1971 Kawasaki F8 - 2 smoke street tracker build

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by MiteyF, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    I sold my last 2-smoke (some of you may remember the '72 G3 http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671711 ) and needed something else. I wanted to try a street tracker this time. So I called the guy that sold me the G3 for another fun smoker [​IMG]

    And got this for a very nice price. 1971 Kawasaki F8 250cc enduro. When I picked it up it looked about like this, but with fenders (trashed) and stock handlebars.

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    And a photo of a restored one for reference

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    #1
  2. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Step 1, start stripping... gotta see what you're workin' with. Pulled the engine out and started with the rear frame. I knew it would have to change, so I tack'd in a temporary brace and hacked it off.

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    Engine was in pretty nice shape, but without kickstarter. Found a NOS one on ebay, they want $300!!! Deal with that later.

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    #2
  3. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Before I started making a new rear hoop I wanted to get my tail figured out so I knew what shape I'd need. Looking for inspiration, I found a tank from an old LTD 440 I picked up cheap and parted out.... iiiinnteresting.

    Gimme part of that

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    Stripped the paint, made a nice big pie cut, a few tacks, and whaddya know, that's not a bad start for $0.00

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    #3
  4. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Picked up a cheap LED tail light (I've used this style before, and they're GOOD and bright) and tack'd on a little bracket. Nuts on the backside for easy fitting.

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    Trimmed and welded a plate on the front

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    The seat pan was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be.

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    #4
  5. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Made a battery box that fits in the stock location, but is much simpler and more low profile. Can't even see it when standing next to the bike.

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    And stripped some paint (wish I could leave it like this, looks badass [​IMG] )

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    And bent a rear hoop that fits perfectly inside the tail

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    #5
  6. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Cut extra mounting tabs off the frame, painted various bits, and then did the whole primer, bondo, sand, primer, bondo, sand etc etc thing, and laid some paint today, as I can't do any more to the frame until my shocks get here.

    I had leftover paint from painting my bug a few weeks ago...

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    And some leftover paint from the G3...

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    Both of which I liked, and thought would complement THIS Kawi nicely. So the first color went on. Next up will be the green.

    I'll also mention this real quick. It seem vintage bikes (especially old trackers and cafes) are black EVERYWHERE. Frame, fittings etc etc. So I decided that there will be almost NO black on this bike at ALL. Just to be different [​IMG]

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    #6
  7. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Finally got around to getting some new pictures. Laid some green on the tank and tail, along with some white striping to separate the two colors... although I dropped the tank so it needs a little touch up now [​IMG] I also need to trim the seat cover a bit more. Also got some green on the headlight, but don't like how it came out, so I think it will be getting repainted. Still got some touching up to do on the tail too. Dropped off a load of parts at the powdercoater too, should be done sometime this week.

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    Got my new shocks. I know they're shitty and Chinese, but they're gonna be a lot better than stock!

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    Stripped down the wheels, ordered a new set of spokes, and am currently deciding on what color to PC the rims... My goal was NO black on the bike, but for some reason flat black is sounding nice. Also started polishing hubs and brakes.

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    #7
  8. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Never tried to make a stencil before, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Bought some of the address label thingies that you print on using MS Publisher. Turned out OK for my first try I think, but they don't come off quite as easy as masking tape as I found out. There will be a gray or black border around the letters too. I only did the one side so I could see how it looks before committing to the VERY tedious task of hand cutting all those "a"s

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    I also soda blasted the carb... no "before" pictures, but I assure you all, it was NASTY! My carb kit also came in, so that will be the first engine component up on the block. Snapped this picture, and realized how clean it must REALLY be, to look WHITE with the flash!

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    The carb was trashed when I got the bike, but I think it can be saved. Upon further inspection today (taking the needle out of the slide) I found a PO's extraordinary homemade part... Yes, it's made from the bottom of a soup can!

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    Sand blasted my forks, I think they're going to be gray, I REALLY don't want to try and sand them smooth! Felt like a good day to dig into some forks, so I started digging into my TY80 forks as well.

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    I usually put a new chain/sprockets on all of my rebuilds, but the stock sprocket looked damn near new, so I started cleaning it up a bit and think it will work just fine. I was also amazed at how light this sucker is!

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    Finally disassembled my gauges and painted the housings, polished the trim and cleaned the glass. All I have to do now is paint the inside trim ring and they'll be ready for assembly.

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    Now if the powdercoater would just call me so I can pick up my other parts!!!!
    #8
  9. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Gauges are done... looks nice if I do say so myself [​IMG]

    The color of the triple trees is the final powdercoated color for the frame and most of the other little bits.

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    #9
  10. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    I've got a bit more done, but we'll wait for the rest, that was too much typing. Time to drink beer :D
    #10
  11. Marco Moto

    Marco Moto Voyager

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    Subscribed! Can't wait to see it finished, looks like you are doing an excellent job!
    #11
  12. MODNROD

    MODNROD Wheat and Sheep

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    A VW man! :clap
    It's gotta be good!:D
    #12
  13. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    That's gonna turn out nice.

    And it's cool to see someone doing it with something other than a Honda twin or Yamaha 650. They did have racing classes that suited two-stroke singles back in the day.
    #13
  14. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    looks great, can't wait to see the final product
    #14
  15. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    You do great work, wanna come over to my house and do up my 69 CL350 please? :rofl
    #15
  16. pregrid

    pregrid Adventurer

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    :lurk
    #16
  17. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    yes indeed.
    #17
  18. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Glad you guys are likin' it. I knew I was deep into this whole "building old bikes" thing when I sold my painstakingly refurbished G3 for another POS to build :rofl

    caponerd - I try and build bikes that others don't seem to want. The G3 I posted a pic of on the first page was built because hey, who's ever seen one of those rollin' around all cafe'd out? The guy I bought both the G3 and this F8 (as well as... um, 6 other bikes?) from is a great guy, and a collector of sorts. I saw this sitting outside his shop and saw some promise. These F8's were made for 2 years only, which makes finding parts a bitch, but the finished result should be a bike that most will have never seen on the road (at least not in the last 20 years), and certainly looking nothing like this one will.

    Everybody's got XS's, CB's, CL's etc. (Well, actually I've got a torn down CB200 in the garage, and have lusted over a CL160 for years) but there's something to be said about being DIFFERENT, which is why we rape and pillage these old bikes in the first place, right?

    Oh, and if no one noticed, take a close look at the front forks in the previous pictures... notice anything funny? Perhaps in the nether regions? :hmmmmm
    #18
  19. Marco Moto

    Marco Moto Voyager

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    That's very cool, you can change the position of the front axle, I have never seen a pair of forks with that feature!
    #19
  20. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Yup, and because you can rotate the fork tubes, you actually have 3 positions available, for 3 different wheelbase options!
    #20