GRIM - The '78 KLZ400 Adventure Chopper

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by JB2, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    When I started this build thread I stated there were no other bikes to compare to or glean ideas and information about the bikes beyond just welding on a hardtail. Over the holidays I googled KZ400 Chopper & KZ400 Bobber. Holy macaroni! There must be hundreds of these bikes out there with the VooDoo Vintage hardtails. At any rate, I was satisfied that no one else is approaching their project quite like I am. Notably, the pic you posted appears to be running a single rear brake system from the front brake lever. These bikes never had a rear disc and also note there is no rear brake pedal or front brake. Really anxious to get the critical parts so I continue the fabrication part of this build.
    #61
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  2. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

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    Nothing important to add.

    #62
  3. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Nothing like a little Scott H. Biram to start a Sunday morning at the office with. :thumb Thanks. Long weekend. Update to come.
    #63
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  4. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    I have to mix a minimum amount of the DP90 to get proper activation. Unfortunately enough that it's more than is needed for Roy's fender. I resolved a lot of the mounting issues with the crash bar for GRIM that I would be comfortable doing the prep-work for primer. It will only require sanding where the new lower tabs will be welded once the exact location is determined.

    [​IMG]

    Even though this is an NOS part it is far from perfect... even usable. While the bar looks nasty with the chrome flaking off the metal underneath has only light surface rust. About 45 minutes of scraping removed over 90% of the offending chrome. The other 10% proved to be a little tougher. Note the flat chisel. It is one of my favorites for cutting spot welds but in this application I used the side of the blade instead of the sharpened edge.

    [​IMG]

    Next was to remove the lower tabs with my favorite "go-to" fabrication tool. :D

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    Next with a grinder and a half-round bastard file I removed the last traces of the tab and the weld.

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    I stocked up on tabs and threaded bungs when I first got the bike. Lowbrow Customs has a good selection of fabrication brackets and they are made in the USA!

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    At this point I've removed a lot of the chrome specs and rust with 40 grit on a 5" DA sander. In this image the top mounting has been resolved with the spacing set with a sliver of wood. The bottom is being spaced with a set of bungs for spacing and clamping.

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    The top will be held on with a cross-brace welded between the top of the front down tubes. The bungs will weld to the cross-brace...

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    ... and attach to the bike like this.

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    There are two sets of threaded bungs in this image but only the top ones with the tab bolted in place count. The bung will weld to the frame and the tab will be welded to the bar. The actual location of the upper cross-bar and the lower bungs will be determined when I do the mock-up with the engine in place. The height will be decided by the exhaust headers. That said, it can now be primed after a trip through the sandblaster and will only have to have the primer sanded where the tabs will weld into place.

    In conjunction with the crash bar for GRIM I have been prepping Roy's front fender for paint. It is going to require a little more work that I anticipated. I have taken a lot of pictures but it is still in process. The next installment will catch that project up.

    So I started with '78 Kaw KZ400. It now has a Voodoo Vintage hardtail installed. The footpegs are from a 2017 Yamaha SCR950. The crash bar is from a 1953 Indian Scout. A song comes to mind...



    Stay Tuned!
    #64
  5. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Well, I don't know what the hell happened to January but it's gone!

    I've been busy in the shop both at work and home. Much progress on GRIM and several other projects. My first ongoing project just finished tonight. An 84 year old rider named Bill had me do some "get-ready-to-sell" projects on his 2005 T-Rex. I know, I should have taken pics but out of respect I did not take any... mostly because I hauled tools back and forth to his place and done the repairs in his garage. We live 21 miles apart which made some of the project challenging trying to remember, without knowing, what tools to bring and forget. :fpalm The good thing is he is literally a driveway off my route to and from work so I worked several evenings an hour or two each night. I could get so far then have to stop to get an additional tool, or two, or twenty. :augieThe cool thing is I got to hear many of his tales from years of travel on two wheels. He just sold his vintage Honda V4 touring bike but still drives/rides(?) the T-Rex. However, it is getting hard for him to get in and out of it but he's still pretty much a rattlesnake when the big Kawasaki 1200R engine fires up. :nod He intends to slow down a little and get a Burgman and a real live quarter horse. He wants get back into the 4-legged kind too. :D

    Thanks Bill.

    This song might seem a little deeper than the evenings spent laughing and comparing tales and places from the road... but maybe not.



    I got the new front fender for Roy's trike ready to weld and prime so I'll post pics of that next. GRIM has a ton of small projects done now and I got a notification from Cooper Smithing that me fenders are nearly ready to ship.

    :happay

    Stay Tuned!​
    #65
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  6. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Roy's new front fender, even though it was formed out 16 gauge, didn't have quite enough strength to support its weight especially since he's using spacers to take up the space between the wide fork and narrow fender.

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    One of the first things I noticed was that the radiuses were not alike on either side of the front tip.

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    The rear tip of the fender had radiuses that were kinda squared off.

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    One the front tip I cleaned the best side to...

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    ...make a pattern,

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    then cut it out and reverse it on the other side like this. Now you can see the other side sorta had a "fat lip".

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    So I mark it and trim it then follow the same procedure for the rear tip and finish by softening the edges.

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    Now it is ready to make the reinforcement brackets.

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    I had these old pieces of 1/8" plate steel left over from a jig that I made for the Brutus project. They got a quick trip in the blaster so marking the cut would be legible.

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    Okay, left and right pieces ready to cut and fit.

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    After cutting, sandblasting and back cutting the edge that lays directly against the inside of the fender.

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    I then clamped both brackets together and drilled holes where they will be plug-welded to the inside of the fender.

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    The holes for mounting bolts will be drilled after the brackets are installed. The last thing to do before welding is to apply "weld-thru" primer on the mating surfaces. This is the ONLY chance of getting rust prevention. Even dipping the fender will never saturate the layers. Now it is ready to weld and prime. That will happen this weekend.

    Just had a friend from Franklin, NC recommend this guy. I like this song and I love my truck! :thumb



    Stay Tuned!

    #66
  7. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Good stuff, JB!

    What with the hair in the shot of the fender pattern?
    #67
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  8. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Thanks. Good to see you're still lurking. Haven't seen your thread on the front page for a few weeks now. I was wondering if all was good.

    Ahhh. The hair. Well, I collected and saved WURTH calendars for years. They are prox 20" X 30" and printed on heavy stock. They are great for making patterns using the "white" side. The printed side is graced with young, scantily clad or sans clothing girls from all over the world. Luckily the pattern missed the parts that would have sent me to banned-camp. :lol3
    #68
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  9. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    I have a WURTH rep and they’re no longer issuing calendars :photog
    #69
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  10. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Those were the good old days in the 80's & 90's when it was still okay to view young lasses in all their beauty. :clap PC killed all the good shop calendars. :fpalm
    #70
  11. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    theres still some out there, but its largely frowned upon by the general public these days
    #71
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  12. Ozarkroadrunner

    Ozarkroadrunner Been here awhile

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    My wife worked for a publishing company in the 80s. One of their magazines featured industrial tools. As a result, I have one of the last Rigid Tools calendars which would be not be PD compliant today.
    #72
  13. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Yeah, I used to have groovy stuff from the 60's all the way up to the end of the Snap-On calendars of the same flavor. I wonder how many folks remember "Parts Pups" from NAPA? Spent the summer of '72 in SoCal and had several pamphlet style programs from the Orange County Dragway that were pretty racy. I've seen the Rigid calendar... if I remember they were large like the WURTH calendars.
    #73
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  14. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

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    I have a WURTH calendar from the late '80s - it was a gift from a friend who managed a MC shop. I still have it hanging in the shop. I think. I haven't noticed it in a while. I wonder if it got lost in the move.
    #74
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  15. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    So through it all, the January that went missing, I got some small projects completed on GRIM. Mostly hunting and ordering NOS or reproduction hardware, cables, headlamp ears, rubber isolators, more hardware and more hardware. At the beginning of the project I poured over the parts books and made a long list of things that would/could be replaced with OEM or reproduction parts by part number. With a hit-list compiled I have been snatching up items on Flea-Bay, KZ1 Parts and Dennis Kirk. Some of the parts that have arrived are the handlebars and the last of the hardware for the upper tree and the footpeg sets.

    [​IMG]

    These are Emgo's Motocross Bars. I've used them on other projects and bikes that I ride. The 32" width is just a little too much. I usually trim them down and will have to on this build.


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    I marked the bars at 1-1/8" on both ends for removal.

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    Say hello to my favorite handlebar trimmer. :wave

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    The tubing cutter works great and quickly but it does leaves a fair bit of flash.

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    A little bit of work with a pencil grinder and rat-tail file... Viola!

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    Back on the bike and the trim will work perfectly. Time to dress them up.

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    New clutch lever and hardware, new grips, new bar-ends. :beer Jewelry.

    In the foreground are the footpeg sets. The right is assembled and the left is ready. The other issue I had with the KZ footpeg brackets was the the yoke is slightly wider than the Yamaha pegs. I installed two nylon washers, one on either side, to resolve that issue. The pivot pins, cotter-pins, pegs and brackets are all new or restored and won't have to come apart again. Note the original pivot pin and how it had a groove cut in it from years of never being lubricated. The pegs now snap back quicker and quieter than a Victor Rat Trap!

    [​IMG]

    Back on the bike. VROOOM! VROOM! The gaps on both sides are the spaces for the switch housings which are coming as complete assemblies from Z1 Parts. They are repop's but come highly rated. No sense in pissing around with trying to restore and rewire the originals at the price they want for them.

    So, I had an oddity of "damn it is a small world" today. And, I found out that Dale Walksler has passed after years of fighting cancer. :fpalm

    I've been dealing with one of our suppliers for over 20 years. He and I have become good friends. My daughter and SIL were looking to buy a new truck and couldn't seem to get a good deal. I referred them to the dealership where he works. Cut to the end, they buy the truck and my friend gets the referral $. Fast forward to today... daughter is in the dealership today getting SIL's remote start installed. She hasn't met Bob but wanted to thank him for the recommendation and the deal they got. She had a 2-1/2 hour wait so hung out in the wholesale parts office. During the conversation between two complete strangers they figure out that they were soon to be connected otherwise. She is a Nurse Practitioner in a large cardiac unit. He just survived COVID and had some heart issues following. He has a follow up appointment at the hospital with an NP. That NP is my daughter. Almost makes the hair stand up on your arms, eh? What are the odds? Needless to say it made a papa proud. She done good.

    Then I found out Dale passed after years of fighting cancer. Our last trip to Wheels Through Time was in August of 2019 when we met Dave Barr there. Dale was down for the count then, on hospice. They thought he only had days left. But yet, he made it to today. What a fight he must have waged. The human spirit at its best.

    We have 8" of snow on the ground and haven't had much thaw since it fell Saturday night. It was supposed to warm up today and rain before the next Arctic blast comes in. They had us south of the rain/snow line so there was a glimmer hope some of the snow would disappear. Well shit, they called that wrong. It started snowing like hell about 3:00pm. When I left work at 5:00 the roads were already in bad shape. At 31 degrees with salt on the road it was like crusty mush. Not long into the drive I came upon a large bus that was turned sideways across the road, rear wheels in the ditch and front wheels dangling about two feet above the pavement. I made a U-turn and took the country roads around the accident and reconnected with the highway a few miles southwest. Just as I got back on the main road it started snowing almost to white-out conditions. Everything was already white and now the air was saturated with snow flakes getting blown in all directions. This song was playing and it kinda summed up the last 12 hours. It went beautifully with the snow and the events of the day in a melancholy way. Ride In Peace Dale.



    Stay Tuned!

    #75
  16. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer Supporter

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    Not expecting those bars, intrigued :lurk A little melancholy here tonight too, light at the end of the tunnel, just some fucker put a bend in it.

    #76
  17. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Hey @Wildebeest90210 I got hooked on Sean Rowe last year. Great voice and melodies.

    I don't think anyone will expect what GRIM turns out to be. The bike started talking to me when I first started mocking it up. Even more so when I found the fenders. Think phantom. Something that "could" have been built in the late 40's/early 50's but never was.

    Bends in the tunnel. I've bend there. :D
    #77
  18. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

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    My wife is a hospice nurse. We were just discussing a patient that the "system" wanted to kick off the service due to time. Your mention of Dale's journey was an interesting link to that situation. That "last mile" of our journey is unique to each of us. Days? Weeks? Months? It matters little, except to those that are close to the person taking that journey.

    Props to your daughter.

    Oh, and her patient got re-upped in the "system". Sometimes things go the way they should.
    #78
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  19. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    The human spirit is unique. Rage!

    Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night!

    :thumb
    #79
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  20. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    I'm still around! Crazy busy January teaching a complete semester-long course in three weeks. Good class of kids, but that is a LOT of time in front of them in order to get it all in.

    Just got my hands on my brother's scroll saw. Needs a bit of rehabbing, but it should make cutting out the neck for your cigar box guitar and adding the frets much more accurate.

    Like you explanation of the hair. Thought maybe you had gone all Fabio during the quarantine. :lol3
    #80
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