The Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon ('78 KZ1000)

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
Thank goodness for small favors. I spent an absolutely unreasonable amount of time searching for that stuff when I had a '66 Atlas, back when the internet was in its infancy and you had to scour yardsales and flea markets to put together a set of whitworth wrenches in the States. Lovely bike, but what a hassle.
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
I just received a perfect cardboard cube in the mail:

(Which Ringo pointed out showed my address, blood type, and SSN-Thanks again.)

...and it was full of timing stuff from Liska:

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Now I'm out of excuses to not put this motor together.
 

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buzznichols

Been Around the Block
Nobody's likely to mistake me for a welder, but I did get good penetration and, anyhow, that's why I buy the family packs of flap discs:

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...that and the price. This pack of 40 cost about as much as 5 of them at the local hardware store. They work fine and wear out just as fast as the high-dollar ones.
 

Ringo

Over 1,000 Posts
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The half evil kit was pretty comprehensive! Just fyi your name and address is on that package, if you care about that stuff being public.
 

ridesolo

Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
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Seize the opportunity, Photoshop in the address of somebody you don't like! :)
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
Got a little time last night and today to do some work on it. I cleaned up the swingarm and torsion bar, then applied black appliance epoxy:
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Then cleaned, sanded, sanded, sanded, and polished the fork tubes:

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...and drilled out the rear disc after getting it back from a local shop that resurfaced it, bringing it within a hair of the minimum (6mm) thickness. I decided to try a little busier version of the pattern I made on the front wheels, so it's got 60 holes, as opposed to the 45 on the front discs. I'm still not sure which one I like better....

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buzznichols

Been Around the Block
I cleaned up the wheels...
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I wanted to doll them up a little, and I remembered some stuff I bought at a yard sale over a decade ago:

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I prepped the wheels and sprayed the "copper plate" (it's a base-clear rattle can product) right over the black as well as the bare metal. This was the result:

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I'm pretty happy with the results. Now I'm back to waiting for parts to arrive.
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
Got a bunch of neat stuff in the mail; unfortunately, the beautuful new top triple clamp from Cognito Moto wasn't machined out for a Motogadget mini speedo, but they processed a return for me super-fast and the right one is on the way/
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Now to start putting it all on there...
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
I've been doing some electrical stuff. Certainly not my forte, but we've all got to face our fears. At least I guess that's true; after all the parts I bought for this bike I can't afford therapy, so I'm going DIY on the mental health stuff too ;)

It was a nervous process drilling and tapping my pretty Tarozzi clip-ons to accept these momentary switches:

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But I think they're pretty cool, and they get along swimmingly with the M Unit Blue

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...And I'm still crimping, soldering, heat-shrinking, and installing weather-pac connectors. Hopefully soon I'll be able to do away with the rainbow spaghetti

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jlgace

Active Member
Trucking along nicely. I'm approaching the wiring stage on my build here shortly and I love your idea of ditching the old control switches. Question: on the right bar, I assume one is starter and the other is kill switch? I'm not sure I'm sold on the idea of a "press and hold" shut-down. Takes me back to the dirt-bike days, had a cheezy plastic button that grounded out right to the handlebar and it so annoyed me whenever I held the button for what I thought was long enough, let go and she fires back up. Also, safety.
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
I feel you there. The M Unit Blue has an option for a kill switch, but typically operates with a "double tap" on the start switch to kill it.
Since Tarozzi does sell these bars a la carte for about $20 (through Z1 Enterprises/MikesXS/Dime City/etc), I'm still open to the possibility of adding a 3rd RH switch.
A quick tip if you decide to do this: even with careful measuring and judicious use of a center punch, i found it pretty nearly impossible to get three holes for these momentary switches drilled in a straight line on the bar. That's how I know about the a la carte bars from Tarozzi. :( I settled on ofsetting the center switch on the LH bar, so it looks intentional.
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
For the first time since 7th grade home ec (which is somehow 38 years ago), I decided to tackle a sewing project. It was daunting, but I figured I ought to give it a shot since I've got this machine around the shop:
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This video was super helpful:


I cut some patterns out of parchment paper and stuch them on the back of a piece of leather with 3M adhesive spray:

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Used the same spray adhesive to stick 1/2" fabric-backed foan to the backs of the seat top and bump stop front panel, then sewed a series of pleats:

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Then sewed everything together
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:

I tried to staple it to the seat pan (fiberglass and epoxy) and the stapes wrinkled up without penetrating at all. Any insights on good adhesives to stick leather to 'glass? I'm thinking 2-part epoxy and a few self-drilling screws, but if anybody has a better idea I'm all ears.

The seam at the top of the bump stop wound up off-centered. I tried to camouflage that with heay top-stitching, but that just made it worse. I'm thinking I'll sew an embroidered Kawasaki badge on over it.


I've got some leather left over, and I'm feeling relatively confident. I think I might make my wife a skirt that matches the seat, then see if I can talk her into a cheesecake photo session with the bike once it's complete.
 

pidjones

Over 1,000 Posts
There is a 3M spray adhesive that they use for attaching headliners. #80, I believe. Find someone that does boat upholstery. They should have tricks for attaching to 'glass. The guy that did mine used staples. They also make spike strips that you can screw to the 'glass.
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
I kept thinking about everything I didn't like about the seat I made (henceforth "the prototype") and realized that all its issues stemmed from me making simple stuff complicated. Stuff I did wrong:

-Made a full pocket for the bump stop. This meant I couldn't pull the material taut.
-Made it out of waaay more pieces than necessary, which meant I had to figure out lots of seams, plus multiplied my chances of screwing up. On the new version, I only used 4 pieces of leather.
-Glued patterns to the backs of all the pieces. This meant I had all that paper to deal with, and also the glue made everything want to wrinkle and pleat. On the new one, the only glue I used (3M 77 spray) was to stick the foam on the back of the seat top.
-Figured out a stitch length that looked cool for the pleats and then stuck with that. This resulted in pretty weak seams. On the new one, I lowered the stitch length after I did the pleats, plus I did double hems.
-Went to lots of trouble to measure out 1/2" hem margins on everything. This time around, I just drew the seat top and bump stop on the foam with Sharpie and cut it out 1/2" outside of that. Somehow it didn't occur to me yesterday that A: the hem margins don't have to be super exact, and B: I know damn well what a half inch looks like. Once I had done that, it was just a matter of sewing a 3" wide strip of leather onto the seat top and another onto the bump stop, leaving 3" X 3" tails on all 4 ends. Sew the resulting 2 pieces together, and Bob's your uncle.

It still ain't perfect, but I won't be embarassed to put this on my bike:
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buzznichols

Been Around the Block
I've been drilling holes. I decided this would be a nice spot for the key switch:

AA078547-D3BB-4BDA-A397-B3F74EBF3E1C_1_201_a.jpeg


But since I'm running an M Unit Blue, the real key to the bike is my phone. So I figured I should install this:

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I liked seeing that light up, but not as much as I liked seeing this light up for the first time:

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...and since that needs a momentary switch to configure it, I drilled yet another hole up front on the LH side so I can tap it while operating the throttle:

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And now my 6 gauge wire has arrived, so the next thing is to finish up the wiring...
 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
I kept thinking about everything I didn't like about the seat I made (henceforth "the prototype") and realized that all its issues stemmed from me making simple stuff complicated. Stuff I did wrong:

-Made a full pocket for the bump stop. This meant I couldn't pull the material taut.
-Made it out of waaay more pieces than necessary, which meant I had to figure out lots of seams, plus multiplied my chances of screwing up. On the new version, I only used 4 pieces of leather.
-Glued patterns to the backs of all the pieces. This meant I had all that paper to deal with, and also the glue made everything want to wrinkle and pleat. On the new one, the only glue I used (3M 77 spray) was to stick the foam on the back of the seat top.
-Figured out a stitch length that looked cool for the pleats and then stuck with that. This resulted in pretty weak seams. On the new one, I lowered the stitch length after I did the pleats, plus I did double hems.
-Went to lots of trouble to measure out 1/2" hem margins on everything. This time around, I just drew the seat top and bump stop on the foam with Sharpie and cut it out 1/2" outside of that. Somehow it didn't occur to me yesterday that A: the hem margins don't have to be super exact, and B: I know damn well what a half inch looks like. Once I had done that, it was just a matter of sewing a 3" wide strip of leather onto the seat top and another onto the bump stop, leaving 3" X 3" tails on all 4 ends. Sew the resulting 2 pieces together, and Bob's your uncle.

It still ain't perfect, but I won't be embarassed to put this on my bike:View attachment 235891
Nice first job. For future, Glass pans best method is to drill holes along edge and pop rive the cover on, that's how I've done it many times. The first seat I re-covered was an aftermarket glass pan and the old cover was riveted so I drilled those out, made a template from the old cover, sewed up the new and then used a pick to poke a hole where the rivet went after stretching then popping the rivet.
 

buzznichols

Been Around the Block
Nice first job. For future, Glass pans best method is to drill holes along edge and pop rive the cover on, that's how I've done it many times. The first seat I re-covered was an aftermarket glass pan and the old cover was riveted so I drilled those out, made a template from the old cover, sewed up the new and then used a pick to poke a hole where the rivet went after stretching then popping the rivet.
Not sure why that didn't occur to me—I did drill holes and punched through the leather with an awl, and ran some tiny screws in just to hold the leather while the epoxy cured. Then I removed the screws. Since the holes are already there, and I think they're already conveniently sized at 1/8", I think I'll go ahead and add some pop rivets.

Thanks so much!
 

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