View Full Version : Kut up KZ

03-17-2010, 5:10 PM
Hey all, new to this forum but Punkskalar said that you would like my bike so I figured I would post it up.
This started out as a fully stock 76 KZ400. It needed gaskets, carb work, chain and sprockets. I also decided to tack on a hardtail, new tank, bars, seat, drum brake front wheel and a general clean up. Once I tore into the motor I (with a little pushing from Punkskalar) decided to do an overbore, port and polish, custom exhaust, single carb conversion...

Currently I have the frame done, tank selected but I need petcocks, the motor is reassembled, seat pan is about done, forks are lowered.... I could go on and on but I will spare you. Here are some Piccys.

<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF0207.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF0207.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
stripped down but stock
<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2021.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF2021.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Frame Mock up
<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2041.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF2041.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2035.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF2035.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Frame welded up with tank
<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2060.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF2060.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Motor Back together
<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2066.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF2066.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Trying to figure out where to put controls
<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2076.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF2076.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Modified Kickstart and rearsets
<a href="http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2080.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/DSCF2080.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Bike as she sits right now

03-17-2010, 5:21 PM
Great job so far. I dig it

03-17-2010, 5:51 PM
thats a sexy kz

i love how short it is!

03-17-2010, 7:07 PM
that is a nice lookin bike you got there

03-17-2010, 7:10 PM
Vinny is being modest about a few things.

That overbore involves some form of Honda CB pistons that he has done some major work to make fit. They will make the engine a full 3mm over stock... May blow up, but its gonna haul balls while it does run :)

"Tacked On" on a hardtail is modest too. He bent all the tubes himself, stretching the wheelbase 1.5" if I remember correctly. Even milled in a notch to fit over the dropouts to make them practically a surgical fit.

He's lacing up his own wheels as well, using XS650 Spokes of all things in the rear....

Vinny, get back in the garage, it don't run yet! LOL

03-17-2010, 7:19 PM
i def dig where your goin withi it. keep us updated!

03-17-2010, 7:46 PM
This is looking good. I really like the way it sits, can't wait to see it finished.

03-17-2010, 9:48 PM
Looking good man. Gone a long way already from stock, keep at it man!!

also, if you need PK's expert wiring advice, you know where to find me... hahaha

03-18-2010, 11:51 AM
I almost bought a very similar bike (same blue tank and all). Build looks great!! I love seeing the transformation. Good luck on the rest of the build!

03-18-2010, 8:12 PM
Vinny this thing is looking cool so far (although it looked cool before too!)

keep the pics coming.

03-31-2010, 1:20 PM
ok so I have actually gotten a ton of work done just havent had time on the computer to post anything good. I made a tunnel bender to make a new tunnel and bottom for my tank, the tank that I bought had a super wide tunnel and it just seemed like a waste of good gas space. plus the tank mounts I made loooked like they were meant to shoot rockets so I wanted to cut them off.

I also spent some time and fabbed up my exhaust, twice, First I made it out of the stock tubing, its open inch and 3/8 but I didnt have the tight radius bends that I needed so I ordered a builders kit on ebay and then cut everything off and started again. This time it turned out good. I am still waiting on the 2" piece that I am going to make my silencer out of so it is incomplete but you get the picture.

I also fabbed up my single carb manifold. I just needed to get my roommate to weld it up for me and I will be good. (I dont know how to tig and dont think that this part would be the time to learn)


04-02-2010, 7:17 PM
dude, you're a bad ass. i've got a bike for you to hardtail when you're done. that think is killer.

04-02-2010, 10:00 PM
very nice fab work man!

im diggin the frame jig also! is that uni-strut for the uprights to slide on?

04-11-2010, 11:14 AM
I got the carb manifold welded up. I am pretty proud of it and it fits well.
Also got the fender mounted.

I have some more progress just havenít been able to take pics yet.


04-11-2010, 12:12 PM
I am so going to steal that idea for the tunnel bender! Killer work on the pipes and intake!

04-13-2010, 8:14 PM
as awesome as this bike looks here. i have seen it in person and it is even cooler.

04-13-2010, 8:26 PM
Looking good, can't wait to mess with my KZ.

06-10-2010, 8:38 PM
This needs an update... I've seen it ready for its final testing and tuning, and its bad-ass!

06-10-2010, 9:46 PM
Yeh definitely UPDATE TIME!!

06-10-2010, 9:54 PM
+ 2

06-10-2010, 10:46 PM
thats some pretty awesome exhaust work

06-11-2010, 12:56 PM
Good lookin KZ !!!

06-29-2010, 6:34 PM
OK so this is "done" I know it has been forever since I posted. Sorry I have moved, graduated college, finished this bike, broke the bike, fixed the bike, broke the bike worse! etc. etc...

Here are some pictures with more to come after I replace the bottom end of the motor ( crank is seized)


06-29-2010, 6:47 PM
Pictures are grainy as hell, but wow man, looks amazing. Leather inserts and seat set it off killer!

06-29-2010, 8:30 PM
Pictures are grainy as hell, but wow man, looks amazing. Leather inserts and seat set it off killer!

Those tank inserts are Mahogany (*EDIT - WALNUT, i am a metal man, wood sucks!) , super slick work. He cut them out on a CNC machine and hand finished them.... Hell of a job man, now get us some gooder pics!!

06-29-2010, 8:35 PM
Looks fucking KILLER man.

06-30-2010, 6:13 AM
Thanks guys and the tank inserts are actually walnut. I need a new motor before I can take more pics. Dont know why the pictures are that awful bad but sorry about it. Thanks for the comments.

06-30-2010, 3:07 PM
Damn, well the walnut inserts look good with the leather seat, and the metal tank, and rubber wheels, hahahah

06-30-2010, 7:43 PM
Sweet looking KZ man, that thing really turned out awesome!

07-01-2010, 5:03 PM
nice man. only thing i dont like myself is the bars but thats just my taste. nice fab work.....get it running and ride the wheels off that thing

10-14-2010, 7:26 PM
Ok sorry I have been out of touch for so long. I have been super busy. I graduated from college. moved, found a job, moved again blew up my motor, rebuilt my motor... anyway. I finally got it running again and changed somethings.

I took some pictures of the bike as it sits now. Got it running today. I love this bike. I only ran it around the block but it was so much fun. I have all weekend to ride maybe I will take some video if I can.


No close ups. She needs a bath. Im gonna wrap the pipes and I am planning a 2-1 silencer but dont wanna work on it until its too cold to ride.

10-15-2010, 11:11 AM
Glad to see you got her running again, I just hate to see the pretzel pipes are gone :( Those were bad ass!

10-15-2010, 11:15 AM
Cool bike.Really digging the tank.

10-15-2010, 11:48 AM
Looks awesome man!! Diggin the wood on the tank, nice touch.

10-15-2010, 12:20 PM
Nice work bro. She looks like a lot of fun.

10-15-2010, 12:33 PM
Outstanding, one off orginal. :) I need the 411 on the single carb conversion, needles, carb stats. PLEASE!!!

10-15-2010, 5:41 PM
I am trying to work that out myself actually. I have it set up with just about the standard 34mm mikuni carb. played with jets a bit but I cant seem to get it to run perfect.

dies at idle after riding for a bit. top end is sluggish. Up until about 1/2 turn I can crack it and it acts like it wants to buck me off the back but after that it wants to die. been trying to read the plugs and just experement but havent had too much time to play with it. Any Advise would be greatly appreciated and when I figure it out I will certainly put the stats up here.

10-15-2010, 8:07 PM
looking good, if those side covers come off this winter for any reason.......... just saying

10-15-2010, 8:11 PM
Cain I dont know what you mean?

10-15-2010, 11:18 PM
your bike is amazing!

10-17-2010, 9:20 AM
Cain I dont know what you mean?

I think he's looking for stuff to engrave ;)

12-28-2010, 7:06 PM
I have not been keeping up with this thread as I should be. I have new exhaust and have been slowly working to fix some of the issues with running.

For some time though I like so many others who love these bikes have been struggling with the issue of being able to find a good head gasket. I have bought two new old stock gaskets both exhibited the same problems as the less than nice gasket that I bought from parts n more.

Finally I decided to just make my own. It might not work but I have a feeling that it will work better if not much better than the gaskets I have bought. I cut it out of 1/8th inch flat copper- a little thick but should have plenty of squish. Here are a few photos to prove that i did it.


The outside shape is a bit wonky in places but considering i cut it all by hand I am pretty happy with it. You may also notice that I am missing the little oval holes that are set up for oiling ports. This is because I have run external oil lines similar to what kawasaki did on later models.

If I ever have to do this again I am going to take the time to draw the gasket really well in CAD and then have one laser cut. the price should still be well below what you will pay on ebay for a NOS gasket.

I should be able to install and have back together before the weekend when we are suppposed to have some warm weather.
My only real question is whether or not I should anneal the gasket. The copper seems pretty soft but I do not know too much about copper. Any thoughts.

12-29-2010, 6:31 PM
^^^ Your gaskets are smiling at me! I want to see this thing back together... I likey!

12-29-2010, 9:47 PM
nice looking carb mani! someday i'll do something like that. also the first exhaust system was pretty trick, why'd you ditch it?

12-30-2010, 11:51 AM
Thanks Yall

I will make one of the Carb Manifolds for you if you want?

Exhaust was too much of a pain. It was in the way and kept burning my leg. If I put forward controls or even kept the stock controls I probably could have left the exhaust but with my seating position it just was not cool.

I talked to a buddy who knows copper better than I do. He said I def. need to anneal it. I will look into it and let everyone know how I do it. For now I got the gasket to its final size. I had to clean up a couple holes that were not aligned perfectly but it fits now.


01-05-2011, 8:53 PM
Vinny, I have a 77 kz400, could you make me that carb manifold?

01-17-2011, 9:17 PM
Ok So I put it all back together. I annealed the gasket and used a spray gasket sealer. I put on like 5 coats and let it cure overnight just to be sure. Put it all back together and I was having some trouble with it backfiring through the carb/carb manifold. I pulled it back apart to check the timing, it was right, double checked the valve adjustment, It was right or so I thought, kicked and kicked and cussed, then I checked the valves again and realized I had been adjusting them on the wrong tdc. Adjusting the right cylinder when I should be adjusting the left. (just when I think I am pretty smart I do something like this)

Adjusted the valves correctly, put it back together and she runs. Im surprised at how off the carb tuning is though. I got her timed and running and she will barely idle. I guess the blown head gasket was throwing that off as well as everything else.

Anyway I took some pictures of the bike as she is. I am having the tank and fender painted so they are off but here is the motor and new exhaust.

I thought the gasket looked kinda cool in there.

01-18-2011, 8:33 AM
DOH!!! I've done the same thing, saw your text last night, but I was in the middle of making a huge pile of chips on the lathe...

I'm loving the cherry bomb!!! I do miss the spaghetti noodle exhaust, but that 2-1 you have now is all business. Looks like you are getting very comfortable with that new welder as well.

Very sweet looking man, and that gasket it huge! That will affect cam timing some, since now the distance between the crank and cam is further. Essentially, you have retarded the cam a bit, so you may need to see how it runs, and if needed, pull the cam, slot the cam gear bolt holes and degree the cam forward just a bit.

It shouldn't have affected it much though, so just see how it does first...

Or instead of degreeing the cam back in by slotting the holes and hoping they stay tight, you could measure the difference in the head gasket thicknesses (New vs Stock) and shave that amount off of the head or off of the cylinders. That would put your cam timing right back on...

I just ordered some .036 copper for headgaskets as well, if you need some, let me know....

01-18-2011, 9:03 PM
no its cool. I dont usually wait for your answers.

I didnt really consider the timing. I knew the Compression would be altered but didnt think it would hurt since I cant get above like 100LBS with any of the gaskets that I bought.

I cant really tell if the timing is off or not. So heres what its doing:

Will start with choke will run at high RPM without choke. Cuts off when I turn down the idle but I have no Tach so I dont know how low it will go but it does seem too high. the plugs are still dry but I havent been able to run it long enough to know for sure. Im just gonna keep playing with it and if I cant get it right maybe I will hit you up for some thin copper.

Im thinking about have a small run of these laser cut depending on the cost. i know that a lot of people struggle with this issue.

Let me know if anybody has any ideas. I can build some shit but tuning is not my strong point. Thanks

02-21-2011, 7:29 PM
I finally got this Damn thing back together and running. I painted the tank. The yellow was pretty bad and there were more than a few spots of bare metal that I needed to fix. The new paint is not great but it will do the job.

I swapped out my head with the external oil lines with the stock one that I had from my donor motor. I swapped the overbore Jugs into the Donor Block as well. It was actually surprisingly easy to bake them loose. I installed new piston rings because I dont think that the first set I had were breaking in properly. She doesnt leak anymore and she seems to have good compression. The only work that I lost was the larger ports but I can live with that. I been riding her to work. Short distances and tuning and retightening at the end of the day. Seems to be close though the tuning is still out just a bit.

I do have a little problem with it dying mid ride every now and then. It acts as if I turned the ignition off. I am wondering if I need to replace the coil pack and ignition. Everytime it dies I just pull over kick it once or twice and it comes right back to life.

Here are some pics.
sorry they are cellphone pictures but that is all I got.

02-21-2011, 7:32 PM
Soo glad to see this bike alive. I miss the yellow though :(

I had a similar cut-off and die kinda thing on the KZ650. Ended up being my ignition switch needed to be torn down and cleaned. Definitely sounds like a wiring issue.

02-22-2011, 7:31 PM
Thanks buddy, I appreciate the love. I am still running that pull switch from the napa in boone. I think I am going to get a new coil pack and ignition switch. I was running around today and ran out of gas. I think that I fixed the idle problem though just changed the pilot jet and richened it up a bit.

She still smokes though.

02-22-2011, 9:07 PM
She still smokes though.

Man, they don't smoke if they don't run... So at this point, smoke is good. Run it in a few hundred miles, if it still smokes alot, then you got a problem...

02-23-2011, 2:34 PM
Wow. That bike is amazing! What kind of tank is that?

02-23-2011, 2:43 PM
Man that thing looks tougher than a 2 bit steak. Its different, I love it.

03-01-2011, 6:26 PM
The tank is off of a J1 I think. I made the inserts out of walnut which have held up rather nicely since it has not been run pretty much at all in the last year.

I finally got it running pretty decently. she idles pretty well and I think that the low end is tuned just about right but still not sure of the top end. I must admit that the bike has been warmed in the video so it does not start first kick every time. We'll see if this works.

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/th_DSCF2434.jpg (http://s856.photobucket.com/albums/ab125/jv73840/?action=view&current=DSCF2434.mp4)

03-01-2011, 7:39 PM
I like it dude. The tank is bad ass!

03-09-2011, 8:46 PM
I just registered for the revenge run so it is time to tune tune tune.

I will be ordering a new coil with wires- Dyna coil 3 ohm dual output

and a new throttle cable as I think mine may still be binding a bit.

I just had to rebuild my kick starter. Should have taken process photos but I will take some pics of the new one. It works much better even though it looks about the same.

Here is what she does in case anyone has suggestions. She starts well not first kick but well, then idles for a bit then dies. I think this is the coil missing. When I time the thing I can see a distinct miss. When I ride she does pretty good as long as I feather the gas at stop lights and stuff. Every now and then she will hesitate to return to idle. Sometimes if I fiddle witht ht eexhaust cable she will idle down but not always. THis problem has gotten better as I have jetted the idle circut down so I was thinking that It was a problem with it running too rich but I dont know.

I am running a vm 34 with a 17.5 pilot jet. Should be pretty lean.

Any advice would be appreciated.

03-29-2011, 7:49 PM
Ok. I got this thing running again. I replaced the points and condensor and they did not give me any spark so Z1 sent me a replacement. I also replaced the coil with an emgo coil. I knew that the Emgo coil would not mount to the stock coil bracket. Here is the new bracket that I made and a step by step of sorts.
The difference betweeen the coils.
1.5" angle cut roughly to length with the mounting holes drilled to mount to the frame
I lined up the coil and tapped the holes directly in the angle. I was going to use square nuts welded but ran out of welding gas and have not refilled and I didnt have any 6mm square nuts.
Here it is ready to be painted. I turned the coil around because the wires hit the motor with it facing this way but other than that it works great. It is super simple I know but Thought somebody else might want to do the same thing and be worried about not having a welder or whatever.

I tested the spark and started the bike. It works great. The new points and condensor are working as well and the new coil is great. Much stronger spark and idle.

Revenge run Here I come!

03-29-2011, 8:42 PM

Nice mount BTW... Its little details like that, that most people overlook....

03-30-2011, 5:04 AM
Havent heard anything about the BMR but as long as it does not interfere with ICFF I am there. What are the dates?

03-30-2011, 7:25 AM
May 18-23rd. Meeting in Taylorsville on the 17th for the PreParty are Wicked Willies Choppers :cheersmate:

03-30-2011, 7:34 PM
I like what you did! :killerjob: I need to get off my ass and get chopping on mine.

04-27-2011, 5:35 PM
Hugh I will be there. Just need to fix a few parts most of which are fixed and I will be ready.

I got back from the revenge run with a broken sissy bar, headlight bracket, and a totally sore ass from my seat and the fact that my bars dont allow me to change position easily. I got to work fixing the problems. The sissy bar was no problem because I already had one that I built last year I just built a different one so that I woul dhave more room but the headlight took some doing.

The threads that I had tapped to go up through the headlight had broken and ofcourse they did they were 1/4-20 threads in mild steel that shit wont hold anything. I tapped the 3/8 rod to accept a 10mm thread
I tapped the other side and cut them both to the same height to try to maintain the original headlight placement.
I bought a few of these the problem was that they were threaded for a 3/8 thread and I dont own any standard taps so I gobbed the thread up with a 10mm tap so that it would thread onto my rod
My dog enjoying the last of my warm beer
I bought some stainless bolts to thread into the hex nuts that I put on and everything seemed to be working. I plan on welding those hex nuts on but for now I wanted to make sure that nothing was too screwed up.
I have a headlight again
I also mocked up some new handlebars. I did some sketching and came up with something like this. I dont know how I feel about them. I need to get my hands up higher but they look so out of place on such a short bike. I know that I would have to raise the headlight up but I dont know if the bike will look right.

What do yall think?

04-27-2011, 6:12 PM
To hell with how it looks, How comfortable is the new set up? On a longer run like the RR, that's what really matters.

04-28-2011, 7:06 AM
I love this bike , and riding next to it on the RR! I wish I had taken some pix of it but there's a few good ones on here.

As far as the bars go, I really like the ones you have on there but I was wondering about how comfortable they would be. They look like you would be hanging on just to not slip off. The T bars are bad ass but not on this bike. What about some standard clip-on's? They would keep the racy feel but would be a little higher and closer to horizontal, although a little less board-tracky which is one thing I really like about the current ones. Or what about flipped superbike bars? I'm usually not the biggest fan of flipped bars but they have that style.

And if the headlight isn't working for you I have a few Aris style rectangular headlights that I think would look great on your bike. They are smaller and have a little visor on the top. I think I have a side mount and some rusty bottom mount ones. I'll send you one if you want, it's the least I could do to thank you for running around trying to find me a master link to get me back on the road.

04-29-2011, 1:15 PM
Im diggin the dual handle bar look. you never see that. turned down cafe style bars for around town and tight maneuvering, and raised bars for the long haul. you are an inovator. good job vinny

05-13-2011, 5:10 PM
Haha. Thanks for the responses. I decided to quit being a pussy and just ride it how it is. I like the look and the ride is not terrible.

I did have to make a new breather for it because the stock one that I had modified was leaking pretty bad. I just milled/angle grinded a piece of 3/8 aluminum to the rough shape and drilled a hole. Looks pretty cool def not stock.

Also I took these a long time ago and never posted them. I think they turned out decent so I thought I would share.

05-13-2011, 7:41 PM
fuck yea sick dood:cheersmate:

05-13-2011, 8:04 PM
i've run bars like that, kills you eventually on a long ride. could always flip them over and run them with the pull-back and low rise?

06-06-2011, 8:24 PM
I followed this build over on a kawasaki kz forum Very nice