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Discussion Starter #21
I prefer the term "vintage street racer" for the mad max bikes (and really any 70s bike that's has the performance treatment).
The term cafe racer has been coopted by trendy people.
CaTacL and TrailsRider, those Mad Max bikes are definitely my inspiration and what got me started on this journey. Originally my plan was to just do a version of what was done to those bikes. I imagine some performance parts were put on, the fairings, bars, etc. But then I started seeing all these pictures and videos about what people are doing to those bikes these days. I thought that was the new norm because it was a step in the direction of improvement over what they could do when that movie was made. But thats what I keep trying to say is, I don't know. That why I'm here. To try and learn what are the right and wrong things to do with these bikes. The pics of inspiration bikes I provided aren't necessarily what I want to do but just an example of what I'm seeing. I admit I like the aesthetic of what they're putting off but I was trying to discover if that's the what's done. I'd take one of the bikes from Mad Max any day.
 

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So those mad max bikes are pretty much just stock KZ900s/1000s with fairings and handlebars, interestingly enough.

That list of things to do that I posted will get you 90% of the way to where you want to go.

Cosmetically.... Try to find a corbin gunfighter seat or a Guiliari seat.
If you want a fairing, look at what Airtech Streamlining offers for the KZ1000.

Actually, if you want to go full balls out, get a reproduction mad max fairing.

 
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Discussion Starter #23
In the 1970's and 1980's we just called them cafe racers, vintage was something that had a pre-unit construction engine and transmission.
WTF is with people thinking it's ok to have no fenders and straight headers on a street bike :/ are you going to plate it in a third world country? None of that **** has a place in a modern developed country, it's imaginary.

"YouTube has definitely informed me on what I like" <- that says it all.
TrailsRider and CaTacL the original Mad Max bikes are definitely my inspiration and what started me on this journey. Originally my plan was to do a version of those bikes. I imagine they added some performance parts, the fairings (which I read the story about), bars, etc. I'd glady take one of those bikes. But then i started seeing the pictures on the net, videos and articles with what people are doing to those bikes now. I figured they were making those swaps and mods for improved performance and engineering over what could be done back when that movie was made. But that's what I keep trying to express, I don't know. That’s why I'm here. To learn what is the right and wrong things to do to these bikes.
 

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Back in the day we actually rode the **** out of our bikes and modified them to work better where possible, now for the most part the so called cafe racers are just visual art projects. Just removing the fairing and luggage from your bike will transform the way it performs and handles, you have about a hundred pounds of touring accessories bolted onto it at the moment.

If you are wise you won't remove the things that actually make it a complete motorcycle and improve what you have to work with. How much weight you strip off an inherently heavy motorcycle means absolutely nothing, it's the weight and performance of the parts you leave on or replace that really matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Back in the day we actually rode the **** out of our bikes and modified them to work better where possible, now for the most part the so called cafe racers are just visual art projects. Just removing the fairing and luggage from your bike will transform the way it performs and handles, you have about a hundred pounds of touring accessories bolted onto it at the moment.

If you are wise you won't remove the things that actually make it a complete motorcycle and improve what you have to work with. How much weight you strip off an inherently heavy motorcycle means absolutely nothing, it's the weight and performance of the parts you leave on or replace that really matters.
Form over function is definitely not what I'm going for. I don't want to ruin the bike. Function with form is more my intention which is what CaTacL is trying to explain to me. That with the right parts the form will fall into place. I'm definitely not explaining myself well. I don't have the years of experience you all have to know how to achieve a certain style or bike type from stock.
 

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its fine. Your not coming off like an entitled douche like some and you are receiving advice well.
Thats a pretty clean bike.
I would start by getting the non cruiser front end and rear end units to return to the non cruiser version.

This will massively improve the ergos and geometry for fast riding and will make the bike look more like the way you will want.

I believe that the differences are controls (bars pegs etc) rear wheel size and the front forks.

Somebody correct me if im wrong.

Pull off half a tonne of weight with all the cruiser shit. Sell it as someone will want it.

After that ride it and feel the difference.
 

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Yep, what he said, step one imho would be to reverse some of the cruiser/chopper features that were incorporated into that model. Pull back longhorn handlebars, leading front axle, odd sized wheels and the king/queen saddle is what makes it more of a cruiser and less of a performance motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
M
Yep, what he said, step one imho would be to reverse some of the cruiser/chopper features that were incorporated into that model. Pull back longhorn handlebars, leading front axle, odd sized wheels and the king/queen saddle is what makes it more of a cruiser and less of a performance motorcycle.
Miniman and TrailsRider that is awesome info. Although it makes sense that it would be, I was unaware the swing arm, forks, etc. are not the same between the cruiser and performance bike. The bars seem obvious and all my bags and fairings but I didn't know anything else was different. It'd be nice to see a side-by-side spec comparison between the two bike types.

In terms of sourcing those parts im assuming eBay or Craigslist would be where to look?
 

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Find a motorcycle scrap yard, ride with the owner, get great deals from an unimaginable huge selection of parts that you can actually inspect before purchase and exchange if it don't work out like you expected.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Find a motorcycle scrap yard, ride with the owner, get great deals from an unimaginable huge selection of parts that you can actually inspect before purchase and exchange if it don't work out like you expected.
Unfortunately I don't live in an area like that. Scrap yards, bike scrap yards even more so, are few and far between where I live.
 

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Unfortunately I don't live in an area like that. Scrap yards, bike scrap yards even more so, are few and far between where I live.
Really! lol I live miles out in the woods and I have a huge bike scrap yard only 45 minutes drive away. I thought you guys in the USA had 10 times everything we have here ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Seriously no lie. I live in eastern Washington on the border with Idaho. The nearest scrap yard/pay'n pull is 2 hours away in Spokane. Seattle, Portland and Boise are 5 to 6 hours away. That's why I've been asking about where people source parts. I'm good with putting in the research and work but I hate flailing around the net. Ebay and Craigslist are one thing but even where to go for aftermarket parts.
 

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Oh that Washington :|
:D just kidding, it's a lovely place.

I probably should not recommend what I would buy because if I can't buy it cheap at the scrap yard I tend to have very expensive taste. I buy 10 grand dirt bikes just to trash them on big ugly rocks outcrops, then I spend obscene amounts of money on parts obtained in a foreign language just to fix them up or replace them so I can trash them some more. It's a sickness.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
:D just kidding, it's a lovely place.

I probably should not recommend what I would buy because if I can't buy it cheap at the scrap yard I tend to have very expensive taste. I buy 10 grand dirt bikes just to trash them on big ugly rocks outcrops, then I spend obscene amounts of money on parts obtained in a foreign language just to fix them up or replace them so I can trash them some more. It's a sickness.
Hey I'm open to anything. Cheap from the scrap yard or ridiculous from some aftermarket shop. At this point I'm just trying to feel out this world. I need the experience of both those extremes to be able to guage things.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I have read that the gpz1100 front end works really well on the kz1000 and are a bolt on straight swap.
Thanks for the info. I'll look into that. .

Since you all have suggested that I should, at the least, swap out my cruiser front and rear ends for the kz1000 performance versions I need to research those part numbers or how to identify the difference from what I currently have.
 

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problem is you bought the wrong z thou. this is the right z thou - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/KAWASAKI_Z1-R(KZ1000-D1).jpg

trouble is everyone knows it's the right one and now it's expensive. you bought the chopper, because it's cheap. what you bought is an awesome piece of period touring cool. but the picture you have of a cafe z in your head it is not.

if you strip bodywork from both, you'll see the bike you have has a big dip in the top of the frame where the seat is, and shock mounts lower and further forward than the right one. probably has a shallower steering head angle too. it just doesn't work with what you have in your head.

this is a really common thing here, as the desirble cb / gs / z get expensive, people turn up here with the chopper versions and we tell them it's the wrong one and some of them get really indignant and tell us they're going to make it work and prove us wrong. thing is, none of us really give a shit about being wrong. we will do whatever we can to help you build a good bike. but outside of that, proving how pig headedly stupid you are is up to you. and most of us offering advice will have at least one bike with 3 or 4 or 5 times it's value invested in it. it's what we do. if we can stop you wasting money on an inappropriate project, great. but don't make it a pissing match.

bikes aren't like cars. nearly every car is made better by being lowered and stiffened. bikes don't work the same way - what it was made to be is a much bigger issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
problem is you bought the wrong z thou. this is the right z thou - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/KAWASAKI_Z1-R(KZ1000-D1).jpg

trouble is everyone knows it's the right one and now it's expensive. you bought the chopper, because it's cheap. what you bought is an awesome piece of period touring cool. but the picture you have of a cafe z in your head it is not.

if you strip bodywork from both, you'll see the bike you have has a big dip in the top of the frame where the seat is, and shock mounts lower and further forward than the right one. probably has a shallower steering head angle too. it just doesn't work with what you have in your head.

this is a really common thing here, as the desirble cb / gs / z get expensive, people turn up here with the chopper versions and we tell them it's the wrong one and some of them get really indignant and tell us they're going to make it work and prove us wrong. thing is, none of us really give a shit about being wrong. we will do whatever we can to help you build a good bike. but outside of that, proving how pig headedly stupid you are is up to you. and most of us offering advice will have at least one bike with 3 or 4 or 5 times it's value invested in it. it's what we do. if we can stop you wasting money on an inappropriate project, great. but don't make it a pissing match.

bikes aren't like cars. nearly every car is made better by being lowered and stiffened. bikes don't work the same way - what it was made to be is a much bigger issue.
I'm definitely not trying to get in a pissing match with anyone. I'm looking for info and experience. I'm not indignant or obstinate towards anyone's advice. I'm here trying to learn.

I am bummed that you're the first one to mention that I'm screwed with the bike I bought. No one has said it's the wrong platform for the kind of project I want to undertake. Obviously that's my fault for not knowing enough prior to my purchase but I really felt I was making some inroads here with some of the advice I've been given. Like I could make this happen with a little more knowledge and advice from you all. It's a letdown to say the least.
 
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