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 first build kz440

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Posts : 4
Join date : 2015-06-14

PostSubject: first build kz440   Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:09 pm

G'day guys

So as promised in my introduction this is my build thread for my Kawasaki z440.  Have done a big trip on her already and she didnt miss a beat.  So hopefully when I eventually put her all back together she will run just as well.  

This is my first bike thus my first build so any advice/hints/do's and don'ts would be appreciated.  Wanting to do mainly cosmetic changes into something like a cafe without being to distinct.  Will end up being a mutt - somewhere between a cafe and bratt.  Still havnt quite yet decided.  Wanting to do a top end rebuild and carb clean/rebuild.  Will see how i go for time and cash but will probably leave the bottom if I can.

Any one know any good upholsterers and powder coaters in Auckland? Preferably on the northshore but will go north/south for a good deal.  Needs to be cheap too as being a poor uni student I have very limited funds for the project  Crying or Very sad

Also could someone please give me some advice as to how much I can change structurally/cosmetically before I run into trouble with WOFs and what not.


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Serial Bike Abuser
Serial Bike Abuser

Posts : 241
Join date : 2013-12-14
Age : 41
Location : Auckland

PostSubject: Re: first build kz440   Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:38 pm

Hi Simon

Wow, she looks like a tidy ole girl… I’ve got to give ya a thumbs up... your first bike and you have caught the bug and are going about ripping it apart and making it something to your liking.

Advice on do’s from me is make it look like whatever you want, it’s a personal choice and those that may not like it... don’t matter.
I’ve used SuperTrim for seat upholstering before, the job was ok... not perfect, and semi reasonable in price, Mike Dodd (a member on here) has the contact details for a guy down South which seemed pretty good… others will hopefully come forward with more contacts.

As for what you can get away with before having WOF issues… In my experience, you can actually do quite a lot… I say in my experience as the WOF place I go to are really good and they ride bikes themselves… I did a bobber and cut the rear frame section shorter by about 100mm, welded on brackets for indicators and mounted a completely different rear guard and single seat with no issues at all.
If you’re thinking about changing the mounting points of the rear shocks, or cutting off the rear frame section completely or the like, then you will have WOF issues.
If in doubt, ask before getting stuck in with an angle grinder.

If you have any more questions, fire away… we like to think we’re a helpful bunch.

I’ll be keeping an eye on your thread, I might be looking at powder coating a frame too… for me it all comes down to the cost as I’m doing a bike up with the intentions of selling it…. Though owning 1 more bike couldn’t hurt?

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PostSubject: Re: first build kz440   Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:55 pm

Got stuck in again over the weekend. Engine is completely out now and started on trimming up the frame and knocking the paint off it. There is a place up in Silverdale called Hibiscus powder coating who said they would do a frame for $60+gst. Think thats pretty reasonable? Must be fully prepped beforehand though but still. Anyone able to shed some light on whether this is a good deal?

Having a go at making a sandblaster to help strip the paint off nice and quickly, also will use soda to clean up the carbs, engine and pistons to make them all shiny and new. Again if anyone has any advice for cleaning that would be good.

Still working through my design and what i want to do with the bike. I am custom making some foot pegs and headlight mount out of ally, have access to the lathes and mills at uni so thought that would be a good fun project.

Coops can i ask where you go get your bike wofd? Also wheres a good place to get tyres from and what kind? being new to biking not really sure on brands and what not.

Will post some photos soon.

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Join date : 2015-06-18

PostSubject: Re: first build kz440   Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:57 am

Haha, the best place to get motorcycle tyres is from behind motorcycles shops... those boys on the sports bikes always like to try out the new compounds and profiles as their need to be GP riders is always pushing them forward so their old tyres aren't often that old and still well usable.

My take on the cafe racer thing is that you wanna make it lighter though what that kinda really means is lowering the centre of gravity 'cause all the stuff riding on top from the factory is heavy so it means the bike doesn't respond as fast as it could while throwin' it about and it makes them jerky 'cause that weight acts like a pendulum whereas when all the weights down low and the weight you're transfering as the rider up top is far less than you are then the agility factor goes way up. It's basically just the form follows function argument and it kinda gets us in the gut when we see it at work and know efficiency of the machine is uppermost.

The other thing is all shiny alloy looks real good until you realise how much time it takes to keep it all shiny and then you wish you'd just painted it!

Another thing is that if a seat actually fit's your posterier you need far less padding and a build up 30-40mm of the hard foam that's used as spa pool insulator cover and then some neoprene from wetsuits is more than enough. Same argument really in that the seat base is more important than what it looks like at the end!
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