Thursday, April 23, 2009

Finally finished the Airgirder Kwak

I tried to get her ready for the Bash but there was a point, when I felt like I was under the gun, that it stopped being fun. I thought to myself (Self) didn't you say you weren't going to do this if it stopped being fun? Well yes, yes I did. So I called my buddy with the trailer who was tring to get everything together to tow our two bikes out there and told him....fuck it, this is sposed to be fun so I say lets just get on our baggers (I have a Venture and he a Goldwing) and ride out there with all our camping shit.
He said he would get even with me for putting him through all that and that, yes, it would be more fun to ride out. So that's what we did where a good time was had by all and we had a thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat, whoops! that's a different story.
So anyhow, the damn thing is about as done as I'm going to make it. After talking to enough painters who have had bad luck painting nylon gas tanks, I figured I wouldn't chance 300 bucks worth of HOK and 20 hours labor to have my paint bubble and peel. I sure as hell wasn't going to drag all my painting paraphanalia to paint a tiny fender and a couple little side covers. So it's got the spray bomb, rattlecan, bondless quicky treatment.
Of course it has a dead battery and empty gas tank so taking her for a spin will have to wait till tomorrow. There will be some small details to sort out like any new build but I'm tired of this thing and ready to move on to a new build. So below you will see some pics of the build and the finished bike.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Restyled Kwak not ready in time for the Bash

Didn't get the Kwak chop ready in time to take to the Bash but my buddy Doug and I rode our dressers up there. We left Thursday morning to go to Kutty Notebooms Hippykiller Hoedown. We first stopped off at Slims of to meetup with a bunch of like minded people who were all going to Kutty's. This trip was not without its breakdowns and catastrophes but we all eventually got there. There was plenty of beer, bikes and bands to keep us entertained. As night came down it got as cold as a witches tit and lots of guys were outdoors for the night.
There was bikes rounding the flat track behind kutty's till 1 O'clock in the fucking morning and drunkards carrying on all night. When morning came we all packed up and headed for breakfast or repairing our bikes before we made the trip to the lake.
The campgrounds were really nice and more then enough room was available for everyone to have a decent place to be. There were effers from all over the damn place.
my buddy Doug wound up having AAA take his bike home with a failed Dyna ignition and I pulled our Saturday about 5:30. Home by 7:30 I hit the sack for about 3 hours, man I was beat up. I can't remember the last time I slept in my clothes and didn't change the whole next day.
A good time was had by all and there are many people to thank, mostly Kutty for opening his home to a bunch of lowlife biker types and Biltwell for throwing this shindig. Hopefully this will become a yearly deal and we will all meet again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

KZ 650 re-style

Well, the bike that was finished became unfinished because I'm a nut case and changed everything. It all started because the back fender came loose and rubbed through ruining the paint job. I wasn't going to try to match the paint, and the fuel tank was perfectly good, so I got another tank. The tank came from EBay and is made of Nylon. I got it cheap apparently because people are afraid of nylon. It's a bad ass tank with aviation style filler and billet petcock hookup and crossovers.
When it arrived I couldn't wait to put it on and see what it looked like....
Of course, it didn't fit. Where the bottom rails came up and met beneath the top tube, it was to wide for the tank to slide down where it belonged. The options were get another tank, try to squeeze the bottom rails in (tried that, didn't work out), or reconfigure the front of the frame.
Guess you can tell what I did! I decided to turn it into a single down tube. So I thought about it for a day and got up the next day before I could change my mind and got the Sawsall after it. Then after sitting and looking at it for a few days I decided to get radical and bring the top tube down over the motor as far as I could go and still get the top end of the motor apart. SO I got the come along out and yanked that tube waaaay down, about 6 inches! I saw that it was good....
Next put the front end back on, figured I would have to shorten it some of course, well.....It was way too short. Bottomed out with the tubes slid all the way up in the trees, the sliders were against the bottom triple tree. HMMMMMMM, what a predicament. I thought about cutting down the sliders a few inches and that could have been done but it would be a huge pain in the ass. I had a set of girder legs hanging on the wall that I got for 40 bucks at the Long Beach Swap, I also had a set of girder trees that I picked up in Pomona for 15 bucks. Sent those pieces home with Slim at and he made me some spacers and shafts and bushings to match the pieces together.
Slim brought the pieces back to my shop and we set about figuring out how to mount it. Here's an interesting little tid bit, Sportster bearings will fit damn near perfectly in Kawasaki races. It was a cinch, Slim had to take the trees back to his shop because the top nut we had didn't fit the stem and that was it, it was on there. we then set about shortening the front end a whopping 19"!!! Just long enough for the wheel to still fit in the legs. We then had to figure out a spring. I reached up on the shelf and had a Air bag from a truck seat and stuck it in there. It was like it was made for it, so we fabbed up some mounts and installed it.
Then Slim helped me make some handle bars using my new tubing roller I got from HF. We tried to roll em out to match the curve of the tank, I think they turned out bitchen. Then I had to reconfigure my front brake actuator, front caliper mount, headlight, then lots of gussets in the frame under the tank. It looks like the bike has no down tube. It has one, it's about 2" tall under the tank and gusseted to hell with 1/4" plate. It's very strong but looks kind of scary, that's how we likes it!
I changed the headlight to the tail light, made a new fender from the stock KZ front fender, new sissy bar, plate mount, seat pivot on skateboard wheel bearings to suspend the Slim made seat pan, a cover under the seat from stainless, moved the kickstand (it rubbed on the initial ride around the block)and some other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting.
The bottom line? This is the third time I've re-made this bike and this will definitely be the last, I wish I hadn't put all this work into a KZ 650, a 1000 would be better but I'm finally happy with this stupid thing. It's a little weird to ride at slow speeds and it actually turned a little better when it was longer I think, hard to tell from a trip around the block. The front airbag seems to work great and I don't think I'm going to need a damper.
The plan was to have the bike ready for the Hippykiller Hoedown and the Bash and today is the day before that event. It won't be painted but it will ride and that's good enough for now. Today I have to bleed the front brake, do some more clan up grinding, and touch up some motro paint and stuff. The event is over 100 miles away so we'll be towing it out there to Slims place and riding to the evnt from there.
I've posted a little slide show that shows quite a bit of the work, there will be more pics to come. Click on the slide show and it will take you to my photobucket where you can study all the pics if you wish.