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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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as a matter of fact....i have no control here. you have to save yourself. do it now.
 

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as a matter of fact....i have no control here. you have to save yourself. do it now.
 

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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
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Architecterre
"Before" Triple Tree Top Yoke


"After" Triple Tree Top Yoke
Does the "after" photo look like the material was cut unneccesarily thin, where the bar clamps used to be? I'm wondering if it is safe.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Architecterre
"Before" Triple Tree Top Yoke


"After" Triple Tree Top Yoke
Does the "after" photo look like the material was cut unneccesarily thin, where the bar clamps used to be? I'm wondering if it is safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the quick replies

1) the second image is a photoshop I made of how I'd LIKE the bike to turn out, not how it currently sits.
2) I have not repainted the frame, or done any paint work for that matter. I plan on stripping everything and getting it powdercoated.
3) yes, I should have gotten it running first (bad call) but the engine does turn over / is free so it's not the worst position to be in. Advice as to whether I should attempt a rebuild or if it's best to outsource would be appreciated.
4) I'm in no rush, to this point I've basically just documented taking the bike apart, sanded, stripped, polished some parts, modified the triple tree, etc.
4) I did post this on dtt and elsewhere as I'm 22 and have limited knowledge regarding this kind of stuff. So I figured the more free advice the better.
5) I have a large break from my masters program (December 6 - january 12th) and would like some advice as to what I should buy prior so I can do as much as I can. (fork seals have been mentioned, wheel bearings, etc).
6) I cut the top yoke along the base of the clamp, seems pretty sturdy but obviously if the consensus is that it isn't I can eBay another no problem.

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the quick replies

1) the second image is a photoshop I made of how I'd LIKE the bike to turn out, not how it currently sits.
2) I have not repainted the frame, or done any paint work for that matter. I plan on stripping everything and getting it powdercoated.
3) yes, I should have gotten it running first (bad call) but the engine does turn over / is free so it's not the worst position to be in. Advice as to whether I should attempt a rebuild or if it's best to outsource would be appreciated.
4) I'm in no rush, to this point I've basically just documented taking the bike apart, sanded, stripped, polished some parts, modified the triple tree, etc.
4) I did post this on dtt and elsewhere as I'm 22 and have limited knowledge regarding this kind of stuff. So I figured the more free advice the better.
5) I have a large break from my masters program (December 6 - january 12th) and would like some advice as to what I should buy prior so I can do as much as I can. (fork seals have been mentioned, wheel bearings, etc).
6) I cut the top yoke along the base of the clamp, seems pretty sturdy but obviously if the consensus is that it isn't I can eBay another no problem.

Adam
 

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Adam,
I think your next step should be re=assembly and mock up and get it running and riding. You have no idea, at this point what you are going to need as far as suspension, brakes and engine work. Not to mention rearsets and seat, etc. I suspect (know for a fact), that you will have lots of mods to do that will entail major work to the frame and engine, before you powder coat, put on exhaust wrap, repolish engine cases, mount your instruments and the rest of it. You need to get it all done, then tear it back down after you have put some serious miles and time on it.

I mean it, this is not a fashion show. Who gives a crap about amber headlight lenses and bondoed intake parts!!

Ken

PS. The tank looks stupid and doesn't carry enough fuel.

K
 

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Adam,
I think your next step should be re=assembly and mock up and get it running and riding. You have no idea, at this point what you are going to need as far as suspension, brakes and engine work. Not to mention rearsets and seat, etc. I suspect (know for a fact), that you will have lots of mods to do that will entail major work to the frame and engine, before you powder coat, put on exhaust wrap, repolish engine cases, mount your instruments and the rest of it. You need to get it all done, then tear it back down after you have put some serious miles and time on it.

I mean it, this is not a fashion show. Who gives a crap about amber headlight lenses and bondoed intake parts!!

Ken

PS. The tank looks stupid and doesn't carry enough fuel.

K
 

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Discussion Starter #20
yeah not 100% on the tank either, was looking at dishing it but again, that would decrease the fuel capacity even further. I know that this forum doesn't put much weight into aesthetics but the design aspect helps get me motivated. Looking for a compromise between form and function. I agree that I should've gotten this running prior but luckily I have two engines so I can use the covers off the other engine to save me from repolishing (had some foresight atleast ;)). I'll look into getting it mocked up, just figured it was best to break everything down right away, clean up what I could, research (ask)what should be replaced (gaskets, seals, o-rings, etc) - replace it - and then test out how everthing works. Guess I had that one backwards to a certain degree. Would appreciate a step-by-step for how to proceed from where I am currently. Should I open up the engine? If not, what should I replace outside of that (spark plugs, gaskets, etc)? What should I wire up properly at this point (is figuring out blinkers, etc important? Should I replace brake pads, bleed brakes, etc? What about rebuilding forks / shocks? Anyways, little lost and the initial honeymoon phase is over so I do appreciate the sobering advice.
 
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