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  1. #1
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    Default 81 CSR/LTD Bastard Cafe/Drag Inspired Build

    I'm not sure if anyone is interested in my project, but I figure I should post this somewhere.

    So about a year and a half ago I bought an 81 KZ650 CSR for cheap transportation. It was essentially stock until I got it home and decided to change things up. I originally wanted to cafe it, but the frame just would not look right without extensive mods, so I just bobbed the tail and made a new seat. installed some clip ons, velocity stacks, lowered it, and a bunch of other things I can't remember.

    Basically went from this:

    To This:


    Well, I was having some troubles getting the bike legal since it was originally from out of state and the PO that I got it from never bothered to get it in his name. I still rode it around, but the out of state plates with a 1998 tag on them made me nervous around where I live. So I purchased a titled 81 KZ750 frame off ebay for a decent price (under $100 if I remember correctly). My original goal was to just swap everything over to the new frame, but then I went to the Handbuilt show here in town recently and got the itch to modify it instead. This honestly was not a big surprise to me though. I like to modify and paint almost everything I own. So I started with the frame. I know I wanted to sit a little lower but did not want to hardtail it. I think I may end up with a mix of cafe/drag race style. I'd like to keep things simple and not complicate the look too much. Maybe infuse some of the traditional hotrod influence... Anyways, I went to cutting up the frame a bit. Had to make new shock mounts (which I'll probably remake again here in the near future). Made my initial seat pan, and am currently working to make a rear fairing that suits my tastes. In all I hope to have it built and painted (by me) before Labor Day of this year. I have a lot to do, but my hardest decision right now is still paint colors. I should mention that I am doing all this in my apartment garage. No machine shop or epic tools here.

    And now on to some pics:

    KZ100 swing arm for added length:

    Seat pan will be separate:

    Battery box big enough for minimal wiring:

    General Idea for the rear (for now). Brake lights will be covered with a custom made red diffuser:

    Although I am contemplating building something more like this (please disregard the anime stuff, I just like the tail):

    Tank once it gets blasted and I get more argon for the TIG:



    Criticism/comments are always welcome. I have thick skin. I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea and that's cool with me. I'm not out to impress anyone.

    Thanx,

    Tatur

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    Keep it coming

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    Yes please do.lookin sweet

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    Im digging the shit out of this.
    I lived on one of those scoots for 2 years just riding around and around and around. Miss that bike terribly so I will defiantly be watching your thread.
    Plus, Garage fabrication is much more interesting than professional.

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    Dude! nice work on that battery box, and I really like what you are doing with the rear cowl / triple light set up. I love to see when people come up with original solutions rather than following the herd.

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    Thanks everyone. Yeah, I have a hard time just building another cafe seat pan or brat style seat for this. Everyone has them and to be honest, this was just too ugly of a frame for that type of treatment.

    I started making the mold for that cartoon style rear fender. I'll make this out of fiberglass then tuck it under the metal seat pan. I found an old Model T glass taillight lens in my stash that I will use. It's 3.5" diameter, so I should easily be able to fit all four of these bright a$$ LED lights behind. This also means I won't have to blow a mold for my own taillights again. I'll be making my own housing for the lens. I hope to have everything take shape enough for pics by the weeks end.

    So much to do....

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    Well progress slowed down this last week because of other things happening around me, but I finally found some time to redo my shock mounts and tack together a battery box. I still need to tack the batt box to the underside of lower seat pan once I finish welding it up and go after it with the body dolly. I don't have a sheet metal brake yet, so I bent everything up using some square stock and a hammer. I made the box a little longer than my open hole because I plan to run a bulk pin connector for all my wiring and wanted a place to hide that assembly up front and out of site while leaving a little space for relays and such.





    I also built a splash guard to keep crud from coming off my back wheel into my carbs (still running velocity stacks). Nothing complicated. I only have it tacked in at the moment in case I need to change something later. I know most people put this in front of the back wheel, but I just never liked that look.



    I also began making that cartoonish rear fender out of fiberglass. I really hate working with glass. If this ends up being a waste of time and materials, I might just build a wooden buck and beat some sheet metal over it to get the desired shape. It will be similar to the shape in green foam but with lower sides that will essentially 'tuck' the tire a little. Once I get this shape finalized, I will either build a second seat pan or modify the one I have to fit the shape. I'm not 100% sold on this design yet, so I'll probably just make a second one so I can switch them around when I want to go back to my original design.



    After I finish this stuff up this week, I want to take my forks apart and start grinding down the handle bar mounts from my triple tree and begin building the gauge cluster for my speedo and tach. I also need to shave/add some brackets to my swing arm. I know things still look a little junky and unfinished right now. Everything now is pretty much in the mock up stage and will be torn down, welded, body worked, cleaned and painted before final assembly.

    Thanks for looking.
    Last edited by Tatur; 06-25-2015 at 6:39 AM. Reason: words and such

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    Not a whole lot of progress lately. I've been traveling and working on other projects. I did decide that using fiberglass is just too much hassle and I knew I wouldn't be happy with the results. So that went into the trash. I also decided to change up the design a little bit. I wanted something that will come down over the back wheel a little bit. Almost like an old number plate on the racers, but not quite as big since I still need to work around my shocks. It will basically be a combo of both these sketches:




    I also decided to make the rear out of metal. It seems like the more natural thing to do for me. So because I do not have an english wheel or planishing hammer, I am making a wood buck that I can 'massage' the sheetmetal over. It will be multiple pieces of metal that I will TIG together as I go. So I grabbed a bunch of scrap pressboard that I had, glued them together and made a general sketch of the shape. I went to town shaping it with a grinder using a 36 grit sanding disc. That makes quick work of the press board but also makes a mess everywhere. If I wasn't in an apartment complex, I would be grinding in the parking lot. I still need to finish shaping it up, but you can see the basic shape, minus the 'legs' down below. I hope I can finish this part up quickly so I can finish mocking things up and prep for paint.





    And for those curious, here is my plan for the taillights. As I think I stated before, I already have a Ford Model T glass taillight lens that I will put on here. I will take four or five of the super bright LEDs that I showed before and build a custom housing to weld into the tail when that's complete. Should be quick to make, but fun too.



    Thanks to those that are watching.

  9. #9
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    Default Finally some updates

    So its been forever since I updated this thread. I've been very slowly working on this thing. Life got in the way, as well as various other building projects. Regardless, I'm on a mission to have this at least running before the Lonestar Roundup in early April. I'm not entering it or anything thing, I just want to park close to the front again.

    I ended up shelving that weird custom rear fender idea for now and built something a little simpler. I'm currently in the process of finishing up all my welding and smoothing out most of the seams/joints. The factory welds are pretty horrendous looking and mine were not of Concours quality either. I hope to have everything primed, sealed and sanded by end of next week.

    I am relocating my battery to the bottom of my swing arm, so I built a custom box for that. I'm currently running an 8-cell Ballistic, so I built the box to fit that. The only issue I had was that my box stuck out past the factory arch by roughly 1/2". So I did what any self respecting person would do and extended the platform area on the OEM arm by roughly 3/4". I will be tapping the original SA tubes and installing some all thread that I can bolt my box to.
    Arm (in progress):


    Box:



    After I shelved the weird anime fender idea, I went back and tried to form a rear fender using the original seat pan in my first post. Needless to say, the arch was way to tall for what I was looking for. I wanted something that would be a little lower and sleeker. The CSR's are not known for their beautiful flowing designs and this wasn't helping. So I made another one with a lower arch and much smaller area for electronics. Then I formed a simple drag inspired fender which I will soon brace up from the underside. Being an 81, I don't really have the option to run only a kickstarter. So if I am going to have electronics, I am going to hide them the best I can to at least give the image of an older, cleaner looking bike. Without the battery under the seat, I was able to shrink the electronics box dramatically. I was able to hide the box a little better by adding a slightly longer skirt to the side of my seat pan. I welded some coped bungs to the frame in order to attach the actual pan. So this will just bolt on for easy removal. I will try an post a more recent picture of that a little later if I can remember. I realize in the side profile pics, the tire is real close to the fender. These are the shorty shocks that I had on hand at the time. The rear will be raised a little once I change these out for longer ones.




    I cleaned up my engine a bit and shot it with some cast iron engine paint. Honestly I am not sure about the color. It did not match the cap like I had hoped. Because my frame will be gray (VW L235 Mouse Grey), I will wait until I get that painted to see if they match a little better. If not, I may need to redo this. I still plan on sanding the fins and Kawasaki logos on the sides. I plan on replacing all the bolts on here with new ones as well. Debating with all new stainles or changing everything to matching hex cap screws. Also, this color does not photograph well at all.


    I've done a ton of other small things that I either didn't photograph or just plain forgot about. I removed the long triangle looking exhaust mounts. The right side also held the rear brake arm, so I had to build a new mount for that. I should get a pic of that as well. It works like stock, just waaaaay smaller. I am currently working on building a custom gauge holder that I will attach to my modified triple tree hat(?) or whatever the top piece is called. I need to peel or blast the plastidip off my spokes so I can prep those for paint as well. I've been looking locally for a set of spoked wheels with dual discs, but alas, nothing. I still haven't figured out a good taillight setup yet. Any ideas are welcome.

    I still need to build a license plate frame. Tentatively thinking of building an arch similar to a sissy bar that will wrap around the back of my tire just below my fender. I was really trying to avoid the typical sideways ones mounted to the swing arm. Once I get my TIG welder back, I will begin building my exhaust. I am just going to take the 4-1 from my brothers bike and weld on a custom muffler from Cone Engineering.

    Thanks for looking.
    Last edited by Tatur; 02-11-2016 at 10:36 AM. Reason: words and such

  10. #10
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    FUCK, dude!!! This is totally hardcore, lovin the shit out of his build!!!!!

  11. #11

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    Liking what u have done so far!

    I got a csr650h1. Where did you get those velocity stax and what jets you running?

    I did stainless hex caps. They just look so right and easy to work with in the future!

    Cheers

    Drew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duttry98 View Post
    FUCK, dude!!! This is totally hardcore, lovin the shit out of his build!!!!!
    Thank you. I just wanted to do something a little different I guess. I sure hope it turns out somewhat like I imagined.

    Quote Originally Posted by trikerdrew View Post
    Liking what u have done so far!

    I got a csr650h1. Where did you get those velocity stax and what jets you running?
    Thanks, I got these stacks from steeldragonperformance.com. For some reason my carbs were an odd size and none of their stock ones fit, so I had some custom made for mine. They were great to work with and they look great. I don't remember my exact jettings at this time. I know I did a lot of trial and error with different sizes. I want to say it ended up being something like 140-150 mains and 40 pilots. Almost as if its just dumping straight in there. But oddly enough, I still get almost 35mpg and it doesn't bog down.

    I also put some screen covers in the stacks to help with dirt and excess air flow. I think I have a corse marine filter in there as well. I will need to check though.


    But man, are these sexy or what?

  13. #13
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    Default slow updates

    I'm trying to keep up on this thread the best I can. I got bored of sanding the frame last night and started tinkering on something else. I decided that I never really liked the look of the CSR triple tree. Way too cluttered and ugly. Since I am going to run clip-ons again, I had no need for the original bar mounts, so I cut those down and cleaned them up a little. I was still not happy with how they looked, so I also cut off the misc brackets up front. Since I am in the process of building a simple gauge pod for my ignition and speedo, those tabs were not needed. I will be cutting a plate out of aluminum to match the paper pattern shown below which I will then TIG on there hopefully this weekend. I will use that as a base to mount my new gauge pod. The tree will then be smoothed out and cleaned up at that time. I haven't decided if I will paint it. I guess we will see what it looks like after welding.

    Original (pic stolen from the web):

    Cut down and prepping for welding:

    Paper plates save weight for racing...


    I'm in the process of digging out all the misc pieces that will be painted the same color as the frame and getting those prepped and primed. I got most of the plastidip cleaned off my wheels last weekend. I need to take some sandpaper to the wire spokes and prep those for paint as well. So much to do, so little time.

  14. #14
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    cool lil build you got on the go ,

    keep us posted i can't wait to see where it ends up.

    leon

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    Not a whole lot has happened this week. I ran out of welding gas and need to wait until Saturday to get a new bottle. So finishing the gauge pod/panel has to wait. But I can give a quick idea of how I am building it. I saw this method in one of my old Rod and Custom magazines. Basically make a wooden buck in the shape you want your panel. Make a face (and rear if you want it), wrap the side panels around it and tack it together. Once I tack it I will beat down that top arch and connect it to the lower part. I'll follow through with the TIG when completed then smooth out the edges and mount it to the front of my triple tree. Its going to take some finagling to get the mini speedo in there since it has a trip dial, but I think I know how to get around that. The pod will only hold my mini speedo and my ignition switch. The speedo already has my indicator lights.

    Front and back:

    Sides:


    Frame is mostly smoothed out and a light coat of etching primer to prevent rusting (its been wet here recently). Paint will get ordered this weekend so I'll get it primed, sanded and sealed shortly. Once painted I can get the engine back in and slap it back together finally. Weather has been too nice recently and I want to ride.



    Slowly but surely...
    Last edited by Tatur; 02-24-2016 at 10:41 AM. Reason: words and such

  16. #16
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    Nice looking build. I dig what you've been trying with the rear fender

  17. #17

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    love that old school binnacle method! Damn cool!

    Paint wise? Tarts hand-bag Flake?

    Toying with flaking mine

    drew

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecola View Post
    Nice looking build. I dig what you've been trying with the rear fender
    Thank you. More to come with that soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by trikerdrew View Post
    love that old school binnacle method! Damn cool! Paint wise? Tarts hand-bag Flake? Toying with flaking mine

    drew
    I actually promised my friends I would keep the paint on this one pretty simple. I have been spraying candy and flake on almost every project recently. I love the stuff, but man it gets everywhere. I still find flake in my place from stuff I sprayed years ago. I'll just be going a single stage gray (either L469 VW anthracite grey or L325 VW mouse grey) with a simple set of stripes in L87 VW pearl white. You can see the stripes taped out in blue on the rear fender a few posts up. Some old stuff I did years ago. I tend to paint a lot of tool boxes and jerry cans.
    (unfinished box)
    (this was a girls SV650. She loves butterflies)

    I tacked on a ridge down the back of my fender which I will soon mimic on the tank. Did this to both add some strength and for aesthetics. I just need to choose between the three tanks I currently have and see which one I want to use. I started welding on the electrical box to the pan last night. Once that's done I will trim up the side 'apron' near the tank and seam seal the underside. Paint has been ordered.



    Here is a general profile of the frame/fender/tank from when I was smoothing out the joints.



    Thanks for watching.
    Last edited by Tatur; 03-01-2016 at 9:05 AM.

  19. #19
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    Progress has been slow because the weather has been too nice to be in the garage recently. That and I decided not to rush my deadline of April 8th. I did manage to get my seat pan cut and welded up. I just grabbed some 10 gauge sheet steel I had laying around. I drilled some holes to clear the button head bolts holding the lower pan/tail on. I also ran a bolt down through the bottom so I can bolt it to the lower pan. I'll put on some little rubber feet underneath once I can get it upholstered. I'm still looking for someone to do that for me because this guy can't sew anything but buttons.

    It will be easily removed to allow access to the electronics below (pic was before seat pan pieces were welded together)


    Battery box has been mounted to the swing arm. Its a little too close to the frame up front, so I will probably slide it back about an inch.


    My paint finally came in. It sure doesn't photograph well though. The first 10 or so cars I had growing up were old VW's, so I have a soft spot for the colors.

    They should look similar to these once in the sun.


    Temporarily I am going to run my old taillights until I can find something that looks better. Previously I was just running a generic LED socket bulb for my running/brake lights and a flex strip of LEDs for my turn signals. They worked fine but I wished they were brighter. So I grabbed some of these super bright LED's fom ebay for $6/ea. My brother runs these on the back of his Frankenstein SV650 and they are freaking bright. So I made a generic bracket by welding a tab to a washer that will attach to the existing screw hole. I doubt the LED strip will be bright enough for my signals, so I will probably get something smaller to stick under my tail. Or maybe I will try and get two LED bulbs in there and use one for a signal.

    This was just a basic mockup, I will most likely make new brackets and move them slightly lower and closer to the wheel. Essentially behind the shocks.


    I also made a new bracket for my rear brake. The old one was long, ugly and was made to hold up the exhaust. So I made something simple. I cut down the stock pedal stop/adjuster(?) and tacked it on to my design. On the back side I welded a sleeve that will hold the OEM arm and prevent it from twisting when I press down.



    I still need to do more fine sanding on the frame and misc pieces before I spray the high fill primer and do some more sanding. I have most everything separated, cleaned and ready for paint otherwise. I have been slowly picking all the Plasti-dip off my spoke wheels. If I can ever suggest one thing, its NEVER SPRAY PLASTIDIP ON SPOKE WHEELS. Cleaning it off is a pain in the @$$. Paint stripper and a power washer is your best bet. Especially for the sprockets.

    Thanks for watching.
    Last edited by Tatur; 03-17-2016 at 9:16 AM.

  20. #20
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    lookin good man!

    progress is progress,
    keep us posted,

    leon

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