View Full Version : KZ200 re-birth

01-07-2011, 9:28 AM
So, there is this 33 year-old guy. Just a guy, who works hard, loves his family, has a load of responsibilities and always manages to find for himself more unneeded work, worries and drama. He enjoys all the finer things in life those, which he can and canít afford. Life cannot be perfect, especially for him. He likes spending time with his wife, his friends and riding his motorcycle. An idea came to this man, to build his own motorcycle in his garage. To do the work on the weekends and for a few hours after work during the week, that is instead of sitting on a couch watching television. The problem with this idea is that he had never in his life held a proper mechanicís tool, never changed an oil filter and does not really know how an engine works. This creates a challenge.

Well being that I am that guy and the abundance of information on line about the subject of motorcycle repair and restoration is vast; I took on this challenge. I went on line and found a taken apart 1978 Kawasaki KZ200 that I picked up in April for a whopping $25. The plan was to rebuild this motorcycle in no more than a yearís time. (got a baby on the way so it might take way more then a year)

All of my family and friends have been notified that if they are getting anything for me for my birthday or any holiday it should be some sort of a tool. Since I started my collection of tools has increased dramaticaly. In the beginning, from some of the research that I have conducted this was the mode of operation for this project:

Install the wheels
Handle bars to get it up & rolling
Install the motor
Final drive
Start on the electrics
Move onto peripherals & sheet metal; fenders, tank, cables, controls, linkages etc...
Fluids, check spark & compression, set the points, introduce fuel & fire it off


Well I started in April and since then I bought another KZ200 for $75 off craigslist and started swapping parts. I have taken a motorcycle mechanics course on line and learned a great deal by messing around with the two engines I have. Taken them apart. One had siezed pistons and the other I got running. Cleaned and rebuilt one of the carbs, changed the seals and jets. It's nice and shiney now.

I had Larry from Fishtown classic cycles hardtail the frame for me. The tank I have on the photos is too long for the frame. So I am looking for a short (14" tab to tab) tank right now.

I am planning to use the stock bars upside down, drill them out and use reverse hand controls. Just started welding, so in the near future I will weld on the seat bungs and hinge, bungs for the rear fender and then have the frame sand blasted.

I am thinking of using a triangle head light and still playing around with the ideas for paint and sissi bar.

Since I started this amazing trip I have emmersed myself in GK and Dice magazines and of cause CHOP CULT. Thank God for CHOP CULT! I have learned so much from this site and now I consider myself a chop cult junkey. I appreciate any advise or tips from anyone. Following are some photos of the project. Sorry for the long ass rant.


01-07-2011, 9:30 AM
More photos

01-07-2011, 9:32 AM
more photos

01-07-2011, 9:34 AM
more pics

01-07-2011, 9:48 AM
Great looking frame! Should be a very nice build.

01-18-2011, 9:10 AM
New tank and bars on the roller.

01-18-2011, 11:06 AM
Looks killer man!! That tank looks great on that bike. I'm looking for something similar for my 15 year old daughter. She wants to build a bike!! But Dad wants it to be of a small displacement. I'm going to show her your progress!! Keep the updates coming!

01-18-2011, 11:10 AM
Thanks man. I picked a little bike because its my first build. It is loads of fun....

01-18-2011, 11:22 AM
lookin good man, stay with it with a no compromise attitude, and you'll have a bitchin' sled before you know it.

01-20-2011, 8:41 AM
Trying to figure out what kind of a seat to put on this little bastard. My problem is that most of the seats out there are 13" in length. The distance from the backbone to the upper cross bar (where I would mount the springs) is only 10" I am wondering if I can still put like a builtwell seat on and still have it functional.

01-20-2011, 8:43 AM
If some of you look at the latest photos, there is very little space for a hinge for a seat or maybe I am wrong. Like I said before, this is my first build and I am learning a lot, mostly off my mistakes, but some advise and suggestions would really help.

01-20-2011, 3:40 PM
Awesome progress man. Theres not a better feeling than knowing you did it yourself. I had never worked on a motorcycle until I bought my currecnt bike and had to get it running, and since then its been a list of little bugs to get corrected. Keep up the work on it, I look forward to seeing progress.

01-21-2011, 11:09 AM
You got that right. On top of that, I run two companies with about 40 employees. It's nice to lock myself in my garage after a hard day and get my hands dirty.

01-21-2011, 11:52 AM
Just purchased some fab goodies from low brow. Got the seat hinge, spring bungs and and springs. I have been practicing with my flux wire welder, so as soon as the stuff gets here the welding will begin. Also scored a sweet brown leather solo seat from ebay.

01-22-2011, 8:19 AM
Awesome dude! Keep truckin along..I havent been able to do a smuch with mine lately because my garage is 2 degrees

01-26-2011, 10:40 AM
Just got my stuff from lowbrow customs. The stuff looks awesome. Now I am waiting for the seat to come in so I can measure everything and start welding the shit on. Super excited.

02-10-2011, 2:03 PM
Just mocking stuff up. Welded the parts for the seat. Messed up royally on one of the spring bungs. Have to grind it off and redo it.