What we're workin with

What we're workin with
The 81 KZ650 (SR)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Next Project????

Sometimes an opportunity is too good to pass up. In my totally unrelated to bikes travels today I came across this slightly used XL250R. In fact all the parts are there and it was obviously a project someone has started then abandoned.

It all started when I took an old fridge to the dump or 'refuse exchange centre' for a mate. On my way through to the scrap metal section I spotted this little beauty, parked on it's stand with all the parts sitting alongside in neatly labelled boxes. I bargained the dump dude down from $100 to $55. It was there, I had $55 and a big empty trailer.......it was almost irresponsible not to take it away..

So now I have project number 2 waiting for project number 1 to conclude. No idea what lies in store for the little 250 although I'm quite sure it will involve a grinder.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mini me

Please welcome our latest research and development test pilot. Today he's taking an example of China's best mini-quad efforts for a run.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Burn out.......

Suffering a bit of project fatigue mainly to the sudden onset of having to work for money......with tools, for others. Oh well helps put paint on the metal bits I suppose.

Hopefully the dude in this pic didn't suffer too badly and this was just a flash of flame rather than a long burn scenario.....maybe he misunderstood the concept of burning rubber off the start?? The competition seems to be taking it fairly casually.

pretty sure this came from  http://planbmotorcycles.blogspot.com

Monday, November 29, 2010


It's looking like my November deadline is a no-go given that tomorrow is the last day of November and there's a lot to do. Came down to the need to make money taking priority over the desire to spend it - not a bad thing really, it was going the other way there for awhile.

So, my new deadline is January 2011, that's when rego is due - a real incentive to have it on the road.

The painting should start this week, just have to decide on colour......maybe something understated and subtle like this one??

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Seat!

Finally got the Ebay Nitroheads bargain seat in the mail. Gonna be  a really good fit once I do a bit more grinder work- I'm stoked. Now I feel motivated to get on with it. Got some more nice Nitroheads parts on the way but for now it's time to strip this baby good an proper.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Summer's comin!

Ahhh I love summer - too hot for all that fancy safety gear. Peace, love an sturdy boots baby!

Ebay to the rescue!

Scored a brand new Nitro Heads seat off Ebay for $102.00. I'm stoked. It's worth about 4 times that. According to the seller the size should fit neatly  on my cut-down rear frame. Would have cost me at least that much to make one up myself.  I'm waiting to see how it sits on the bike before I do much more. In the meantime stripping paint off guards and other prep stuff. I'll be making a new battery box for the see through look but can't do that until I know how the seat is gonna mount.

Monday, November 15, 2010

First cut

Finally got the grinder out! Took about 6 inches of the arse. It's a good start. After looking at a lot of chops I've decided not to take of too much. They just don't look right chopped much shorter unless you extend the swingarm which I'm not gonna do on this one. I also want to keep the rear/pillion footpegs so I want a seat that's long enough to squeeze a shorty on the back if needs be.

Spotted a Nitro Heads seat on Ebay that might save me doin a custom job if the price is right.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ratty and waiting

The carbs have now been synced-up very nicely thanks to the skillz of the lads at Ballina Bikeworx. I thoroughly recommend them - old school, experienced and honest as. The KZ is now running like the proverbial 'scorched ape' so after I've had a bit of a ride around in rat mode it's gonna be time for a serious style change. Looking forward to getting it chopped, striped and re-introduced as a much leaner beast.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Old School styling

Thinking about hard-tailing the Royal Enfield into something even more old school looking than it already is. These are two shapes/styles that would work. The one with the girder forks is actually a recent Enfield Bullet re-worked - oozes style.

Both these pics were found on the Bike Exif site. www.bikeexif.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

KZ update

The carbs have been re-jetted to deal with the new pod air intake - they really suck it in - fuel economy takes second place with this change. I'm getting the carbs professionally balanced. This is one job I want done by an expert as I don't feel confident with getting it as good as it can be. It's just a waste of time, fuel and power if you have your carbs out of balance. It's less than an hours work for an experienced mechanic and a good investment in my opinion.

Started a bit of engine painting, matt black, whilst I had the carbs, tank etc off. I'm liking the look so far. Once these carbs are sorted it will be time for the big strip down and re-construction.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Somewhere quiet

Amazing project find or total piece of crap?....The hillbilly hardtail that inspired a trip out of town

Hardtails an hillbillies....

Took time out of building  an fixing stuff to go an see a man about a bike. It all came about via a  classic add in the local rag along the lines of "not too much to do ideal project" type enticement. A hardtailed 68 Triumph 650...hmmm definately something I'm interested in and it's local. The seller sent me a text pic. Looks interesting enough to go an have a tyre kick.

Elusive things those texts pics, a bit like 'profile pics' on dating sites. The dude lived seriously out of town, up a track, in a shack. Lets just say he was a 'character' and there were a couple of moments when I swear I heard the twang of a banjo across the swamp. It did cross my mind that a man could disappear out this way......."we're gonna make you squeal like a hog boy"

So the 'project' isn't gonna be my project but this trip wasn't ever really about getting a bargain 68 Trumpy. I felt like a cruise along some  back roads, on a warm spring day, on my beloved Royal Enfield. As I was thumping along I realized that I have the classic scenic country roads thing going on in my own backyard. Took some pics, had a great ride.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Look?

A very rough photoshop type mock-up of the kind of final look I want. This involves chopping about 6 inches of the back frame, custom making a shorter, lower seat, bobbed front fender, bobbed rear fender, blacked out engine and exhaust. The colour was just an experiment in using the re-colour. I think a deep red would be OK but haven't decided.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I like em naked an see through

More  sweet machines that inspire me. The SR400 is from Raider Motorsport, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia. The W650 hardtail is another very clean and stylish Deus creation. I want one of each please. The SR400 as a surf runner with board carriers and the hardtail just to cruise around old school.

More Stripping

This time it's paint. I decided to strip the paint off the tank. I reckon if your gonna re-spray then you've gotta get it back to bare metal. If you just give the existing paint a rough over and prime there is no way you will get a good quality of finish with your new paint and unless you are using exactly the same type of paint product that is already there the new stuff isn't gonna stick properly.

There are two ways of doing the strip I would recommend. The first is good old sandblasting but unless you've got your own gear it's gonna cost you decent bucks and time. It's also easy - drop it off, pick it up, pay money, go home. The other way is to use an industrial strength paint stripper that's suitable for auto paints. It's relatively cheap but it's very, very fucking nasty stuff. This is not stuff to be slack with. It's a seriously dangerous chemical.

Read all the info and directions twice. You cannot get this stuff on your skin cause it will burn like Holy water on an evil demon. If you are dumb enough (like me) to get some on you then wash it off immediately under cold running water. You need to do this work outside, in a breeze with a good respirator style dust mask on cause the gas it gives of will burn your lungs if you breath it in and will probably give you all sorts of filthy cancers. If it gets in your eye it will blind you!  Make sure there are no kids, pets or idiots around. If you have all that covered go for it. Resist the urge to buy this hideous chemical in a spray can! Brush it on in gel form very carefully and slowly.

I just used a scraper and some steel wool to get the old paint off. The paint should bubble and turn soft in minutes. With this tank the 30 year old  paint bubbled before my eyes and came off very easily. Use those industrial style rubber gloves when your doing this. Finish it off with a sanding block and some slightly soapy water then spray it with some WD40 or similar stuff to stop it rusting. The bare metal will soak that oil up but you gotta clean it off before painting.

Having given fair warning about this foul brew I did the KZ tank in less than an hour for less than $10. I'm stoked with the result. The little brown spots still there are rust spots which means the inside of the tank's gonna need a treatment.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This is a Wrench Monkees machine. Very inspirational. Simple and stylish (in my opinion).


8negro: Yamaha XS650 Bobber.

8negro: Yamaha XS650 Bobber.: "photos by Banzai Steve.found in Pipeburn."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Too subtle?

Obviously a work of shear genius yet far too sophisticated and subtle for what I'm looking for.....

A day at the beach

This is a pic of me hanging out  at the local with a couple of lady friends. We're discussing what I should do with the KZ. It was a splendid day and I predict that this very cool swimwear will be 'the thing' this summer.

(pic is from http://www.dirtybobbers.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=4.0 )

Quick Strip

After a quick test ride with the new pods it's definitely running lean. The mains that came on the bike are 102.5's, already a bit bigger than stock but not good enough to feed the new air flow. Those pods suck in plenty of it. I'm going to run 115's an see how that goes. It's idling fine so I'm not going to change the pilots.

While I'm waiting I thought I'd pull a few things off. I want to make a decision on the chop factor. Based on the pics I reckon it could lose at least 6 to 8 inches off the arse. I'm intending to make a custom seat rather than design the chop around a stock seat. I like the shape of the coffin style tank so I think that's gonna stay. The SR models have a 16inch rear which I'm not sure about for the look I'm going for. It might look more balanced running an 18inch rear. Ideally I'd like to run spoked rims rather than the alloys - I'm on the hunt for some but they will have to be cheap

Monday, November 1, 2010

Style versus Function

 I'm thinking this little beauty is beyond my current skill base!  It brings the style vs function design process into focus........I guess beauty and style are in the eye of the beholder. I'm finding the current obsession with turning everything and anything into a 'cafe racer' a bit boring.

First steps

While I decide what I'm going to do to this old beast in terms of the finished lool I thought I'd start with the basics, a bit of a clean-up, look over and tune-up. I decided it's gonna lose the airbox and side covers regardless of the final look so  I added some pods. There's a lot of discussion on various forums about the pros an cons of adding pods to Z's an KZ's so I'm keen to see for myself: what carby set-up seems to work best. I want to get the motor running nicely before I pull it out.

So I've stripped and cleaned the carbs and put on the pods. I decided to run it all with the jets and needle setting that were already there - 15's on the idle, 102.5's mains and the needle clip set 1-up from the bottom setting.

Let me know if you've done the pod thing an what set-up worked for you.
The KZ650 SR is not a common classic bike in Australia. You don't see many of them on the road. However the decision to customize this bike in particular was based an an opportunity rather than a particular interest in this exact model. Having said that I have ridden the bike around in it's as-is stock state and I like it. The Kawa 4's have got plenty of pull and the KZ/Z's are definately an established classic. However I'm determined to chop it up and generally molest it.......maybe we can follow a full resto another time.

This bike was bought in Ballina NSW for $1500 as a registered runner. I prefer a registered bike, for reasons I will discuss later. The bike was in OK condition for it's age, everything works and the motor is nice an tight - this is a good start!

The intended theme for this bike will be along the lines of what might be called a 'bobber' or even a 'brat' although there are a lot of terms getting used with a lot of variation on the term. The idea is to strip it back very naked with only the bare requirements for it being road legal in NSW Australia.

Of course I've seen hundreds of sites/images, maybe thousands that have inspired and encouraged me, some of my favourites are at these sites. All of these crew do very nice bikes.




I am aiming to have this build done in a month, during November 2010. Lets see.