Okay, for those of you who lurked and participated here a few years back you might wonder WTF a guy with two unfinished project threads is starting a third one. As with any build it ain't just putting a bike together. None of us really know why we do this craft other than we love it. And, why would a guy that has ridden everything from sport-bikes, dual-sports and cruisers want with a damned chopper? I agree. Well it started very young. My first motorcycle was a homebuilt chopper mini-bike created by my father. My fascination with choppers steered him into building a bike he wouldn't ride either but he knew that's what was in my heart. My first chopper - Christmas 1969. Built by JB1. So all these years have passed and not one other motorized chopper ever graced my shop unless someone else owned it. My goal had always been to have my own shop and build my own bikes. As retirement looms I have been purchasing ratted out vintage Japanese bikes like it was toilet-paper during the COVID shortage. I've saved and spent all the coin I've earned in the shop to purchase better and more tooling. I just assembled this frame jig from Chop Source. Here it is in the beginning stages of assembly. Remember your first Erector Set? Take note of the Amen Savior frame in the background. Not mine but the bike will be built here. More later. Anyways, a good friend and fellow inmate made me a deal that I could not refuse on this little KZ400. I have a soft spot for vintage Japanese bikes. I know, I already told you that. A little research I found that Voodoo Vintage makes a hardtail section for this bike. It looked like an easy build and a great first project too assemble in the jig. Bill, better known as @reepicheep here on ADV, and I have some riding and picking history. He and his son Jack and I cleaned out the old Carter's Motors in Fairmount, IN., home of James Dean. Carter's was an Indian dealership and Dean bought several of his bikes here. He was best friends with Marvin Carter. Bill and his son were one of the first signatures on my garage walls. The name GRIM for the bike came from this awesome sticker on the original tail section. I couldn't think of a name but loved the sticker. So it stuck. GRIM it is. It will be a tight, old-school bar-hopper with dirt tires and a luggage rack. Of course it will be solo. A good friend, Josh who owns the Amen frame, offered to help out with my project if I helped with his. Seemed like a good trade. Josh is a certified welder and has worked for the likes of Caterpillar and Jesse Luggage. He's built some very cool choppers along the way. There's probably less than five people I would trust to work on anything I own. Josh is one of them. Hello Josh! So, I was in the basement straightening out a coffin tank to go on his chopper. I came back up a couple hours later to see how he was doing and he was done with the teardown. He don't eff around. The next thing to do was to separate the front section from the rear to fit the new hardtail. Here it is marked out. Surgery complete. Well, the patient's old parts have been removed. Transplant ahead. There was a certain amount of fitting required even though the hardtail was made specifically for this bike. The stubs on the lower would need shortened and you have to make a sleeve for the backbone along with the normal cleaning and de-burring. This is the amount that had to be removed off the plug/sleeve. Better starting with too much than not enough. Here it is assembled on the floor. I am surprised how well everything fit together. Kudos to Voodoo Vintage. The next day Josh and I moved and leveled the jig then setup the KZ in the fixture. It was a learning process for both of us. His frame is next but will require a lot more fabrication. Just wait. And here is why a jig is the best way to build a frame. Straight down the centerline. No guessing, no handling issues related to a squirrely, out-of-line frame. At this point in the set-up everything is ready to measure with a tram gauge and tighten everything down, then weld! Josh mostly worked on his frame today. He has an imagination from 1970 even though he's young enough to be my son. Note that the neck and down tubes have been cut. The rake on the Amen frame was not big enough to accommodate the 5 foot rigid front fork he purchased for his build. We are going to "goose-neck" the frame. One thing for sure this bike will not turn but should handle great in a straight line. Got Rake? I hope to finish jigging up my frame and getting the welding done this week. Josh is dead-set to get his bike in the jig next weekend. However he has tubing to bend and tubing to cut. So I don't work in the shop without music. It is my other passion. I kept hearing this song today in the rotation and seems to fit as I begin my journey on this retirement job. It's good to be back in the shop working on my own projects. Stay tuned.