Kawasaki Z650 Engine Rebuild – PDF Download


30 Pages – PDF Download – Complete Series – Kawasaki Z650 Engine Rebuild

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30 Pages – PDF Download – Complete Series – Kawasaki Z650 Engine Rebuild

Kawasaki Z650 Engine Rebuild

The Z650 Kawasaki was universally acclaimed as a terrific motorcycle when launched in 1976. This is reflected by how many are still lovingly maintained by their owners.

Increasingly collectable but by no means rare, Dave Marsden begins his series of how to strip and rebuild the engine.

‘Performance and comfort at an affordable price’, is how Kawasaki described the Z650 at its launch in 1976.

Its performance, of course, was never in doubt. After all, this was the son of the Z1. A 652cc, DOHC four-cylinder engine made this mid-range musclebike faster than most 750s of that time.

A claimed top speed of just under 120mph made it nearly as quick as the 900 in everyday use. Hardly surprising then that most dealers ended up with many Z1s in part exchange for the 650. It even handled once you junked the Japanese Dunlops. A sure-fire winner!

‘Affordable’ was a debatable point. Any motorcycle is affordable if you have the money, and the low purchase price was not the full story. Servicing costs actually worked out higher than the Big Z range.

This was mainly because altering valve clearance took much longer due to the valve shims being under the tappet buckets instead of on top like the 900 engine.

This meant removing the camshafts completely to replace a shim; which meant extra time to check valve timing.

The home mechanic also ran a risk of stripping the camshaft holding cap bolts by being too heavy-handed. Torque wrenches not meant for 20-ton trucks were hard to come by in those days.

On reflection, it proved to be quite a dependable motor, following Big Brother’s bullet-proof reputation for many years.

Over the next few issues, I will be looking closer at the changes throughout the years and pointing out the faults that this engine had. There will also be a step-by-step stripdown, inspection and rebuild.

But first, a look through the engine development year-by-year to identify the changes between motors…”

30 Pages – PDF Download – Complete Series – Kawasaki Z650 Engine Rebuild

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