Sunday, 27 February 2011


That's another week slipped by with no progress on the BMW. Part of the problem is that what I really ought to be doing is pulling the engine apart and sorting that out, but I've got in such a mess that I don't have enough clear bench space to work on it. Not in itself a major problem, except that I still seem to be rushed off my feet with other things that need to be done and can't find the time to tidy up benches..

I needed some sort of plan to get on top of the situation, and getting stuck into last week's Z250 seemed like an idea. Getting it done and dusted would leave me with enough material to deal with several installments of "things that I have to do", enable me to march it on to a new home to make some space in the workshop, and fund some of the parts for the BMW engine rebuild. Rather neatly, the scheme would seem to afford me a little more time to spend tidying benches too.

With that in mind, Johnny and I spent Tuesday rounding up a collection of surplus aluminium wheels and hauled them off to the scrap yard where we exchanged them for coin of the realm. With that done, we then set about the Kawasaki with a will and an assortment of spanners. The operational brief was to remove everything and anything that didn't look like a café racer, and in fairly short order, we'd achieved that goal.

We gave some brief consideration to using the factory tail piece in place of a bum stop, but by the following morning, had gone off of the idea. The original idea of "unbolt some stuff, bolt some stuff on, café racer!" still held a lot of appeal, but researching the cost of the bolt on bits has led me to the conclusion that it is just cheaper for me to make them myself. Wednesday's flurry of activity saw the motorcycle equipped with a pair of clip ons and some head light stays that I'd made. That was somewhere between £60 and £200 I hadn't spent.

On the way in that morning I'd purchased a 2 metre by 1 metre sheet of 18 gauge CR4 steel sheet, and before I buggered off for the day, I cut out and bent a base for the bum stop. The plan being to house the battery in the hump, I offered a battery up and drew out a card template for the profile which wasn't dissimilar to the original effort for the R65.

Because I'm used to working with older motorcycles, it seems that I've missed out on what's current on the battery front. After some poking around and looking at battery prices, it appears that the YTX-9 BS of recent years is actually cheaper to buy than the older sizes I tend to think of, presumably because they make so many more of them these days. While I hadn't thought to check on the price of them, I did have a dead one floating around, so that got pressed into service while I worked on the bum stop.

Close of play on Friday saw the bum stop made, the frame trimmed and thing mounted to the frame. Johnny had been trawling E-bay and managed to track down a right hand GPX 600 rear set assembly complete with master cylinder and caliper for an affordable sum. The obvious drawback of only having one being alleviated by the presence of a left hand GPX 600 rear set in the workshop.

Come Saturday, I set about making a seat base and it's mountings. You might recall that this took quite some time on the BMW, in which case you'll be pleased to know that I avoided the temptation and settled for a piece of 2mm aluminium bent to follow the bum stop, located by a tongue and hook set up at the front and secured by a single bolt on top of the hump at the rear. Not only did I decide to settle for it, I made it all too, including drilling the holes for the rivets to hold the cover on. I gave some thought to making a start on making a front mudguard for it, but decided that could wait until next week.

Hopefully, I should have everything made by the end of next week and then Johnny can set about making it shiny.

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