76 KZ400 "Grimy"

Thanks, Spitfire. I know the stock carbs are very particular and difficult to get setup properly with anything other than the stock airbox but I'm hoping the VM30s will be a lot simpler. I'm working with cardboard at the moment to mock up the battery/electrics tray. It will similar to veaone's. I'll be happy if it looks half as good as his does.
Had to look up what you were working on after talking earlier. Beautiful rebuild so far. The new tank looks mucho better than the green in my humble opinion. You going to leave it or do you have a revised color scheme in mind? I'm digging it the way it is.
Let me know if the VM carb upgrade is everything they say it is. My BS34 could use an upgrade and I have heard the VM are much smoother and more responsive.

Thanks, Gary.

It will be a little bit before I get it started up with the Mikunis but based on my research the factory jetting should be close to what I need though the mains are probably too high.

Of course nothing is simple. Going with the pods requires removing the factory airbox and I want to move the battery and the electronics. That leads me to building a tray. My AGM battery is still quite big and takes up much of the space available in the tray. But a nice 8-cell Ballistic would take up much less room. And to run one of those I need a new regulator/rectifier from Oregon Motorcycles or Rick's Electric. Luckily Santa and family gave me some cash so I should be ordering those things soon as well as a couple of other odds and ends.

Since I don't have a welder and don't know how to weld if I did have one, I started looking for a material that I could work with for the battery/electronics tray. I went with a different type of material - a poly-plastic, basically a $10 plastic cutting board from Walmart, which can be cut with a hacksaw or a dremel and can be assembled with a few screws and plastic epoxy. I mocked it up with cardboard first to get the sizes of the pieces that I need and assembled it over the last couple of days. I just finished cleaning up the edges, sanding it and priming it. Next I need to apply some bondo to fill in the seams and then I'll probably spray it with a wrinkle or hammer-type matte black. Here is a pic after assembly and before sanding and priming. It will snug up inside the top frame rails under the seat and attach with a couple of bolts or maybe a couple of those clamps with the rubber like you used. It's actually very strong - I can turn it over and stand on it.


I'll be ordering the new battery and rectifier/regulator soon and then I can start re-assembling and then getting the carbs and filters on.
Using the poly-plastic is bad ass and should be fairly light as well. I wish I had thought of that before doing the aluminum angle battery box I fabbed. It is going to look super clean when completed. I am suprised it came out so rigid. Keep this updated, I wanna see how it turns out.

The electronics tray has been primed and I applied some bondo to fill the seams. I just finished a rough sand to knock down the high spots. I just need to apply a skim coat and and finish sanding. It's starting to come together.


A Ballistic 8-cell battery has been ordered as well as the Rick's Electrics Regulator/Rectifier combo in addition to a nice little catch can/breather for the crankcase ventilation hose, the same thing that Kiley used on Gretta.
New parts are in!


A comparison vs. my current AGM battery. About half the size and only weighs about 1-1/2 lbs.


I just put what is hopefully the last coat of paint on the battery/electronics box. So hopefully I can start putting everything back together tomorrow.
Finally got the battery/electronics box painted well enough and found some time to get out in the garage this evening. I took the angle grinder to some of my factory tabs for the first time. I cut off the little tabs that hold on the inner rear fender. You can just see some of the shiny newly exposed steel under the tray in the first pic. There will be more of that to come in the near future. Next will be the mounts for the airbox so they don't interfere with the K&N filters and then all the side cover mounts that will no longer be needed. Then I was finally able to put the electronics tray in place and get it mounted up. After that I started untangling and labeling the rats nest of wires so I can start putting stuff back together in an organized fashion.

Please excuse the crappy cell phone pics, it was pretty dark in the garage so they didn't turn out too well.

The box was a really tight fit. I used some rubber insulated clamps (P-clamps I think they're called) to mount the box to the frame, 2 on each side and one on the back. It's in there really good and very sturdy.


Luckily the Ballistic battery will stand up in the tray so that should leave me with plenty of room for everything else: fuse block, solenoid, relay, flasher and wires. I'm not sure where I'll mount the regulator/rectifier yet. Thinking either bolted under the tray or bolted to the back of the tray - in the open area to the right of the seat lock in the below pic (actually N-NW of the seat lock in that pic).


Next I'll start organizing the wires, trimming or lengthening where necessary, and find a place for everything in the tray.
I posted my initial impressions / experience with the Rick's Motorsport Electrics regulator/rectifier combo on the KZ twins site and rather than repeat it here I'll just link to it so you can read it there if you are interested: http://www.armbell.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19482&mforum=kz400

Short story: looks like a good quality product. Most everything connects right to the factory harness. The only small issue I had was that the 3 yellow wires that connect from the rectifier to the factory harness had male bullet connectors and they should have been female blade connectors. No big deal. Rather than cut them off and add different connectors, I just made a little adapter harness.


And here's a pic of the regulator/rectifier:

Looking killer. i like the changes so far. "Now that you cut it it's yours".

Looking forward to seeing it completed this spring.

Thanks, Gary. This spring - yes, me too. I should have this job wrapped up in a week or two at my slow pace. The challenge will be avoiding doing a front end swap and/or swingarm swap in the spare time before riding weather gets here. Now if someone would just buy that GSXR 750 that's being parted out on Craigslist so I wouldn't consider buying the front end. There was a guy a month or so back getting rid of a 250 Ninja with no title for $150. Luckily he never replied to my emails. :)
Ran into my first issue last week. The front of the electronics tray comes forward too far, it interferes with the new air filters. So I took it all off and and cut it back a few inches. But as I was cutting and looking at the tray I realized that it wasn't as nice as I wanted it to be, some of the edges were not square. I was either going to have to disassemble it and fix some of the issues, start from scratch, or cut bait and go in another direction.

I went ahead and put a model together in google sketchup with all the dimensions and I have asked someone to fab/weld a sheet metal tray for me.

But I did get a dose of good news. Got this recent Ebay steal delivered by the mail lady:


NOS Kawasaki KZ400 case guards for about half the price as I've seen used ones selling on Ebay for a long time. I know the spirit of cafe racers is to remove things like this, but I think it will look nice on this bike.
I found someone to fab and weld up my electronics tray but he won't be starting on it until later this week. But I have plenty of work to do in the meantime. I was able to work on it for a couple of hours Saturday - it was beautiful outside, though a little drizzle all day but the temps were great so I worked with the garage door open and got some much needed fresh air.

The stock brackets for the airbox were in the same space that my air filters needed to be. So I pulled out the angle grinder and cut them off as well as the side panel brackets and ground everything down as close as I felt comfortable with. Well, there's no going back to the stock airbox now. I'm all in.


This week I'll finish grinding off what is left of the welds with my dremel and some files. Then I'll cover the new bare spots with some paint. I'll not be taking it down to the frame and repainting/powder coating everything yet - that will probably be next winter's chore. This was supposed to just be a "simple carb swap" :)

I also figured out a spot for the catch can / breather. It should work nicely there with the airbox gone and battery relocated. I'm hoping it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb once I get the carbs, filters and electronics tray in. If it does then I'll have to find a different place for it.


Finally, a couple of pics to make me happy, feel like I'm really getting somewhere.


Where did you get the catch can? It looks bad ass. I may purchase one if the price is right instead of my jerry rigged filter as of current.

Also I would lower the catch can down so that it is not hidden partially behind the filter (or maybe it's the angle). It's a nice piece and should be showed off a little. Depending on if there are any mounting clips etc on the can itself you may be able to swap the adjustable clamps for some stainless steel zips etc to show more of the can itself.

The bike is looking good diggerdanh! I see you've got the mikunis on there... I am ordering parts for my vm32s to tune them on the 440 soon...can't wait to start comparing notes
Gary, the catch can is a real looker and cheap ($20 + 9 I think for shipping)! It comes with fittings and the hose clamps too. Add a $5 cheap breather filter (I think I got mine for $3.85 shipped from Ebay) and you're set. I can't take credit, Kanticoy (Kiley) mentioned it on another post and showed a pic where he used the same thing on Greta. (Dude, if it is good enough for Greta, it is damn sure good enough for my bike!)


They ship quick too. I ordered it on a Tuesday afternoon and had it in my mailbox on Friday.

I have some stainless zip ties, that's a good idea. Those will look a lot cleaner.

My problem with mounting location is that the down tube right there is a single and then vees out toward the bottom part of the frame I don'd really have anyplace where I can show it off. Currently I have it located on one of those vees. But I could do what Kiley did and route the crankcase vent tube to the front of the bike and put it on one of the down tubes.

Thanks for the feedback.
Ah, I see what you're saying now about dropping it down a couple of inches. I think I have room there to do just that and show it off a little more. Thanks for the tip!
BLSully, well I kind of have them on there. It's getting close though. I definitely look forward to comparing notes. Based on everything that I've read and notes from various forums for VM30s on KZ440s, CB350s and CB450s, the stock jetting/setup in my VM30s should put me very close, except for the mains which are probably quite a bit too high.
Thanks for the link again Dan. I will have to save it this time. I have a deep well of bills this month, but next month its back to having some spending cash to et the mechanicals on my build somewhat finished so that the rest of the winter can be used for cleanup hopefully.

Last night I only had a few minutes to work on the bike but I installed the case guards...


and moved the catch can down a couple of inches based on Gary's feedback to make it more visible.


and then I threw the tank and seat on the bike to see how it was coming along.


Looking good, diggerdanh! I really like the case guards, I think they add a nice touch to the bike. Thanks for posting the update!
Top Bottom