It started off a bucket of parts. You know the kind...one of those deals where you thumbed your way through a few boxes, asked if the hundreds of parts came with a clean title, then handed over some cash. While loading it up for it's maiden voyage home, the one thought in the back of my head was how to explain my $250 purchase to the wife who'll soon be staring at grease and parts on the back porch for the next few months. Waiting for her to say...."and it doesn't even run?"
And So the Story Begins....
Unlike many who decide to aquire the garage before the project, I chose to place "toys" over common sense. Working on a platform of 2x4's and plywood (thrown in with the deal), under the patio roof, I began the lengthy process of bringing some life back into this bike.. Starting with a bath of degreaser, Lysol, and good ole fashion scrubbing, this tired 79 KZ400 begin it's new life almost like a stray dog getting shaved and de-wormed by that reluctant new owner.
Once cleaned and free of bugs, I stood back and made a plan for the bike, almost like an artist squaring up his hands to look through a makeshift canvas. Being somewhat of an ole school rider, at first glance I liked the lines of this 70's bike. It reminded me alot of my first (and last) bike which I sold almost 20 years ago...an 81 Suzuki GS550. I've always like the look of these old KZ's, and for some time have had this idea to really slim down one of these bikes, shave the sides in a bit and give it some suttle hints of a cafe racer. After some hand sketches, photoshop magic, and repeatedly swapping parts on and off the bike, I decided it was time to make my pictures become a reality. As you will see, with Blue Star Motorcycles help, this KZ will be my dream of a good all-around rider with a twist of style that hopefully stands out from the crowd at the local events.
Please join me on this journey as I share my KZ restore with the world. Blue Star Motorcycles will chime in from time to time on this blog series, giving their two cents on the matter. Feel free to comment yourselves if you feel the urge to share. Maybe you owned a KZ or something like it that reminds you of the "bloody knuckle" stories we'll be sharing.