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A baby stole my dingo!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my very earliest childhood memories is of me sitting on the living room floor in the tiny two-bedroom house that I lived in with my folks, my brother, and three sisters. I had a green texta and a piece of paper which I'd torn out from the back of a book, and made a lousy attempt at drawing a Kawasaki Ninja. I liked Kawas because they were green, and that was my favourite colour when I was 4 or 5 years old. This woulda been around 1989 or '90.

Jumping 22 years into the future, we arrive at the present moment. I've had four bikes; three Jappers and one Euro, but no Kwakas. How could this have happened in 10 years of owning bikes? I fuckin LOVED Kwakas when I was a kid. So the opportunity recently arose to buy a heap of junk to sit alongside my other heap of junk in my messy-as-hell garage and finally ride the Kawasaki of my dreams. But the dream has changed slightly - firstly I'm not so enamoured with the colour green, and sportsbikes are no longer the centre of my motorcycling universe.

Today was a significant day in my life. Not only did I experience my first full 24 hour period of Kawasaki ownership, and feel all the pride that went with it, but I also decided to have a second crack at building a streetfighter. And this time I'm going to fight it right and fight til the end.

Here's where today's episode begins:



I bought one very ugly bike, but the registration was renewed only a week ago which means that it somehow passed a roadworthy exam. The assessor may or may not have been on drugs at the time...

So I have some streetfighter essentials to go onto the bike (none of which are pictured as I'm too lazy with the camera).

First up is a set of fatbars and risers. Secondly I have a set of dominator headlights. And thirdly I've got a digital dash.

To start with I drained the brake fluid using my super-neato-brake-fluid-draining-kit (TM). Then I disconnected the brake hose that runs from the master cylinder to the splitter on the lower fork clamp. I measured the length that I reckon I'll need for a new brake hose to reach my super-duper imitation Protaper. Then I added 20mm to that measurement and wrote it down.



Next up I discovered that Kawasaki's robot engineers need a round of thanks for not bolting anything together too tightly. It made the next step rather easy - I only skinned one knuckle and there was no blood so it probably doesn't even count. To get to the point, I junked the front subframe, headlight, mirrors, and gauges.

Now I thought that I was a dodgy fabricator. Time for an aside - I found this bike for sale by searching for "streetfighter" on an Aussie bike classifieds website. Then I sorted the results by price, starting with the cheapest first. The first bike was from the green team (Yay!), was only about 20km away (some places in Aus are over 6000km away, so this was pretty lucky), and was being advertised with rego (major mechanical headache and financial heartache sorted!). I took the bike for a ride, waited a month for my biggest payday of the year, drove a bargain, then handed over the cash. The "streetfighter" part of the bike I can only assume was the general level of roadrash on most parts of the bike, i.e. it had been in a fight with the street and somehow lost its clothes (which is fine, I like my asian bitches to be naked).
The resultant customisation was something to behold. The front turn signals pointed at the ground, the windshield was attached by two pieces of chicken wire, and the brackets for the mirrors were made from a rough-sawn piece of bent steel. Then there's the paint. Rattle can was the method of choice for one of the PO's, and rattle cans are cheap. But it looks like the painter cheaped out further by using only one can for the entire bike. The coverage is so thin and patchy that you can see that underneath the blue rattle paint is the factory blue paintjob! Why paint a blue thing blue and do a worse job than what you started with?

Meanwhile, back at the bike, I finished the night like this:



Tomorrow I'm taking my fatbars into town to have the ends bored out so that I can fit my bar end mirrors. I'm also going to a local shop to have a Venhill brake line made to measure (and if it's affordable enough I'll get the rest of the hoses done). And I've got a few other bits and pieces to pick up so that I can get some proper momentum on this project. I feel much more confident DW on this bike compared to the Suzuki I was stuffing around with, but that might be because it was not a pretty bike to start with (unlike the zuk which was just shy of immaculate) and I've started from the easy end rather than trying to 'fighter the bike from the middle.

Apologies for the excess verbosity and the dearth of photographic documentation of my progress. I'll restore the balance next update, I promise!

- Cooky
 

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I Piss Excellence.
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1,828 Posts
Welcome to the wonderful world of Kawas!!! Nice to see you jumping right in with the Doing of Work.
 

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A baby stole my dingo!
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627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So not much has happened, as I knew it would be. So here's how the bike sits now:



I've sanded about 50 layers of paint off the tank to get ready for a re-spray.



Here's a quick pic of the view from the bars. The gauge I got from dogmeatk is only cable-tied in place, but I like where it sits.



And here's a $2 coolant res tank!



Hopefully i can spray some paint tomorrow...
 

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A baby stole my dingo!
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627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sub'd, and good to see another ninja escaping the plastic overcoat :)
Bit of a noob question, but does the coolant res only need one line?
I'll get back to you on that question. You've got me thinking now.

As for escaping the plastic, it looks like the PO tried to remove the fairing by scraping it off with some bitumen...
 

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A baby stole my dingo!
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627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You know the Suzuki loves you more..
Well in that case it has a stange way of showing affection. It dropped me on my arse on my first ride, snapped the clutch cable in the middle of traffic, spat oil over the rear tyre during a wet peak-hour in Sydney, and fainted off the stand onto its shiny side in a light breeze... Then again some days it reaffirms the meaning of life when the speedo shows me what the other side of $2.00 is like.

In other words it nags and nags and spends all my money to the point I think I'd be better off without it, then it gives pleasure and changes my mind. It must be a bloody woman! :D
 

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Go for it!!
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74 Posts
Sub'd, and good to see another ninja escaping the plastic overcoat :)
Bit of a noob question, but does the coolant res only need one line?
Yes, only one line needed as it spits out and sucks back in through the same tube. Just make sure it goes all the way to the bottom of the reserve tank and that the reserve tank is not air tight, as the hot coolant liquid expands as it cools down.
 

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A baby stole my dingo!
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627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update time.

My painting dreams were shattered when the pump in my electric spray gun shit itself in between me doing a first test-spray and my first line of paint on the bike. So $125 of paint and equipment got shelved in favour of a $7.50 rattlecan. I got 2 and a half coats down from one can, which I did outside on a windy day not long after I had mowed the lawn so the quality is, umm... not that high. It looks good from 10' (3.04m) away, but not any closer than that.

Pic time.





I got headlights mounted. Made brackets and clamps using the "tlstreak method" and got the light mounted low and tight. I figure when you make your own shit you might as well make it aesthetically pleasing. As you can see below I also mounted my turn signals onto the bracket.





Next up was a more permanent mounting for the neat-looking gauge which has replaced the stock instrument clusterfuck. I chopped a clamp off a bicycle headlight and epoxied the base to the gauge. Then I simply mounted the clamp in between the bar risers, like so:





So for now it's time to ride!



Well it would be. Still have a small to-do list.
1. Fit new battery - bought this but have to wait for it to arrive.
2. Wire up gauge properly - I am sucking at this bigtime right now.
3. Tidy front end - need to fit front fender and hide excess wiring in the cavity in front of the airbox.
4. Ride time!
 

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A baby stole my dingo!
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627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Here's a breakdown of expenses so far for this super-low-budget project:

Bike Purchase $2500

Handlebars $60, ebay.com.au
Risers $50, mcas.com.au
Venhill extended brake hose $68, North Coast V-Twins
Dominator Headlights $90, ebay
4x mini indiactors, $7, ebay
Bar-end mirrors, $25, ebay
Bluebox Digital gauge, $84, CF user dogmeatk
Coolant overflow, $2, Kmart
Paint, $7.50, Bunnings
Assorted aluminium flat bar $30, Bunnings
Assorted nuts, bolts, and washers, $15, Bunnings

Total: $2938.50. All prices are in $AUD. Total does not include purchse of tools, consumables or other items which did not get used.
 

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nice build i have always loved the twin headlight setup! and i really like how you put the turn lights on it as well. to bad about the paint gun. still looks good in pics! hope you get to ride it soon. oh and your low budget build is about 2k more then mine so far! so im not feeling to bad anymore about how much money is wraped up in mine!lol
 

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A baby stole my dingo!
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627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Haha, thanks minitruck! I'm glad seeing my bike makes you feel better about yours! I'm not gonna think about how much I've really spent buying tools as well as the paint and bits that I didn't use. Can you find anything on my bike that you could make out of JB for your bike?
 

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oil catch can???lol i dunno... im about to run out of cosmetic stuff to put of a streetfighter thats supost to be naked...lol there are very few things that it NEEDS and i think i about got all that made or have plans to make it! hummmm on second thought... i like your bar mirrors... maybe i can do them out of jb weld coat hangers and some cheap mirrors.... thanks for the inspiration!
 

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Go for it!!
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FWIW I have those on my er5 slightly convex, they give a really good all round view, I've lost a couple as the bike is parked in the street and people catch them as they walk past but other than that no probs

sent on the fly with the android app, check me!
Thank you, the order is being executed!
 
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