View Full Version : another KZ

01-13-2011, 9:54 AM
Seems like quite a few KZ's have been poppin up on DTT and Chopcult so i figured i'd add to the collection. I've wanted a cafe racer for years now but just never seemed to pursue it until last summer when i got this bike. It's a 75' KZ400s (kickstart only) that i picked up for $600, ran perfect and was decently clean. Pretty much just rode it around in stock form all summer while i figured out what i wanted to do with it, plus i didnt really wanna tear it apart when i could go out and ride it hah.

It's slowly been comin together the past couple month. Not really goin for any particular style but it'll probably be more brat than anything. All i've done so far is clip-on's, extended the swingarm 2.5" and lowered the front a little. Tires should be here this week and i should have my seat ready for upholstery next week, then its clean up the frame (cut and grind off dumb unnecessary tabs) , get the rear hoop welded on and get it powdercoated then who knows hah.

Anyways here's some pics

The first day i got it, already messin around with it.


then fall came and i started taking stuff off and figuring out what i needed/wanted to do


and here's where its at now, extended 2.5" and lowered the front a little.


I'll try and update this thread as much as i can but all i have is my camera on my phone. I figured id just throw up some pics for ideas/criticism.

01-13-2011, 11:43 AM
Nice. I love to see people doing cool stuff with these bikes. Go slow these are hard to find parts for so dont break any. Let me know if you need any random motor parts. I have a bunch sitting around.

Whats that other bike sittin in the garage?

01-13-2011, 11:57 AM
i like that extended swingarm.....did you do it yourself? with slugs in there and everything? 2.5 inches seems like a good amount....i have seen ones where people have done 5 inches and it just looks like it is asking to break.....
i like the direction you are going with this.

01-13-2011, 12:27 PM
Yea vinny i've been takin my time with the bike, im in no hurry hah. The other bike is my sv650.

ruckus i didnt weld the extension myself, i dont trust my welding skills enough for something like that. But yes it is slugged with little gussets running across the bottom. I'm very content with 2.5" anymore and i would've had to raked the front i think.

01-13-2011, 5:44 PM
^^another stupid question for you....but when you extended the swingarm did you leave it on the bike or take the swingarm off and then extend it? i only ask because i like this mod...

01-13-2011, 6:25 PM
I took it off the bike and had this local guy weld it up at his shop.

01-13-2011, 9:43 PM
Keep with it man, it's gonna look killer!:clap for you:

01-17-2011, 10:47 AM
the tank was dented up when i got the bike so i figured i'd put one big dent in it.


hoping to start hittin it with body hammers sometime this week so i can get it shaped better

01-25-2011, 10:40 PM
I took it off the bike and had this local guy weld it up at his shop.

It'd probably have more soul if you were the one building the bike. ZING!

You sold your soul and let someone else do it?

02-10-2011, 3:39 PM
You sold your soul and let someone else do it?

bahaha how did i miss this!?!? I was just messin around with ya dude, really wasnt that serious. But ya i did have someone weld it up, the swingarm is a pretty critical piece and i just dont trust my welding skills enough hah

02-18-2011, 10:22 AM
hey how goes the progress???

02-22-2011, 2:35 PM
hey how goes the progress???

not as quickly as i'd like hah. Im in the process of moving so that takes up time and puts a damper on the spending on the bike but i will have a bigger garage!

started to polish up the covers and kinda clean up the motor.


got the rear hoop welded on and mounted the tires



I'm in the process of making the seat pan, i got it all cut out and bent up i just need to find some time to weld on seat brackets and get the seat mounted.

03-20-2011, 12:53 PM
got some decent work finally done on the bike.

battery box and seat mounts


had the frame powdercoated black


im gonna raise the front up about an inch.


It's gettin alot closer, just gotta upholster the seat, finish the body and paint work on the tank, wire it, and other little misc things.

03-20-2011, 1:29 PM
Looking great! Seat are looks really clean, whats type of seat are you working on? Are you planing on keeping the front end dropped that much when you finish?

03-20-2011, 1:43 PM
I'm gonna raise the front end up about an 1"-1" 1/2. I dont really like the look of the forks up through the clamp so im probably gonna cut the spring and spacer inside.

here are some pics of the seat pan, still gotta shape/cut the rear part. It's pretty basic, just nuts welded onto the pan so i can run bolts up from underneath it and im gonna do a tuck and roll on it.


for the tank i've pretty much decided on root beer brown with gold leaf in the dents, but i absolutely hate body work so i dont really wanna think about that right now hah

04-04-2011, 9:55 AM
got the wiring all done, just the basics... headlight, taillight, ignition, coil, recitfier and battery



leftover wiring


and one more pic of the bike


04-04-2011, 10:33 AM
great stance....i see what your talking about with raising the front just a bit. get that bike all cleaned up and we might be seeing it on the homepage like the slack stealer....

04-05-2011, 1:32 PM
stoked on the build.

04-05-2011, 1:41 PM
looking good!

04-05-2011, 1:56 PM
dude, have you been secretly spying on my build??? I haven't started a build thread because my bike is at a my Dad's shop which is over an hour from where I live, but that thing is looking very similar to what I have going on.

I'm building a KZ750 twin… clip-ons… same tires… lowered… pretty crazy. It will be interesting to see how yours ends up, and also how mine ends up. It could still morph during the build process.

04-05-2011, 3:02 PM
Bike is a beauty. Are those Firestones? Can I ask what size you are running on the front and the back? I've been wondering how big I can go on the front and back of my KZ.

04-05-2011, 3:53 PM
Was it fun getting the motor back in the frame :)

04-06-2011, 2:55 PM
Was it fun getting the motor back in the frame :)

Yeah, no kidding… what's with these KZs??? It's like some crazy freaking science getting the motors in and out of the frame. It was a battle getting mine out on my 750 twin. Going to be interesting trying to get it back in the frame without completely jacking up all the engine paint.

04-06-2011, 5:00 PM
thanks for the kind words fellas

Getting the motor back in wasnt as bad as i thought, for some reason it was easier than getting it out hah. Me and another friend had the frame on the ground and put the motor in sideways then turned/tilted it into position, took us probably 20 minutes.

Should have the seat done by this weekend and then its onto paint/bodywork on the tank

04-06-2011, 5:06 PM
Bike looks rad. Nice work!

Looking forward to the finished product.

04-07-2011, 1:23 PM
bike is looking pretty friggin rad man

thanks for the kind words fellas

Getting the motor back in wasnt as bad as i thought, for some reason it was easier than getting it out hah. Me and another friend had the frame on the ground and put the motor in sideways then turned/tilted it into position, took us probably 20 minutes.

Should have the seat done by this weekend and then its onto paint/bodywork on the tank

had to pull my motor out twice ,easier putting in then it was taking out for sure!!!

05-22-2011, 4:05 PM
alright dudes, here's some more pics, i haven't done much but thought i'd throw up pics of the progress so far. I'm planning to be riding it around the beginning of june so expect some more updates in the next two weeks.

got the headlight, bars, chain, and levers on, made a new brake rod and stay, and also went through the carbs. I also upholstered the seat, definitely not as "perfect" as i wanted but it's my first time upholstering anything so i was decently happy with it, plus it basically only cost me $20 (materials) as compared to $150+ for a shop to do it.

anyways here's some pics


That's about it so far, gonna get the tank ready for primer and paint this week hopefully and mount the electronics then it should be good to go.

06-21-2011, 9:44 AM
so i've decided to ditch that dished tank ( take too much bondo) and i found a TS185 tank in my friends garage that he let me have. Here are some pics


This is it after we cut out the tunnel so it could sit more evenly


06-21-2011, 12:10 PM
You did a great job upholstering that seat for the first time. If there are problems with it, you can't see them in the pics, and you certainly won't be able to see them at 80mph. Keep up the effort, I rebuilt a KZ a few years back and they're really nice bikes to ride. Light and whippy.

06-24-2011, 1:55 PM
Wow. Incredible change. I thought you did a great job with that size dent in the first tank but man that tank just looks like it was made for the bike you've built so far. The angle created at the back of the seat and angle at the front of the tank just gels for me. Nice!

06-25-2011, 1:16 AM
this is a great looking KZ I wanted one of these for a while how do you like them? Very good job so far!

06-25-2011, 2:30 AM
Looks just like my KZ!!!... except a lot prettier...... and proffessional.. and safe.. and legal... and not covered in beer spills..... and random mismatched bolts.. and nicer paint ....and basically everthing inbetween..

shit, yours probably even runs..

06-30-2011, 10:51 AM

Thanks for the kind words fellas. Might be riding it home tonight, hopefully anyways.

07-11-2011, 1:21 PM
Finally got to ride it around town yesterday. I got a little oil leak on the right cover but other than that it's pretty solid. Definitely gonna get rear sets though.

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07-19-2011, 9:11 AM
couple pics, more to come... still gotta paint the tank (obviously hah)


07-19-2011, 10:54 AM
Lookin good. What is that tail light?

07-19-2011, 11:42 AM
taillight is a $30 ebay special, dunno what kind it is though hah.

so i scored this cool little light at a swapmeet last weekend for $1. Might lamin-x the glass yellow and run it as a fog or somethin. The glass used to be clear but after time it looks kinda tinted/red... idk could turn out cool...


07-19-2011, 7:25 PM
are you going to lower your fork tubes internally?

07-20-2011, 10:39 AM
Ya im going to. My main focus was just gettin the bike on the road.

07-20-2011, 8:18 PM
bike looks awesome, where did you get the clip-ons from? im builiding me a kz400 and looking to do the same thing! thanks.

07-20-2011, 8:56 PM
Fucking sweet man. I love this bike.