Removing the balancer

Frank Hartung
By: Frank Hartung, March 1999


To remove the crankshaft balancer from the Zx11/Zzr1100. If you do not have a manual, then write down what you are removing when. It might take an extra couple of minutes, but can and usually pays off during re-assembly.

Pull the lower fairings and drain the oil, etc.
Next remove the exhaust system and then the oil pan(which requires removing oil coolers, some oil lines and electrical connection) and note which bolt has been loc-tited from the factory.
Once you have the oil pan off, and all the oil has finished dropping on the floor, I believe there are a couple of oil transfer tubes that have to be removed. Be careful of the O-rings- if not sure, get some new ones from the Kawasaki dealer.
Now you need to locate some good qualitiy 8mm wrenches from different manufactures as the bolt the has to be removed is in tight quarters. It is loc-tited into place.

Before you start, and if you haven't already, go and get your favourite refreshment-you will need it.
Remove the 8mm screw on the lever on the outside that goes into the case, leaving the lever attached to the balancer at this time. Moving to the inside, turn the crank to give the most room by the balancer. There is a bolt located on the top/above the balancer and is holding a plate and pin in place which keeps the balancer shaft in place.
Once the screw has been removed and the plate is out, the fun may begin.

Get a strong but small magnet and fish the pin out of its bore. It may help to wiggle or move the shaft out and in from the outside. Once the pin is out, SET THE CRANK at top dead center for pistons #1 & #4. (this will make room for balancer removal). Pull on the lever to get the shaft out. The balancer will have to come apart on the inside bit by bit. Remove the thrust washer-one at each end.

Next if memory serves, you have to work the gear end of the balancer forward and up and the other end down for removal. It is in two pieces and some rubber dampers, and bearings. The following step have to be done, or you can kiss you rod(S) good-bye. The balancer was feed pressurized oil from a gallery in the oil pan. FIND it and PLUG it! I used JD weld and a spare jet that I turned down a little, and drove it into place with a hammer. As for the hole inside, it can remain open.
On the outside, find a 27mm frost/expansion plug and throw it into the deep freezer for 30 min. pull it out, slap some permatex #2 sealant or equivilant and drive it home.

Put all the tubes back inside(with new O-rings) Now reassemble the oil pan using a new gasket. There is two sections that silicon sealant is required. Use it sparingly, If to much is used, it will push out and clog things up.
Note:when tightening the pan, what ever pushes out is also being pushed inside. Don't forget the loc-tite. If your tool box does not have a inch pound torque wrench, now is the time to invest. Torque all your fasteners with a good torque wrench. Your oil lines need to be torqued also-be careful.

That about it, Just make sure new exhaust gaskets are used when installing the exhaust. If not, they will leak!

Was it worth it? I think so, 2 1/2 pounds removed, the oil will no longer be a milkshake and 2-3 horses have been freed up- It feels like 10 hp in the lower gears. Also in theory, the bike should handle better as there is no more weight spinning at twice the speed of the crank!

By Frank Hartung