New to Triples or thinking about getting one?
Unless you are buying a fully restored Triple that will sit in a showroom you need to be prepared to get your hands dirty! These bikes are over 30 years old and things will break. You would be fortunate to find a mechanic that knows what needs to be known to get and keep these bikes running as they should. This means YOU need to learn and know how to fix and maintain your own bike!
Over the years I have seen many get into these bikes without any knowledge about them, and worse, thinking they know more than they do, spending a lot of time and money (and grief), trying to get them properly tuned and safe to ride. They join a message board and ask questions looking for quick fixes and magic fixes without taking the time to first educate themselves with the basics. This site is here to provide most of the basic information required to get and keep your Triple in good running condition. Most of the information contained here is taken directly from published documents. It must be understood that many of those documents were published thiry+ years ago pertaining to stock configurations. Some of the manuals may contain errors but they are offered as they were published. Over the years better oils and products may be offered that were not available when these documents were published. and that needs to be kept in mind. But, the basics are there!
The first step in the education process is to identify what you have. There are differences between models and within models from year to year. The best way to determine what you have is by looking up and matching the serial numbers on both the frame and engine with the charts provided. Engine and frame numbers rarely matched from the factory. However, after thirty years it is possible that the engine (and engine parts) has been replaced with that from another model. Again that can make a difference when replacing parts. All models are NOT KH's. Using that terminology when not appropriate can lead to bad information and wrong parts. The "F" in a frame number has no reference to a model designation. It means it is "Frame" number. The same is true of the "E" in engine numbers.
I would suggest that the next step in the education process should be to read the Triple Maintenance manual from beginning to end. It is a pretty thorough manual including a few tips along the way. There are few errors. The Kawasaki shop manual is also a very good manual with more detail but maybe a little more difficult to follow. Reading it from cover to cover is a good thing.
Also contained on this site is ready reference to most specifications and service bulletins. Tips and suggested procedures are also offered. Take the time to scan through them as they could likely be put to good use. Carburetor tuning is repeatedly an issue and that section should be thoroughly read and understood before trying to tune your Triple! A FAQ page is worth a look.
A parts database is offered to provide information about differences between models as well as part numbers. Most the the numbers were taken from original fiches and some of those numbers have been superseded. Parts manuals and fiches are also offered. Most parts cannot be interchanged between models. A pictorial reference is offered for many parts. Keep in mind that many parts are still offered from Kawasaki. However, a lot of websites will lead you to believe that parts are available when they are not. Availability from Kawasaki also varies from country to country and dealer to dealer. A vendor list is available for reputable vendors of parts and services.
Welcome to the world of Triples!