The Big Haul

After getting a motorcycle license back in May 2016 and riding the shit of out my recently aquired 2011 Suzuki TU250X for almost 8 months (and 3.5k miles) i had finally dicided to start a build project. Nothing too serious, just a machine for learning how motorcycles work in general and when the time comes - how to fix them.

Few month later i finally found a good bike for a reasonable price. While searching on craigslist my main goal was to find a running classic 1970s motorcycle (Honda,Yamaha, Kawasaki), under 500cc and under $1000. If you’re in the city (Chicago in my case) that might be problematic.

One day i came across a 1975 Kawasaki KZ400S with 11k miles on it. Decided to check it out and it seemed like a good fit for only $800 (box of new parts included, yay!). Previous owner had lost his garage space and no longer could keep the bike. After about 10 minutes of kicking it (it was cold..), we’ve got a winner!. Took it for a spin around the block. Done deal.

Nothing fancy though. Ripped seat, shitty paint job throughout the whole frame, tank and probably more. On the other hand, almost brand new tires, extra spoked wheel, new Mikuni VM32 carbs, extra clutch, box of parts (new drive chain, cam chain tensioner, cables, sprockets, full engine gasket kit, old carbs, etc etc).

Gasket kit will come in handy: there’s an oil leak from left cylinder head. So my goal was to get this bike cleaned and fixed up for the next season. Even though i still have my other bike, i feel like it would be really cool to get this 40-something year old machine in a decent shape and have it as a commuter bike. No cafe or bobbing this time. No particular plan either!

P.S. Photos of the bike look way better than in person.