So my customer Joe had a old microphone set up as a taillight when I picked up the bike, It just needed a little refining. So I found some bright LED’s from Custom Dynamics. They are the perfect size for the microphone. The interior of the mic was like it was set up for this. There were already holes to bolt the light plate I made to.
Starting with paper templates, I cut out the shapes I needed. After transferring the design to steel I drilled out the holes for the mounting bolts. It used the smallest hardware, which keeps it clean. Then I welded in the light separators. There was not a lot of space to work with put the LED’s fit perfectly. I plan on running two brake light in the center and a turn signal on each side. It’s by far the coolest taillight I’ve had the opportunity to modify.
Well Elijah came to me with a cool idea, “my Banshee needs more power”. So he had already started roughing the motor into the frame. He needed me to make it solid and functional.
So stated out by making the lower frame rail giving me a solid base. The oil pan needed to have more room than the original motor, so that was pretty straight forward to make happen. Then I started making the engine mounts. Starting with the rear lower mount. The engine needed to be suspended in order for proper chain alignment. This was tricky. I left one of the motor mounts Elijah made in place, he had the alignment pretty close. While lifting the motor from below and suspending it from above, I managed to make the right side motor mount which also needed to be removable so the engine could be taken in and out. It was quite the balancing act. Once that was done it was on to the left side mount which could be stationary. My chain alignment was good and the rear lower mounts were done.
For the rear top mount I was able to line it up with the upper frame. I drilled a 7/8″ hole in the frame and used 7/8″ tubing to fill it and make the motor mounts. I had to sleeve the 7/8″ tube with 7/16″ tube in order to have a snug fit with the engine hardware. This also helped fine tune the alignment. I drilled holes in the 7/8″ tube and plug welded the 7/16″ tube inside of it. So at this point I have top and bottom mounts done.
I then switched over to the top of the frame. I needed to connect the front and back halves while still having room for the larger engine and room to remove and install the motor. I attached the new tubing using slugs to create a lap joint and placed gussets and cross-members in oder to strengthen the new geometry.
Finally I needed the side motor mounts. The left side was to be stationary, because to engine comes out the right side of the bike. I started with the left side making motor connecting points out of the 1″ tubing I was using for the frame. I bolted those the the motor. Once they were on it was simply connecting the points together and to the frame. On the right side of the bike the side mount needed to be, you guessed it, removable. So I made mounts out of 3/4″ solid stock and drilled and tapped them. These got welded to the frame. Then from there it was just like the left side, time to connect the dots.
My customer Raaj, found me online and wanted to have a cafe racer built to commemorate his fortieth birthday. He didn’t have any needs other than make it cool. So thats what I did. He picked the colors and wanted a ’78 on the bike somewhere for the year he was born.
I totally chopped off the subframe and redesigned it raising it about 2″. This put it in line with the bottom of the tank, making for a clean line. Also I recessed the integrated LED tail into the frame for a clean look. The GS750 was more of a highway cruiser to I lowered the front end to level out the bike and give it a more aggressive look. Raaj liked the wind screen so I made a head light bracket that would make the wind screen easily removable and allow the bike to look good with it on or off. I made the handle bars, I like to use 1″ tube and then step it down to 7/8″ to accommodate the controls. This gives the bars a more robust look. All new wiring, a small Shorai battery all fit under that seat pan I made for the bike. The upholstery was done locally. The rear cowl I peace together out of the back half of a gas tank which worked out well. I shortened the front fender, resealed the engine and deleted the are box for pod filters.
Well, I finished Aaron’s Kawasaki 440 twin. I can say that I am stoked on the end result and Aaron was smiling when he rode off, so I think he liked it too. I thought the stock look was good, it just needed a little cleaning up. So in no particular order I shortened the subframe and hooped it in. I also made a new seat pan to match the new subframe, getting rid of the bulky stock seat. I shortened up the original fenders, cleaned and painted everything. Aaron designed the seat stitch pattern and polished the center of the gas tank. This was a fun bike to transform and a definite head turner!!