I measured the wheelbase. It’s five inches longer than an R1’s. Stability is not going to be an issue. Although hairpins will be

Reg rec under the battery, fuse box easy to reach. It’s an awful lot simpler than what Kawasaki did

Over on the left side, I ditched Kawasaki’s enormous multi-plug bracket. Instead, the solenoid and flasher unit have acres of space

Kevin’s Rickman Z900

I had no idea the brothers even built a Z900 chassis, but here’s the proof they did. And owner Kevin reports that this is quite a well-known bike in the Rickman Owners’ Club.

It seems to be in fairly complete 1970s condition, right down the the engraved bare naked ladies (all four of them). The only concessions to modernity are a Metmachex swing arm, teardrop indicators and a Dyna ignition, all of them first available in the 1980s.

The bike had a pattern Z900 loom fitted, but Kevin wasn’t entirely happy with the result. Small wonder, because apart from the engine, this bike is not a Z900. So a custom loom seemed the best way forward.

Kevin likes the old time vibe, so he wanted to keep the original clocks (as well as the mechanical anti-dive, and even the steering damper). Electrically, no problem. But as with every Rickman I’ve worked on, making the wires fit was the real challenge. The front headlight bracket is a huge rectangular thing off the headstock, and combined with moving yokes it makes a very effective cable slicing device. The way round it is to build in elaborate loops, so that the cables are out of harm’s way.

The other stumbling block is the tail section. A tail light and two indicators can make seat removal a pain as you stuggle with inaccessible bullet connectors. My solution is to wire the three components individually so they can be replaced when needed, but then to make a sub loom that joins them all to one QD plug. In this case, a Superseal one. These plugs are tricky to do well, but very easy to separate and reconnect.

Kevin’s bike originally had a starter motor with an integral cable. Unfortunately the said cable was fubar, so he had to bite the bullet and get a new starter motor. With the help of Z Power we managed to find a later one that could take a separate cable: much better.

Kevin’s plan is to get the bike repainted, most probably green, and use it for gentle runs this summer. A little slice of history, which most people won’t have seen before.

Apologies for the indoor pics. It was absolutely sheeting with rain outside.

Superseal plug makes it easy to unhitch the tail section in a jiffy

Here’s the new starter motor, with freshly revived stator cables, neutral wire and battery cable. This bit always takes a while

There’s an awful lot going on behind that fairing