I took the plunge and two months ago bought a basket case 1979 KZ1300 A1. It was all I could afford and attached a pic of the bike as bought. I have always wanted a six-pot after starting out as a student with a Z400 B1 and then (still!) a 1982 KZ1000P.
I am reasonably mechanically minded, but this is first time I'm taking on something this big and complicated. I have the workshop manual and a parts manual and am approaching the project as a large meccano kit. Doing it bit-by-bit. There is no deadline, it is going to take as long as it takes.
Situation now is that I have taken the bike and engine apart completely as everything was rusted stuck. After a month soaking in diesel the pistons were still stuck, so I had to resort to a mallet, a block of wood and a good hour of 'gentle persuasion'. The liners had already been over bored and were so rusted there wasn't anything left to do with the block other than use as a boat anchor, so I needed a new cylinder jug and pistons. I found a good second hand one in the US (I am based in London) and I got that reground. Top end just needed cleaning, valve lapping and head skimming.
In the meantime I'm starting to think about paint scheme for the engine. Sliver aluminium block with anthracite grey covers and black bolts is the current theme, but finding heat resistant paint other than silver and black, and a large enough oven to bake the parts in is difficult!
Now for the potentially controversial bit: [..... shape intake of breath.....] I don't think I will be returning it to stock. I want something special, so am thinking to go the brat/cafe racer way.
Ok, now that probably half the forum audience has clicked away in disgust, here is my explanation/justification... (other than: Its mine, I can do what I want!
I attach a pic of my KZ1000P that I have taken as far as I can without being able to return it to the full-dresser police bike I bought. I purposely did not take it further as I want to keep the option to return it to a stock CHIPS bike as the parts are all original and I have its history. I quite like this style and I think I may be the first to attempt this with a KZ1300 as I have not found any pictures on the internet/pinterest etc. showing a KZ1300 styled as a true cafe racer (...and there may be a reason for that! I guess I'll find out).
As the KZ1300 is a basket case with very few useable original parts and no paperwork etc, I feel less guilty to take it away from stock and build something different. I have no idea exactly what it will turn out like and am currently concentrating on getting the engine back together and in the frame. Then I'll start tinkering with the style. It might turn out a little like the El Diablo rocket-garage.blogspot.com/2016/06/kawas...300cc-el-diablo.html
(and that would be a great result!) but maybe not... I like the KZ1000P rounded, sloping tank better than the KZ1300 and I like the large round headlight as seen on the Red Rooster www.motor1.com/news/93503/krakenhead-cus...ter-kawasaki-kz1000/
... we'll see where I end up.
For now I just need some pointers with regards to putting the engine back together and in the frame for a mock-up (see other threads), and if I can't find the answers in the various (extensive!) threads posted here, I'll ask via the forum. I tend to be able to work on the bike only every now and then so updates may be far and few between... but I promise to post stuff as it happens.
In the meantime thank you for your welcome (some members have already been in touch) and for the helping hand and suggestions that hopefully you all will lend.