top of page

Kawasaki Cafe Racer on a Budget part 5

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

Tank Painted, Cleaning and Painting Engine and Frame Modifications

In-keeping with the true spirit of the original cafe-racers, I'm still finding the best ways to do the most I can without throwing thousands of pounds at the project. Back in the fifties and sixties it was all about reusing parts and doing as much as you can yourself to save money. So with this in mind, professional sandblasting, and paint spraying or even powder coating has been replaced by some elbow grease and spray cans. It may not end up being a pristine show winner but I will have the satisfaction of knowing I built it myself. Any rough edges will be a nod to the bike builders of who started this style of custom bike back in the day.

In the past two weeks since my last post I have tackled the badly oxidised engine and painted it with high-temperature gloss black. To try to avoid further oxidisation I primed the engine with etching primer but I'm not sure how the primer will stand up to high temperatures so I hope I don't end up regretting this step.

I was really pleased to receive the new top rail and custom made seat from Triplehumph. I made a few more modifications to the frame to accept the top rail and had it welded in place. It was at this point I decided to prepare the frame by hand and I sprayed it with Hammerite gloss black, which doesn't require a primer.

I've finished off the new side panels apart from final polishing of the painted aluminium. Incidentally all bear aluminium parts are being primed with a clear adhesive primer to help suppress oxidisation.

Progress in the past two weeks

This photo shows is the current state of the build including the new rear shock absorbers which I mentioned in my last blog post.

As usual I have also been buying more parts on-line. Odometer & Revcounter £24.61, head-stock steering bearings from Tour Max £27.99 and a new fuel cap £4.99.

I will now be searching for Firestone replica tyres and a new chain and sprockets so I can get on with the re-build. I'm also planning to make my own simplified wiring harness having found a good article on how to rewire your cafe-racer. I will share more details next time. Thanks for following.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
bottom of page