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Kawasaki KX 500 Adventure Bike

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by rednkarch, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    New to the site, but not bikes. This recent creation stemmed from riding a KX500 desert race bike in the mountains and deserts of west Idaho. That bike was so easy to ride fast I couldn't help but switch from my trusty WR450. So... long story short I sold the yami' and bought an OK, but poorly put together KX 500. Now realize this build would not be possible w/o my best friend who's been a part of KX guru's who have been building "front cover" bikes for racer-x, motocross action and the like. He knows the intricate issues with these bikes and how to make them work, I just did the complete tear down and reassembly while he guided me on smart parts/upgrades and sourced the custom parts. I'll tell the rest of the story in pictures as i get time to upload. Enjoy.
    #1
  2. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    110.jpg the bike right after I brought it home

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    #2
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  3. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    #3
  4. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    060.jpg
    Ater a weekends worth of work we're down to a box of parts
    #4
  5. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    063.jpg Inspection time - needless to say it looked OK when purchased, but old bikes always tend to have a few "secrets" to pry out of 'em
    #5
  6. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    065.jpg more broken parts - thankfully I had a plan and the factory brakes and wheels weren't a part of it :)

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  7. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    090.jpg Just a random picture of a 1,000 I took during the tear down. One piece of advice - when you are re-building old bikes you can't take enough pictures during disassembly. Besides this I had a bunch of plastic containers with lids that I used to mark and store parts for cleaning/reuse if needed (though I did end up replacing almost everything the containers were great for keeping it all together).
    #7
  8. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    057.jpg
    Part of the disassembly period was to mark, clean and re-sell some of the parts I didn't need like the forks, wheels, and such. This build was done as economically as I could, but doesn't mean it was cheap - all the "savings" went into putting in the best parts to increase performance and longevity.
    #8
  9. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    #9
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  10. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    20180707_083721.jpg
    Parts start to come in and reassembly of minor elements while I waited on engine/suspension

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    #10
  11. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    20180727_220722.jpg
    #11
  12. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    20180727_220340.jpg The bigger re-assembly. I'm starting to get excited as it's sort of looking like a bike again!
    #12
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  13. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    20180711_053308.jpg FYI - there's always a little install, test, remove when your building a bike. I had to pre-fit the 2008 KLX 450 forks in the partly stock triple clamps and had to install/remove the swing arm a couple times to get it all to work right.
    #13
  14. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    20180707_083601.jpg more tear down and re-building. On a side note I wanted to have a rear rack (which didn't exist), because of this I was concerned with braking the factory motocross sub frame so thanks again to my buddy who sourced a great guy out of Europe who made a few replacements out of much stronger aluminum and better welds.
    #14
  15. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    20180727_220824.jpg one of the many mods was to fit modern Kawasaki KX 450f brakes. This required cutting off the old post that's welded to the frame, then drilling and tapping a new hole for the KX450 brake lever. Just one of a myriad of little things that made this a complete "package" when it was all done.
    #15
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  16. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    1495294983101_0358680065_2c3e9e66.jpg Again - more parts to repair. My buddy completely re-built the old oil drain plug by machining out the old threads and welding in and threading in a new one.
    #16
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  17. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    1495297938894_0980151423_2c3e9e66.jpg One other "small" change was to mill off the face of the side case and weld on a ring that allows using a KX450 outer clutch cover - no more having to strip down the side of the engine to check/change clutch plates :)
    #17
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  18. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    1532381851071_0431219251_2c3e9e66.jpg another item was to modify the highway dirt bike hand guards to work with flex bars (less vibes in these bars).
    #18
  19. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    1535574907564_0240903426_2c3e9e66.jpg one other fun part was that my buddy Alex worked with TMR (Tom Morgan)racing to cut the head and install a chain saw decompression mechanism - no more hard kicks (not that i needed it, but just in case)
    #19
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  20. rednkarch

    rednkarch Adventurer

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    20180727_220802.jpg Well by now most of the parts are here in one form or another. With winter in full swing and all new clean parts I was able to pull some shenanigans and build this inside the house w/o getting killed by the wife.
    #20
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