Question about 1990 kawasaki ZZR 600

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I recently bought a 1990 Kawasaki ZZR600. I had heard the engines were unbreakable, so didn't really inspect it as closely as I should have: just checked there were no strange noises, or a lot of smoke. When I got home I ran the engine for about 15 minutes without switching on the fan (didn't know about it then) to bring it up to temperature so that I could check the engine better for a possible minor misfire. The temperature gauge was at normal when a load of coolant spewed out under pressure from an overflow hose at the rear of the bike. I then noticed that the oil, which I had told had been recently changed, could not be seen for a creamy film on the interior of the inspection glass. That seems like a head gasket? Is that the case? Did I cause it to blow, or did I buy it like that, and what's it likely to cost me? The guy I bought it off says the bike was fine.....naturally! Thanks

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If it has blown a head gasket its highly unlikely that the guy didn't know something was wrong. Check that the water overflow bottle has not been over filled. Its worth checking the radiator cap rubbers and spring pre-load as it could just be the cap leaking under pressure. Its not unusual to get a moisture build up in the crankcase if the bike has had lots of short runs and this will fowl the inspection glass. The fan has a thermostatic control and should cut in and out by itself.  Pull the plugs out and you should be able to tell if there is any water leaking back into a cylinder by there condition. If everything seems ok and its still doing the same thing then you will have to have the cooling system pressure tested to find internal leaks.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008

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