GRIM - The '78 KLZ400 Adventure Chopper

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

  1. Ozarkroadrunner

    Ozarkroadrunner Been here awhile

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    Georgia and Arkansas
    I've never met Trevor but I know his story. Thanks for being part of his support team.
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  2. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Ozark - Yeah, I've never met Trevor either. I have a deeply personal connection to his plight after my dad was killed by a kid on the run from the law. Hard not to support the effort.

    I would like to meet Trevor one day but it seems an impossibility for the near future. Maybe one day he'll be back on the road in his sidecar rig? :thumb
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  3. Bhuff

    Bhuff Adventurer

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Greens Fork In
    So happy Janus is making a 450!
    Sounds like we may need to make another trip to their shop.

    Loved the 250 but felt under powered.
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  4. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Hopefully this COVID crap is waning and they will have Discovery Days again soon. I would really like to see one in person.
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  5. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Much progress this past week or so on many projects. My biggest issue at the moment is space. I play a game of musical spaces constantly. I had GRIM in the basement for mockup and was also doing finish work on several pieces of sheet metal and various brackets. But now I need to prime and paint so GRIM had to go back on the frame jig in the garage and the basement nook is now a paint booth.

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    Not much room but it works.

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    On Friday evening, just before I tore down GRIM and moved the frame back to the jig, I had a box waiting for me from Dennis Kirk. The tires & tubes finally came in and I checked tracking on the fenders, they would be in Monday. :thumb

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    They are Shinkos but were about the only option for a matched set in the correct sizes and dual-sport. The tread pattern looks better in person than in the photos... almost like the original Bridgestones on the KLR. Me likey. GRIM likey!

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    I shot 2 kinds of primer this weekend. One is a gray urethane primer for doing finish work. The other is DP90 which is a black epoxy primer. I use it for parts that do not need blocked & re-primed, will have single-stage gloss black as a finish coat or for the underside of fenders for the superior protection. This is Josh's fender ready for primer work.

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    This is Roy's fender after priming. Once again the benefit of working on several projects is sometimes a piece isn't big enough to justify mixing material because of waste so painting several items with the same material at one time saves $. In the case of Roy's fender it gets gray on the outside and black epoxy on the underside.

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    With gray urethane primer on both fenders it was time to set up all the parts for the epoxy primer. The only piece in the bunch that had not been prepped was the throttle sleeve for GRIM. Here it is taped up and ready for a trip through the blaster. The only part of the sleeve that will get blasted and primed is where the grip goes.

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    The headlamp ears are for GRIM and the brake anchor arm is for Brutus. The ears have some slight wrench marks and the groove around the stamped in ridge on the anchor really annoys me. In this pic I have taped off the grooves for "finger-filling" with Al-Metal and the area I want protected on the ears. These parts will get back epoxy. The seat-pan and bracket are for Brutus, so four projects get attention this weekend.

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    I also had to flip Roy's fender over and set it up for DP90 on the underside. Here it is ready to shoot.

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    In between priming and dry times I got GRIM back in the jig and locked down.

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    The underside under epoxy...

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    ... and the rest of the parts epoxied and ready for gloss black finish. The ears and the sleeve are for GRIM and the seat-pan, hinge and brake anchor are for Brutus.

    I received notification from UPS that the fenders were delivered around 11:30 am today and you can only imagine the next six hours drug on like a year. I couldn't wait to get out of the shop and back in my own.

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    :lurk:happay:lurk

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    Okay every good thing you ever heard about Cooper Smithing Co. is absolutely true. I must have stared at them for 20 minutes before I actually started holding them up to the light and inspecting their perfection. Wow, just wow! I can't tell you how many Chinese fenders and tanks over the last 50 years that I have had to spend hours of shaping, welding, straightening and fixing just to make ready for paint. There is literally nothing to do with these except to clean and drill for mounting... which almost seems a sin, but they gotta be drilled. You could literally send these out for chrome, they are that straight. They aren't stamped, they are handmade in the USA. Well worth the money and wait. :nod

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    Beyond the quality and the oily glove prints Joe left behind on the underside; one of the coolest things is they are stamped with his logo. My task now is to minimize the amount of primer and paint so they do not get buried in the finish.

    The next couple of weeks will be occupied with painting all the parts I have ready. As much as I would like to weld the brake parts on GRIM and get him back on a table to mockup with the fenders, that will have to wait. :fpalm With so many things to do I pretty much have offed the boob-tube and go straight for adventurers on YouTube. I can live vicariously through their adventures for short periods of time whilst working away on all these bike projects. Spring is here and soon I will be making time to ride for myself but, in the meantime, finding people like Scooter Tramp Scotty balances things out. I'm too invested in retiring to building bikes to live the drifter life but it is very appealing.



    Stay Tuned!


  6. jim a

    jim a Adventurer

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    17
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    Puyallup, Wa
    Very nice as always Jimmy!
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  7. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Not a lot of progress in the shop, at least in terms of photographic successes, but a lot of work nonetheless.

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    I started out the week by blocking and re-priming Roy's fender. Here it is blocked after the second round of primer and ready for paint.

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    Next, I shot a coat of dark gray sealer, three coats of House Of Kolor Orion Silver followed by a couple coats of mid-coat clear. It now has to dry a couple of days then it will get sanded and setup for a ghost version of the flaming 8-balls on his Tour-Pack.

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    While Roy's fender is on hold a few days I got Josh's tank ready and primed the first time. I neglected to get any photos of the mud work on the tank. It is an original, straight from the seventies, coffin tank. The top part is like a piece of oramgomi with much of it formed on a brake. However, several of the contour edges are actually welded seams. The end result is the welded edges are sharper than the slightly rounded shape of the formed edges. I took a little off the welded edges to barely round them, then added filler to round edges to "sharpen" them. If you've ever finished one of theses tanks you know how much work it takes. I'd rather do a round tank any day.

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    I then put the last coats of primer on his rear fender. It is ready for paint now.

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    Also arriving in the last week were the new switch-housings for GRIM from Z1-Parts.

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    Here's the handlebar assembly getting close to being 100% finished. Of note these assemblies are made in Japan and are an exact replica of the factory pieces. Very nice. They are for an early KZ900 so they have an extra on/off switch for the lights on the right housing. What I found when comparing them to the originals was the original units on the 400 deleted this switch by inserting a plug the covers the slot for the un-needed toggle. By having an original set I have the plug and the correct connector for the wiring harness. Easy fix. The left switch housing is correct in every way.

    So Josh came over today to do some finish grinding/sanding on the frame. He is taking it and the engine to his exhaust guy so the pipes can be made. He's going to run a 4-into-4 setup with fishtails. Oh, and they're going to run the length of the frame and all the way to the top of the sissybar. Remember, "It's all about the look!"

    While I was block-sanding his tank again he was working on the table and we got into some music tied to art conversations that started with the Jason Isbell CD I had been listening to. Basically, I know Wes Freed who is the cover artist for Drive-By-Truckers and lucky enough to own several original paintings by him. Josh knows one of the cover artists for Widespread Panic and owns several of his original paintings. I met DBT at the first concert I seen them when they opened for Widespread Panic. Small world, eh? Always dots to connect if you know where to look.

    So whilst we were working away I dropped DBT's The Dirty South in CD the player and cranked it up. When it came to this track I remembered @Bhuff and I had been to the John Henry Memorial in West Virginia during our Two Weekends In West-By-God Virginia ride circa 2007. John Henry was a steel driving man and we had been admiring Joe Cooper's work on the fenders he made for GRIM. It may be a long segue into the choice of music but it fits.

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    Stay Tuned!
  8. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Long timer

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    Everywhere


    Who killed John Henry?


    As always, keep the updates coming!
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  9. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Much going on this week and weekend. First on the list is Roy's fender.

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    The only part of the flaming 8-ball that will be solid black is the 8-ball. A quick setup and it is ready for black.

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    First coat of black...

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    ... and after the final coat it is untaped.

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    After drying overnight and a quick sanding with 1000 grit to remove the tape edge it is ready for laying out flames. There will be multiple layers of flames but unlike the Tour-Pack it will all be buried in Candy Cobalt Blue. This is the first layer which will actually be the top layer. Once the shadowing is done it will get untaped and set up again for the background flames.

    I'm used to doing flames, even ghost flames, completely different than I am doing here. However, to keep it in line with the previous work I am copying the technique of the original painter. The Tour Pack and trunk lid are a combination of ghost flames and flames laid on top of the candy blue. All of the other artwork on the trike is 100% ghost so the fender will follow suite per Roy's request.

    I was shut down in the shop today since it was Easter and the Granddaughters with parents were coming up to celebrate. We are keeping the girls for a few days with their Spring Break happening next week. I got the yard mowed for the first time along with picking up all the rubbish and leaves that collected in flower beds and around the foundation over the winter. I also got Josh's gas tank ready for paint so his parts are on hold until the exhaust system is finished. Once I get Roy's fender done then I am back on GRIM like a duck on a June-bug. I also picked up a couple, actually three, bikes over the winter. One sold as soon as the title work came back from the BMV. The other two are "fixer-uppers".

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    This 2006 Honda CBR600RR is one of those bikes. I got it for a song with clear title. The previous owner had laid it down in a wet field which pretty much stripped it of bodywork but it has no road rash. I've always wanted one of these and parts a readily available. I picked up a complete set of bodywork, windshield and hardware kit for a mere $325.00. It does need maintenance items and the new bodywork will need to be painted but I think I can get this finished and ready to sell or ride for about $1K. We'll see.

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    The scraps.

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    The new bodywork and windshield awaiting TLC.

    You never know what you'll find in the shop's CD player. My range of likes is pretty wide and this CD by James Hunter was echoing off the wall this week. It seems to fit with the garage completely filled with bikes. It's funny when I have the garage door open how many people stop or slow down to see what the hell is going on. Lots of rubber-necking and I'm sure talking too. Enjoy.



    Stay Tuned!




    Helibee and Fast Idle like this.
  10. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Aug 4, 2006
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    Location:
    Avon, IN If we never go, we will never know
    Has a Sam Cooke vibe going on.
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