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Old 01-22-2014, 07:32 PM   #1
wolfbuzz OP
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Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
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Wink 1973 Kawasaki F11 - Would like help and ideas with this poor old bike...

I have in my possession a 1973 Kawasaki F11 that is in good aesthetic shape, it runs, but needs some elbow grease in pretty much every other way.













All of the electrics are useless, the speedo doesn't work, the clutch lever is damn near impossible to pull, and I'm pretty certain everything that can be adjusted, needs to be adjusted.

So, I ask for tips, tricks, and help as problems arise with this project. One Idea I've add is to attempt to convert the bike to a 12v system (it is 6v originally). Is this even possible? If it is, is it worth the effort? Is it possible to put a disc brake on the front wheel? My guess is that it would require a new wheel?

I have the 3rd party manual, so I've got that going for me. As always, all and any help is much appreciated.
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wolfbuzz screwed with this post 01-23-2014 at 08:20 AM
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
MikeGayner
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Cool bike. Why do you want to convert to 12v? Why do you want a disc brake front? That would be way more work than it's worth unless you've got a good reason for it.

Start at the top and work your way down - fix all those little things (the bike runs and looks great, you've only got little things) and enjoy the bike. Don't overthink it.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:12 AM   #3
ihatemybike
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Looks like the big brother to my KE.

My bike is also a 6v system. For me the desire to switch to 12v is based on bulb/lighting/accessory availability. Bulbs are usually special order item and aftermarket lighting and accessories are all designed to work with 12v systems. I'd like to switch my bike to mostly LED lighting.

I'm planning on doing a few longer rides this year and would like the ability to charge a GPS/Tablet and my phone. I don't know of off the shelf solutions that go from 6v to 5v. I'll be talking to an electrical engineer friend and see what ideas he has.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:47 AM   #4
Spikester300
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Are the clutch and speedo cables any good? Take them off and lube them, look for kinks and grease the speedo gear in the hub. You can probably find a set of forks and front wheel assy. off of a fairly new bike like a 125 kids dirt bike or dual sport that has the same diameter fork tubes and just put them on, easy.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:23 AM   #5
wolfbuzz OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeGayner View Post
Cool bike. Why do you want to convert to 12v? Why do you want a disc brake front? That would be way more work than it's worth unless you've got a good reason for it.

Start at the top and work your way down - fix all those little things (the bike runs and looks great, you've only got little things) and enjoy the bike. Don't overthink it.
You're right in the sense I should probably just get the thing running well before I try to tackle anything... bigger. Look below for why I find a 12 volt system worthwhile, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatemybike View Post
Looks like the big brother to my KE.

My bike is also a 6v system. For me the desire to switch to 12v is based on bulb/lighting/accessory availability. Bulbs are usually special order item and aftermarket lighting and accessories are all designed to work with 12v systems. I'd like to switch my bike to mostly LED lighting.

I'm planning on doing a few longer rides this year and would like the ability to charge a GPS/Tablet and my phone. I don't know of off the shelf solutions that go from 6v to 5v. I'll be talking to an electrical engineer friend and see what ideas he has.
This is exactly why a 12v system is desirable. I would like to put LEDs in the guage cluster, LEDs for brake lights, and LED turn signals. PLUS, the headlight is shot in this thing and 6v bulbs have to be ordered special from overseas. If I can convert this F11 to 12 volts my life would be somewhat easier. This is not mention ease of maintenance later down the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikester300 View Post
Are the clutch and speedo cables any good? Take them off and lube them, look for kinks and grease the speedo gear in the hub. You can probably find a set of forks and front wheel assy. off of a fairly new bike like a 125 kids dirt bike or dual sport that has the same diameter fork tubes and just put them on, easy.
The speedo cable is held to the gauge cluster via electrical tape, so I'm somewhat certain I need to outright replace it. As for the clutch cable/assembly; I haven't even taken a look at it yet. I'll let you know what I find.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:06 AM   #6
ihatemybike
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Pretty sure we use the same headlight. Special order, but not from overseas. They are still available aftermarket and from dealers. They are also used by many antique cars, trucks and tractors.

Here's what I found when I had to replace mine.
Headlight 6v 30w/30w - 4020 bulb

Kawasaki 23007-055
Harley 67717-59
Suzuki 35121-29610
Yamaha 498-84120-60
Wagner 33-0120
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:51 AM   #7
tano
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That's one sweet ride !! Good luck


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Old 01-29-2014, 10:35 AM   #8
Mr. Carts
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If it was at my house I would be ripping up and down the fire roads with a big grin.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:40 AM   #9
bogieboy
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I owned a clapped out f11 for a few months... Mine would scare the crap outta me.... Would lift the front end on a 2-3 shift if i powershifted it... Ended up trading it away for a 200cc 4t shortly after...LOL i never got to tear into any of the gremlins on mine such as all the wiring and stuff...
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