82' KZ440 Brat Bike?
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82' KZ440 Brat Bike?

This is a discussion on 82' KZ440 Brat Bike? within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; So here is my 82' KZ440. When I first got it I wanted to do a Cafe race style, now I'm leaning more brat bike. ...

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  1. #1
    Ews
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    82' KZ440 Brat Bike?

    So here is my 82' KZ440. When I first got it I wanted to do a Cafe race style, now I'm leaning more brat bike. The progress thus far has taken me about a year, but that's due to funding (or lack there of) and it being my daily ride. Where I live I can literally ride year round safely, as long as I have warm clothing, so when i can ride...I ride.

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    When I first got the bike, nothing fancy just a one owner scooter.

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    Tank before paint. It was original and was in fairly decent shape, but had some minor rust and was beginning to bubble in a few spots.

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    Found some paint stripper in a spray can at home depot for about $12, thought I'd give it a try since I have no media blaster and didn't want to spend a lot of time sanding if I could avoid it.

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    Let the stripper set for about 12 minutes and scrapped it off. Worked a lot better than I thought it would, so pleasantly surprised. I had to sand for about 5 minuites just to get the remaining off.

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    About 6 coats of primer so that there was still some left after the prep sanding for next layer.

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    Sprayed a few coats of black. Originally I was going to go for a really cool looking marble effect that I watched a how to for on youtube... that didn't work out as planned. Needles to say they made it look way easier on youtube lol.

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    This is after color but before clear coat. I did about 4-5 layers of color and gave it a light sanding to take down the orange peel. I applied about 8 coats of clear, which was not enough or maybe my clear was just poor quality. When doing the final sanding I started to pull up some color before the orange peel was totally gone, so I live with it in a few spots. Not to worried as I will strip and repaint probably this winter. The entire process cost me about $80 in materials and approximately 12-14 hours total time ( I dont have a parts oven so I had to let things air dry). When all is said and done, its cheap to do and is a nice way to improve the looks of any bike.

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    And here is the bike as it currently sits. I removed the blinkers almost right away. I cut about 6" from the back side of front fender, looks much nicer than original (don't do this unless you are committed to the look and have a steady hand, no going back). I removed the factory handlebars as they are ugly and uncomfortable to me, I replaced them with a set of Clubman bars. Originally I also lowered the front end about 1.5 inches by loosening the bolts on the triple tree and allowing the front end to slide down the fork. Id like to say it made a difference in handling, but that might just be wishful thinking. I returned the front end to factory ride as it was causing some issues with getting the clubmans at the right angle. I am still using the original cables, so this also has been a challenge with the clubman bars. I have re-routed the cables as best I could, the throttle is ok but the clutch feels a bit stiff. I have been kicking around the idea of chopping the exhaust off at the hangers and welding some large washers in place to clean up the look a bit and also attempt to keep the back pressure up (or exhaust gas escape velocity is how I think Geeto called it, that guy is a freaking walking Motorcycle google btw).


    Anyway, this is just what I've done so far, mostly experimenting with it. I am far from done and no where near my vision, so I will keep at it. Thanks for reading, and I welcome input or questions on anything I've done.
    Dream as if you live forever, Live as if you die today.~ James Dean

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    Senior Member woodsman's Avatar
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    You must have missed Geeto's thoughts on mirrors, signal lights and clubmans.
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  3. #3
    Ews
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    I have mirrors, just cant see them from that angle.
    Dream as if you live forever, Live as if you die today.~ James Dean

    I feel the need, the need for speed.~ Mavrick (Tom Cruise before he was a big ol' bag of crazy)

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    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Where do you live that a $6 can of Home Depot stripper costs $12?
    That bike now checks about everything on the do not do list.

    "Id like to say it made a difference in handling, but that might just be wishful thinking."
    And you thought maybe this was going to be an improvement in handling?
    Cut back of fender, now it just shoots all the shit right onto the motor, smart.
    Last edited by o1marc; 05-04-2016 at 07:26 PM.
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  6. #5
    Ews
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    o1marc, You do realize that newer bikes often come with smaller front fenders than what came factory on the older bikes. Even the bike in your avatar picture has a small fender.... As far as handling improvement, it is reasonable to think that lowering the front end, and there by lowering the overall center of gravity, might have an effect on handling. And perhaps you do not understand what abrat bike is:
    To summarize, a brat typically has:

    Sprung rear (no hardtail)
    Flat, slab seat or lowered solo seat
    Mini-apes or dirt-style bars (no clip-ons)
    Fenders bobbed, fairings and chrome removed

    Now I don't have the ape bars or dirt bike bars, I may in the future. Most Brats I have seen are not always the prettiest, and mine is certainly not pretty. I make no apologies for what or how I've done anything on this bike as I am doing it myself and am learning as I go. Part of building and modifying your own bike is maybe you do something wrong, or maybe something looks good in your head but the reality is not what you were expecting. Not everyone can afford to build a piece of rolling artwork. At the end of the day if you are happy with how your build is going or at least understand what you did that made it turn out as it is, then that's all that really matters. Am I happy with how my bike is looking at the moment, no, but I'm ok with that because I know what I did, right or wrong, and I'm still learning.
    Dream as if you live forever, Live as if you die today.~ James Dean

    I feel the need, the need for speed.~ Mavrick (Tom Cruise before he was a big ol' bag of crazy)

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    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    I know exactly what a Brat Style bike is, most who build them have no clue how the genre started in Japan and they build something that is not the same. I also know that no one on this site is interested in brat bikes, that's DTT fodder. Will lowering it lower the center of gravity and have an effect on handling? Yes it will, in most cases negatively .Motorcycles don't work like a car does. Lowering it will start to drag parts in the turns. It changes trail which could have a negative effect also.
    Last edited by o1marc; 05-05-2016 at 08:57 AM.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    so let's educate:

    this is actual Bratstyle - http://www.bratstyle.com/

    They are a Japanese custom house that specializes in their own unique version of chopper. Make no mistake though, these are not cafe racers, not bobbers, not trackers, but choppers done specifically for style. It's great work for what it is, even if the bikes are more about looking cool than riding.

    Much like Anime, Sushi, and oragami - ugly Americans have taken this good work and literally fucked it into the ground with ignorance to basically mean a flat seat on an old 70's bike. When BikeEXIF, pipeburn, or 99% of the dipshits on forums say "bratstyle" they are not talking about this unique brand of japanese chopper they are just talking about those useless skateboard seat trash wagons that somehow got lumped into "cafe racers" because choppers are really uncool right now.

    Contrary to popular belief I don't hate any one particular genre of bike, but I do take issue when hacks don't understand what makes something really great vs what is just a cheap imitation.

    If you are really committed to "bratstyle" then study all the bikes they have on the bratstyle website and try to understand their "design langauge" when you build your bike.

    I think you are really not doing yourself any favors with those clubman bars. It makes the bike really hard to ride and with those stock pegs is just an awful seating position. Look at all those bratstyle bikes on the japanese website - you won't see a single one with clubman bars and actually one of the things I really like about them is they seem to maintain a very good riding position that fits well with their custom design language, so even though you may be wobbling down the street on those awful firestone repops on a bike that bottoms out the suspension running over a dime, you are still in control of the motorcycle.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    just looking at some of the other bikes on that site I think this is probably the direction you should head in with your project:
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    keep in mind it will still handle worse than stock but it won't be a torture rack to ride.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  10. #9
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ews View Post
    .... As far as handling improvement, it is reasonable to think that lowering the front end, and there by lowering the overall center of gravity, might have an effect on handling......
    As Marc said, it doesn't work that way. Lowering the center of gravity makes a bike hard to turn. You need the cg high to lever a bike over. You lower a drag bike....because you don't want it to turn, and it lessens the tendency to wheelie. Honda found this out with the 1984 GP bike. They put the fuel tank under the engine to get the cg low. That resulted in a woefully ill handling bike and an incredibly ill tempered Freddie Spencer

    As for the clubmans. Some don't like them at all, and yes, they are the cheap solution to getting a sporting upper body position. But the real issue isn't the clubman bars. It is the relationship the bars have with the seat, and pegs. Try this experiment:

    Sit in a kitchen chair. Feet flat on the floor in front of you, like they would be on your bike. Reach up and grab imaginary handle bars where the stock ones would be. How does that feel? Kind of relaxed? Natural? Comfortable? Good.

    Now, reach forward to where the clubman bars would be. DON"T move those feet! How does that feel? Notice a slight strain in your back? You're a little off balance, aren't you? Do you feel like you are poised to muscle your 400 lb bike around? Not really, huh?

    OK, now, without moving your arms, slide your feet back a few inches. Notice a few things: How's your back? Not as strained, right? How 'bout the position of your feet? Your heels are up, aren't they? You are in a crouch, on the balls of your feet, ready to move side to side. This is how you steer a sporting motorcycle.

    Clubmans, or clip-ons, without relocating foot pegs are not a good change in the ergonomics of a bike. Bar, seat and peg positions all relate to each other and one affects the other two.
    Last edited by 8ball; 05-05-2016 at 09:41 AM.
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    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

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    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    Times change, when I grew up this was what a Brat looked like:

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