1997 Kawasaki ER500 project
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1997 Kawasaki ER500 project

This is a discussion on 1997 Kawasaki ER500 project within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hello all, just thought I'd share my little project. Not a very inspiring base for a cafe project but I like a challenge. Anyway, picked ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member Rizza's Avatar
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    1997 Kawasaki ER500 project

    Hello all, just thought I'd share my little project. Not a very inspiring base for a cafe project but I like a challenge.
    Anyway, picked up this 1997 ER5 up 3 years ago as cheep transport to work. It's my first "big bike" and started my love affair with two wheeled transport.
    Here's the bike stock, looks ok in the pic's but it's very tatty in the flesh.
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    I'm a total novice at this really, I have built a drift trike in the past, and my first bike (Suzuki GS125) was also converted into a very basic cafe racer.
    So any advice is really welcome, and I'll have lots of questions toward the end of the build, especially with electronics..
    Cutting the rear end off was the fist big step, no going back now but I'm pretty confident with a welder so what's the worst that could happen!
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    Bike stripped down to rolling chassis and rear hoop welded in, you can see how crusty the frame is. Lots of sanding and grinding ahead to get it back to bear metal.
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    Started thinking about number plate mounting options, liked the idea of a swing arm mounted plate, I found an image of a ER5 cafe racer that had one and basically just coped that.
    The anodised red plate holder was just a cheep thing I found on ebay, has the option to have the rear indicators mounted to each side, but I'm not going that route.
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    Next I wanted a way to keep the air box, just to save myself any headaches in tuning later on, plus the bike's overall design doesn't lend itself to the classic view straight though the frame look, so some form of panelling was a must to hide the ugly air box and electrical components.
    I came up with the idea of two separate panels on each side, just enough to obscure the view of the internals that hopefully when painted to match the frame will just look as though they are just parts of the frame.
    this is how it looked pre paint!
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    All this was done in the summer, but I bought another bike and spent more time riding then building. Ive dusted all the parts off a few weeks back, got the engine and frame painted and back together.
    so this is where it's at at this point.
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    Still deciding on a final colour scheme. I'm leaning towards the red and black, but with the wheels white, and a but of white on the tank to set it off.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Rizza's Avatar
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    Also you may notice a BMW K100 in the background! a future project hopefully

  3. #3
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    Why would anyone ever want to mount their license plate, the light to illuminate it as required by law, plus any other items on an arm that is bolted out the rear of the swingarm and moves up and down with every bump in the road.
    ... unless the bike is a hard tail, you have increased the unsprung weight (which is performance counter-productive) and found a great way to shake all of that stuff to bits.

    Naturally you will also need to swap out all of your incandescent light bulbs with LED's because the filaments in the lamps can't possibly withstand the vibration and you will need to use locktite on all of the bolts because those are going to shake loose.

    Curious what is the up side to that particular modification? because I'm just not seeing it

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  5. #4
    Junior Member Rizza's Avatar
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    It's purely atheistic, the tail end looks (to me at least) really tidy without a plate hanging from it. and I have LED number plate light's in fact all the signal and warning lights are going to be LED.

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    Junior Member Rizza's Avatar
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    Got a bit more done today, front forks and wheel on, wheel still needs powder coating but I wanted to test fit my brake caliper upgrade. I've fitted an ER6 LHS caliper, the advantaged being that its got two large pots instead of one small and one large pot. picked it up used for next to nothing and a deep clean and a few coats of red caliper paint and I'm really happy with how it looks, was a straight fit to!

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    I've also decided I'm going with clip on bars, so I've cut off the clasps on the old top yoke that would have held on the bars, sanded it down and got a coat of primer on.
    this led me to start thinking about the dash, I've already got a super cheep GPS speedo. I was going to drill holes in the top yoke and add LED warning lights there...but I decided on something a bit different!

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    Definitely not to everyone's taste I'm sure, but I think it'll look cool with a few coats of lacquer and once the yoke is gloss black. Just got to experiment to find the correct resistors so the LED's will work with a 12v input.

  7. #6
    Senior Member woodsman's Avatar
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    " the advantaged being that its got two large pots instead of one small and one large pot."

    What if the pad area is smaller, is it still an advantage?

    Have you ordered adjustable rearsets? To go with the clip ons.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rizza View Post
    It's purely atheistic, the tail end looks (to me at least) really tidy without a plate hanging from it. and I have LED number plate light's in fact all the signal and warning lights are going to be LED.
    Again I find myself ignoring my mother’s advise..... If you are worried about aesthetics which I assume is what you meant instead of atheistic..... (unless your plan is to complete some sort of godless creation), then practice running a few beads before you start welding on a motorcycle frame. What Trials was trying to tell you in a diplomatic fashion is that your license plate bracket attached to the swingarm in that way is a dumb idea. I’d say it’s a really dumb fucking idea , but don’t want to appear rude.
    "Non urinat in ventum"

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    Member upperb's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Cyorg;639853]If you are worried about aesthetics which I assume is what you meant instead of atheistic..... (unless your plan is to complete some sort of godless creation)...,

    LOL!!!

  10. #9
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    Not looking to beat up on your brake 'upgrade' OP because I'm sure you will still have adequate brakes but:
    The theory behind the leading brake piston being smaller then the trailing one is that it improves the heat and wear characteristics of the brake pad material. The one featuring 2 different sized pistons is marketed as a design upgrade by the people that make brakes (like Brembo).

    A real upgrade would be a 4 piston calliper setup, because then you have pistons pushing against pistons instead of pistons pushing against themselves.
    4 piston brakes would give you increased brake force plus it improves the response, feedback or feel at the lever.


    Once you ride 4 piston brakes, it's really hard to go back to a 2 piston anything and be impressed.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=upperb;639861]
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyorg View Post
    If you are worried about aesthetics which I assume is what you meant instead of atheistic..... (unless your plan is to complete some sort of godless creation)...,

    LOL!!!

    Wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m the local grammar cop, so just for the record..... I do not have a high school diploma, can’t spell, and can seldom complete a sentence without the use of profanity.

    Rizza... I get that you are going after a look and mounting the plate in certain situations can be a challenge, I cannot use the style seat I want for that very reason. I wouldn’t mount it on a long unsupported bracket for fear it would eventually vibrate off, creating a hazard for someone else.
    Rizza likes this.
    "Non urinat in ventum"

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