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Newbie,ZL400 Project.

Alex Woods Jan 3, 2020

  1. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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    Hi Guys, BIKE.jpg

    So glad I found this page! Used to own an 04 plate Yamaha R6 a few years ago and my back couldn't take the riding position, so Iv just bought a comfy ZL400 saw it and fell in love with it straight away so I had to have it.

    Its in need of some work and TLC exactly the kind of project I'm after. however id love to know what exact model I have as searching for service parts/spares seems like a minefield when it comes to this model....

    So far I have found a site called wemoto that seems to be promising.

    If any seasoned members could point me in the direction of a good parts supplier I would be eternally grateful.

    As far as I know its a 1993 (L reg) ZL400 import. been sat for a few years.

    It doesn't start under its own steam, but with a small spray of easy start does try to run. I'm suspecting its a carb issue. further investigation will be undertaken this weekend. If there's any other common issues id be all ears.

    Thanks for accepting me into the group I can see the forums being very useful.
     
  2. furchin

    furchin ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    That model is pretty much exclusive to your side of the pond so sourcing parts most likely will have to also come from there as well. But I would be willing to bet that 500 & 600 parts will for the most part interchange with your model. Good Luck.
     
    Alex Woods likes this.
  3. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mate, First check the Barrel stamping to make sure it is a 398 cc & not a 592 cc unit, every bike I seen in that colour scheme apart from one has been a 600 cc unit! The Kawasaki parts suppliers are expensive CMS in Holland is the largest supplier of Kwacker parts in Europe. https://www.cmsnl.com/kawasaki_model11368/ and then these are in the main all ZL 600 B parts. Pretty sure most ZL600A, ZL440A parts are interchangeable. Obviously the Bore n' stroke on the 500/600 are different. On the 500 bore 55 mm x 52.4 stroke, same as on the 600 which has a 60 mm bore. The 400 is 56 mm bore 40.4 stroke, been told the chain driven ZX 400's are 57 mm bore n' 39 mm stroke.
    Some information can be got from here.
    https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/kawasaki/kawasaki_zl400_95.htm
    Silencers, rear shocks, cables all difficult to source, but cables on the ZL 600 B may be the same length!
    On the A series like mine, if I remember correctly, rear mudguard?fender chrome work different, also headlight unit, clocks, engine colour on some spec's! ZL 400 juicy on gas, same consumption as a Z1000, tank size 12 litres plus a bit is the main pain in the rear! 5 years Ownership PM for more info I am in Blighty! Screenshot at 2020-01-03 15:03:02.png
     
    Alex Woods likes this.
  4. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Yours is a ZL "B " Model!
     
  5. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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    Thanks for your info guys, Its nice to have some reliable info straight from source rather than me scouring the internet and not knowing if it relates to my bike or not :confused:.

    Trojan441 (please excuse my lack of knowledge) but how can you tell the model is a "B"?

    Someone's been in and around the air box/fuel lines as there's bolts missing etc. but this weekend im going to be taking the carbs off to inspect them. I am an engineer/car mechanic/tinkerer by trade but do not have much knowledge when it comes to carbs. is there anything I should be looking out for in particular? the fuel tap is also peeing out fuel as well so I think ill try and re-seal that asap.

    cheers again for the info. iv just been to the shed and checked and its definitely a 398 as its stamped on the block.

    Furchin thanks for the Luck I'm definitely going to need it. I have heard a lot of the ZL500/600 parts thankfully fit the ZL400 I hope it is that easy :rolleyes:.

    Thanks Guys

    PS: Trojan I think you may regret saying PM you for more info :laugh: .
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Harriminator

    Harriminator Senior Member

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    ZL400-A
    Kawasaki-EL-400-Eliminator-86.jpg

    ZL400-B
    kawasaki-zl400-eliminator-2.jpg
     
    Trojan441 likes this.
  7. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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    Thank you Harriminator. I see one blindingly obvious one I haven't seen before. Even though I now no iv been staring at pictures of them both thinking they looked like the same bike.:oops:

    is it only the tail end of the bike/ backrest etc.? I'm curious to know if they can be swapped as id like to try and get a back rest on mine? and I do now prefer the shorter look.....
     
  8. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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    Sorry Trojan are you saying that they are just different but would still fit on my ZL400? :detective:
     
  9. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alex, as far as I know, the frames are the same, so I guess the rear fender/Mudguard units are interchangeable, the ZL 400 was I think in the main a Japanese Home Market machine, which then found itself all over the World as a "Grey import". Kawasaki UK only ever imported officially the ZL 1000 1987 & the ZL 600 B new from 1995-1997 according to Mick Walker's book on "Kawasaki Fours", ISBN 1-86126-152-7, interesting read, source EBay or Amazon, get one for below £10!, some inaccuracies though!, Printer mistakes, wrong diagrams labels, there is no other part of literature that has so many inaccuracies as books about motorcycles, it is like they have never heard of a technically accomplished"Proof-reader! The book states the 600 cc engine is based on the ZZR 600, it isn't, the 400/600 units are mainly based on the Air-cooled GPZ 550 unit bottom end, then water-cooled wet-liners, , cylinder 2-3 vary in spacing closer than the GPZ, with a 16 valve head, based on the GPZ 900R unit mechanism except unlike GPZ 900 a central drive cam-chain as can clearly be seen. but actuated by Cam-followers as on the GPZ 900 unit.

    The weakest part of the engine is the star-washer Part-Number 39130, in the Limited-slip Sprag-clutch, which breaks & should then have two Star-washers fitted. A good idea to have a Gear-chang pedal oil-seal spare & the fan switch thermostat area is problematic too, put an Osram H4 Night Breaker in the headlamp too, there's is also unfortunately no Pilot position on mine anyway, but I do have Hazard warning lamps which I have used a few times especially n motorways! Exhaust/ Silencers parts are problematic too!
    The good part is the Japanese factories threw more money at the 400cc class than any othr, followed by the 600cc class. In racing he GPZ 550 unit, was deemed the most bullet-proof Kawasaki ever made, then came the upgraded GPX 400/ & GPX 600 units again with adaptation some engine parts are interchangeable. There is nothing high-tech about the suspension & frame but they seem to do the job & the bikes handle surprisingly well. A ZR7 petcock will fit the tank see earlier post. I hope this helps! 20190421_080521.jpg
     
    Alex Woods likes this.
  10. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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    Wow you are truly a fountain of knowledge where about do you live? don't fancy rebuilding my bike for me do you :laugh:. On a serious note glad I know a bit more about the bike though thank you.

    is that yours? I notice now the wheels are different on the A Model I do quite like the multi spoke of the B. but prefer the stubby rear end of the A.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  11. Harriminator

    Harriminator Senior Member

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    Alex Woods likes this.
  12. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, mine, someone helped themselves to my side-panels n' only had one spare, I am in Ramsgate, the other bike the one, Harriminator linked to, is the only ZL400B I have seen in that colour scheme . The prettiest ZL 400 was the LX in Cherry Red Screenshot at 2020-01-04 14:01:18.png Screenshot at 2020-01-04 14:05:26.png Screenshot at 2020-01-04 14:03:23.png Screenshot at 2020-01-04 14:06:30.png & Grey!
     
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  13. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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  14. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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    Absolute cheeky B@5tards can’t have anything nice nowadays. The red is a lovely colour I don’t think I’ll keep the paint job on mine in the long run but for now I’ll enjoy it as it is.
     
  15. R. J.

    R. J. Supporting Member

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  16. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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  17. Ed

    Ed Well-Known Member

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    Trojan, that bike looks like like it has parts from different years.
     
  18. Alex Woods

    Alex Woods Member

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    Also Im looking for a Haynes style manual so if anyone knows of any that are close to the ZL400 that would great. iv heard rumours that a GPZ manual might be similar??
     
  19. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Screenshot at 2020-01-05 10:57:38.png Screenshot at 2020-01-05 10:58:18.png There's a Supplementary ZL 600 manual on the site here as a download in the Downloads section and a ZL400 parts Micro-fiche . The only full spec' manuals for ZL 400s I have seen are in Japanese! Engine wise you are looking @ GPZ Base manual. again supplemented by the GPX 600 manual for upgrades. The GPZ 400/500/550 Fours manual, (you can get one on Ebay now for less than,£10), has some background information too as it covers some parts and the shaft drive for the GT550, which was the donor system for the ZL400/600. Kawasaki must have had a drug-fuelled painter designer who came up with that purple yellow colour scheme, OTT or what! Just awful IMHO!

    I lied there was one other ZL400 on Ebay last year with the same colou scheme, but then again it could have been the same bike as yours!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
    Alex Woods likes this.
  20. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Aftermarket Chinese silencers, but other ZL400A LX's I have seen are similarly equipped!
     

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