81 kz1100 streetfighter cafe racer build


New Member
I am building a 81 Kz1100 and melding the styles of streetfighter and cafe racer. I started off with a 81kz1100 because it was cheap. Less than $500 and that included the new clutch I had to put in the bike. Here is what I started with.


I replaced the clutch, fuel lines, and oil cooler lines. After a few rides I decided the bike could greatly benefit from a newer front end (better handling and braking). I found a 06 Zx6r front end on CL for $300. It needed a front wheel and calipers but was in pretty good shape otherwise.


After doing some research I found out the best way to make the front end swap happen was make my stock stem fit in the zx6r triple tree. For this I needed to have some machine work done. So I sent my tree off to a guy I met on the kzr forum(Leon) and he machined bushings to make my stock stem fit in the newer tree.

Here you can see the bushing Leon machined.

the triple tree

Next I had to figure what to do for bars. I decided I didn't want clip ons so I had to make a piece so bar clamps could fit on top of my top tree.

the piece I made



I put the front end all together and have been riding the bike for a few weeks now. All in all it was definitely worth doing the swap. I have on order a koso all in one gauge. and am planning to add a cafe racer style tail to the bike Which will include removing the dip in the frame. Here is the bike how it is currently. I recovered my stock seat for the time being.


Nice front end!! ;D

Maybe I would shorten those brackets and move the headlamp in tighter?? Or maybe it looks long because you havent put any guages on yet?? Anyway, just an observation, nice bike.

Now you have to swap out your rear wheel. 8)
I agree ctluba about the brackets I made for the headlight. I have a clearance issue with the ignition. If I relocate I can move it in. It will happen later in the build. I dont like the brackets i made anyway. It's a shafty. I didnt want a shaft drive but it was sooo cheap I couldn't resist. It's still fast and smooth. It keeps getting faster as I continue the diet.
I got my Koso gauge all hooked up.

I cut my factory plugs off the stock gauges and soldered all the connections.




Kz1100 wire --- Koso wire
Brown --- brown 12+ ignition
Black/yellow --- Black Ground
white/blue --- Red 12+ battery +
dark grn --- Orange left turn
yellow --- Red/black High beam
Blue --- grey right turn
Light green --- Light Blue Neutral indicator
green --- white/yellow fuel
Grey --- Blue/red oil pressure
coil+ --- tach wire lead
i remember seeing a pic of a kz1300 on the www with a massively wide stock back wheel. there was no info with pic but by the look of it he had taken two stock wheels and had them welded up to make one wide wheel and still run the shaft drive...
im guessing to get alignment there must have been frame mods for the engine position?
anyway food for thought to match your fr end... 8)

im off to search for pic

here we are...imagine that back end with your modern front... :p

Most excellent front end swap! How are you liking the more upright bar position vs. the standard clip-on?
Same bike now. Had the engine rebuilt by Southwest Cycles in Albuquerque, NM with a big bore kit, High compression heads and pistons, Carl's paint and body in Albuquerque did the pain.


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filistina said:
Same bike now. Had the engine rebuilt by Southwest Cycles in Albuquerque, NM with a big bore kit, High compression heads and pistons, Carl's paint and body in Albuquerque did the pain.

Nice bike. Good to see another local here too.
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