1981/84 Kawasaki Z1100
Hard to believe this bike is based on the 1981 Z100J. It’s been skilfully modified with a modern front end, trick Japanese shocks, Dyna ignition, a Koso RX2N dash, a 4-1 exhaust, neat bodywork, a custom seat – and now a custom wiring loom.
For owner Russ the ’orrible loom was the last thing to sort out. It had been chopped, repaired, modified and generally hacked about – so much so that the front half, with its mesh outer covering, looked like a python that had swallowed a large rat. The fuse box lid was a sawn-off oil bottle. Russ wanted the bare minimum of wiring, joined to an R1 right hand switch cluster which would run everything except the horn button, which would take the form of a KTM kill switch on the left. That was the plan, anyway.
Before starting the loom the bike’s electrical bits needed a serious going over. New cables were patched into the alternator stator, solenoid and ignition switch, and the starter cable was repaired (it couldn’t be replaced economically because on this bike it’s integral with the starter motor). A morning’s work resulted in a new waterproof fuse box under the seat, and a repaired battery box and improved terminals for the Motobatt battery. (Why are Motobatt batteries so good, but come with ridiculous terminals?)
The loom itself went together nicely, but unfortunately the R1 switch wouldn’t allow OFF – DIP – HIGH BEAM as we’d hoped. We had to settle for a second horn button on the left handlebar, operating a latch relay to get a dipswitch function. A second annoyance was the rev counter. The Koso dash likes to be connected to an ignition box tacho output wire or, failing that, a source coil trigger wire. Neither of those options is available with Dyna ignition. We used the third best connection place, which is the coil trigger. This resulted in an erratic tacho needle. The excellent Digital Speedos sell two Koso rpm filters, but Russ needed the bike back before I could try them. Later on I hope to report whether they solve the issue.
The bike felt great on its test ride round the marina: supple suspension and perfect low-speed running. Russ obviously knows what he’s doing.