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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the family friend in this case is a 1990 EX-500. I think this bike has been hidden in a basement for the last 7 years. I have ridden it many many years ago, but I hardly remember it. It has to be over a decade. The bike was my brother's but really belongs to my parents.

Anyway, after threatening for the last few years to come by with my trailer and get the Kawasaki running again, I finally picked it up yesterday. The bike only has about 5,000 miles on it. I got a wave of nostalgia that hit when the bike finally saw sunlight again. Brought me right back to when I was playing counterstrike 1.6 every day since that's probably the last time I rode the thing, hah.

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I want to get the bike up-and-running and probably knock out some of the bigger service issues that need to be addressed after ~30 years and about the last 10 not moving at all. I'm planning to knock bits out when I'm not working on my own projects. I recently revived a neighbor's 1985 454 LTD which sounds like it's quite similar fundamentally to the EX-500, and that was the first real time I'd ever spent working on a Kawasaki. I figure strike while the iron is hot and maybe I'll remember one or two tricks that will help with this EX500. I know that I was very happy with how simple the valve adjustment was on the 454. And I know I was very annoyed with the PAIR--so I'm deleting that right off the bat.

After doing some research here and just comparing to previous "refresh/revive" buy lists of mine, I figured I would be able to do it for around $800. Well, something tells me it'll end up going a bit over that, but hopefully not crazy. Time will tell I suppose.

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Anyway, I can see there's quite a few stickied How-To threads that will certainly come in useful! Thanks to everyone that took the time to either create or contribute to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
this is so well organized! what a beautiful bike, can't wait to see how this turns out. i would add servicing the gas cap, it's quick and your vent is probably dusted by now
I'm excited to get it back up and running. And thank you for the advice--definitely need to look into the gas cap given what I've been reading here. I appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well well well... This project may not be as exactly straightforward as I was hoping. Though it only has 5,000mi on it, it definitely saw some air/fuel modifications early in its life. I'm really hoping they left the original internals for the carburetor inside and just messed with the air filter and PAIR. The bike did run well though before it went into hibernation.

The modifications I can tell so far after just pulling some pieces off last night are a K&N air filter, the Muzzy exhaust system (which I'm thinking may be a full system given now good of shape the headers are in and the lack of a center stand), and an attempt at a PAIR-delete. The vacuum cap on carburetor #2 that I assume probably hooked up to the pair is capped with a red zip-tied plug. Okay, that's good. The airbox hole isn't sealed from the PAIR device breather that runs back to it, and there's no sign of that tube anywhere. The valve cover ports look to just be connected directly to each other.

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It's funny--I was trying to find a date code on the tires, and it was driving me nuts. I couldn't find the 4-digit code anywhere. Then it kind of hit me to google "3-digit tire code". And that's when I realized that these tires are about 30 years old. These should be really fun to wrestle off the wheels! I always find removing tires a lot harder than actually spooning on new ones.

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I'm at about $890 now. Decided to splurge on a Yuasa AGM as opposed to chancing it on a cheaper battery. Also ordered the two orings for the carb vents and two orings for the carb fuel rails, so I think I should have everything to go for a soft parts rebuild. I'm really hoping there are no surprises inside the carburetor like Chinesium jets or torn diaphragms--I don't think there will be. Crossed fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
damn what a janky pair block off. toddlamp may or may not be still selling his pair block off plates, but fog always suggested plugging them with some dowels. more importantly though, nice garage dude, it looks so clean i want to eat off the floors
I had checked his site, but it showed out of stock, so I just ordered some on ebay. I'm sure I could just use dowels or some silicone plugs, but I'd always be a little bit worried about them getting blown out. Maybe that's not a realistic concern.

It's actually my basement! The house is built into a hill so it's one story, but I can ride right into the basement from the garage. Epoxying the floors was my big winter project this year. I'm in the midwest and friggen hate winter, so I wanted to turn it into less of a dungeon. Much brighter now. Everything else in the house is a time capsule to 1961.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Member ToddLamp sells pro PAIR removal kits. Now, two primary things so the motor won't frag: you need an upgraded Gen1 or modifided Gen2 flywheel. Threads on that here. Check eBay item 331348934330 for the cheapest one available. I have one.

Second: the motor needs a Gen2 cam chain tensioner. How to tell? The original will have a 10mm bolt on the cap (not the two that hold it to the cylinders). The Gen2 units have a 12mm bolt. That will ensure that the engine lives.
I did look into the ToddLamp site, but it appears he's out of stock on the PAIR removal kits. I ordered set 6Sigma set off of eBay.
I will look into the flywheel conversion and do some further research. I think that'll likely be an elective operation I'll pose to my dad/brother if they decide they want to start riding the bike more. Sounds like a good winter project--especially considering winter is like 7 months here. I need to get a better grasp on what's actually involved with it. And I'm sure if I'm pulling case covers, I'm going to be needing new gaskets as well.
I've got a used gen2 CCT on the way. Looks like it's arriving tomorrow. I'll get that installed during the weekend. Surprised to hear the gen1 has the failures that it does.

Thank you for the welcome and advice on things to look out for, po18!

I got a little further last night. Drained all the coolant--which looked green. Not pure rust colored like the 454 LTD I messed with recently, so that was nice. 6/8 valves were in spec. The two intakes on the left cylinder (#2? lol, #1 seems more appropriate but nobody asked me) were at 0.008" so I gave em the slightest of snugging. I've got the valve cover cleaned up nicely. Hopefully the gasket re-seals alright since I don't have another one. I'll probably wait until I've got that CCT installed to tighten the valve cover back up.

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I ordered some NGK D9EA spark plugs to replace the D8EA's that came out. Pretty oily, but considering how long ago this bike ran, not sure I can take too much info from what they look like. We'll see what comes out of the carburetor when I get that off. That'll tell more of the story.
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Unfortunately American Tire Moto let me know that the rear 130/90 BT46 is going to be delayed by at least a month. Was hoping to knock the tires/chain/sprockets out as a weekend project in one fell swoop. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Welcome aboard, nice write ups with pictures! Enjoy the journey
Thanks ridervfr. And sweet bikes you've got. I see "vfr" in the name and obviously had to go looking at your post history, hah. You've got one bike I'd really like to get my hands on someday--a yellow 5th gen VFR. A 1984 VF500F was my first bike. Still have it and it's my favorite bike to ride, though it's completely disassembled right now. Need to fix that.

Still chugging along. Working through the front and the rear before I get to the middle. New fork seals, front tire (rear is backordered.. booooo), caliper seals, EBC brake pads, lubricated cables, Spiegler stainless brake line, Vortex sprocket and chain (stock gearing), PAIR block-offs installed, Yuasa AGM battery installed.
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Should be getting to the carburetor this week. Still waiting for the vent and fuel rail orings to ship. Really hoping I just find stock hardware inside. Getting that old tire off the front rim suckkkkkked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi, cool - I went to school with someone that had the "mini-ceptor" 85 or 86, I had a ZL600 Eliminator at the time which was a weird shaft drive bike and basically made me mad at the big K for a while. My Honda bikes are gen3 bikes, I only have carb bikes, am not a fan of FI stuff for myself. I had one of them for almost 30 years, its a 91 - I use the EX for commuting but it is set up well and you could track it based on suspension up grades (I had one as a race bike in early 2000's.)

Like your chain sprockets.
It just dawned on me--I've probably been reading your posts for a decade over at VFRWorld. I spend most of my time there in the forum one down from you in the 1/2gen boards, hah. I don't think I've ever even heard of a Kawasaki Eliminator though. I've never been much of a Kawasaki guy, but maybe this experience will open my eyes a bit. I do have a 2001 KE100 though that's just hilarious to ride on public roads.

Those are some very clean looking bikes you have.

I am pretty sure I bought the last Toddlamp kit in Jan/Feb 2021, it is getting harder and harder to find things for or even find these bikes in one piece. I am looking forward to seeing this 1 gen go together and be a beauty again.
Ah, that makes sense. I think the 6sigma ones I bought should work fine--though they weren't cheap for what they are. Think I might finally pull the carburetor either tonight or tomorrow. Disassemble and clean. Unfortunately, might not be getting those orings I need until July 5th if they don't get delivered by Saturday. I guess it's not a race--I should know better than to get excited before I know what I'm in for troubleshooting-wise! Cheers.
 
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