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June 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

The model of the Kawasaki KZ1300 B Touring motorcycle finally arrived. Needless to say I wasted almost no time in opening the package. I did a visual inventory before opening the plastic bags. The, one by one, I opened them to make sure that any loose parts could be easily accounted for. There were a few that had come loose and broken away from the sprues. But not that many fortunately. I took photos of all the sprues before I started this build. I do this for a couple of reason. First, it’s so I can look at them if I happen to misplace one. Second, it helps me after the build to show folks just what’s involved.

I won’t bore people with placing the photos of the sprues in this commentary but I have included them in the upload if anyone wishes to take a look.

This is a 1/6 scale model and will be huge when completed. As are all of the Tamiya 1/6 kits.

Follow along as I put together this 6 cylinder beast of a touring motorcycle!!!!!

The frame on this one went together in typical Tamiya fashion. VERY little flash and, as long as one follows the instructions, almost puts itself together. The only slight issue that I found was making sure that the small 2mm nuts stayed in their proper places. I added a small drop of Tamiya cement to hold them in place. In the last photo you see the addition of the lower engine casing.

A few closeups of the lower engine casing. I did not strip a lot of the chrome from this model as I have done to others. Simply because in the early Eighties when these were produced, chrome was, in fact, heavily used on a lot of the big touring bikes. I did bring out the “KAWASAKI” logo by using a slight bit of flat black and the removing the paing from the chrome before it had completely dried.

A closeup of the center stand assembly. I was surprised at the detail of this as opposed the the Harley’s that I have built. There are multiple parts that hold this in place. I did have to be extremely careful to not get any glue into the areas where there would be movement. The springs ((two of them)) had to be adjusted slightly to insure a tight fit as well as being able to move freely.

This is the upper engine assembly. The spark plugs MUST be set in place at this time as you will not have access to them once it is set into the frame. I had to make sure that they stayed glued in place towards the center of each one so the addition of the plug wires later would not be an issue.

Here’s the entire engine assembly in the frame. The addition of the upper assembly is a VERY tight fit and care must be taken in it’s placement. I had one small part pop off that won’t be an issue to get back in.

In a lot of these photos you can see a few wire feeds for lighting. I had to add thees a lot earlier on this model due to the fact that the lights that I will be adding are embedded in the fairing, trunk, and saddlebags. This should provide for a lot less exposed wires that I will need to hide.

Assembly of the rear wheel and springs. Since this is a shaft drive motorcycle you won’t see the standard sprockets. The wheel assembly went together with little effort. But you must pay close attention to the instructions as there are some small inner wheel parts that must go in before completing this step. The same holds true for the springs. The long screw must be inside and tight before adding the spring. It would also be advisable to do any painting before completion.

These are closeups of the rear wheel and springs after assembly. This is where those missing parts would make a difference if one didn’t follow the instructions in the earlier steps. The nuts and screws are used to hold the wheels and springs in place.

This is the header pipe assembly. There are six of them and they must be installed in a specific order. I found that working on each side from the outer pipe to the inside was the best way to do this. They line up quite nicely but should be held in place for a few minutes, one by one, until the glue has set.

The lower photo show the addition of the radiator assembly. The fan is behind this and, although it does spin, it’s in one of those hard to see areas so it’s not easily viewed. The coolant hoses fit very tight and must be cut exactly to the suggested size. Anything bigger and this assembly would not fit correctly.

The speedometer cluster is almost complete in this photo. Decals were a bit tricky to get placed correctly as they are put on long before the final assembly.

This is the first of many lighting tests. This is the rear brake light and turn signals. All operating and I have even added flashing turn signals for this one. The photos, from left to right,are full light, partial light, and total darkness.

The LED’s that are used here are the 0402 type SMD. These are easily obtained through quite a few vendors. Installation is relatively simple. The real trick comes in when hiding the wires from direct viewing.

This is the construction of the main headlight. In the first photo you can make out the 0402 SMD that I used. A hole was drilled through the chrome bucket at the center. Then the light was passed through this and attached in place by a drop of CA glue ONLY on the wires.The other photos shot the headlight through various stages of the build. The last photo is with the light on after being completely assembled.

These photos show the front fork assembly. The detail here is quite nice and I have provided a close up shot in the first photo of some of that detail.

This photo is that “WHEW” moment that comes with these 1/6 scale kits. This is when you finally get to add the front forks and HOPE that you made no mistakes. Why? Because everything here is a VERY tight fit. Mistakes in the sub-assembly will have quite an effect on this part of it.


16 additional images. Click to enlarge

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8 responses to TAMIYA 1/6 scale KAWASAKI KZ1300 B TOURING

  1. Always a treat to see you work your magic with these bikes, Harry….we’ve missed ya these last few months.

  2. Hi Harry I’m knew around here so I took a sneak peek at your work fantastic can’t wait to see the finished kit,it has been some 34 years since my last and only bike build other than a ww2 bike in 1/35,go well cheers.

  3. Thanks for sharing this with us, Harry, looking forward to seeing your build, you sure love these big bikes.

    • These big bikes offer up a host of detailing possibilities. As you can see I love adding lighting to them. This one appears to be suitable to even adding opening saddlebags and trunk. I have already cheated and downloaded the instructions from the Tamiya site.

      Should be a fun build!

  4. You lucky man, they are rare as rocking horse droppings over here.
    A big kit, looking forward to this build.

    • The older ones, such as this one, are about that rare here as well. I got lucky with the AMF FLH 1200 as well. That one was pulled from the market by Tamiya due to a licensing dispute with AMF at the time.

      This one just wasn’t manufactured in the same quantities as the Harley’s which makes it a bit harder to find.

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