The first stage of Kawasaki Zephyr 750 cafe-racer building is ended so it’s time to show what we have. As I wrote earlier, the point is to make cafe-racer on ZR750 Zephyr base without bike frame cutting. Firstly idea was to leave as many original parts as possible, so after some thoughts I ordered only most necessary parts: clubman bar, gaiters and bar end turn signals. Then I stripped Zephyr, installed all received “cafe” parts and got such view of bike:
Cafe-racer’s tails are short, as a rule. So in next turn I had to design a tail part in which frame tubes will be shaped tight in purpose of bikes tail length minimization. I made a few different initial cardboard and plastic models of tail; and after choosing development direction I had to make more precise one. So I protected the frame by few layers of stretch film and then used foam plastic and foam spray to have some bulk for modeling. Result of foaming looked like big sheep tail.:-)
Next item was seat base applicable to both, standard seat lock and new tail at the same time. I had a spare seat so I decided to modify original base for later using it like template. I cut seat base:
After that I tried to remove tail model for elaboration of all features like mounting ears or stiffeners. With great accuracy I cut out the foam from below of the tail and after few exciting moments I pulled off model from Zephyr frame. Now I could reinforce tail model, made it removable and added all components and features. That was another piece of work but I did it.
All left to do with tail was completely smoothened it, finally checked symmetry and then it could be ready for matrix making and so on. But I changed Zephyr 750 cafe-racer kit conception from minimum to maximum edition. I decided to build the bike on which I could place my logo without shame. I had spare Zephyr tank and side covers, so I could design exterior without fear of original parts damage. So I removed front fender, engine guard bars, stock gauges and replaced tank and side covers. I also bought nice small speedometer with led backlight, analog speed indicator and digital mileage display. I found universal headlight mounting bracket in my garage and used it to place the headlight lower then it was before. After all this modification Zephyr looked better, but not enough good, as for me.
I also had fractured Zephyr front fender, thus I cut out new shaped fender model right from it.
Earlier, when big stock gauges were on their places I thought about small version of cafe windshield as a way to mask them. I removed gauges, but thoughts about shield still stayed in my mind. That’s why I designed and made windshield model using metal and plastic.
I believe that modeling is an important point in custom bike creation. A model allows you to bring future part dimensions and shapes to perfection. Earlier I used cardboard, plastic, foam plastic, thin metal, plastic bags and so on to model parts, but next my issue became different material. I had to be sure that I could make nice looking seat with existing restriction of seat base and tail dimensions and shapes. And I found that sculpting clay is best material for this purpose. I made seat model with all wished relief and seams and I was satisfied with result completely. As for seat design I want to say: whereas I left passenger foot-pegs, I decided that seat will leave at least a chance for passenger to seat on it:-)
And last part I needed to model was license plate holder. In fact I developed it quite fast and modeling stage of Zephyr 750 cafe-racer project was mostly completed. I added a painting scheme and got such nice result:
Yep, painting scheme or some parts may be changed a little, but I think I have completed model of project and I like it. As for future bike color scheme, I think about combination of British racing dark green with white and bronze dividing stripe. To visualize, I photoshoped one of photos a little:
To be continued.