Author Topic: KZ400 Resto-mod  (Read 890 times)

Offline freemonty

  • Posts: 22
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #10 on: Feb 28, 2018, 15:44:52 »
So I already broke my schedule of once a week posts but maybe once a month is more like it.

It was fall of 2016 that I decided to start on the restoration. I had toyed with the idea of adding a second or third bike but I thought I could create a bike that met all my needs based on the kz400.

First up was the cosmetics. The kz400 has pretty good lines for a late 70s bike, and I love some of the weird color schemes, so I decided to keep the bike mostly looking stock but add a few elements and upgrade the paint. As is common on the KZ my paint on the tank and the side covers was slightly mismatched. I like the teal-turquoise-blue stock color so I decided to stay with that.

And then came the side bags. In 77 kawi added a deluxe model called the A1 that came with fiberglass side bags in chrome brackets, a full fairing, highway bars, and a rear cargo rack. Incidentally, the addition of the side bags necessitated moving the rear turn signals from the license plate bracket to the bag brackets. The A1 came in rust orange with a different pin striping scheme than the 76 models.

My bike already had the 77 cargo rack added by a previous owner and about 4 years ago I spotted a set of the bags in decent shape with the brackets on eBay and  scooped them up for maybe $140.

When the time came for repainting I now had to get those bags and brackets up to par with the rest of the bike. That meant re-chroming the brackets and prepping the fiberglass. I found out the hard way that rechroming is not cheap!! It cost about $600 to rechrome the brackets, the bag hinges and latches.

I took my tank, side covers, headlight bucket and side bags to a local paint shop called the paint spot. I was not able find anywhere that could provide original paint mixes for the kz400 or pinstriping kits. I guess thatís he trouble with restoring a less than famous model. But the paint spot does great work and they were able to take some scans of my tank to get a baseline and then custom tweak the mix to get to what they thought it should like. We also added some additional metallic than what probably came from the factory. For the pinstriping I had to select colors from a book to match the orange-yellow and light green of the stripes from the original 76 color scheme. Even though I was going with the color scheme of the 76 I preferred the striping pattern from the 77A1 so paint spot hand striped to that pattern.

To finish things up we touched up the original badging. In the end I couldnít be happier with the way things turned out. The paint is fantastic in person, the chrome is now bright all the way around and even though it looks like it could be stock, I doubt kawi ever put out anything of this quality from the factory. Hereís some pictures:

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Offline freemonty

  • Posts: 22
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #11 on: Feb 28, 2018, 15:54:57 »
The 77 A1 from which my bags and cargo rack came.

Early pic of my bike with the faded and mismatched paint.

Cool original kawi stock photo. Even back the paint looks a little mismatched doesnít it?

Pics of new paint and bags with different striping scheme.

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Offline advCo

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  • Posts: 2343
  • Nick Ol' Eye
    • adventur Studios
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #12 on: Feb 28, 2018, 18:18:14 »
Those bags kick ass. Nice looking bike!
"He broke the mirrors off his Cadillac, 'cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back."

74 CB360 - Luna -
82 GS550L - Tracker-ish - - Sold
74 XL350 - The Turd -
Suzuki FA50 "No-Ped" -
73 Suzuki RV125 -

Offline sosedoff

  • Posts: 17
Re: KZ400 Resto-mod
« Reply #13 on: Mar 03, 2018, 17:53:13 »
What kind of mufflers are those? Im looking to get something like that, looks really great on the bike