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JCW and trails, I'm willing to put in that kind of work. I mentioned this in another post but I went to school for that kind of work, although automotive. When I graduated I worked as a metal fabber and welder until one of our economic downturns. Now I just do that stuff as a hobby. That said, commenters on this forum have highly suggested I don't go that route due to many people messing up the geometry and making an unsafe bike. And it sounds like there would be lots to modify on my frame to get it to z1 spec. Is it worth it?
Just straight frame bracing won;t change the geometry. But if you Wanted to start almost clean sheet, there is a way to do that...
basically hang the frame on a gantry type structure. Attach the forks and swingarm without shocks and raise or lower the front and rear to where you want it to be. Geometry wise. go from there to figure the needed shock length and check clearance for chain etc.

Oh yeah and it’s trials, not trails... ;) type of motorcycle/riding
 

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In theory the only part you need to retain is the VIN stamped part.
but holy these are heavy steel frames, imagine what the bike is going to weigh. It's going to be a workout riding it.

Is it worth it? Depends how much you ride it, you don't build a real performance motorcycle just to look at it. Personally I'd ring the snot out of that thing and hope I could keep it on the road, it looks like it would suck for riding ditches.
 

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In theory the only part you need to retain is the VIN stamped part.
but holy these are heavy steel frames, imagine what the bike is going to weigh. It's going to be a workout riding it.
If you are looking to build off 70’s-early 80’s universal Japanese motorcycles, isn’t that what you are stuck with?
 

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Looks like Kawasaki kept the frames consistent between the kz1000’s models.
Meaning to the OP, you could switch triples and forks to the standard non offset forks if u wanted. These are usually paired with higher offset triple trees to compensate for the non offset fork bottoms.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Looks like Kawasaki kept the frames consistent between the kz1000’s models.
Meaning to the OP, you could switch triples and forks to the standard non offset forks if u wanted. These are usually paired with higher offset triple trees to compensate for the non offset fork bottoms.
So jcw you're saying my cruiser frame is the same as a z1 frame? Earlier someone mention the backbone dipping and a different rake.

But if it is the same it'd save my bacon. Someone else also mentioned earlier just trading out the front in rear end to the z1 parts. It'd be nice if that was the case and that it's all that sets the cruiser and z1 apart.

I'm trying to keep up here but I'm not sure if I'm getting conflicting opinions or if im just reading and understanding wrong.
 

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If you are looking to build off 70’s-early 80’s universal Japanese motorcycles, isn’t that what you are stuck with?
Pretty much yes.
but early 1970's era bike to cafe, I'd be shopping for a Japanese 2-stroke or a Moto Guzzi, maybe even a Laverda triple or something weird like that.
 

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Google says the rake is 26 degrees, but you'd be altering it slightly anyway once you made all those changes.

... would it really matter if you bike wiggles a little more then the other one, the thing is going to wiggle and wallow anyway if you ride it hard enough. How good can you ride?
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Google says the rake is 26 degrees, but you'd be altering it slightly anyway once you made all those changes.

... would it really matter if you bike wiggles a little more then the other one, the thing is going to wiggle and wallow anyway if you ride it hard enough. How good can you ride?
I've ridden smaller bikes off and on for a while. So intermediate. In my opinion the question is, are you saying it would ride worse than a Z1? I'm not trying to build a wonky bike that isn't enjoyable to ride or more dangerous than it should be.
 

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Brad im 99 percent certain that the steering head angle and rear frame are the same for the cruiser model and the normal variant. So your incorrect in saying that the frame will "have a big dip" just google the ltd frame and rhe the normal frame you will see thay are the same.
The difference in geometry was achieved by leading axle front forks and different wheel sizes and possibly shock length.

Hes come accross as willing to listen so far, lets not run every new member off the site. Its pretty light on the posting front as it is.

The bottom line is there are plenty of bolt on parts to improve both the look and performance of his bike.
So I'm Happy to try and help.
 

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happy to be wrong re the frame. certainly the images shown have a much larger dip in the good frame than i expected.

my apologies to the op. didn't mean to stress you out.
 

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Ok so OP dont get downhearted.

Your literally a few ebay parts away from making the bike handle and look less like a cruiser.
Get buying and get them rebuilt and bolted up.

Thats your first and biggest step towards your goal and will make a huge difference.
Get this done and then we can help you move on with the next stage of mods for the bike as this is you "proper" starting point.

This can be done whilst keeping the bike rideable which is what we want if this is your only set of two wheels.
 

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I've ridden smaller bikes off and on for a while. So intermediate. In my opinion the question is, are you saying it would ride worse than a Z1? I'm not trying to build a wonky bike that isn't enjoyable to ride or more dangerous than it should be.
Good (y) a junior rider ;) No worries, you won't be riding it anywhere near hard enough to stress the bike to the point of wonky dangerous even if you track race it. Assuming you don't go putting Firestone classic car tires on it and cut off half your fork springs to give it that low rider look you are going to be light years ahead of most of the new 'cafe build' powder paint art projects that usually come through here.
 

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AC sanctuary does some absolutely porn worthy bikes based on this platform. And the mods go past skin deep down to the frame.

View attachment 103487


View attachment 103488

... keep this one around for inspiration, I think somebody tacked about 10 grand worth of parts onto it.
and when you scratch build that hand made work of art exhaust system, try to tuck the headers just a tiny bit tighter to the frame for better ground clearance, it would be a shame to bang those pipes on a speed bump.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
Brad im 99 percent certain that the steering head angle and rear frame are the same for the cruiser model and the normal variant. So your incorrect in saying that the frame will "have a big dip" just google the ltd frame and rhe the normal frame you will see thay are the same.
The difference in geometry was achieved by leading axle front forks and different wheel sizes and possibly shock length.

Hes come accross as willing to listen so far, lets not run every new member off the site. Its pretty light on the posting front as it is.

The bottom line is there are plenty of bolt on parts to improve both the look and performance of his bike.
So I'm Happy to try and help.
I do feel a lot better now. And I am very willing to listen and learn. I knew I was out of my depth but I had no idea the learning curve was so steep. But truly I am grateful for anyone's help and time.
 

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Discussion Starter #78
I think you might be the first.
If that's true then it's unfortunate. I can humble myself and know that I simply don't know. You have to learn these things from somewhere and someone. It'd be great if devine intervention bestowed everything I needed to know upon me. But im not holding my breath for that.
 

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Here's an example...

As a car guy you would have an issue with this...


Same thing here...except a poorly set up motorcycle can be dangerous to ride even more so that that thing.
 

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So read this...

Or if you like videos...
This guy is pretty good.

Like I said in my response to your dm, I would rip the luggage off the bike, do a fork service, seals and oil to learn a little mechanically about the bike. Then ride it to learn dynamically what a bike is doing.

Then adjust accordingly.

Options to change vary from stock components with refresh, to stock forks with emulators/springs from RaceTech, to bolt on GPZ fork upgrade, to zx-7 or 9 fork swap, to a full blown custom USD front end/triple tree swap you can get from cognito moto (I mention them even though they screwed me).
 
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