I will begin by apologising for the delay in shedding details concerning this project! I promise it is an unfortunate side effect of the enormous amount of work undertaken in the short time I’ve owned her. Now getting down to brass tacks…
I’ve given myself a deadline. Come December 1st, this project will be in its “completed” form. I’ve progressed according to schedule so far, but cannot stop for a moment, or I will certainly wind up completing the project after the set deadline. I will do my best here to outline what I started with, what I plan to do, and what I have done thus far. If everything falls into place (as it never seems to) I will be riding this as a runabout through the summer months.
As mentioned in my previous post, I was fortunate enough to snatch up this Kawasaki KZ250 LTD in rather good condition (and registered) for a pretty damn good price. The purchase was one based purely on “potential” as the bike lends itself to modification with many design cues waiting to be explored. The bike has a single cylinder ~250cc power-plant which has seen much popularity in the comparable Yamaha SR250, but separates itself by running a belt instead of a drive-chain. The “LTD” model is intended as a cruiser variant of the KZ250 (as can be seen by the miniature ape-hangers, king/queen seat, and slightly longer stanchions than the non-LTD variety).
I spent a couple of days gathering inspiration from all corners of the Interwebs and rummaging through old pictures I’d taken of similar bikes I found aesthetically pleasing. I spent a fair bit more time constructing a parts list with appropriate suppliers. The bike that I found and long wanted to use as inspiration for a project of my own was a bike built by Ren over at Rene9ade Customs. The bike earned the name “The Redback” and was a super badass looking flat tracker – or in Ren’s words.. A “phat tracker” of sorts haha! Needless to say, I fell in love with the massive Firestone ANS Military rubber he elected to use and the array of well chosen design options throughout. I’ve included a picture of Ren’s masterpiece for comparison purposes, below:
I’ve already made some significant headway – the Kawasaki KZ250 I started with is no more! I’ve fabricated a temporary rear fender, thrown some new indicators and brake light on the rear. I’ve also traded out the miniature ape-hangers for a set of low rise bars. The king/queen seat has also been removed to make way for a seat I am currently in the process of finishing. Tim has been helping me with the fabrication of the seat and together we have got it ready for upholstery later this week. A complete run-down on the seat build will be posted by Tim later this week, if all goes well!
I’ve placed a couple of rather large orders for parts. One order was placed with Dime City Cycles, for a variety of parts – ranging from a muffler, all the way through to completely new hand controls. A second order was placed with Antique Tyres in Ingleburn, NSW for a set of Firestone ANS Military tyres – the very same ones shown in the “inspiration” picture I’ve included above (Ren was kind enough to let me know the exact specifications of the ones he used on The Redback)!
With the planning and behemoth order placed… And with the seat all but done, I have a heap of fabrication work that will need to be undertaken in order to prepare the bike for the delivery of the above parts. I am hoping to be 100% ready to progress with fitting the new parts upon their arrival later this month (an estimated fortnight from the day I placed the orders).
Once I’ve dropped the seat in at the upholsterer in Brookvale, I will start on relocating the electrics present beneath the rather annoying stock side-covers. When these electrics have been moved, I will then look at fabricating flat side-covers from sheet aluminium. If I have time, I will also attempt to put together a headlight mesh as well.
I know that I have a tonne more surrounding this project to share still, so I will endeavour to post up as much as possible when I have a spare moment or two!