1997 Kawasaki ZX-6R
A final fettle before the big farewell
O THE ZX-6R is for sale. It’s been on ebay a couple of weeks already and like a fisherman sat lakeside I’ve had a couple of bites, but haven’t landed a seller just yet.
My plight isn’t helped by the chilly time of year. Early winter isn’t exactly the ideal time to sell a sportsbike, especially as it’s probably going to spend the remainder of the dark months parked up in its new owner’s garage. No matter – I’m still hopeful because I need the dough to finance my own winter wheels: a trailie.
I must confess that I’ve only used the ZX occasionally during the last few months, as I’ve been using test bikes and trying to keep the Kawasaki clean. In that time, however, the carbs have gone out of balance and suffered the ill effects of stale fuel and debris from the bottom of the tank.
The result of all this became obvious when I took the bike for a clear-out last week. There was a spluttering power delivery in the lower reaches of the rev
Srange. I wouldn’t want to buy a bike running in such a poor fashion, so I’m not about to sell one like it either. Cylinders one and two weren’t reaching temp like their opposite numbers, suggesting the issue to be in their corresponding carbs. The bike pulls strongly and cleanly once on the main jet (6500rpm-on) so the finger of blame is pointing at blocked pilot jets.
With the carbs off there are no obvious signs of dirt ingress, but even the tiniest specs of filth can wreak havoc in small jets. To make sure, the delicate workings of the Keihin bank are going to do a stint in The Motorcycle Works ultrasonic cleaner (thanks Pete).
To make doubly sure, I’ve bought a fresh set of genuine needle valves. The O-rings on the ones that I removed look to be past their best, so fitting new is certainly not going to hurt.
So if you’re in the market for a sweet-running ZX-6R, drop me a line.