Kawasaki Z1, Z900, Z1000 Restoration Manual
A clear, approachable manual and restoration guide is for all owners and enthusiasts of the legendary Kawasaki Z1 900, Z/KZ900 and Z1000 built between 1972 and 1980.
The book covers the complete restoration of a 1976 Kawasaki KZ900, from the sourcing of the bike to its completion as a fully restored machine.
Every area is covered starting with advice on the different models, spares availability, and where best to source a bike to restore.
Restoration is then covered in full detail including the engine, frame, gearbox, wheels, suspension and forks, brakes, ancillaries, bodywork and electrics, accompanied by hundreds of clear colour photos to illustrate the text.
Additional work on a 1974 Z1A model adds complementary information.
Written in a friendly, engaging style and well-illustrated at every stage, the manual includes:
- The complete restoration of a Kawasaki KZ900 and general work on a Z1A
- Hundreds of clear colour photos detail every step
- My own mistakes and the problems I encountered – and how you can avoid them
- Dismantling and restoration of the engine, frame, forks, wheels, brakes, electrics, bodywork and cycle parts all covered in full detail
- Provides the encouragement and knowledge the home restorer needs, regardless of skill or experience.
- Relevant to all Z1, Z/KZ900 and Z1000 models built between 1972-1980
- Advice given on different models, and which one to choose to restore
- Additional work on a 1974 Kawasaki Z1A model for supplementary information
How to Buy a Copy
The Kawasaki Z1 Restoration Manual is available from most good booksellers, especially those specialising in automotive books. It is also available on-line from such places as Amazon or direct from the publishers. The links below will take you to either Amazon.UK or to the publishers, Veloce. If you’re in a different part of the world, just type my name – Chris Rooke – into the Amazon search bar, and the book should come up. You might also want to try such as e-bay etc. or just type the ISBN number (see above) into Google and see what comes up.
Kawasaki Z1/Z900/Z1000 Restoration Manual Updates
I’ve created a Facebook page specifically for the Kawasaki Z1, Z900, Z1000 Restoration Manual. It’s a place for additional information and updates.
Finally getting around to restoring that ’73 Zed in the shed? Well, here’s the book you really need before you blow the dust off of it. That bike and the others covered in Chris Rooke’s new book, How to Restore Kawasaki Z1, Z/KZ900 and Z/KZ1000, deserve to have the job done right.
The fact is, a 1973 Kawasaki Z1, even in basic basket-case condition is worth some real money. According to the Comprehensive Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide even in condition six (generally non-running, parts missing, in poor overall condition, possibly parts-bike quality), a ‘73 Zed could bring over $4,000. In showroom condition, they have sold at auction for more than $25,000! Of course, prices for vintage bikes vary a lot from time to time and buyer to buyer. But you get the idea.
Let’s say you decide to go ahead with a frame-up restoration. Good for you! But while the spirit is willing the technical expertise is a bit weak.
What you need is a book that goes where you are about to go: deep inside a motorcycle, you may have never worked on before, into assemblies and parts you have never disassembled and reassembled before, maybe even using tools and techniques you haven’t used before.
Worse, you may encounter parts that have become bonded together over the long years, which aren’t supposed to be, and parts that are supposed to be as one that are now in multiple pieces.
Well, take heart. There is a book that goes there in detail. If your project bike is a Kawasaki Z1, Z or KZ 900 or Z or KZ1000, many of the most troublesome questions you may have on the way to restoring that old beast are confronted with detailed narrative and clear, helpful full-color images. A whopping 794 images, in fact.
Author Chris Rooke gets down and dirty with the complete restoration project—even to include a cautionary tale about transporting a non-running resto bike on a rented trailer with nearly-catastrophic consequences!
The book, How to Restore Kawasaki Z1, Z/KZ900 and Z/KZ1000 is based on the complete “ground-up” restoration of a 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 A4. Much of what applied to that project is applicable to the other models, as well.
As such, Rooke has hands-on experience with the types of problems that can go with attempting to restore an old bike that may have seen years of disuse, improper storage and various types of damage. Things like fouled fuel systems, corrosion, stuck brake caliper pistons and such are the types of challenges such restorations can entail.
Rooke even goes into the details about how to find, evaluate and acquire a potential restoration project bike; or, perhaps more important, what things not to do. How to avoid buying a bike that isn’t what it was billed to be and to keep from paying too much. He also discusses the hazards of parts made of what we may call “unobtainium.” Simple
fact, some parts just aren’t out there in any numbers, even as salvage and some aren’t available at all.
Rooke includes some sage advice about his own technical resource—he gives advice on how to handle those old bike, crusty-rusty parts problems that tend not to be covered in factory service manuals where the images always show shiny, clean new engines and parts being worked on. That said, he also advises would-be restorers to have those factory service manuals on hand before the restoration project starts—his book is not intended as a
replacement for the technical information they contain.
The book has 52 chapters that carry the reader/restorer from project preparation to disassembly, cleaning, inspecting and restoration of parts and assemblies, painting, vapor blasting, powder coating, polishing and reassembly.
Chris Rooke has invested an enormous effort in the restoration advice. His investment has paid off in a superb resource that can teach the reader a few things, even if a Kawasaki Z1 is not the object of the restoration. Indeed, the book has tips on techniques that can be applied in nearly any project. Ultimate Motorcycling
The latest in probably the best series of restoration manuals ever published, covers Kawasaki’s big fours that were in production from 1972 – 1980 in intricate detail.
With the help of no fewer than 794 colour photographs, Chris Rooke guides the lucky owners of these bullet-proof classics through every aspect of bringing them back to their former glory.
This beautifully produced glossy 224 page paperback represents the best money any owner of these superb classics is ever likely to spend. Nothing is left out, from removing the bodywork and rear mudguard, headlamp, clocks and carbs, wiring loom and other electrics, exhaust and rear wheel, points and generator, clutch and kick-start assembly, gearbox sprocket and casing, oil filter, sump and oil pump, cylinder head and barrels.
Then we come to the deeper technicalities – removing and dismantling the crankcases, forks and front and rear wheels.
With everything in pieces, the book takes a proper look at finishing – vapour blasting, chroming and powder coating. And polishing engine casings and other alloy parts.
After a close look at the crankshaft, transmission and oil pump, we get to the reassembly stage, including the crankcases, front forks, rebuilding the wheels, brake discs and shoes, fitting the head races, forks and front wheel, replacing the engine in the frame, refitting the pistons and cylinder barrels, reassembling and fitting the cylinder head and absolutely everything else.
Chapter 46 brings us to preparing the tank for repainting, followed by painting and refitting the tank and bodywork. Two chapters look at possible teething troubles and how they might be cured.
Old Bike Mart Magazine
If you’re not a fan of the dull, dry, indifferent and witless delivery of the text in say the average Haynes Manual, you’ll find refreshment for your beleaguered sensibilities in this Kawasaki Z Manual from Veloce.
We’re by no means experts on Kawasakis, and we’ve not so much as spun a spanner or twiddled a screwdriver on a Zed. So we can’t comment on the veracity of the information or the validity of the advice. But having flipped through every chapter and studied the captions and crisper-than-usual images, and having enjoyed the asides, we’re reasonably satisfied that this guy knows his fruit and vegetables.
It follows a now familiar Veloce formula of simple design, convenient chapter breakdown, clear and detailed images, numbered captions, and fairly straightforward delivery of the text – except, as we’ve said, there’s a little more humour and gusto in this one which ‘humanises’ the copy and reminds us over and over again that the author is no doubt a pretty ordinary guy like the rest of us. And largely because of that, we trust him.
If we were restoring a Zed series Kawasaki we’d buy this book, it’s as simple as that. There are 208 pages and a whopping 600 pictures.
Good value? It is if it saves you time, money, temple and knuckles (which we’re sure it will)
This book chronicles the restoration process for a KZ900 from start to finish. Along the way the author shares his mistakes and the problems he encountered, in order to make the task of other restorers simpler. The book follows the established format for Veloce’s restoration series, with the tasks broken into logical chapters, which are written in a clear and entertaining manner.
Chris says he chose to restore the KZ900 rather than the Z1/Z1A/Z1B because of the skyrocketing prices of the earlier models, but the basic principles (and most of the parts) are identical. He did discover what most of us know, however, that the final cost usually exceeds the market value of the motorcycle, but then, you can’t put a price on the pleasure derived from countless hours tinkering in the workshop.
A very comprehensive and informative book that should be a companion for anyone contemplating a similar project.
Old Bike Australasia
Something more than say a Haynes manual with detailed stages of restoring a bike from start to finish. This excellent highly illustrated work gives you the confidence to tackle what in some cases may be a daunting, complex machine.
Extensively illustrated with good quality images, the text is quite light hearted as each area of the bike is dealt with in logical order with any problem areas – or quirks – being highlighted.
General hints and tips abound and even the seasoned restorer will pick up the odd nugget or two …. If you are looking at or contemplating a restoration project it would make a sound investment prior to and certainly while contemplating the project.
We got a review copy of this book a few months ago from Veloce publishing. It is pretty much as written on the tin – an enthusiast’s restoration manual – in so far as it’s written by a man who’s obviously a motorcycle enthusiast, and this is the story of a restoration.
Chris Rooke comes at this not as a particular Zed head: he is an enthusiast in the more general sense and has undertaken various restorations including an E-Type Jag and a couple of Triumph Tridents which were also the subject of similar books.
This makes the book useful to those who are new to Zeds, as his is a journey of discovery also, but he is pretty mechanically experienced and can tackle most stuff, so is well equipped to deal with problems encountered with this kind of project.
Unlike some other Restorer’s Guides, Chris is not providing a rivet counter’s handbook of date codes and other minutiae. Indeed he says at the outset that he’s not a concours freak and that what he wanted was something that looked fairly standard but with a few sensible upgrades and changes where appropriate. What he is doing is giving a step-by-step guide to rebuilding a Z900 that has been bought as a restoration project.
He does that by the seemingly obvious method of buying a Z900 to restore and restoring it, recounting his adventures along the way, mistakes and all. And while he’s not being religious about originality, he’s building a bike to a high standard spec.
The book is written in a pretty conversational style and includes pictures of pretty much everything he did. It has chapters giving advice on buying a bike for restoration, a run through the different models, advice on tools and equipment, and a blow-by-blow account of the entire process through complete strip down and rebuild with advice along the way, including how much it all cost!
The author doesn’t come across as a know all or expert; he’s new to Zeds and he explains how he finds stuff out and who he gets help from, and when he makes mistakes (such as when the bike fell off the trailer on the way home from buying it!) he says so, so that the reader can learn from those mistakes. Each chapter ends with a summary section called ‘Lessons Learnt’ which includes such honesty as don’t put your freshly cleaned crankcases in the dishwasher with a soap tablet and don’t then try to remove the black from the crankcases you’ve just accidentally washed in the dishwasher with oven cleaner.
The book seems factually pretty accurate – Chris says the one error he knows about that made it into print is a bit of a discussion as to why he may have had low compression when the bike appeared to run okay, and he made up a reason that made sense at the time but then turned out to be bogus, as the low compression reading was due to a broken compression tester. Stuff always turns up after you’ve gone to print, no matter how much you proof read – sometimes even in factory manuals – so in case anything else emerges, the book has a link to a Facebook page where corrections will be notified if they turn up.
This book is interesting for anyone who is interested in Zeds because it’s an entertaining book about a rebuild, and it’s interesting to see how Chris goes about it, and the solutions he finds to the problems thrown up. It’s probably especially useful for those who don’t know that much about the bikes but want to restore one or who are just starting on a restoration. The book is not meant to replace a Kawasaki or Hynes Workshop Manual, it’s supposed to complement them. Indeed, there’s a section recommending what books and sources of information are useful.
All-in-all a good read and a worthwhile addition to any Zed library. We’d say well worth having, particularly if you’re new to Zed mechanicals. The Zed concept comes out of it well – Chris was mightily impressed with the Kawasaki’s engine design when compared to British bikes he had worked on in the past, and he intends to keep his 900 for many years to come.
Z1 Owners’ Club
This book is not intended as a replacement for a Kawasaki Workshop manual, but is something more than say, a Haynes manual, containing detailed stages of restoring a bike from start to finish.
Whilst it could be argued that all restorations follow the same basic principles, there is nothing better than having the expert advice of somebody who has actually worked on that particular model. Every machine has its own foibles and there are some things you need to know that are not always covered in a factory workshop manual.
‘Dismantle the unit’ is all very well, but how to do it is not always written. These excellent highly illustrated works from Veloce fill that gap and give you the confidence to tackle what in some cases may be a daunting, complex machine.
Chris Rooke has already authored several tomes for Veloce which have been well received and he has now turned his attention to this iconic model.
In just over 200 pages a bike is completely stripped and rebuilt in the home workshop, employing the services of professionals where required. Extensively illustrated with good quality images, the text is quite light-hearted as each area of the bike is dealt with in logical order, with any problem areas – or quirks – being highlighted. General hints and tips abound and even the seasoned restorer will pick up the odd nugget or two.
If you are contemplating a restoration project it would make a sound investment prior to, and certainly whilst contemplating the project.
Really, really excellent book! 5*
Awesome book. It’s a must have. 5*
Just bought a bike and the book helps. 5*
Easy to Use. Up to date information. Good, clear colour photos. 5*