1980 KAWASAKI KZ1000

Atlas Moto’s first restoration is complete!

This 1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 came to us from Kenneth Claud on behalf of his brother, Larry Claud, a former motocross team rider for Nashville legend Ray Dey. The KZ1000 series is iconic to the Atlas family. From Max Rockatansky chasing down Nightrider and his moto gang in the first Mad Max to Ponch and Jon cruising the California coast in CHiPs, we’ve always had a love for this bike.

The project was spearheaded by our own Patrick Ryan (@3rdpiston) and Taylor Pyburn (@pyburnn), sourcing a majority of the parts direct from Japan, including new fenders, headlight bucket, front fork brace emblem, left & right controls, turn signals, gauge covers, gas cap, and rear shocks. The seat was reupholstered to the stock pan, and the very rare stock airbox was sourced, gently used from eBay. New clutch, speedo, tach and throttle cables were installed.

Powder coating was done by Mr. Speed Coatings of Goodlettsville, TN, while paint to the tank, side covers and rear fairing was done by Landon West. The engine was removed and sprayed, bringing it back to factory specs. Cam cover gasket, intake boots, exhaust gaskets, engine side cover gaskets were replaced. Both a K&L Full Carburetor Rebuild Kit and Z1 Enterprises Accelerator Pump Rebuild Kit, complete with check valve assemblies, were installed after a supersonic deep clean. A #15 Pilot Jet (Stock) and #105 Main Jet were used in the final tune and the needle position was not adjusted from stock. Finally, a Vance & Hines 4 into 1 exhaust has this black beauty breathing easy once again.

Photos by Emilia Pare', @emiliapare