FZS600 Lockdown Refresh.

Green199

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[This work has all been completed (well, 99% ish...as they always are)....so its a bit of a retroactive thread but thought i'd post it anyway, I may just be a bit slow updating].

Well, after 3 years away from DTT I thought i'd pop my head back in and realised how much I missed this place!
Hope you've all kept well during the absolute shitshow that the last year has been!

I took a bit of a break from working on bikes due to work etc (my Honda CB is still in storage and hasn't moved since '17!!), but last years lockdown in the UK gave me a bit of an opportunity to get back to a little bit of wrenching.

I picked up an '02 plate FZS 'Fazer' 600 a few years for £1400 back to use as my daily commuter, and it was pretty much spot on for what I needed it for.
Good amount of power, easy to corner, narrow for filtering etc....and absolutely solid.
It was quite clean overall with 30k miles on the clock, no sign of the dreaded cam-chain noise, and only a small but sharp dent in the tank as a sign it had actually been used.

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I didn't have any other transport at the time so it was an all weather kind of bike. And I mean ALL weather...

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Even the 'Beast from the East' in '18 couldn't stop me commuting and even doing 90miles plus journeys for work....that was a fun time haha.

I did a few little bolt on mods just to try to stop me getting bored of it, which included a decent service with new gold chain + sprockets, new braided brake hoses to get rid of horrible spongy feeling from the bluespots, new wheel decals which I didn't actually like in the end, and a new end can from GPR (Deeptone carbon).

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After a few years of use she was looking pretty rough, with a lot of corrosion and scuffs (and had been down the road a few times, although the crash bars held up well)...

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Anyway, by the time the first COVID lockdown came around in the UK I had a new van and no reason to use the bike daily anymore, and no incentive to the fazer crumble away into a pile of rust...so the 'refresh' began!
 

Green199

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Started with the teardown to a rolling chassis to see how bad things had got...

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(had a helper in the neighbours cat)

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Definitely in need of a tidy-up, so took the wire brush to the frame and motor and a lot of flaking paint came off.


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Luckily managed to get the coolant pipes off ok, as they are prone to rusting right out and mine weren't in too bad condtion...

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The engine still ran solid at this point, so it was just in need of some general tidying up, and the cases and the frame to be resprayed.
 

Green199

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I'm working in my garden, and not proper storage space still at the minute, so I couldn't really drop the motor out to touch-up the frame and yokes - so just spent a lot of time with a wire brush removing the rust, degreasing and then masking everything up so I could spray the frame as it was.

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I used Simoniz Tough Black gloss for the frame, which sprayed nicely and has held up quite well on things I have used it on in the past.
It wasn't a perfect job as I was doing it exposed in the garden, with the summer flies and bugs getting all up in it...but much better than it was.
I even had to convince the girlfriend to let me keep the bike in the lounge overnight to cure without getting ruined by all the shit outside...

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After all was said and done, the frame was looking a lot cleaner so it was on to the motor. I also pulled the rear wheel and swingarm off to touch-up and respray.

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Green199

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The motor got a couple of coats of Gloss Black VHT paint -which got a bit of orange peel but I wasn't too fussed at this stage.

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Frame/Motor combo was looking much better.

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Then was onto the swingarm, footpegs and suspension linkage which all got a coat of Satin Black Simoniz paint and clear, and the rear wheel got a few coats of Gloss paint.

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Also sprayed the internal section of the sprocket, as well as the passenger pegs.

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Green199

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Swingarm went on with some new shorter dogbones to raise the rear by 10mm I think.
I was then thinking about doing something with the seat/rear end which didn't really happen in the end.

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A few more before/afters showing the progress on it.

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It was then on to getting the front end sorted - which meant getting the forks off to rebuild and respray - and getting creative with my 'stand' set-up as a result.

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Green199

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Sprayed up the front wheel and I noticed I'd painted a lot of things black, and wanted something to make the bike stand-out a bit more, and I have a thing for neon yellow - so I found some wheel stripes from Motoinkz which are a bit....well....in your face.

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And the photos don't do them justice at this stage.

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They're a bit 'marmite' - you either love them or hate them....luckily I fall in the former group and think they look mental. So pulled the rear off to get that decaled up and then back on the bike.

I also resprayed and then rebuilt the forks with new seals and heavier fork oil, and was back to a rolling chassis.

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Green199

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At this stage I was quite tempted with the streetfighter look so grabbed a pair of low-rise Renthals and threw them on.

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The stock bars have a horrible sweep to them which the Renthals avoid being a lot straighter, and they are quite a bit wider to allow for better leverage.

The bike already had stainless headers when I bought it (the stock ones are known to rust faster than Speedy Gonzales on crack) - but they were looking a bit rough, but nothing some scotchbrite and Autosol metal polish couldn't sort.

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Some elbow grease later....

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And back on the bike with new bars, stock tail unit and the stock rear inner mudguard.

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Green199

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I was quite happy at this stage, and was about to remove the front gauge/fairing mount to fab up a flat number-board with projector lens.

But doing a bit of googling and there were far too many streetfightered Fazers around (seems to be the go to after crash damage to the fairing).
A bit more googling came up with the kits from CRK which tempted me....

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....Until I saw the price.
Yeah its sweet, but its a pre-fab kit fairing and mounts, and a seat that cost me more than the bloody bike.

Spent a bunch of time looking at Airtech etc for fairings and seat units...when 2 things happened.
1 - Lockdown looked to be easing and it was now 'ok' for motorcyclists to go out riding - so I wanted this thing completed as soon as possible.
2 - The girlfriend kept saying that I already have a vintage styled bike, why do I need another?! (don't go there) - so why don't I do something different again.

So back to the drawing board.

Swapped the Renthal's out for a set of clip-ons from an Honda Bros - which are the only clip-ons I could find with high enough rise to not kill my back and be 'usable' on the road.
Also took a hacksaw to the rear inner mudguard to slim it down - which ended up looking much better and less bulky on the rear.

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I raised the number plate up to pull it closer to the seat unit, giving it a much cleaner line.

Clip-ons on and brake/clutch on.

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Planned to throw the fairing back on as it was, just with the new bars and a lot tidier to get back on the road before the end of the year.

I did want to improve the lights though, so new H4 bulbs in the front, and also picked up some Audi style LED strips to run alongside the stock daytime running lights.

Split the headlight unit by warming in the over for 20mins to loosen the sealant, than cracked the lens open and fit the strips.
They already have a control module soldered in series to control the 2 modes; white constant feed - and amber 'waterfall effect' intermittent feed for indicators.


...and back in the over to reseal the unit!

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Green199

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Threw it all back together to get a few days of riding in and see if the bars/suspension all felt ok.

Didn't get around to wiring the LED strips into the loom as I was still figuring out how to feed it.

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During the first start-up it developed the horrible cam-chain noise due to the automatic tensioner.
Its a bit of a shit design, with a spring and ratchet mechanism, and the spring is prone to seizing or breaking.
Also without disassembly there is no way to tell if you have utilised all teeth on the ratchet, so you need to check also to tell if its a new cam chain or not.


There's a few things you can do to try and advance the tensioner (put in gear and roll backwards a few feet to take move the slack to the back of the chain allowing the ratchet to advance) and having a particularly 'spirited' ride....but neither of them worked so was time to take it off and check the adjuster.

It's an absolute ball-ache to get to the tensioner as the carbs need to come off fully to get access! So carbs off for a clean, tensioner to be checked and valve cover off to check the clearances.


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Carbs were filthy externally, but internally looked pretty clean considering they had been stood for 6 months or so.

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Valve clearances were all good, a few were a bit tight and towards the bottom end of spec but that's fine. Under the valve cover looked clean as well.

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And the tensioner off and checked. Still had about half the ratchet travel left, so it was just a quick check of the spring condition, regrease and then a manual reset.

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Green199

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Put it all back together and it was a little better, so went for another...ahem...spirited ride on a nice local straight I know.
Revving the tits off of it allowed the tensioner to take up the slack and quitened it down a bit.


That ride wasn't 100% successful. Bloody managed to split one of the header collars on #3 somehow during the ride (can see in the vid) so needed to get that welded up.
 

Green199

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Picked up some side fairing from an Italian company called Motoxpricambi.
I'd seen some fazers with the side fairings on before, but they had all been the OEM ones based on the earlier 'boxeye' models, or some reproductions from a Polish company...and quite frankly they looked utter shite.
Because they were for the earlier models they always seemed to look out of place and didn't follow the lines of the bike.

A bit of googling and I stumbled upon the fairings from Motoxpricambi, and thought I needed to have them despite costing an arm and a leg (like £300 before customs etc).

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Straight out the box I was happy without the overall shape, but the quality was a joke to be honest for such a premium price.
There was a couple of cracks which I suppose cant be avoided through transportation etc - which I wasn't too concerned about - but the halves didn't even match.
Scuffs, scratches, exposed fibreglass and the 2 halves didn't even join correctly at the seam so had a lot of work to do to finesse them to fit up nicely, and to sort the mounts etc.

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I wasn't expecting them to be flawless, but there's a few bits I forgot to photograph that show just how uneven the 2 sides were in terms of their curvature. They Looked like they didn't come from the same mold.

Anyway, after a quite a few hours of cutting and bodywork, they were offered up to get a sense of what they looked like.

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Green199

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A few more from the other side, and front, showing fitment around the engine. The OEM ones really bulge out around the motor, but these have a much better fit after I shaped them and 'pulled them in' a bit more.


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Green199

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A few test rides later to check everything fit ok, and didn't fall off, and I worked out a paint scheme.
Going for a semi-retro sort of race-rep look, without actually being one.
Yeah yeah I know, another love-or-hate look....lucky i'm in that camp that loves it.

Ignore my terrible 'paint' skills for the mock-up...was literally done on my phone in 5 mins.

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Green199

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Started off the bodywork by filling shit loads of dents and holes, and then laid down the first few base coats of white.
I probably spent about a week sorting all the little imperfections out and still didn't get them perfect....but got fed up and thought fuck it...that'll do.

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Then laid down the neon yellow for the pinstripes. All of it was just done with rattle-cans in my garden, so again wasn't 100% but managed to get it good enough in the end.

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Then followed by the black. I originally went for Satin Black, but ended up clearing over with gloss because I couldn't deal with the hassle of different clears. }

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Pinstripes marked out around the edge of the black, and preparing for the red to be laid down. Got some major BrawnGP F1 vibes from them at this stage.

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Green199

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Laid down the first few coats of Red.
It wasn't colour matched as it was just a cheap job from Wilko's, but after a test spray it looked close enough when not in direct sunlight (only saw the how different it when the sun came out properly and the colour truly popped!).

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I then demasked and did a bit of wetsanding on the colour coats, and wore through the Red in a few places as it was going on very thin....so back to masking up and putting a few more coats of Red on.

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After I touched up the Red...Now giving off some serious Barry Sheene RG500 vibes....shame its a Yammy.

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Green199

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Started laying the decals down, and realised halfway through that the tuning fork symbol was the music version and not the motor company....fuck.
That's what you get for not paying attention and rushing things through! :p

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Finally sprayed the top section black (kept putting off right until the end until I figured out the width of the top pinstripe I wanted) - and then a few coats of clear to seal everything in.

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Quite a bit of orange peel but it sanded out.

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Finally put a few coats of black high-temp paint on the insides of the fairings to cover all the overspray, and epoxied in some mesh I found in a local hardware store for a stone guard in all the vents.

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Green199

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And fitted on the bike!

You can see the colour match isn't perfect, but its good enough until I can get around to respraying the tank and front fairing to match.

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Wired in the LED strips to act as the running lights at the minute, and left the amber ones until I can figure out how best to wire them in.

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Much bright than stock, and even brighter than my low beam! haha

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