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New guy here. Bought my first bike project last fall as a non-runner in pretty good shape and less than 20K miles on it. Carbs leaked like crazy, which was its main problem. Built a number of jeeps and little british cars, but this is the first 2 wheeler. Also worth mentioning that the last time I rode an motorcycle I was 17 (49 now).
Here is what $400 buys in the fall. A mostly stock 81 KZ750 with original tires.
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Wound up getting distracted with a lot of other things this winter, so I really started working on it a month or 2 ago. First issue to figure out was the carbs. It appears that someone tried to solder the cracked overflow tubes and the solder shut the one that was missing. After a little research I found that the tubes were done away with a couple years later and that the carbs would just overflow into the airbox and out a drain tube. Fine with me - center drilled them out and filled them. While I was at it did a basic kit in each carb and there we go the bike runs fine.
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Next, need to get rid of the old tires. They looked fine, but the date codes were 1980. Break out the spoons and put the new ones on. Used dyna beads for balancing. Figure if they work on a 37" mud tire then they might work on an MC tire too
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Next the exhaust. Didn't want anything too loud, so I went with the MAC 4-1 system and left the baffles in. Looks and sounds decent and bolted right up
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At this point it stopped snowing long enough for the roads to dry up and go for a test drive. Everything seemed to be working pretty well until the front brakes locked up. Oops - I'd replaced pads all around and checked the master cylinders, but had not flushed the lines. Well the calipers and lines were all full of goo. Ordered up some rebuild kits, a new front lever/MC and some stainless lines. Calipers are all rebuilt and hopefully the lines come Monday.
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Meanwhile the seat I ordered from Texavina showed up. Nice work and it retains all the factory hinge/latch hardware
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Future plans are to ride it a bunch, repaint the tank and then figure out what comes next. Need to move the forward controls back a bit so that it doesn't have such a straight up riding position.

Chuck
Http://www.oldjeep.com
 

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Future plans are to ride it a bunch, repaint the tank and then figure out what comes next.
This is the post of the week!!!!


Is the suspension wonky, am I happy with the riding position or do I want it more racy, are the forks shot, are the brakes to my liking, does the bike turn like I want or need it to for my purpose, is the engine happy...

So much you can learn from just riding.
 

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Wow. A proper approach to a project. That’s unusual. Good job!
 

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It is nice to have a new member who doesn't start a thread with "I want too cut the tail off and weld on a hoop". You should pull the forks off and do the seals and fluid it's likely in a similar state to the brake fluid. The seat does seem to fit nicely and looks well made.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is nice to have a new member who doesn't start a thread with "I want too cut the tail off and weld on a hoop". You should pull the forks off and do the seals and fluid it's likely in a similar state to the brake fluid. The seat does seem to fit nicely and looks well made.
Oddly enough I have a set of seals and dust boots in my ebay cart, so they are on the list. Need to do a little research on how to perform that operation, but based on the parts it doesn't look any worse than rebuilding a caliper.
As for cutting off the frame, I'm not really understanding why I would want to do that anyway. While I do have plenty of welding/fabrication experience the only frame hacking I plan on is removing the big stock turn signal mounts that are on the underside of the frame.
 

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Dust seals on a modern USD does require some helpful tools and tricks. Not sure on the older conventional forks, but I would assume so.
Get yourself a workshop manual and go through the procedure before starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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As for cutting off the frame, I'm not really understanding why I would want to do that anyway.
This is because you seem to understand why mechanical things are made as they are. Hang around awhile and you'll find that the angle grinder with a cut off wheel is the prized tool of the modern backyard bike "builder". And that sense is no longer common.

Generally for older forks you don't require anything specialized that is expensive, you may even have what you need. Get a hold of a manual and you'll find it a pretty basic job.
 

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That looks like a KZ750 LTD, great bike and comfy for riding. I have a touch of experience with the LTD's as I rode one for a few years before selling it last week. Thank you for not wanting to chop the frame, it would not have worked out very well on an LTD anyway given the shape of the frame, it just looks odd. Function over form, always.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
That looks like a KZ750 LTD, great bike and comfy for riding. I have a touch of experience with the LTD's as I rode one for a few years before selling it last week. Thank you for not wanting to chop the frame, it would not have worked out very well on an LTD anyway given the shape of the frame, it just looks odd. Function over form, always.
Yes, it is a 1981 KZ750 LTD

It was cheap, in decent shape and looked like it would be a good basis for a café(ish) look without a lot of work. The bike is big, wide and heavy so a lot of the café(ish) stuff makes no sense to do to it - like tanks with knee dents, since the engine already sticks out so far that you would just be banging your leg into the engine.

It already had the flat bars on it when I got it and they are comfortable. I removed the grip end mirrors in favor of something that works better for me. The rear fender had been chopped and I think it is a good length aesthetically, and keeps the road gunk off the seat. The kid I bought it from had put plastic bullet lights on it which didn't work right.
 

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The LTD has a bit of an incline in the seat frame from the tank back.

The standard KZ has a flat seat frame.
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If you are ok with the inclined look then you can find some stuff out there.
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Personally I think this one looks odd, the frame shape is very obvious and doesnt look right, also it looks uncomfortable after about 5 minuites of riding.

This one is better I think
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
This is a picture of a KZ750 (shaft version) that I had found when I bought my bike. Like the looks aesthetically, but it has had some chopping done to it - bars are way too low for me. It at least showed me that the bike could be made to look better as long as a few different things were done for rideability. To some extent it is like building jeeps - yeah you can jack them to the sky to fit big tires, or you can do it right and make them work properly.

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Brake lines were in the mailbox when I got home today. Nice product, fit well and came with all the bolts and crush washers. Bled the new mc out and installed and bled the lines. I will bleed them again after a test ride, but they feel good. Need a longer bolt and a spacer to get the mirrors right. Had to order from fastenal since nobody local had a 10x1.25x35 socket head. Hopefully tbe weather will cooperate for a ride tommorrow afternoon. IMAG1124.jpg IMAG1125.jpg IMAG1126.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Took it out for a couple of rides this afternoon, about 30 miles total. Everything seems to be working well enough. The front suspension needs some work, as it dives more than I think it should. Have seals and oil on the way. Tonight I will check for any leaks, make sure everything is tight and check the chain adjustment.
One thing I need to figure out is mirrors, the current ones are useless.
 

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Watch out for kz650 guys wanting to nab your cylinders or even the whole engine...cuz that stuff bolts right in and can be taken out to 810cc and mixed in with other goodies makes one helluva killer little near 100 hp vintage mid size ujm...
DSCN0702 by Sean Barney, on Flickr
 

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you can probably cut the fork springs down quite a bit to make them a decent rate, then preload them up again. that'd have to help.
 
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