Cafe Racer Forum banner

1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Some of you have seen my '77 KZ400 and some of you haven't. Well in about 2 weeks none of you will recognize it ;D

The bike was given to me by all of the guys in my wedding party as a bit of a semi-running project (pretty good buddies eh)

After a winter of tinkering we got it running solidly(ish...) and I got to ride it a bit through the summer. The buddy that owned it before me threw on some flat black paint, a set of clubmans. We built a custom fender delete built from scrap metal from around the shop just before she was roadworthy.



and here we are at today. (sorry for the cell pics...I forgot the digi) I spent the day stripping the bike, prepping it for paint, and getting it shot.






Here is the new seat I scored on Ebay. I paid $68 buck including shipping for this seat and a re-wrapped factory seat.



Next came the header wrap. It was something I've been considering for a while and got on such a roll today that I just bit the bullet and made it happen. I'm pretty happy with it being my first time.



Then I busted out the steel wool and started shedding the years off of the bare metal and chrome
(10 mins of work...)


I dropped the wheels off at the shop to have the RoadRiders installed and they've ordered up a fresh set of shoes for front and rear. I've also got a custom built regulator and rectifier from www.oregonmotorcycles.com ready to throw on. The tank and side covers are at our paint shop being sprayed with Crystal White Pearl, which is a pearl flake rather than a liquid pearl which gives it a very crisp white finish that really looks amazing in the sun. I'm thinking I'll have them finished with a satin clear once done, but I'm undecided...

I've been saving and collecting for a while so today felt like a huge triumph and I can't wait to finish. I suspect it'll be just one more full day to finish (reinstall exhaust, tank, shoes, wheels, and give it a full tune up and adjust all of the chains etc... I also want to chop the frame and build new mounts for the rear turn signals. Eventually I'll also be adding an H4 headlamp with integrated turns, fork boots, and a set of adjustable clip ons. Hope you all enjoy.

Some pics from a few days later...













So damned smooth...



caution more camera phone pics ahead...

The next week was very productive. I was finally able to track down a set of front brakes shoes so the reassembly began.

Here is the old rubber:


New...


New chrome coil: (for this we used some tire patch material to pad between the rumbly frame and the coil, worked like charm)


Here are the new electronics (thanks to Oregon Motorcycle):


And after a lot of work with the steel wool, some chrome polish, we reassembled her:








All that is left is the oil change, spark plugs, and full adjustments. We sanded down the paint on the head fins after the pics (or rather finished) and with just a few more minutes of cleanup that will be done. It isn't perfection, but I'm happy and it fits in with the rest of the bike (not perfect, but solid and tasteful...I hope) The tank and side covers should be done in paint by the weekend, but I'm a bit unsure about the color. It looks amazing on the side covers, but I think the white may be just a bit too stark for the total package. I may opt to have them resprayed in an cream white depending on how it looks once assembled.

Dropped by with a side cover fresh from paint for a few test shots:

WWW.DOTHETON.COM !!!

Crappy pics!!!







These were finished today!

Here are the parts all finally completely polished and done from paint. Emblem are restored a bit and installed, and I even had him black out the clips at the top of the side covers for a cleaner look when installed.







I'm feeling really tempted to throw on a classic triple stripe down the top of the tank (and eventually the seat when ever I get it) I'd do it in vinyl so it wouldn't be permanent, what do you guys think?

I will very likely bob both ends of the front fender and spray it as well, although as narrow as it is I'm unsure if I'll stripe it...we'll see. Due to the holiday and a complete lack of planning on my part the bike won't be running for a week or so. There are too many little things I needed to get today that I couldn't get to...oh well.

I did how ever finish the reassembly and get you blokes some pics, enjoy!


















and the ever necessary...trying to look cool mounted shot...



Hope you guys like. I'm definitely going to do the stripe although the paint needs another 3 weeks or so to cure before I'm willing to start sticking things on it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
nice bike! i'm not really into white bikes, but you made this one look great. i would say that was a pretty kick ass wedding present too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
wow, i love it. sweet bike. ive always had a thing for the kz400's. That was my dads first bike, and he talks about it to this day. 35 years later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Looks good! You may want to go with rear-sets with those bars though Or go with more of a drag type bar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Rear sets, a fiberglass seat, and an H4 conversion will be on the list for next winter...wish they could be done now but the budgets running thin and I need to get some miles on it before the rain returns...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
New tail for the bike and bobbed front. Both head to paint this week to match the rest of the bike. Lamp may be temporary...not sure what I'd like to do with it yet...



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well I broke down and ordered a nice single cat eye tail light (it's 1 5/8 x 6" aprox) It should fit pretty flushly under the fender...I hope...

I also ordered a brand-new fuel cap and petcock as mine has had issues and the seals are all dried out anyway. when I seald the tank the sealer got under the lock cover so the gas cap couldn't be unlocked to latch it down...lame...and I cleaned it multiple times after application...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
I envy people who can bring themselves to doing this



just the idea of paint the frame means a total tear down for me

and even painting just some cylinders typically ends up being a complete engine blue print
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
wow hack, you're right...hell, even the carbs didn't come off. easy stuff like shocks and what the heck...the chain and rear hub are still there...but without being laced up so it had to come off sometime? didn't go's 350 get the same sort of treatment in john deere green? Casper just had his "new" Rupp scooter in the pits and all someone did to freshen that up was tape off the tires...ha.

tt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
Go better watch out or her bike will end up broken down into every last nut and bolt and then I'll skip town leaving post it notes all over the shop saying how I best be able to ride it done up right when I get back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Due to the look I wanted to acheive and the time frame I had to work, it just didn't make any sense at all to tear it all down. Beleive me when I say I would've prefered it...it just wasn't a possibility...not with my facilities and even now it's almost august and the bike's still not ready...

Working 12hrs a day 5-6 days a week leaves me little time for this project, but I'm extremely happy with the final out come even more so in person. If I hadn't shown those pics you'd never have noticed...I'm the rattle can/masking master.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
well maybe not from ten step pix on the internet but for sure I would if I were standing within three steps of it

looks ok and all and I'm not bagging on you

heck I'd breed you out of it and ride it

did you make the pipe?

I'll have to say it leaves much to be desired but nice wrap job

you might figure out it's truly not necessary to clamp both ends of the wrap

I start at the port leaving it unclamped and only clamp the terminal end

heck, you can even use stainless mig or tig wire to do it so you don't have to look at worm clamps

if you wanna
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The pipes are stock at the moment, just wrapped. I'm gonna cut down the muffler and intall a cocktail shaker for an end...little more noise, little more flow, and a little less can. Long term (maybe next winter) I'd like to have a 2-2 system built with Triump/Norton/BCR style pea-shooter aimed a bit more at the sky.



I don't mind the clamps...call me paranoid. Next winter I'll be install all the stainless harware I can make fit all over the bike and that should once and for all kill the spray bomb look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
that stock header design has to rival some of HD's efforts for the worst I've ever seen in two into one headpipes


the angle of convergence totally blows and looks to me that it would be nearly un-tunable

are you sure that is stock?

I don't guess I've ever seen one like it or paid any attention if I actually have seen one.

sky high cocktail stirrers or peeshooters....... hmm...... how west coast useless

I'd have to vote for a two into one high pipe with some really useful and effective at making power type mufflers

that lil 400 could use all the help it can get
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
True but fast isn't why I built this bike...maybe I'm no real cafe racer but I have a lot to live for and so I save my speed for finely tuned European Automobiles ;)

This bike regardless of power is a blast to ride around town and pretty fun in the twisties, that's really all I need. I'm building it to maintain a specific style and to own something that has some actual soul...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
yeah I understand but with a well designed exhaust it will not only run better/stronger

it will also be more fuel efficient

I just can't say I recall ever seeing such a horrible stock exhaust on any japanese bike

the xs triples had a pretty crappy stock exhaust but nothing nearly that bad and they have an excuse being flat cranked triples

I would be very easy to modify what is there if you could snag yourself a decent 2 into 1 collector that will fit the head pipes

that's what I would do if it were mine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Exhaust is definitely on the list and I intend to replace everything but the head pipes ( I may even swap those for the later 2-2 style also). The bike runs plenty quick for me as of now. I'll wait to worry wbout that till next season.

I'd like to dial in a custom manifold and single Mikuni for starters, it'll run a hell of a lot hotter off the line and it'll be much easier to keep tuned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Well I finally tackled the fork seals, not a hard task, but it was time consuming being my first time (this is really my issue with the whole project...I've never actually done any of this before...)
We also got the fork brace painted black so it'll disappear nicely when the new white fender gets bolted on.


This is the nifty plate mount my buddy Chad welded up for me...I'm really happy with it.



Lastly we spent a bit more time machining the fins and lettering (with a dremel this time, not just bloody sandpaper...)


Had the 3 packages come that I was waiting for she'd likely be on the road...but apparently paying extra for 2-3 day shipping mean maybe in 5 or 6 days...not happy. So inevitably here she sleeps for another night. It'll likely be a week or so before I can get back out to her...

 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top