Archive for August, 2011

KZ650 Clubman Bars

Not a huge update. Just scored some clubman bars for the KZ for about 30 bucks at Bates. I also spotted another set of KZ carbs in a bin. Don’t need them, just thought it was funny they were sitting on top and I quickly recognized them.

I took it for a quick ride around the block. Completely changed the handling over the old Schwinn bars. Definitely a step in a good direction.

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 KZ650 Cafe Racer No Comments

Kawasaki KZ650 Cafe Project

So yesterday I picked up a tasty new bike. She’s a 79 KZ 650. I actually traded a few things for her on the Craigslist. She’s a four-banger with a little bit of pep.

She’s got some idling issues and the battery was deader than a doornail. (I think it might have been the original battery (seriously)). The old girl only had 6700 miles on her. Everything on the bike is in pristine condition.

All stickers are in tact and clean.

The original tool kit is in place and unscratched.

Inside the gas tank was practically spotless.

It even has the break-in sticker still on the tach.

Kate and I even rode it to a friend’s house for a little bike hack meetup. (about 15 miles round trip). No real issues other than the idling thing.

Now what to do with it..?

Honestly, given its nearly flawless condition, I just don’t feel right about chopping and grinding away at it. For this reason, I want to keep the changes very minimal. I will definitely be adding some clubmans and probably custom building a new tail for it that hangs past the stock seat (bolt-on, of course). May remove the rear fender. Will definitely be switching out the turn signals. Just a few changes to enhance her classic beauty. I’m pretty excited about this bike as it will make a perfect two-up scooter for my wife and me.

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Sunday, August 28th, 2011 KZ650 Cafe Racer No Comments

CB360 Engine Work

Today we got Kate’s CB360 engine back from the “Soda Man” (as Kate likes to call him). There was so much nasty in the motor (and since I was splitting the case anyway) he actually bead-blasted it. The finish is amazing. Looks like fresh-cast aluminum and tastes great. (jk.. (or am I?)).

We also got a shipment of CB360 parts. New piston rings, wrist pins, wrist pin circlips, wheel bearings, headset bearings, carb rebuild kits, and a few other little treats. It was like motorcycle Christmas.

Soda Man cleaned up the carbs. Unfortunately they didn’t stay that pretty. Once I hit them with the chem-dip the tasty finish came right off. So in the future, the correct order is, chem-dip, soda blast, and then re-dip… (but in something that isn’t chem-dip).

I started disassembling carbs for the dip. Someday Kate will be doing things like this herself, but for now she’s keen to observe and learn.

As you can see, the carbs had some nasty on them.

Wouldn’t eat cereal outta these…

Tasty new stem bearings.

Kate with her freshly bearing’d stem. Now onto the headset bearings!

Kate hammered in the the races with a woodblock and hammer.

That’s about all we got up to. Weeee!

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 CB360 Cafe Racer No Comments

Cafe Racer Battery Relocation

So I found a battery that was much smaller than the BMW gel battery that I was rocking. It’s a Jet Ski battery according to the website, but I picked it up at a Batteries Plus store. It’s the Odyssey PC545.

I worked out it would be the perfect size to slide under my seat hump and still provide adequate cranking power to turn over the Beemer. I think I paid like $130.00 and it came with a two year warranty. So I’ll update later as to whether it works out.

I started with some thinner aluminum sheet metal. I traced a rough (very rough) shape from the back of the hoop, and then cut it out with the sheers.

I picked these things up from Home Depot. They are genius. I’m using them to hold the plate on the hoop, since I don’t want to drill into my pretty frame.

Once the plate was mounted, I lined the battery up and drew a little line where the back of the battery sat. Then I used my Dremmel (with the GOOD cutting wheels) to cut a little whole for the strap to pass through. The battery sits a little further forward than I’d like. I’ll probably do another strap across the top going from side to side.

The battery mounted in place. Doesn’t look too bad.

I bought some 6g wire to lengthen the power and ground wires to the back. I messed up and only bought one set of circle connectors (the little end bits that the bolt goes through). I ran to Wal-Mart to try and find some more. I ended up seeing some battery cables that were the perfect length and 6g. So i bought them instead. (that 6g wire is hard to cut).

Everything all buttoned back up. Started right up. Charging fine. I will report later on when I can get some miles on her.

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Monday, August 1st, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

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