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KZ400 Cafe (Noob, loves himself some advice)

This is a discussion on KZ400 Cafe (Noob, loves himself some advice) within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hey all, long time lurker and figured it was time to post up what I'm working on. Bought my first bike, a kz400 cafe racer ...

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  1. #1
    Member Architecterre's Avatar
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    KZ400 Cafe (Noob, loves himself some advice)

    Hey all, long time lurker and figured it was time to post up what I'm working on. Bought my first bike, a kz400 cafe racer project, off ebay for $232 (from the nicest guy) and picked her up in April. I tried to pick a project that had a lot of the "big ticket" custom bits completed as my technical skills are limited. Worked diligently on the bike throughout the summer but I had to head back to school in September so I have to postpone working on it till winter break.

    How I received the bike + What I am currently in the process of modifying



    What I've done to this point:

    - I bought 33mm clip-on handlebars (replacing the inverted xs650? handlebars the previous owner had installed) allowing for me to shave the old handlebar clamps off of the top of the triple tree clamp (which I then polished). I bought replacement headlight clamps for the stock headlight ears and replaced the headlight entirely (melted it when stripping). Its now a chrome bates style headlight with a switch on top and an amber lense. I have since purchased fork gaitors/boots too since I like that particular look. I plan on making the forks stick through the top triple tree/yoke clamp about 1-1.5 inches because 1) I like the look, I think it will level out the custom speedo mount with the top of the triple tree, and I feel like it gives the bike a more agressive stance.

    - I removed the old tires / tubes (at home with snips lol), bought a new spoke kit from Taiwan (thanks to DTT member "Finnegan" for the advice), stripped and polished each hub, drum, etc and relaced each rim to the best of my ability (both need to be trued). Replacing the stock tires with Shinko 712's (100/90/18 Front, 110/90/18 Rear) and new tubes (yet to do so)

    - Took off all the engine covers (breather, clutch casing, starter motor cover, etc, etc) and stripped, sanded and polished them all (Starting to get the hang of polishing). Same for the brakes, master cylinder, handlebar controls/levers, petcock, chain tensioner, etc, etc, basically anything that can be stripped, sanded, polished i'm polishing). Bought all new hardware throughout to match.

    - Cleaned up the headers (first put them in a rust remover, then wirewheeled the isht out of them). I bought black header wrap but I still wanted to clean them up prior). Turned out pretty good, I also got a good deal on emgo dunstall style shorty Mufflers.

    - Everything the previous owner custom made looks amazing and I really want to commend him on his work. He created the:

    1) custom rear cowl from an old harley fender (even went so far as to "french" in a custom taillight)
    2) relocated the ignition to the lower frame (Above where the kick stand is)
    3) designed the custom 2-into-1 rammed air-esque carb boots/air filter
    4) added the unique speedo mount (attached to frame in front of tank)
    5) chose the peanut tank / added the required mounts..

    Only additions/changes I need to make to these include:

    1) fixing the slight gap in the speedo casing created by cutting the original mount to allow for the guage to sit at 90 degrees instead of the stock 60? or so degree location.

    2) Creating a side cover for the right side to match the one surrounding the ignition on the left

    3) Reinforcing the rear loop (pics below in red)

    4) I ruined his 2 into 1 air filter conversion's bondo job when stripping it so I need to rebondo that he did such a nice job I thought it was all metal lol, silly. But I did buy a K&N filter cleaner kit and cleaned up the air filter he had currently installed (cleaned up well)

    What I plan on doing:

    In hindsight I should've got the bike running first but I did pick up a second engine and I'm excited to try to figure all that out. I bought a new wiring harness too.

    - Create / weld a rear hoop under the rear cowl; I think the way it setup could be fine, but I fear that with the battery going under there and whatnot, I would prefer something a bit more rigid. Also, I think that having something like this:



    Would really add to the flow that it currently has going.

    - Drill a pattern into the rotor (adds to the sportbike look)

    - Change Gaskets, Brake Pads, Fork Seals, etc

    - Strip Frame Further

    - Add Rearsets

    - Powdercoating (Tank, Frame, Handlebars, speedo casing, etc, etc)


    So far My costs are as follows:

    1976 Kawasaki Kz400 Bike (Purchased for $233)
    Header wrap – Matte Black (Purchased for $23 Shipped)
    Headlight Brackets – Chrome (Purchased for $18 Shipped)
    Fork Boots – Matte Black (Purchased for $25 Shipped
    Grips – Matte Black (Purchased for $25 Shipped)
    Helmet – Gloss Black (Purchased for $75 Picked Up) + Chrome Visor (Purchased for $30 Shipped)
    33mm Clip-on Handlebars – Matte Black (Purchased for $28 Shipped)
    Wiring Harness (Purchased for $32 Shipped)
    Wheels – Shinko 712’s (100/90/18 Front, 110/90/18 Back) (Purchased for $94 Shipped)
    Extras: Engine, Tank, Turn Signals, Side Covers, Etc (Purchased for $100 picked up)
    Motorcycle Jack ( $50 Picked Up)
    Gasket Kit: $65 Shipped
    New Spokes: $100 Shipped
    New Chrome Headlight: $17 Shipped
    Exhaust: $75 Shipped
    CRG Bar End Mirrors: $65 Shipped
    Turn Signals (4, Chrome, Harley): $60
    License Plate: $25
    New Bolt Kit: $25

    Current Total: $1100


    Still need:

    Battery
    Chain
    Tire Tubes
    Tires Trued/Mounted
    Rearsets
    Engine Re-bored + New Pistons, etc
    Upholstered Seat
    Paint
    etc

    You Made it this far! You Deserve Photos :

    Frame (Current State of Bike)


    Parts to Paint and/or Powdercoat


    Some Polished / Finished Pieces









    "After" Rim


    "Before" Rim


    Re-Spoked Rims:


    "Before" Triple Tree Top Yoke


    "After" Triple Tree Top Yoke


    New to all of this, let me know what you think Any Advice / Guidance is always appreciated

    Adam

  2. #2
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    do yourself a favor, delete this, and go back to lurking for a while. im not being mean, just trying to warn you before the wolves get a hold of you. i can delete it if you want. this isnt going to be pretty. please....i beg you.



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

  3. #3
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    do yourself a favor, delete this, and go back to lurking for a while. im not being mean, just trying to warn you before the wolves get a hold of you. i can delete it if you want. this isnt going to be pretty. please....i beg you.



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

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  5. #4
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    as a matter of fact....i have no control here. you have to save yourself. do it now.



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

  6. #5
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    as a matter of fact....i have no control here. you have to save yourself. do it now.



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

  7. #6
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    btw....wheels look nice. get some new bearings.....



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

  8. #7
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    btw....wheels look nice. get some new bearings.....



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

  9. #8
    Senior Member scubabiker's Avatar
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    IMHO i would have got it running sweet first, you cant ride it if it doesnt run sweet. but yeah nice project, nice to see something other than a honda cb
    strip it, race it, rebuild it, repeat over...

  10. #9
    Senior Member scubabiker's Avatar
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    IMHO i would have got it running sweet first, you cant ride it if it doesnt run sweet. but yeah nice project, nice to see something other than a honda cb
    strip it, race it, rebuild it, repeat over...

  11. #10
    Senior Member Pluto's Avatar
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    *Interesting bike. Something seems off about the second pict. Do you have more pictures of it in this state?
    *I kinda liked the upside down handle bars, but I've kinda had a thing for that recently.
    *Let me understand something (and this might come across more terse than inteded), you've done alot of hard polishing and spent a chunk of change on an engine that won't fire? You've also repainted a frame that you know you are going to have to weld on and re-do the whole thing? So, you like rearranging funiture on the Titanic? I've been on here for only a year and even I know that function comes first and form will follow.
    *I like your bike and think some of the PO's creativity is pretty cool, and that some of your attention to detail in polishing is fine. But I suspect that you wrote this for the DTT site and reposted it here for added attention.

    Cool! ---RIP

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