda's CBs and Kawasaki's KZs (I also have a 1980 KZ1000 'Z-1' that needs to be put back together, I WAS going to put a turbo on it, but now I am getting wicked thoughts towards using that little turbo on this 'new' GSX-F :twisted: ). They used to all be called 'UJMs' back then, a derogatory term meaning 'Universal Japanese Motorcycle', because they all looked the same -four cylinder, usually DOHC, air-cooled bikes. There were some exceptions, but these 'plane-janes' were the real work-horses of the motorcycling world back then. The Katana 1100 was almost more of a sport-touring bike than a true 'crotch-rocket'. It is big and roomy enough to actually sit up almost straight on, and my legs are not cramped-up at all. The Katana is tuned for stronger mid-range and even low-end torque rather than peak top-end H.P., making it much more rideable than a repli-racer type bike, like the GSX-R of the time. My old ZX-11 was about the same category bike, but less compromised on performance and a little more compromised on comfort than the Katana.

I just fabbed-up a pair of rear turn-signal mount-brackets (the original ones were rough-cut off in the same hack-job that claimed the rear 'fender' in the typical 'Euro-style' butchery that is far too common on sport-type bikes :roll: ). I will be using a pair of early-eighties Honda Interceptor turn-signals -the same style I retro-fit onto my old Honda Sabre 750 back in the day- on the rear of the bike. OEM Katana 1100 turn-signals are ridiculously over-priced, and very hard to find, they weren't used on anything else that I know of. I should have them wired-up this week... The original mounting pads on the front of the bike were bodied-over (and pretty well done, too), so I didn't want to re-drill into the bike's plastics for the signals. I am using signal-type mirrors for the front, but I need to fabricate a pair of mounts for them to make them fit just right, hopefully I will get those done this week too.


1989 SuperCharged 3800 Srs-II (First)Six-Speed GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 5-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 5-Speed Indy GTi (Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 LA1/L82 4T60E Z-26
1995 3.4 DOHC Turbo 5-Speed Z-26

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Rettax3
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Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:29 am

Updated the look of my older bike. The red paint-job (I don't care much for red on most vehicles anyway, but was able to overlook that because of the price and overall condition of the bike) was wearing on me a bit, and flaked a little during the most recent washing. It has been a good bike for me for the last several years, and I had wanted one of these fairly unique and rare open-class sport-tourers for a long time, so more than likely, I will keep it and eventually do a full re-paint, likely to a two or three-tone silver.. But for now...
Kat11 Stripes1a.jpg
Quick, easy, cheap. Rattle-can does fine for me here.

An hour or so here and there spruced it up a bit, and helped to break-up that huge slab-side of red. I had intentions of adding another stripe along the side, and continuing all the way to the tail-section, but I'm satisfied with the look for now, so it will wait. Besides, I also have the other bike to toy around with now too. :twisted:
The seat may be the next big project on the bike, the cover is starting to show that I don't garage the bike at all. Mechanically, I've done very little to this after the first round of maintenance and minor repairs it needed at purchase. I will have to re-lube the window tracks again though -it was pretty sluggish when I raised it for cleaning/polishing this week.


1989 SuperCharged 3800 Srs-II (First)Six-Speed GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 5-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 5-Speed Indy GTi (Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 LA1/L82 4T60E Z-26
1995 3.4 DOHC Turbo 5-Speed Z-26

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Rettax3
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Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:50 am

... And for more summer fun, I managed to replace my old ZX-11, after seven years. Managed to pick up a beautifully-kept bike for under $700 from a dealership, because the bike had some mechanical damage and was brought in on trade. They didn't want to spend the labor-hours fixing it, so for $50 in ebay parts and a couple of weekend evenings (okay, a 4:30 a.m. wrench-fest is more than an evening, but it still wasn't a ton of time involved and was fixed by Monday) I got an awesome bike. The original drive-chain had broke, slightly damaged the aftermarket aluminum chain guard, and smashed into both inner and outer drive-sprocket cases, which broke them both. The dealership was apparently scared-off mostly because of the oil-leak caused by the cracked inner case, and the low oil-level that resulted -they weren't sure just how low the oil was, and didn't want to start the bike to find out if there was any other damage. I took a gamble, and it paid off nicely.
ZX-11D1 1.jpg
For under 7 bills, how could I go wrong? They didn't even need to tell me what was wrong with it, I bought it on the spot.

The engine did have to be unbolted from the frame to scoot it forward enough for the inner sprocket case to clear the side of the frame, which is where most of the time was spent. Aside from that, removing the lower fairing sides and applying the 450+ foot-pounds of torque it took to unbolt the front sprocket without tipping the 601-pound bike off of its' center-stand were the only real effort the repair took.
IMAG0146.jpg
Why the clutch-line was routed this way I cannot even guess. I fixed that while I was there too.
IMAG0149.jpg
The water-pump in front of the sprocket case had to come off for the repair, so I flushed the entire cooling system while I was at it.
IMAG0153.jpg
I changed the oil -twice- and the filter once. No indications of metal debris, excessive engine wear, or sludge. The oil was due for a change, which is good (means nothing was being hidden by removing old evidence).
IMAG0154.jpg
The engine had to be unbolted from the frame, scooted forward and hoisted a little at the back. Some wooden blocks and a scissor-jack provided the lifting support while the ratchet-strap helped tilt the engine the right way.


Some nice upgrades on the bike are the full stainless Yoshimura 4-into-1 performance headers/exhaust, K&N air filter, red LED instrument lighting, real carbon-fibre instrument-bezel cover and matching triple-tree 'key protector' (small patch that covers the piece at the top of the forks where the ignition lock is), fully polished frame and swing-arm, polished and color-matched rims, braided stainless-steel brake and clutch lines. Not the greatest fan of the 'euro' rear fender/plate-mount delete, but it does clean up the back of this particular bike pretty nicely, so I can be okay with it, and it wasn't done with a sawzall for a change... The previous owner also installed a "Zero Gravity" brand 'double-bubble' dark-tint windshield, and an HID LED headlight bulb, which definitely lights things up nicely. With 32k miles on it, the bike is broken in, but definitely not worn out. The good quality Metzeller tires will last the season, likely even next year too. I can't believe how easily this thing pushes around -makes me want to rebuild or replace the wheel-bearings in everything else I have, and it makes the Katana feel top-heavy and big (though I'm still not sure which bike is the quickest). I ordered a pair of stock-type windshields, one smoke and one clear, and I also received the pair of handle-bar risers today, I remember clearly wanting them for the first ZX. Risers and windscreens brings my cost of ownership up another $100. It was missing the owner's manual and tool-kit -I still have the manual from my other ZX, and I think I can put together a decent tool kit of better quality than stock for pretty cheap. I also have the complete factory service manual in hard-copy and CD, and the complete parts catalog on CD as well, courtesy of having owned my old bike at a time when I was insistent on having the factory books. I have a few spare parts left over too, should I find I need them.
ZX-11 Rr Qtr 1b.jpg
The Yoshi exhaust is the most obvious difference between this bike and my old one. They are even the same color...


1989 SuperCharged 3800 Srs-II (First)Six-Speed GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 5-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 5-Speed Indy GTi (Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 LA1/L82 4T60E Z-26
1995 3.4 DOHC Turbo 5-Speed Z-26

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ifixalot
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Location: Deerfield Illinois

Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby ifixalot » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:31 am

All very nice bikes. You own a pair of V45s? What are you doing with all this equipment? haha
I had a 84 V65 Sabre. Bought it new, sold it a couple years ago with 14k miles on it. I loved it, hated to sell it
but a guy offered a very good price. With all the crazies out there on their phones while driving, I felt it a good idea
to stay off bikes so I don't get killed or injured.



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Rettax3
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Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:23 pm

ifixalot wrote:All very nice bikes. You own a pair of V45s? What are you doing with all this equipment? haha
I had a 84 V65 Sabre. Bought it new, sold it a couple years ago with 14k miles on it. I loved it, hated to sell it
but a guy offered a very good price. With all the crazies out there on their phones while driving, I felt it a good idea
to stay off bikes so I don't get killed or injured.

Thank you. Not doing much with the V45s lately. One was basically sold to me as a 'parts bike', but had a clean title and the only thing wrong with it was the carbs had been pulled for rebuild and lost in a move. The other bike I've toured with a lot, coast to coast, and rode four-season for years. It shows 58k on the clock, the odometer was dead for a few years (electronic unit came back to life one day) and it rolled once too. :wink: It has been sitting for a while though, it blew-out a case seam during my last tour with it, and was dumping oil badly at highway RPMs (was fine around town though, as I rarely hit more than 3800 RPM just riding around -it had a 'power spike' right around there that almost caught me once during a turn -very torquey bike for a 750). The front-end had been rebuilt, but developed a high-speed shimmy that made me nervous about riding the bike at all, and the brakes were never very powerful. "Someday" I would like to rebuild it, or at least go through it and get it back on the road again. I couldn't even seriously consider parting either of them out to help 'save' another Sabre, as no one seems to have them anymore, and no one wants to fix the older bikes.

The V65 Sabre was a brute of a bike -great styling, comfortable ride, fast as he!!. I've toyed with trying to stuff a V65 engine into my 750 frame, but have enough projects that I'm not even considering it right now -not even sure if it fits. I do have a Kawasaki J-Series 1000 engine that I might shoe-horn into my little GPZ 550 though. :twisted: I finally sold-off my old Z-1, so the J-Series has no other home... It wasn't right for the Z-1 anyway (998cc vs the Z-1's 1013cc and slightly different mounts), but when I had gone out to look at the engine, it was too clean and too good of a price to pass up.

I hear what you are saying about the bad drivers on the roads, but I don't feel much safer in a car, and on a bike I'm a smaller target. Best just to stay at home and polish the fender! Haha. I don't mind riding in my area, but hate going into town. My old ZX (totally stock) got over 300 miles to the tank, so I shouldn't have to go to town for gas very often! :good:


1989 SuperCharged 3800 Srs-II (First)Six-Speed GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 5-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 5-Speed Indy GTi (Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 LA1/L82 4T60E Z-26
1995 3.4 DOHC Turbo 5-Speed Z-26

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Rettax3
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:34 pm

Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Rettax3 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:46 pm

Took the ZX-11 out for a spin yesterday to run a few errands and get some wind behind me, also to try out a new, shorter windshield I bought for it, closer to stock height. On a long stretch of country highway, I dropped a couple of gears and opened her up climbing a steep grade. The needle quickly swept past 6,000 RPM at about 80, and the tach suddenly jumped up a couple of grand before I caught the clutch (peak power stock on this bike is IIRC a little past 10000 revs, with the light mods this has it probably hits peak HP closer to 11k -even stock it has more ponies than a stock 3100...) -I thought the clutch was slipping... Pulled the clutch, re-engaged, and tested it again -as it started revving up again that is when I felt the back-end trying to slide out... :shock: Soooo, apparently the clutch was fine -traction was the issue. I was thinking, "My old ZX never did that!" Except that it did do that, when I got mud on the tires or hit snowy patches (I was a four-season rider back then, but tried very hard not to ride the ZX in poor conditions -too much power, too much plastic). A short time later, after another issue of the rear tire spinning out at an intersection, I pulled over and found a coolant hose had blown out and antifreeze had dumped into the fairing and in front of the rear tire. I don't think I hurt anything aside from the hose itself, but it did take a while waiting for a rescue car to take me to the auto-parts store. They found a Gates hose with a close enough size and shape to get me back on the road again. Embarrassingly, I still rode around with one of the side fairings off, figuring that I would want to inspect for leaks later. The hose itself was a b!tc# to get to -it runs from a water outlet pipe on the lower left of the engine to a coolant manifold in front of the engine and behind the headers -I can't quite reach in there from any angle. The fix was cheap, but half of the day was lost, and I am almost back to square-one on getting to trust this bike...


1989 SuperCharged 3800 Srs-II (First)Six-Speed GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 5-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 5-Speed Indy GTi (Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 LA1/L82 4T60E Z-26
1995 3.4 DOHC Turbo 5-Speed Z-26

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Godlike
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Location: Stoughton, Wi
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Re: Newest addition. 2 wheels old...

Postby Godlike » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:11 pm

Meanwhile I just got a class M license so I can ride my 125 scooter.


90' GTZ 189whp NA 14.00@99 / 237whp 50 shot 13.3@104 /95' Integra 250whp / 69' Impala / 04' Z71 Tahoe/ 85 K20/ 15' IS350F
projects 86 Bonneville 6.0 swap / MkIII Supra


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