1982 Kawasaki KZ550C Electric Motorcycle Conversion Notes


Filed Under (Kawasaki) by admin on 03-12-2010

Starting point: • 1982 Kawasaki KZ550C that I found in an alley near my house. Frame rust sanded and repainted. • Rebuilt front suspension ($25 for front fork oil seals, 1 weekend for repair) • Need-to-be-rebuilt front brake caliper • Need-to-be-replaced front master brake cylinder (expected ~$80) • Need-to-be-refurbished electrical wiring system and 12V battery • Working rear brake • Flat rear tire, patched with fix-a-flat (temporary repair), 77″ circumference. • In-tact 530 size 62″ chain with 36 tooth driven sprocket • Miscellaneous spare parts from 1978 Kawasaki KZ450, most of which fit on the 1982 frame, including an ignition switch and key. I started with a chassis I found in an alley near my house. It was in rough shape and needed some refurbishment before I could start the conversion. Most of refurbishment steps are listed above in bullets. In addition to the repainting and repair of important aspects of the bike, I also needed to remove the IC engine components and the grease caked on from years of IC use. The Clymer manual for this bike was helpful in this process, which was about $18 from [13]. Steps for removing the engine were as follows. I removed the seat and the gas tank. I removed the electrical system wiring and 12V battery holder. I then removed the carburetors (which took a lot of pushing and shoving) and air filter box. I then removed the drive socket cover and removed the drive socket from the engine drive shaft. This allowed me to slip the chain off of the drive socket after loosening the rear wheel to put slack into the chain. I slipped the chain off and let it rest on the rear wheel swing arm and drained the old motor oil. I then removed all of the engine mounting bolts and pushed the entire engine out of the right side of the bike. This took a lot of effort but it is possible to remove the engine without removing the piston heads as recommended in the Clymer manual. The engine weights about 60-70 lbs, so it was possible to handle with one person. I suggest using a flat car jack to help with engine removal. I will eventually sell the IC parts through Ebay