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Author Topic: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story  (Read 18184 times)

Offline arcspeedworks

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From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« on: Jan 16, 2010, 16:19:23 »
Hey guys,
After all this time, I finally decided to post the progress of my '76 KZ750B1 build.  I found "Elizabeth" posted  on Craig's List in '07 for the princely sum of $50.  She was little more than a collection of parts in a series of boxes, but heck, she had a title and a motor that turned.  So I paid the PO and threw her in the back of my car.  After a little bit of sorting, I discovered that I had a 95% complete bike buried beneath years of oil, dust, and neglect.  I slowly began the process of piecing her back together and she sat dormant for nearly a year after I got hit by a Mustang while riding my CBR (that's another story...).

Offline VonYinzer

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #1 on: Jan 16, 2010, 16:21:30 »
Cool man, but wheres the rest of the story?  ;)
Like a river that don't know where it's flowin'
I took a wrong turn and just kept goin'

Offline arcspeedworks

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #2 on: Jan 16, 2010, 16:42:24 »
Sorry guys, got interrupted and had to restart...

Anyway, I began tinkering with her again over the winter and spring of '08.  Stripped down the tank and seat and sprayed it candy red with white racing stripes, ala Ducati Monster.



Unfortunately, I had to do some damage repair after her frame inexplicably fell on the tank (from 10 feet away??) so I stripped it down and ended up painting it black for now.  I attempted to make a fiberglass seat with some not so great results. 



Decided instead to strip the original seat of rotting foam and recovered it with vinyl and seat foam taken from an early GSXR.  This too will change eventually.  Again, she sat dormant until two months ago when I finally decided to just get her running and stop messing with aesthetics.

Amazingly, her motor was in prettny good shape (internally, at least) and turned over with great compression.  The generator and flywheel were in good shape, but the carbs were shot and exhaust completely missing.  Forks will need an eventual rebuild/replace and new tires will be in order before any real riding.  Here's how she looked at the beginning of December '09.

« Last Edit: Jan 16, 2010, 16:50:20 by arcspeedworks »

Offline arcspeedworks

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #3 on: Jan 16, 2010, 17:03:59 »
To make a long story short, I scored some pipes for a song and a set of carbs for an arm and a leg.  Got them on and struggled with the timing but finally got her running!  With that in mind, I need to rejet and move on to the actual build. 

Here's her current stats:
1976 Kawasaki KZ750B1
Emgo pod filters
1983 KZ750 exhaust
2005 CBR600RR front brake master cylinder & Galfer stainless brake line
Clubman bars
Wired George Coil Modification
1968 Kawasaki C2SS "Roadrunner" headlight & speedometer

Future additions:
Cafe-style tail/seat
2-into-1 megaphone-type exhaust
Pirelli Sport Demon tires
New tank ( >:( )

Thanks for the inspiration, guys!

« Last Edit: Jan 17, 2010, 01:13:10 by arcspeedworks »

Offline arcspeedworks

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #4 on: Mar 09, 2010, 22:38:58 »
Ah... With the weather finally warmish again, I set back to work on my poor KZ. Thanks to the suggestion of lemon juice as a carb cleaner, got both Mikuni's cleaned and rebuilt with fresh K&L bits. Fabbed a new *temporary* speedo bracket and got her in general running order. Going to give her another kick tomorrow to see if she continues to run properly so I can really get into the "build". If not, then its back to the drawing board.

As far as inspiration, I've been drawn to Deus Ex Machina's V-twin Special, http://www.deus.com.au/gallery/bikes/v-twin-cafe-racer/. I know it's a far-cry from my KZ, but... I like it. What do you all think?



Offline m357.5

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #5 on: Mar 09, 2010, 22:48:27 »
Hey, didnt know you were on DTT too. Good to see more guy's over here from the KTOF.

Us KZ owners are out numbered by the Honda clan LOL.
KZ's, GPz's N' ZX's

Offline arcspeedworks

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #6 on: Mar 09, 2010, 22:56:05 »
Hey!!!  ;D Good to see ya here too! Yes, we are definitely outnumbered... I actually started my whole cafe-obsession by wanting a CB... Can't complain tho.

Offline hurley209

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #7 on: Mar 10, 2010, 14:39:12 »
im diggin the v twin special man, i think its a cool idea, i say go for it, its always worth a try until its impossible.lol. keep up the good work! ;D
your mom
your sister
yeeeeah buddy

Offline arcspeedworks

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #8 on: Mar 10, 2010, 22:58:50 »
With today's temperatures in the mid-60's and the possibility of rain delayed to late evening, I decided to take the ol' girl out for her first real ride since I bathed the carbs in lemon juice. She's still in a pretty sorry looking state at the moment, with a half@$$ed painted gas tank, non-installed tail cowl, and a burnt-out headlight, but she ran dammit! Mostly.







Got a few issues that still need to be worked out, but it's an improvement nonetheless. What do you guy think about the clip-ons? Scored them off of an '86 Yamaha FZ600 for thirty bucks. They're a bit flat, but they are clip-ons...  



Not as aggressive as I originally intended, but they'll do for now. Also, got a new set of switch gear, dual calipers, and a second brake rotor on the way here. Hopefully I can resolve the minor issues and get into the beautification process. Stay tuned!
« Last Edit: Mar 10, 2010, 23:00:45 by arcspeedworks »

Offline arcspeedworks

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Re: From Basket Case to Cafe Racer: Elizabeth's Story
« Reply #9 on: Mar 15, 2010, 22:41:18 »
Alright, got her 95% running right. Got a few fun parts on the way to get the ball rolling on the build. Keeping in the spirit of Deus' v-twin cafe, I have scored a '79 xl headlight and a billet aluminum m/c reservoir off of eBay. Just waiting for these and my dual caliper setup to arrive.





Been going back and forth between ditching the clip-ons and going back to clubman bars, as I prefer the angle on the clubbers... But I like the clean look offered by the clips... I guess we'll have to see once I get the new headlight.