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Kawasaki Cafe Racer on a Budget part 4

The forth instalment of my first cafe racer project on a budget.

Preparing the Frame, Fuel Tank and Side Panels

I mentioned in my last blog post that I would be trying to remove the dents from the Z1000 tank I purchased from eBay. Armed with some information I found on YouTube I tried a couple of techniques but soon discovered that the metal was not going to pop back into shape as easily as the videos had suggested it might. You will see a couple of my failed attempts in the video below.

The other work I have been getting on with is preparing the frame ready to accept the new top rail, which is being made for me together with the new seat. At the time of writing this blog post I have just heard that the new seat assembly is winging its way towards me. Shaun at Triplehumph, who is making these parts for me, has been extremely helpful. Although they produce many different seats designs, mine is slightly different and he wanted to make sure it's just right. I will be able to show you the end result in my next post.

Custom Design Side Panels

Looking at the design of the Italian cafe-racer I came across in my research on the net, I can see that the original plastic side panels have been replaced with custom made parts. I know it is customary to leave the triangular space in the frame completely open but this also means more challenges later on when you try to hide the battery and other electrical components. I personally like the look of the custom made panels so that's the design I am trying to recreate. They say that plagiarism is the best form of flattery after all!

Preparing the Frame, Fuel Tank and Side Panels

I have also been doing some more on-line shopping this month. I was told about based in the Netherlands as being a good source of parts.

This is where I found some new rear shock absorbers and the site lets you locate the exact model of donor bike to ensure you get the correct length and specification. I chose the Emgo Black & Chrome Cafe Racer Shocks Type 3 which are 335 mm long. I also ordered a mini filter for the engine breather pipe and in total my order came to €118.85 including shipping and 21% tax. I am expecting to get the tax refunded as Guernsey is VAT exempt.

After a lot of searching for a pair of simple rear sets I chose this TEC Universal Silver Alloy Kit made by and sold through eBay. I'm planning to position them using the pivot point of the original brake lever as this is further back than the standard foot peg position. I paid £59.99 for the kit including shipping. There are some cheap alternatives but I think it's important to go for good quality at a higher price where safety is concerned.

One of my extremely low price items is this LED Headlight with integral LED flashers, which is now making its way from China. Priced at £17.90 I was prepared to take a chance on the quality of this unit. It has a black plastic housing so at least rust won't be a problem!

This set of second hand set of carburettor diaphragm alloy tops will replace the rusty chrome tops the bike came with. They were a fairly reasonably priced at £20 + £3 postage.

Next time I hope to have the frame ready for sandblasting and painting, and to show you the finished tank, side panels and seat. Thanks for following.

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