Z900 – Episode 2: The Engine


Continued from: Part 1: The Find

Once I had the bike in the garage I started it a few times, just to make sure she ran. No particular reason, considering the full restoration she is about to undergo, just to comfort me I guess that I bough a bike that kind of works…


Once I swapped out the cactus battery and put in fresh fuel and checked the oil level; she eventually started…or more like huffin’ and puffin’ for the first time in a long time. She was a sorry sight but not unexpected; slated for a rebuild over ten years ago, she has not been touched since.

I didn’t let her suffer much longer, once she cooled down, my good mate Daniel and I took the motor out. Black paint and the side covers present are not standard for this era, so before any rebuild to occur, she had to be hydro blasted back to bare metal.


We took the motor to bits and off she went to Woody’s Hydroblast in one of the southern suburbs of Melbourne.20150131_084847 20150131_084936 20150131_084950  20150131_085004

Once the hydro blasting done…

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Pristine job by Woody’s back to bare metal hydro blasting…

Next stop was to Scotty’s to have the motor fully rebuilt. The cams, polished, valves re-cut and seated, new pistons (0.5mm oversize) and bearings. The final job on the motor looked like:

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And what about those non-std covers? Luckily Z1 Parts.net came to the rescue with these perfect examples:

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Looks like a piece of jewelry. Thanks Z1 Parts.net for the final touches.

The next step was to start focusing on the frame. Have to make sure she is straight before she is painted so before anything, the motor had to be installed ready for the jig.


And when the going gets tough…you need a hammer!20150723_140312

Ready for the rolling frame assembly for the straightening jig.20150723_140142

All smiles now…few minutes earlier lots of crying / swearing. Thanks Daniel!20150723_140314

In Part 3 we’ll focus on the frame…cannot wait to find the time!

Z900 – Episode 1: The find


I love working on bikes. Unless you are stuck doing it on the side of the road, I find it actually therapeutic; you get to switch off from day-to-day issues and (ideally) you see your work turning something broken or neglected into something better.

The pinnacle of working on bikes would have to be customising (whether for race or show) and restoration. I considered a custom build which would have its own challenges. Considering that nowadays customisation is about bolting go fast bits on, it had little appeal. I have done that to my race bikes, so I was looking for something different.

Like a classic motorbike restoration. It even sounds sexy. And that would have to be most motorcycle lovers’ dream hobby.

As I started to look for bikes I came across this:






A 1976 Kawasaki Z900. Tough to pass up an opportunity like this. She was a beauty, well, it her days, but today her birthday suit somewhat wrinkled…

She belonged to a mate of mine Rod Sharp, with whom I had many happy rides, mostly off road. Sadly Rod has passed away and this bike was left in his garage for quite sometime.

The bike was complete, with mostly std parts but hasn’t run for at least 10 years. As I started to look at it closely, it was obvious there were some parts (exhaust, the (lack of) air box and some other bits) were not genuine. Neither was the paint job. The whole bike had a respray by the guy who owned it before Rod. Judging by the quality of the work, possibly whilst assembled…


20141004_091136The battery, as expected, was cactus and its acid was spilled. I hooked up a new battery and got her going. Much to my surprise she started which was somewhat confidence inspiring. A Little…

This would have to be a back to bare metal full restoration. I have done similar work on my K5 Gixer, so hopefully I can give it justice. To look the way she deserves to I am going to need help…wish me luck.


Multistrada head-stem bearing replacement


Q: What’s better that riding your bike?
A: working on your bike? (C’mon you can’t stay in bed forever…)
My current work includes replacing the head stem bearings, and here are some of the pictures:
1. Take off the fairings


2. Take off the tank so you can hang the front end


3. Hang the front end so you can get to the head stem


4. Change that setup and hang from the ceiling…


5. Take off the front wheel and the steering unit


6. Observe how rusty are your bearings and wonder why ( not admit that it was because of the way you ride through everything…)



7. Compare the illness and the medication


8. Insert the outer races with special tool (thank you DOCV!)




Next: the rest of the work when I have time or when my mate Dan beggs me enough to move the Duc so he can take out his much loved CBR to the track…
BTW blog made on my phone, it will be Interesting how it turns out on the big screen…

2013 in review


Thank you to everyone who’s read my blogs (and putting up with my foolishness) in 2013 – all up about 18,000 times!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Goodbye my Lover


Though our love was brief, it was full of pashion and nothing but good times…

But all good things come to an end and for us that is now…

Here are some of the moments we shared together


After our first hello, I imediatelly shared you with my friend and you did not seem to mind…

Our first ride with the DOCV, you were an instant hit!



You were a sight for sore eyes wherever we went


Even when we rode with Zsuzsa and she had all the attention you did not mind…

But now it is time for you to give someone else as much pleasure as you have given me.

Tour of Europe 2013 – Episode 4


Stopping in Austria for lunch

IMG_8168The view from the table was fantastic

IMG_8170Ferrari hooning by decided to turn back…obviously to check out my bike…

IMG_8171My first encounter with the constabulary in Austria…because I was changing gears too loudly…(yep). It was only 25 Euros so I decided not to argue…

IMG_8173 IMG_8172The other ride (local) was let go, the tourist (me) not so lucky…Still I love this place it is pure motorcycling heaven.

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soon I crossed the border into Croatia and Slovenia, gorgeous countries, must visit again soon and stay for longer…

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Tour of Europe 2013 – Episode 2


Post lunch in France I wasted no time to reach the Alps. I crossed the French – Swiss border near Pontalier where the geography became very quickly…dramatic!

IMG_8124 IMG_8126Typical to Switzerland, everything is ridiculously clean, to a point that is insulting…Why can’t it be like this everywhere else as well?

Random waterfall by the side of the road…


Biking heaven ahead…

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Note the warning sign to use common sense…I found it interesting that even with no speed cameras hidden in the bush (a la Australia) and the roads packed with bikers, I saw no-one crash. Most of the time speed is reduced in towns by displaying your actual speed as you approach which instantly makes you put the brakes on…outside towns speed is usually controlled by common sense. Even the pretend racers here know how to ride, and everyone has a great time without worrying about hidden speed cameras…I think this is due to the licensing system in Europe generally teaches responsibility from early on, which prevents stupidity instead of punishing after the fact…

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It was interesting to see other people’s faces as they arrived to the top of any random mountain pass. They get out of their car / get off their bikes and wonder out mindlessly with an ear to ear smile.


soon I was on God’s racetrack, a.k.a Italy…

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more about that in Episode 3…

Tour of Europe 2013 – Episode 1


The perfect opportunity came up late last year: Gorgeous Dave Milligan from Get Routed offered to take my Multistrada to Europe for this summer. Over 2 months of no bike, while in transit, sounds painful enough, however it was eased somewhat when I recalled my last Euro bike trip in 2011 and knew what was waiting for me.

The Big Red left Australia late May and arrived in Felixstowe, UK mid July and was stored there until I arrived on August 1. The reunion was sweet…

Here she is waiting for me impatiently to ride her just the way she likes it…


I changed into my uniform faster than Superman in the phone booth! Packed the panniers and the top box and I was ready to go!!!

IMG_8099then I realised I left my shoes out…fuck! I guess it is better than leaving your jocks out and be forced to wear it over your pants like Superman…

Soon I was away to Folkestone for my Channel crossing. I pre-booked my time for 2:00 pm and I just missed it…could it be that I did not go fast enough? Surely cannot be! After a mixture of pleading and crying, they put me onto the 4:30pm train…



This time of the year thousands of UK bikers head to mainland Europe to escape the UK “summer”. Here I am sharing the 30 minute underwater journey with some of them…


Once on the other side, I still had almost 700kms to go before bedtime. Most of the day was spent cruising at around 150kms/hr on the freeway and eating roadhouse food.  I must confess, this would have been usually boring but I still had an ear to ear smile…I was back on my favourite playground! And the roadhouse food in Europe is actually quite nice!

I did have to phone ahead to the motel that I will be late. I arrived sometime after midnight and I was so exhausted barely made it to bed…

The next day, after breakfast (served by the farmer’s daughter…) I got on the bike straight away…I knew the real riding fun would start soon as I was at the foothills of the French Alps…I was not disappointed:

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After a quick lunch in Pontarlier…

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I was in the saddle again. Riding the French countryside is absolutely divine! IMG_8119 IMG_8121 IMG_8122I could not enjoy it as much as I wanted to, as I had to be in Italy by night and I still had to cross the Alps…in the distance Switzerland awaits!