Kawasaki KZ650 cafe-racer. Timing chain tension system again.

Cam chain tensioner systems of  Kawasaki Z900, Z1 and early KZ650 with their three guide sprockets and two guide wheels are fascinating  and have attractiveness of complicated mechanical toys. However, one who decided to pack his motorcycle with new improved cam chain idler sprockets and wheels will find that it ain’t no cheap. I worked on replacement of  cam chain tension system parts gradually to reduce the impact of parts price on project budget. And at last my work is finished. My constant readers already noticed that I replaced the lower guide roller with a wheel from Liska Racing while two middle idler sprockets and tension  wheel I replaced with PMC sprockets. Thus the only component that left non replaced was upper idler sprocket. It’s part number is  12053-1013. Here is how it looks:

Liska Racing provides its direct replacement, however, when it came to buying I became somewhat hesitant. The thing was that Liska sprockets are black and brackets have yellowish zinc plating while PMC provides sprockets and brackets of steel colour. It might sound slightly mad, but I wished to have all sprockets looking uniformly and close to OEM parts. And as you may guess, I already have a plan how to achieve my goal.

I assume many of early KZ650 motorcycles had at least one look at part scheme which is called “Cam Chain Teansioner “. Those who looked at that page might of noticed that upper guide rollers are of two styles: early separable and later non-separable in which sprocket axle pin is riveted.  So for the first thing I ordered yet another PMC Z900-Z1 idler sprocket. I fetched it along with other goods to decrease mostly unbearable Webike delivery charges (they have only one extra expensive Fedex option for shipping in Ukraine at the moment).

Three of them together  looked pretty funny to me:

I rummaged through the USA ebay and bought two parts there. One of them is a bracket with part number 12051-003.

Another one is collar with part number 92027-261:

I already have the bolt with part number and of style that exactly fits the old type of upper idler.

 So I had only to put all parts together. And voila, behold old-type-new-upgraded-idler:

I also bought  new guide roller shafts as using new sprockets and wheel on old shafts is not the best idea.  There are three of them in Kawasaki KZ650:

Once these parts arrived, my upgrade setup for the timing chain and it’s tension system was completed. It looks completely as I wished: uniform. I do not put on display here new rubber dampers on canvas, but I have them too.


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