1979 Kawasaki KZ650 Ticking

I recently bought a 79 KZ650 off my roomate, bike had been sitting for a few years and of course did not run when i purchased it. I took it to someone who threw some spark plugs in it and gave it a small tune up i would assume to get it running(in my excitement i do not remember what all they said they did to get it running, i didnt care because the bike was running) after a few hours of riding i started to have some issues.

a. the bike would run fine while at speed, but when i would be stopped and at idle, it would tick(tick explained further down)  and eventually die if i didnt stay at the throttle, also a few friends i was riding with informed me that all they could smell was gasoline when they were behind me and informed me i was running too rich, then after about 300 miles the bike finally wont start up

SO i guess what im saying is, i have no clue what to do, and would love to troubleshoot this myself, i would much rather learn to work on this bike myself, i pulled the brand new spark plugs out and they were all gunked up, do i need to re-jet? if so what all does that involve, im going to pull the carbs off today and check them out and try cleaning them via a giant pot of boiling lemon juice

also, ive located the ticking noise to the automatic petcock? i have the same bike and set up as pictured in this video(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mwa1jz04fQ), and this guy is saying i need to cap the petcock and when i did that is when the bike decided it didnt want to run anymore, it started up fine before i did that and when i removed the cap it really wont start.

with re jetting, do i need to re jet everything? or just a certain jet since it is running too rich.
any help is greatly appreciated, as i have no clue what the hell to do

Hey –

You don’t necessarily need to rejet your bike. Is the bike modified in any way? Aftermarket exhaust or intake?

It sounds like you just have some carbs that are still a little gummed up. It can sometimes take a couple cleanings to get all the dirt out of everywhere it shouldn’t be.

‘Ticking’ I would associate with the valve train, but I imagine you are likely referring to more of a ‘hiccup’ type problem caused by the carbs and fuel flow. Definitely pull those carbs and verify they are spotless. Make sure all the passages are clear and the jets are void of any dirt. Then make sure your float needles are in good condition and seating properly.

In the video the guy has replaced his vacuum petcock with a gravity fed petcock. Because of this he has plugged up the port on the carbs used for the vacuum line because he no longer needs it. If your carb still has the standard vacuum fed petcock then you absolutely do not want to plug up that port, otherwise you won’t get any fuel into the carbs. That port should be connected to your petcock by a hose.

Evan Fell

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