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Old 05-05-2013, 08:30 AM   #1
freetors OP
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Location: Collinsville, OK
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Restoring/ customizing a Kawasaki KD80

This story starts a few months ago when a coworker of my dad's says he has an old bike sitting in his barn that he wants to get rid of. The bike was a very rough Kawasaki KD80, 1980 model. The price, free! The bike was pretty complete but hadn't run in a very long time. It was also very, very ugly. According to the guy we got it from, one of the previous owners was in prison for murder









The condition, as you can see the bike is pretty complete but pretty repulsive looking. The inside of the gas tank was just furry with rust. My dad, who used to be a master service tech at a kawasaki, yamaha, and suzuki dealership in california back in the 70s and 80s, said it was the worst and rustiest tank he had ever seen. The seat was garbage. Tires were junk.

The first thing to do would be to get it running to know if it worth saving.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:14 AM   #2
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The KD80 was kawasaki's smallest and cheapest kids model.

The first thing we did to try and run it was getting the piston unseized. Take the spark plug out and spray some pb blaster down in the cylinder. Wait a little while. Wiggle the kicker and success! It's no longer seized. Now to check for spark. No spark. Mess around with the points for a while. Thank goodness my dad just happens to have the right flywheel puller, just laying around. Success, we have spark. Now the carburetor, well that's a different story.



The carb was completely varnished up. My dad said it was also one of the worst he's seen.



After a couple very thorough cleaning sessions all of the jets and passages were clear and free. The carb should be good to go now. While the carb was off, we cleaned up the inside of the side cases.



The next issue was getting fuel to the carb. Since the tank was rusted up I wasn't about to waste gas in it. Also the petcock was severely gummed up. So I just rinsed out the oil tank and put a little premix in it and ran a line straight to the carb. After some kicking and fiddling with the idle speed it came to life

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #3
JagLite
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Thumb KD Savior

Excellent start!
I love to read about machines sitting for years that are brought back to life.
I'm looking forward to more of the story.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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We knew that the bike now ran, stopped, and goed, so we started taking everything apart and fixing it all up. The most pressing issue was unrusting the tank. For this I decided to try out a new product, Evaporust. After an initial cleaning with soapy water and a bunch of old hardware to get out loose dirt and oils, we poured in a gallon of the stuff and let it sit. The tank was turned about once a day to get the stuff everywhere. After a week or two of this, the inside looked brand new

One minor thing that needed fixing was the bent top triple clamp. I think somebody had jumped this thing before.



My dad took the exhaust apart and cleaned it all up.



This pic shows the old home made filter that a PO made. It was garbage. The foam was thin, dry, and crumbling. We used the core out of it made and made a new one. Someday we might just buy a new aftermarket one if we can. The original is unavailable, as are many other parts for it.

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #5
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After all the stuff was taken off the from I started the long process of making it look prettier. This is me doing some bodywork on the frame.



Hmm... what color should we paint this guy? Well i did say we were customizing it



I think duplicolor metallic red engine paint will look great!. I got the idea from a MotoGuzzi at a dealership around here. The plan is to paint the tank and plastics some shade of white.

In the paintbooth:



Out in the sun:



I think it looks great and I'm totally pleased. I just hope it hold up decently well. It'll probably be too nice to ever ride in the dirt though
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:12 AM   #6
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The old shocks were pretty dead and ugly and that just won't fly with me. I also wanted shocks that were longer so I could stop more comfortably. We bought a set of good looking chinese shocks on ebay for about $110. I think they are 13.5" eye to eye, about an inch longer than stock. People using these on other bikes have said they are actually pretty decent but stiffly sprung. They are apparently a copy of a much more expensive shock company's product and as such can be taken apart to be serviced/modified. Just as long as you don't need replacement parts Anyways, I think they should be adequate.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
freetors OP
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Now for the tedious task of cleaning up the wheels. They were in a very sorry condition.



Back to the evaporust bath:



The front spokes cleaned up pretty well. The rears however, required extra attention so we ended up just painting the rears.



painting the rears:



The hubs were equally nasty:





Cleaned up, bead blasted, and then polished:





And then put them all back together, which I'll have pics of later.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:10 PM   #8
DirtHopper
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I envy you for having that much time available to play in the garage
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:23 AM   #9
freetors OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtHopper View Post
I envy you for having that much time available to play in the garage
Hehe yes time is really helpful. It also helps to have two people working on it simultaneously. We have only had the bike for about seven or eight weeks now.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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The seat pan after the foam and cover were taken off was in pretty terrible condition. The sides had cracks or bends in a few places. They got welded up and straightened. The foam and cover are junk. We will most likely have to carve up a new hunk of foam and sew up a seat cover.





The throttle housing was taken all apart and cleaned/ painted. The switch was broke so we put in a different switch. I would like to get a different housing w/o kill switch but haven't found any that would accept that cable yet.







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Old 05-06-2013, 11:27 AM   #11
freetors OP
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Here are the wheels all reassembled. Boy, tires are pretty hard to find for a 16" front and 14" rear. The front is a Cheng Shin C755, rear is a shinko 244.



Them's the brakes:





The shifter we got with the bike was not original, I'm sure. For one it was way to long and I had to move my foot almost off the peg to reach it. Both my WR250R and my dad's KLR have the center of the shifter peg 6" away from the center of the footpeg, this shifter was 7.5". So we cut out 1.5" and welded it back on. We also bent a joggle in to get it closer to the engine, but not too close. It'll be painted at some point. The shorter length make the shifter feel really lovely, nice and positive.



The engine cleaned up. The cylinder was repainted silver instead of the previous black/rust.



The forks taken all apart, cleaned, and polished. New fork oil and dust seals. The legs had some pitting in the chrome so we had to sand them down a little bit and will cover them up with fork gaiters from my dad's R100/7



It's starting to look like a bike again



The stock handlebars and clamps from my WR250R:



Homemade swingarm protector made from Kydex. The bike doesn't have any protection from the factory. Musn't mar that paint ehh

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Old 05-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #12
freetors OP
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Started doing the body work, getting it ready for paint. Found out that the tank is full of dents, some of them had at least 1/4" of bondon on them. Ughh
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:21 PM   #13
bobfab
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Wow! You're nearly done!!

I am jealous as it has been many years since i have done a father/son with my old man. Those memories last a lifetime!
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:55 PM   #14
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Laugh Like new!

Looks fantastic!
A real gem it is turning out to be.
How about a tutorial on how you made your Kydex chain guard?
It looks like OEM, wait, it looks better than any OEM chain guard.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:52 PM   #15
freetors OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfab View Post
Wow! You're nearly done!!

I am jealous as it has been many years since i have done a father/son with my old man. Those memories last a lifetime!
Yep, all we really have left is to fix up that seat, which neither of us are looking forward to, and to repaint the bodywork, which we're also dreading. As I'm sure is pretty obvious now, most of this is being written retroactively and it's just now starting to catch up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JagLite View Post
Looks fantastic!
A real gem it is turning out to be.
How about a tutorial on how you made your Kydex chain guard?
It looks like OEM, wait, it looks better than any OEM chain guard.
Thanks! It's basically just find suitable mounting points, make a paper template, cut it out in kydex, and use a heat gun to bend it into the desired shape. I hope it lasts a decently long time. With our bigger gearing and longer shocks it should only touch on full droop. The gearing is 15/42, stock is 13/39. I just installed the chain and sprocket and rear wheel the other day but don't have any pics of that. The unloaded ground clearance should be in the neighborhood of 7-8 inches or so.

We are also going to be making a fork brace that mounts between the triple clamps to keep the forks from twisting. The stock clamps don't support fork legs very well and the legs twist pretty easily.

Here is the tank with most of the paint and bondo removed. Whoever repainted this tank must have been a bondo wiz because you would never guess that the tank was dented at all. As I said there were1/4" deep sections of filler in places


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