Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

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Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by waigy » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:14 pm

I'm restoring my customised 1985 Kawasaki KX500 street bike after it being in storage for 23 years.
This is part 1 of what will be a very long series probably lasting quite a few months.

I've almost finished parts 2 and 3 which cover polishing the front caliper and swingarm.

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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by dern » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:55 am

Will be following this with interest. Assuming it's still there, mine lives at the bottom of the garden and needs a pretty heavy restoration.

Found it, one careful owner...
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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by waigy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:50 am

Thanks Dern. Yes it's still there, I'm working on it every day.
It will be a long series of videos.
I've almost finished parts 2 and 3, but part 2 is only polishing the front caliper and part 3 is only polishing the swingarm and they are both over 30 mins so far.
That's mostly footage at 20x speed.

Is yours a KX500 too?
What year?

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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by dern » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:54 am

Sorry, I meant if mine is still there. Looks like there's a tree growing through it.

Mine is an 86 that's been road registered at some point. I bought it on ebay for 500 many years ago. Before riding it I noticed there was an oil leak from the bottom and found a hole that had been fixed with epoxy. I took it apart with the aim to get it all sorted but never have.

The gearbox and bottom end are rebuilt but the nikasil liner is scored so I need to get it redone or sleeved. I've got the new piston and bearings somewhere safe along with the gearbox and rest of the engine (not in the garden).

I'll get round to it one day :D

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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by waigy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:59 am

Ok, good to know.
I found out through doing this restoration that parts are hard to find for this year of KX now so I might end up needing spare parts from you.
I had loads of spares for mine including a complete second engine, carb and swingarm but I don't have them anymore due to moving house and not having storage space.

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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by Six30 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:02 pm

good vid :thumb: will look a nice thing when all done.
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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by waigy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:06 pm

Thanks six30.
It's frustrating how hard it is to get views on youtube.
I've already put a massive amount of time into this, working on the bike and the videos, but I have zero subscribers and 50 views.
I don't use facebook or twitter etc., so I won't spread the word there so I'm sort of relying on it making momentum by itself.

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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by fastbob » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:15 pm

waigy wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:06 pm
Thanks six30.
It's frustrating how hard it is to get views on youtube.
I've already put a massive amount of time into this, working on the bike and the videos, but I have zero subscribers and 50 views.
I don't use facebook or twitter etc., so I won't spread the word there so I'm sort of relying on it making momentum by itself.
Put the words , Bare Knuckle and Rescued Kitten in the title .

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Re: Customised KX500 street motocrosser with colour TV. Will it run after 23 years? Part 1

Post by waigy » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:24 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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