Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

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waigy
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Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by waigy » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:58 pm

I'm restoring my customised 1985 Kawasaki KX500 street bike after it being in storage for 23 years.

This will be a very long video series probably lasting a lot of months.
I'm not sure whether to put this in the builds or youtube section as it will be a video only project.

This is the playlist which will be updated as I add more videos.
It's currently up to video part 4 but I'm almost finished part 7.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... qjXnjGn3TS
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waigy
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by waigy » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:16 pm

This is what I've done since dismantling the bike in January.

The frame, rear spring and side stand have been powder coated, but I polished, cleaned or painted the rest myself in my kitchen.

I've just started editing video number 12.

Polishing the front brake caliper that is in two halves, polishing the swingarm, polishing the wheels, and painting whitewalls on the tyres have their own 30 minute or longer videos as they were masses of work.

I've started dismantling the engine which needs a piston ring, but because it's a vintage bike now, I can't find one in the UK so I've ordered one from USA.

The engine will have to stay dismantled for about a month till that comes, then I can rebuild and paint it.

Still to do:

I've to decide on colours/graphics and paint the petrol tank, side panels and fairing, but I'm probably going to ditch the old fairing and do something different maybe with stainless steel.

The exhaust needs dents filled then painted, the seat will need re-covered, the electrics are a mess so need done again from scratch.

I can start building up everything in the image onto the frame so it will start to look more complete soon.
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Sandblaster
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by Sandblaster » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:44 am

Excellent
Post the vids on Youtube but link them here...
I can't wit to see how this one turns out... 8-)
Do you have any special plans for the engine or are you going to leave it stock?
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

waigy
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Location: Fife, Scotland
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by waigy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:08 am

Thanks Sandblaster.

I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible so the engine will be getting a replacement (original size) piston ring and no more.
This is the first time I've taken the barrel off since buying the bike in 1990 so (as far as I know) it still has the original piston and barrel which both measured exactly on the service limit at 85.8mm and 86.1mm.
I've only ever used it as a road bike so it doesn't need to be highly tuned like a race bike (though it would be nice to be able to afford tuning or upgrades).

The clutch plates were all stuck together but, instead of replacing the clutch (like people with plenty of money would do), I polished the small parts of clutch friction material off each metal plate so it should still work fine.

There will be a lot of videos so I think the youtube playlist link should be ok in a forum.
This is the playlist link which will automatically update when I upload new videos.
I just uploaded part 10, but I will upload part 11 later today (not that it makes any difference as they are getting zero views).
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... qjXnjGn3TS

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Sandblaster
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by Sandblaster » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:21 pm

Awesome!
I saw the play list last night but did not have time to start watching.
I'll be at the dyno tonight but likely I'll get through them this weekend.
I think your viewership is about to increase 8-)
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

waigy
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:28 am
Location: Fife, Scotland
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by waigy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:55 pm

What have you done sandblaster, I've suddenly got a huge increase in video views :)

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Sandblaster
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by Sandblaster » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:11 am

I posted in a few facebook groups... Perhaps about 16 of them :-)
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

waigy
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by waigy » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:55 am

Thanks for that sandblaster, I've got a lot more views than normal.
I don't use facebook myself, though I know it would be good for promoting youtube videos.
My number of subscribers has just sky rocketed by a massive 33.3% going from 3 all the way up to 4.

I'm just calling it a day after another 2 hour video editing session and about 8 hours earlier starting to build the bike up.
I've got most of the rear end on and will start on the front end tomorrow.
Cheers

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Sandblaster
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by Sandblaster » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:03 pm

Here is comment from Alan Chetwynd:
I can remember reading the reviews and tests of this bike in a lot of different magazines, caught a lot of attention, a lot of work and customisation went into it 😁 this was in the days when there were next to no over the counter supermoto bikes available, that sport was very much in its infancy, so you had to usually build your own 😏 and there were plenty of open class Motocross and enduro bikes to choose from, both 2 and four stroke as riders were switching over to smaller capacity bikes for competition. I still have a few of those magazines around somewhere 🤔
Also, the Scottish police and courts have been a bit notorious for coming down harshly on motorcyclists 😣😕😔
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

waigy
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:28 am
Location: Fife, Scotland
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Re: Customised 1985 KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? restoration

Post by waigy » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:17 pm

That's great thanks.

All of the magazine articles from the 90s are on my website.
http://www.craighood.com/kxfeatures.html

At the time of building it, I hadn't seen any motocrosser with alloy wheels.
I'm not saying I was the first to do it, but I didn't have the internet in 1993 and didn't buy motorbike magazines.
I just thought it might look good with alloys.
A quote from my website kxinfo page:

"At the scottish motorcycle show I mentioned to a company that sold alloy wheels that I was thinking about putting alloy wheels on a motocrosser, the guy instantly said that it was impossible and definitely couldn't be done.
But I then walked to another alloy wheel stall opposite him and said the same thing, and the guy at this stall said "That's a great idea!".
I spoke to quite a few people with a "you can't do that" attitude whilst building this bike. That just made me want to do it more".

I also found out why motocrossers don't have alloys after giving it full throttle on the dirt road that goes around the outside of Knockhill racing circuit.
I hit a large hole in the road and put a very big dent in the wheel which I had to take to be straightened.

Proper supermoto bikes have spoked wheels.

I also set out to turn it into a customised road bike, so a supermoto replica was not my intention though a supermoto is the most similar style of bike to mine.
I've added lots of weight to the bike with the triple metal skinned exhaust which weighs a ton but is intended for quietness and all of the extra stainless parts replacing the much lighter plastic.

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