GSX Suzuki wheels and suspension, but everything else by Kawasaki

A small example of why you need to rebuild 40 year-old switchgear

The same set of contacts after cleaning

The stator cables were damaged but repairable. These are crimped-on fresh cables

Piggyback loom building technique

Matt’s Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo

Most 1980s Kawasakis are above averagely complicated, but the fuel-injected Turbo is up there with the Z1300 as a real rat’s nest of a motorbike. Not only does it run several obsolete connectors and feature an early ECU; it has two wiring looms, one on top of the other.

Matt owned this actual bike back in the 1980s, and after it had been through several owners he managed to get it back. He got it painted, rebuilt the motor and recoated the frame. But it was still showing signs of a hard life: many fiddly but important brackets are still missing, and the dash and speedo are works in progress.

Tackling the bike was a big project: rebuild, restore and remount the handlebar switches, reg rec and other peripheral electrics; decode and redraw Kawasaki’s incredibly confusing main loom wiring diagram; cross check the remains of the original loom, and use it as a pattern for a new one; repeat for the ECU loom; and fit them both to the bike.

Normally you can just build a loom onto a bike but, as the bike was incomplete, making pattern looms was the only option. Hence the slight tangle of cables around the battery area – that’s what Kawasaki did back in 1982!

I couldn’t start the bike, but we had a spark and fuel pump, and all the lights did the usual. Matt’s now got hours/days/weeks/months of fun hunting down the various bits he needs to complete the rebuild.

And in case you were wondering, the wheels and forks aren’t original. They’re off a GSX1100 Suzuki. And that swing arm is by 1980s bolt-on royalty Metmachex.

New loom above, old one below. I had to do a bit of cannibalising to get the full complement of connectors

Here’s a close-up of the new wires: better than scratty 40 year-old ones

Kawasaki built the loom with multiple wires like this, honest…

Kawasaki used a PVC wrapping tape on the original loom. The nearest I can get is this Certoplast fabric tape

This is what an ECU looked like in 1982