The Story of the 1979 Kawasaki KE100 (so far)

The Beginning -

I found this old KE100 for sale on OfferUp in September of last year. I had been watching Dan & Fahed rebuild their bikes for weeks and was insanely jealous of the tinkering they were getting on so I had to find myself a project. Here’s a screenshot from the listing posted with the wrong model name:

All of the info I had on the bike was on the listing and in some messages I exchanged with the owner. He said it ran, there was an issue with the petcock, and that was that. The petcock issue proved to later be a big thorn in my side (and it was only entirely self-inflicted). The owner was also nice enough to include a video of the bike running… if you squint you can almost make out the bike. 

I definitely watched this video like 100 times before going to check the bike out. 

One of my brothers lives out in the burbs near the town the bike was posted and lucky for me we had one of our brother nights scheduled where we take over his living room and eat chicken wings until we become immobile. He was nice enough to help me load the bike into my Pathfinder the morning after, which was really helpful. Plus you gotta use the buddy system when you buy things online!
After a quick test drive to make sure the bike was still running and making a deal with the owner the gas was drained, we crammed it into the Pathfinder, and we were on our way!

The Middle -

After making the drive home it was time to unload and really take a close look at what I had. Unfortunately, my brother had to go home so I had to unload it myself. It was a little cumbersome and it did go down on the way out but thankfully I was not the first person to drop it and the damage appeared at first to be negligible. 

Right after I dropped it
Right after I dropped it from a second angle

I walked the gasless Kawasaki the block or two from my garage over to Dan & Fahed’s where we were going to fill it up with some gas and go for a rip. After filling it up we noticed that it was definitely not as easy to start as it was at the previous owner’s house (go figure). In fact, it wouldn’t start at all, which was a little concerning. A quick look around the bike would tell us why that was.

It appeared the petcock was being a tad too generous with the fuel! Actually it had a huge crack running down the side of it. Maybe it happened when I dropped it during the unload, maybe it happened in the 40~ years of ownership before me and it was just bound to fail when I got it. I’ll let yo be the judge of that. On top of the petcock, all of the rubber lines were old and the fuel filter needed to be replaced.  I’m notoriously impatient when it comes to parts coming in the mail and in the process of trying to get this thing running I bought like 3 petcocks. One didn’t fit, the second one I bought did fit but it was for a generator, and the third one is the correct petcock for the bike.

The generator petcock is still installed because it works just fine! There is no res setting but on this bike, Bumblestein (bumble-bee/frankenstein), it’s pretty fitting. After some tweaking and carb cleaning and Dan doing most of the work, the bike was running again! It took a bit to dial everything in but soon we had a nicely running bike. 

Idle was high here but we were amped it was running
Here’s Dan going for a rip
Starting so sound good here

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