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Author Topic: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project  (Read 1803 times)

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« on: Sep 20, 2016, 20:03:59 »
Before we begin, I must point out that this isn't one of my projects, I already have quite enough on my plate as is, without yet another bike in my garage. No, this is William's café project, which I've been keeping an eye on for the last few of months. It is based on a 1978 Z650, which William decided to café after throwing it down the road.

The bike was stripped down, and its wheels, forks and swing arm were replaced by those from a ZX6R and a 750 Zephyr respectively. They don't just bolt on of course, they needed a lot of machining to fit the frame..

 

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #1 on: Sep 20, 2016, 20:08:54 »
With the front and rear ends fitted to the frame, the next step was to chop off the back of the frame and replace with a seat hoop. This hoop was made to order to suite the bike, once delivered it was slugged and welded into place. No pics of that yet, but the frame bracing immediately behind the upper shock mounts were reshaped to merge into this new seat hoop.

 

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #2 on: Sep 20, 2016, 20:13:17 »
I didn't see the frame again for about a month, as it had been taken to a chap in Leeds, who made a one off alloy tank and seat unit to fit the frame, made to Williams outline description. I must say I was impressed with his work, and the price he charged too. At £525 for both the tank and seat, that's less than I paid for my alloy endurance tank for my Guzzi. I don't have the tank builders details yet, but I'll make a point of asking for them soon.


Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #3 on: Sep 20, 2016, 20:21:57 »
Now William could try the bike out for size, he realised there was a problem with the clip-ons he intended to use, they were just too low for him to be comfortable on the bike, none of us are getting any younger ....

Added to this problem was one that many builders have faced when fitting modern USD front ends onto older bikes.. they are too short and leave the bike with too little ground clearance. Now this wasn't a surprise, and Williams intention had been to modify the forks to lengthen them, not easy to do, but possible.

But now he had been force to ditch the clip-ons, the bike would need a new top yoke with risers for Clubmans or similar shaped bars. Well, he must have took my advice, an decided on a stepped top yoke, which my mate Jeff machined for him from a solid block of aircraft spec alloy..

   

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #4 on: Sep 20, 2016, 20:34:23 »
Coming up to date, I went over to see the bike last night, drink tea and take a few pics too. Since I last saw the Zed, its gained a stainless undertray and splash guard, and an alloy electrics box under the seat. The battery will live in the seat hump. The next job is to make the one off rearsets, which again my mate Jeff will be machining.

William polished the alloy parts by hand, must have taken many hours, but he did a great job..

   

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #5 on: Sep 20, 2016, 20:38:44 »
and here's a vid I took last night between cuppas..


Offline Tune-A-Fish©

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #6 on: Sep 21, 2016, 08:14:05 »
Very nice gull wing top tree... how many mm drop did you say? also any change in offset/rake?

 
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Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #7 on: Sep 21, 2016, 08:51:17 »
Very nice gull wing top tree... how many mm drop did you say? also any change in offset/rake?

The drop looks to be about an inch (25mm), the forks aren't that much shorter than the original Z650 forks, its the 17inch wheel and modern low profile tyre that makes the difference.

The rake is unchanged from a standard Z650, while the offset is that of the ZX6R front end, as the bike uses the ZX6R bottom yoke.

Offline Tune-A-Fish©

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #8 on: Sep 21, 2016, 09:04:53 »
Got it. I lower the rear to match the drop for 17's and shorter forks, the gull wing would of saved an inch and would be well worth the effort. This machinist could sell a few of those here for sure.
"I didn't come here and I ain't leavin"  Willie Nelson

"love hard, live fast, die fun" Kacey Musgraves

"Like a Wreckin Ball!" Eric Church

Offline canyoncarver

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #9 on: Sep 21, 2016, 16:12:28 »
I really dig the direction this KZ is going. I have a few KZ650's in my pile.  I also have a nice Zephyr 750 and some ZX6 forks, not that I'm parting the Zephyr but this is a great setup your buddy is doing.
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Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #11 on: Sep 21, 2016, 16:36:49 »
That vid was part 5 of the build, so if you go back you can watch the rest, one takes you through the steps of making the stepped top yoke. I'm sure Jeff could make you one too, you just need to tell him the dimensions of the forks / yokes you want. He tends to just make one off stuff for folks, rather than any kind of mass production though.

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #12 on: Nov 11, 2016, 16:14:44 »
I paid another visit to see the recent progress on Williams Z650, and brought my camera along too of course. Had a problem with the video as I couldn't edit it for some reason, so here it is ..   Jeff and William are discussing a couple of problems.. the standard side stand interfers with the new rear sets, while the headlight brackets hit the tank on full lock... eventually I left them to it and went off to drink tea

   

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 06:03:12 »
I caught up with this project yesterday, its engine rebuild is now almost complete, including a 720cc big bore conversion. The front end is causing problems, first William didn't like the generic headlight brackets he bought, so a pair of one off brackets are being made. Consisting of a stainless fork clamp and an alloy bracket. While I was looking over progress these brackets were about to be shaped and drilled.

The handmade alloy front guard (fender) was the cause of some chin scratching as mounting to the USD forks isn't going to be easy while making it look good at the same time. Again that's something that was being worked on this week.


Offline Maritime

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Re: Kawasaki Z650 Cafe Project
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 09:32:08 »
Nice.
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