Kawasaki Z1000 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, I'm not done with the build yet, but some of you wanted to see what I was up to and suggested I start a thread. Here it is.

First, let me tell you a little bit about myself and what I'm working with.

I'm not a mechanic. I'm not a fabricator, I've never worked in a machine shop, I've only done the simple things to my bikes. Exhaust, PCIII, speedo healer, chain, rear sprocket, levers... you get the idea. I live in Minnesota, so I've got lots of time on my hands to work on the bike when it's cold outside, which is about half the year.

I have limited tools. My workbench is my deep freezer in the garage, or the floor of my basement.

I've never done this, or anything like it before, so it's a learning experience for me and I'm definitely learning as I go.

In other words, I'm just like most of you. Just a guy that loves my bikes and loves making them better, or at least making them my own. I don't have tons of cash, but I have lots of ideas. I don't like riding a bike that looks, sounds, and performs like everything else out there. Your motorcycle is a reflection of you in my opinion. Some people go to great clips and pick a haircut out of a book. They go to the mall and shop at the stores that everyone else shops in. There's nothing wrong with that at all, it's just not my thing. I've got tattoos, and they're visible. I've got a mohawk. My name is Tom, hens the name tomohawk. Get it lol?:D

I'll likely offend some of the purists out there. The Z is an awesome bike, and I like it just fine. But there are some things I would like to change about it, and I intend on doing so.

So here we go. Anyone that wants to comment, please do so. If you have questions, or ideas, you want to call me a name for defiling the beauty that is a first gen Z1000, go ahead. I'll keep this build going for the next month or two, but after that the bike gets ridden till Oct or Nov.

I don't have any pictures of the bike when it was together and stock. It's a black 2003 Z1000. You know what they look like. I put some dagger levers and a titanium muzzy system on it the week I got it.

The guy that had it before me let it sink into the asphalt and tip over on a hot day and got it backed into and dropped on its other side as well. Didn't mess up too much besides the bar ends and the bars put some nice dents in the tank. Here's where I started.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
nothing showed up. and very few z owners leave them stock. most of us like being different from the crowd that's why we bought them. :screwy::screwy::screwy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So yeah, I figured out the picture thing. Anyways, like I said, I've never done anything like this before, so Here's the tank before I took the paint off... and here's the tank after. What you'll need if you want to fix dents in your tank is this:

1 a body hammer, flat end and pointy end
2 bondo
3 aircraft stripper
4 masking tape
5 brass paint removal wheel for your drill
6 180 and some other finer sandpaper

I doused the tank in aircraft stripper and let it do its work. Unfortunately it doesn't get all the paint off, so you need to get the rest of it off with the brass wheel. Before you do any of this, take off the fuel door, empty the tank, and cover the hole so you don't get crap inside.

Since you can't push the dents out from inside a double wall tank, you need to hammer down any of the spots that are higher than they should be with the hammer and use the filler to essentially raise the surface to what it once was. If that makes sense, you're just hammering it in so you can fill it back up.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Once you're done with the hammering, fill the spots with bondo. Put enough on so the entire area is raised a little, then use your hand for the curvy parts and a sanding block for the flatter parts and the 180 grit paper. Remember, you're actually sculpting the lines on the tank, it's not going to be perfect. If you're lucky, none of the body lines got bent, but I wasn't that lucky as you can see. You'll fill and sand a few times before you get it figured out. It took me three phases of filling then sanding till I got to what I felt was a good enough surface. I primered it to check my work, and ended up seeing some spots I needed to redo, so I redid them.

I knew I would be covering the tank in vinyl anyways, so close was good enough. I did end up painting it though just for fun. Just rattle can white and I masked off some stripes for fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
More pics of the primer, stripe and masking. Now, I could clear this and it's done, but I'm covering it in vinyl, so I'm not going that far. If you do end up wanting to paint stripes here's a hint; paint your base color three or so coats, mask off the stripes, and paint one more coat of the base color after you masked it, where the stripes will be. If you don't do this, some of the stripe color will bleed under the tape and you'll have fuzzy edged stripes. Painting one coat of base will seal the microscopic little gaps along the edge of the tape and prevent that seeping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
So I didn't take any pictures of the next three things as I was doing them for two reasons. First, because I only have two hands and some of this stuff required both of them and would've been better if I had a couple extra ones.

I covered the tank in vinyl as well as some of the other parts. You will need a razor blade, some good quality UV protected vinyl, some soapy water or adhesive neutralizer, a felt edged squeegee, a heat gun and tons and tons of patience. Cut the vinyl to the correct sizes and shapes you want, leaving at least a couple inches around the edges to grab onto and remove the backing. Spray the sticky part as well as the part you're covering with adhesive neutralizer or lightly soaped water. Position the vinyl on the part and find the smoothest, flattest part of the piece. Then squeegee the crap out from underneath the vinyl on that part and it should stick there and there only. This is not as easy as you might think and will take lots of time. To do a Z like mine, expect to spend at least 6 hours if not more working with it.

Use the heat gun to heat the vinyl and kind of stretch it when you get to curvy parts. The whole time you need to be pushing the crap out from underneath and sticking the vinyl permanently. I went about an inch square at a time. You can trim the edges, or cut out designs if you want and peel off the excess.

The next two parts you'll see are the undertail and, if you look closely, the starter. The starter was simple. I took a monster energy can, cut it with my dremel and a razor blade to the shape I wanted (the length of the body of the starter), cut out the part where the wires go into the starter itself and folded that part under. Then I just used some silicone sealer/adhesive and stuck it on there. It's that simple.

The undertail was a different story altogether.

I bought a sheet of polished .045 GA diamond plate aluminum, some EZ lock cutting wheels and grinding wheels for the dremel, a file kit, and some hex head screws with washers, nuts and lockwashers. I took the undertail off the bike and made a template of what I wanted to cover with the diamond plate out of posterboard. I then took the template and traced it onto the flat side of the diamond plate, the non-diamond non-shiny side. Cut it out as close as possible with the reinforced dremel cutting blade and get the tricky parts with the grinding wheel. Finish with files to make sure all the edges look nice, are well rounded, and everything lines up nice. You should be able to bend the metal using the edge of a table and around the tail light you can actually just use your thumbs and muscle it to how you want it. I decided to do just the "raised" part of the undertail and surround the light, but you can do whatever you want. It's just easier to do the raised part because the plastic fairing stays, the trunk/seat keyhole, not to mention you'd need to bend it to match the contours of the undertail make it tough to cover the entire bottom. When you're cutting, just remember that if you were able to write on the metal with a marker, that means it;s not going to be part of the part. So what I mean is, use a big fat black marker for your outline and cut till there's little or no black marker left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know some people don't like the can thing, but I actually like the product and it helps that the can is digital urban camo just like the bike is now, so It's cool to me. Next on the list is painting the radiator covers, frame covers and deciding what, if anything I want to do with the side covers. Satin black will be the color, I think I'm going to do the under lip of the cank in satin black too.

Then, as soon as my parts get here from Germany, it's Speigler braided lines with anodized fittings and banjos, a new fairing to replace the stock Z one that has two projectors in it, stacked on top of one another like the Ducati used to ( I always loved that look), an anodized engine bolt kit, new sprocket in back, rear tire, HID conversion, LED lighting and... that might be all.

So, what do you think guys (and girls?)?;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the props on the tank fab. It's not easy, but if people just try it it's not that hard to do either. I'm kind of a perfectionist, and I couldn't get the tank absolutely perfect, so that's why I went with the vinyl. Yeah, the cam won't be to everybody's liking, but when its all done it will fit well with the theme of it all. Plus, I wanted something different, and I'm pretty sure there are not any other digital camo Z1000s on the road so I'll never lose it in a parking lot, as if I ever did before. The undertail is what I'm most proud of. That was hard to do, so I kind of feel like an artist. ;)

I can't wait for my black renthal ultra-lows and my other parts to get here from Germany!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
You did some really nice work. Love the rear tail you did. The bike is unique and you should be proud. Props!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys. It's got a little exhaust leak, so the next two things I'll be doing are the bars and removing the exhaust to replace the gaskets. While I have it off the bike I'm wrapping it with exhaust wrap made from lava rock that I ordered today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nice :thumbsup:

I assume yours is green then?

I found a place that sells the diamond plate in polished, anodized arctic white (more like a dull silver), anodized black, anodized red, and anodized blue. Too bad they don't make an anodized green.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I couldn't wait any longer. It got up to 39 degrees here so I put it back together and went for a ride. Still haven't got my new fairing, brake lines or bolt kit yet, but I just had to get on it today. It's dirty, but here's how it sits as of tonight. Oh yeah, and it's got milky crap on the inside of the oil filler cap. Just had the valves done, but I don't know what the hell that stuff is. It bothers me.
http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z321/tomohawk1/Z1000build67.jpg
http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z321/tomohawk1/Z1000build66.jpg
http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z321/tomohawk1/Z1000build68.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
297 Posts
Good job with your project. you hit it on the head when you said about making it your own. As a matter of fact I am sitting in my shop right now doing the same thing. I never stop working on mine. lol When I get that chance from working on everyone else's. I put up a pic in the show me your pic thread of me sitting in front of my bike lift with the captain on it. http://www.z1000forum.com/forum/z10...000-pictures-lets-see-them-9.html#post1633152 lol.
Nice build thread looking for more on your build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Looking good man.:thumbsup:

I did like the look of mine when the tank was white with the racing stripe but yeah, I'm pretty sure I won't be seeing any z's with the urban digital camo like mine and I definitely won't see any with the diamond plate tail section because, well, I made it myself. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any bikes at all with this kind of graphic.

I put LEDs all over it too, I'll try and post a video.

Can't wait to get my fairing!!!
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top