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Thread: Cafe KZ400, or Cegan finally builds a damn bike

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  1. #1 Default Cafe KZ400, or Cegan finally builds a damn bike 
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    Ok, so i'm finally actually building a bike. This is the really beaten up 1975 KZ400 that's been in my garage for 5.5 years. My brother has the twin of this bike that is in stock form and really nice shape. This one has a bunch of electrical issues, and needs a lot of work. So it's perfect for a project. The goal with this bike is to build, ride for a month or two in the spring while I then shift my efforts into getting the XS500 road worthy again. At that point I'm going to sell this bike and use the profits to start an other project.

    Here's what it looked like when I started



    I know what i want this bike to look like. Low flat long seat, no rear bump like everyone throws on cafe garage builds. clip on bars, clean frame, hidden electronics. I want it to look like a frame, engine, tank, and wheels. So I finally rolled it into the center of my garage, stripped everything off the frame, and pulled out the angle grinder.




    It's really weird to cut into a frame for the first time. You sit there holding the cut-off wheel thinking "there is no return from cutting this", then you chop off the rear of the frame and accept that you should go buy some parts. I removed every mounting tab on the frame, the support arch that was under the seat, the rear of the frame, the center stand, and i'm trying to decide if I should remove the passenger pegs.


    These are a few of the builds that kind of show the direction I'm aiming for.


    Last edited by cegan09; 12-08-2014 at 12:02 AM.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
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  2. #2 Default  
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    With the frame stripped down I ordered a bunch of parts that should let me move forward with fabrication including a pre-bent rear hoop to close off the rear of the frame, a new rectifier, flasher relay, and ignition coil. I also grabbed a very small sealed battery that I should be able to hide up between the rear fender and seat. Once everything is here on tuesday I can start making the electronics tray, battery box, and seat pan.




    This battery is 4.5"x2.8"x3.4"


    I also got this taillight which should tuck up inside the curvature of the rear hoop nicely. I assumed it was just a simple bulb unit, but it's a stupidly bright LED unit, which was a nice surprise.


    Today I started working on electrical. I took the stock wiring diagram and reworked it to make it as simple as possible. I pulled out all the extra stuff like the "brake light failure indicator switch", and the circuits that kept the lights on at all times or when the key was put into the 3rd position. Now most connections are hidden inside the headlight bucket and the main bundle running from the battery area to the front is reduced from ~15 wires to ~8.


    I also pulled apart the stock wiring harness so that i can work it into the new configuration.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
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  3. #3 Default  
    Been waiting for this build. Nice progress so far. Ditch the center stand.
    Bath salts and dick pills
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  4. #4 Default  
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    Meant to list it above, center stand is long gone at this point. I debated a bunch with it because the center stand is so useful, but there is no way to make it look good. So off it came.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
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  5. #5 Default  
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    You should figure out some way to make an old BMW style center stand.
    "It was more passionate than just cuddling"
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  6. #6 Default  
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    The one that was on the bike was basically that with a few extra bits. The trouble is when you strip the bike down as far as I want to the center stand just looks like a bunch of unnecessary bars at the bottom of the bike. I don't need a center stand, it just makes things like adjusting the chain tension easier. Nothing that can't be solved by using a jack in my garage.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
    Reply With Quote  

  7. #7 Default  
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    Parts!


    Bringing the frame to makeit labs tomorrow to weld on the rear hoop and start making the electronics tray.


    also this battery is stupid small.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
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  8. #8 Default  
    Gauges huh...
    Bath salts and dick pills
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  9. #9 Default  
    looking forward to seeing this
    I am not a 14 year old girl, but I play one on the internet.

    Who was the first person to look at a cow and say 'I don't know what these dangly things are, but I am going to yank on them and drink whatever comes out.'
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  10. #10 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjm4life View Post
    Gauges huh...
    2 reasons for gauges. First this bike is deceiving with noise. It sounds super happy around redline and I've caught myself a few times almost exceeding it. Second is I plan on selling this bike, and the last thing I need is the buyer calling me up and saying "the engine blew up because you didn't give me a way to tell where to stop". I also like the look with a gauge or two when done right.

    I might not use the speedo, we'll see how it all looks when it starts to be finalized. I do want to make a custom face plate for the tach with redline actually marked though.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
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  11. #11 Default  
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    Your thread has me looking at bikes again
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  12. #12 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
    Your thread has me looking at bikes again
    excellent. Bikes are insanely fun. Everyone should have one.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
    Reply With Quote  

  13. #13 Default  
    Just busting yor balls, nothing wrong ith gauges. I agree, everyone should have a bike at some point. The best part about an old bike is its feels fast going slow
    Bath salts and dick pills
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  14. #14 Default  
    gauges are for pussies, so is eyesight, ride with eyes closed like a real man
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  15. #15 Default  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjm4life View Post
    Just busting yor balls, nothing wrong ith gauges. I agree, everyone should have a bike at some point. The best part about an old bike is its feels fast going slow
    i get the same feeling with my GTI. i think its the fact that when its something old theres a certain amount of "this will probably kill me at some point" to it.
    1991 VW GTI 8V ლ(́◉◞౪◟◉‵ლ)
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  16. #16 Default  
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    This bike does not feel fast. It's a 400, and made 34hp when new. I think some new carbs will help that slightly, but it's a slow bike in a straight line. On the flip side it's fantastic to ride. It's very light (under 400lbs wet when stock. lighter now) and it leans into turns with no effort at all. Around town or bombing around twisty back roads the bike is just awesome. I'll actually be sad to sell it because it's so fun. But I have the other one that my brother will return someday.

    The XS500 is faster, but takes work to make it lean. I'll never sell the 500. it's my first bike and i love the stupid thing. Even after I go and buy a modern bike i'll keep the 500.


    But there absolutely is something about old bikes/cars. they have a personality. Mostly that personality is just a humanization of all it's little flaws, but it really does build more of a connection than a modern vehicle. I'll take a bike out, and notice it's not running perfect and sort of complaining. So you tinker, and adjust things, and the bike almost seems happy that you fixed it. Modern vehicles just feel like the machines they are.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
    Reply With Quote  

  17. #17 Default  
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    I brought the bike over to the local maker space tonight where it will live for a week while I weld on things and build parts.



    I didn't get as much done tonight as I wanted. There was a laser class which meant there was 2 hours I couldn't make loud noises. But I did get the rear hoop on.



    Tomorrow i'll be mounting the rear fender and starting in on the electronics tray under the seat.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
    Reply With Quote  

  18. #18 Default  
    Not a bad looking from now that she's naked.
    Bath salts and dick pills
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  19. #19 Default  
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    Yea, even the ugliest of stock bikes can start to look good when you strip off all the extra crap. I want to retain this look. All that will go back on is the tank, a new seat, engine, lights, gauges, a partial fender over the rear wheel, and wiring.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
    Reply With Quote  

  20. #20 Default  
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    Progress has been made.

    Started making the seat pan tonight. Made a template by making a tape mesh skin over the top of the frame and marking the outline I wanted.


    Then you peel it off and transfer it onto the plate steel and start cutting it out.


    A little bit of hand bending and boom, seat pan. Just need to finish trimming it down to size and come up with the attachments.


    I also got the rear fender mount in. Fender needs to be trimmed back a bit and then aligned properly, but the look is there.


    I stuck the tail light in with some tape to get an idea what it looks like. I really like it.




    I have a quarter sheet of .09" steel plate in my trunk that I need to cut up tomorrow to start making the battery box with and then I'll make the electronics tray to hide everything. Very happy with how this is progressing.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
    Quote Originally Posted by buzztt View Post
    you are definitely one seriously dedicated, possibly certifiable individual
    Motorcycles - KZ400 Cafe Build, XS500 Build
    Reply With Quote  

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