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Old 03-20-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
mtothef OP
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kawasaki bighorn streettracker

I picked this little gem up the other day from a guy locally who had built it as a replica of the f81m that he desired way back when. The frame was de-raked and a champion style rear loop added, then powdercoated, work done by James Banke. SR500 wheels and forks, forks are in betor triples, with a newer YZ brake caliper grabbing a rotor that looks like it came from an FZR. The motor is freshly rebuilt to stock spec, with a chamber that "probably" used to be on a Suzuki based 'tracker of some sort. It is plated, and riding it feels like I'm getting away with some sort of crime:



This showed up on the local craigslist, where the legions of tire kickers seeking R6s to turn into stunt bikes for less than $2k probably had no idea what the hell to make of it. Having relatively recently built a hideously expensive SR500 based street tracker, and currently also being in way past my wallet on an RD350 restoration, I was all too well aware of what the owner had put into this bike, and how much below that he was selling it (which is sort of how it goes, isn't it?), so I couldn't let this pass me by. It will, at least for the time being, cure me of my need to bastardize otherwise perfectly decent mid-70s two stroke dual purpose bikes to try and emulate the same thing, and may even steer me away from my financially self destructive desire to own a Bultaco Metralla.

For now, BRAAAAAAAAAAAAP!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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KAW Power!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtothef View Post
I picked this little gem up the other day from a guy locally who had built it as a replica of the f81m that he desired way back when. The frame was de-raked and a champion style rear loop added, then powdercoated, work done by James Banke. SR500 wheels and forks, forks are in betor triples, with a newer YZ brake caliper grabbing a rotor that looks like it came from an FZR. The motor is freshly rebuilt to stock spec, with a chamber that "probably" used to be on a Suzuki based 'tracker of some sort. It is plated, and riding it feels like I'm getting away with some sort of crime:



This showed up on the local craigslist, where the legions of tire kickers seeking R6s to turn into stunt bikes for less than $2k probably had no idea what the hell to make of it. Having relatively recently built a hideously expensive SR500 based street tracker, and currently also being in way past my wallet on an RD350 restoration, I was all too well aware of what the owner had put into this bike, and how much below that he was selling it (which is sort of how it goes, isn't it?), so I couldn't let this pass me by. It will, at least for the time being, cure me of my need to bastardize otherwise perfectly decent mid-70s two stroke dual purpose bikes to try and emulate the same thing, and may even steer me away from my financially self destructive desire to own a Bultaco Metralla.

For now, BRAAAAAAAAAAAAP!
Thats cool!! Green Bikes always look good!!
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mtothef View Post
riding it feels like I'm getting away with some sort of crime:
I feelbad for you that you feel like your committing a crime riding that. TO alleviate the guilt you feel, I think you should sell that bike, preferbly to an old geezer that bought an F81M in 1971 and raced it for a couple of years.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:18 AM   #4
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I think street trackers will be the next "Big Thing"....

That looks like way too much fun!!!!
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sic Semper Tyrannis View Post
I think street trackers will be the next "Big Thing"....

That looks like way too much fun!!!!
I doubt it. I built one back in 1995 and have still seen only a handfull even on the net. I will say they and a supermoto are the most fun thing to ride on the street. Super mot hasn't really taken off like I thought it would either. Doesn't matter, I still will have one as my next bike.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #6
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That's a thing of beauty, hard to believe a guy went to all that trouble then thought "meh, it's outta here."
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sic Semper Tyrannis View Post
I think street trackers will be the next "Big Thing"....

That looks like way too much fun!!!!
That is one sweet 2 smoker. I used to tangle with those old kwakers all the time on my RT1. Those were some good times.

Hell, I built one back in 1981 and still can count on one hand the number I've seen on the street other than my old XR.

Sure wish I would have kept that bike.

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Old 03-22-2013, 07:47 AM   #8
mtothef OP
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Originally Posted by ADK View Post
That's a thing of beauty, hard to believe a guy went to all that trouble then thought "meh, it's outta here."
yeah, but you shoulda seen his triumph!
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtothef View Post
I picked this little gem up the other day from a guy locally who had built it as a replica of the f81m that he desired way back when. The frame was de-raked and a champion style rear loop added, then powdercoated, work done by James Banke. SR500 wheels and forks, forks are in betor triples, with a newer YZ brake caliper grabbing a rotor that looks like it came from an FZR. The motor is freshly rebuilt to stock spec, with a chamber that "probably" used to be on a Suzuki based 'tracker of some sort. It is plated, and riding it feels like I'm getting away with some sort of crime:


This showed up on the local craigslist, where the legions of tire kickers seeking R6s to turn into stunt bikes for less than $2k probably had no idea what the hell to make of it. Having relatively recently built a hideously expensive SR500 based street tracker, and currently also being in way past my wallet on an RD350 restoration, I was all too well aware of what the owner had put into this bike, and how much below that he was selling it (which is sort of how it goes, isn't it?), so I couldn't let this pass me by. It will, at least for the time being, cure me of my need to bastardize otherwise perfectly decent mid-70s two stroke dual purpose bikes to try and emulate the same thing, and may even steer me away from my financially self destructive desire to own a Bultaco Metralla.

For now, BRAAAAAAAAAAAAP!
Coolest bike I've seen in a long time. Congratulations. Fuc^er
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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Awesome!!!

There were a couple of fast experts around when I was a kid riding those.

I didn't realize they were ever injected.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:33 AM   #11
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Awesome!!!

There were a couple of fast experts around when I was a kid riding those.

I didn't realize they were ever injected.
You mean rotary valve? IIRC all Kaw Enduros were rotary valve
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:46 AM   #12
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Oh Yeah,I remember those Bighorns. I rode one once that had the factory kit on it,it ran pretty darn well.

I gave a guy a ride to a TT race one time,it was his first race and he was riding a stripped Bighorn. He smoked the novice class to the point where it was ridiculous,coulda been in the hunt with the amateur/expert class.

Next time he raced was on a fully sponsored Bultaco.

Buying that one you got already settup like that sure saves a lotta work and money.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:36 AM   #13
mtothef OP
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Buying that one you got already settup like that sure saves a lotta work and money.
i wish. i can't leave well enough alone though... took the beast for a good shakedown ride in the twisties on saturday. clutch slips, parts are already on order. the engine was rebuilt to stock, jetting is close to stock, i think previous owner actually leaned out the main a bit. i did a couple plug chops and things looked okay, but there were a couple moments where i heard some detonation rattle. according to los hermanos Klemm, who have to be THE brain trust on these engines, that is kind of par for the course with these bikes and what passes for gas these days.

aaanyway, the expansion chamber hits pretty bad when you try to go around any corner that isn't a left hand corner. and the bike has no discernible hit. grunty, easy to ride, mellow and fun. feels almost like a four stroke. the itchy part of me wants to pull the top end off, send it to Klemm for some porting and squish mods, then cut the rotary valve, then weld up a proper chamber, then get a slightly bigger carb and jet it for angry riding, then shave a bunch of eight off the flywheel. all of which will probably make it a whole lot faster but also less reliable, and will considerably unweight my bank account.

for now, i'll ride it as it is. it's quirky and fun, and not likely to make me try and do anything heroic. and i need a runner for the time being. at least until the RD moneypit gets finished...
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dan-c View Post
You mean rotary valve? IIRC all Kaw Enduros were rotary valve
The oil tank?
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mtothef View Post
shave a bunch of eight off the flywheel. all of which will probably make it a whole lot faster but also less reliable, and will considerably unweight my bank account.

.
The F81m , which of course came with no lights, had a very small internal flywheel, that is, internal to the coils. Yes the bike was a faster and when it came up on the pipe it was explosive. TO the point it was difficult to ride at times. At the same time I also had an F8 enduro. Working on the bikes one day, we pulled to ignitions off and replaced the F81m's rotor/ignition with the larger, heavier F8 ignition. Remember, this was in the days before flywheel weights.

The heavier weight smoothed out the ferocious hit and though the bike may have been a bit slower, I was actually faster on it. Ended up ordering another complete F8 ignition to leave on the F81m. THe other thing it did was provide the needed lighting coils which enabled me to install barely legal lighting, thus enabling me to ride the F81M in some enduros.

As for rotary valves, as I recall, the Bighorn stayed a rotary, but the 250 changed from rotary to piston port in either '72 or '73.
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