Zephyr 550 cafe-racer kit. Tail and seat models.

At last, models of the tail and the seat base for the Kawasaki Zephyr 550 cafe-racer kit are ready. I already handed them to my contractor in fiberglass works so the next step of the project is molds’ and first real parts making.

And here is a bit of a story about how I made models of parts. Since frames of 750 and 550 Zephyrs are different, the only parts from Zephyr 750 kit that fit Zephyr 550 are license plate holder and tail light. This means I had to modify the tail pretty much and make a new seat base for a kit of Zephyr 550.

As I already mentioned, front mount points of Zephyr 550 tail are positioned 30mm further and for around 30mm wider than those of Zephyr 750. Thus I have reconfigured the front part of the tail  mostly completely. With keeping symmetry it was quite a job. Once I finished what one may call sculpturing, I gave the tail to a paintshop, where it was primed, painted and clear coated. In the course of these actions I found flaws, and made sure they were  consequently eliminated. Clear coating is necessary not only for finding flaws but also for mold making:  the better the surface of the model, the better the surface of the real part will be. Here is how tail looked after I received it from the paintshop:

What I don’t like about the look of the original Zephyr 550 tail is the design of its front ends: they are angular, and their angularity doesn’t fit at all the design of side covers. They also positioned tad too close to rear shocks. For Zephyr 550 I designed new front ends of rear tail, different in design to both:  original 550 tail and 750 kit tail ends. Here they are:

And, again, as I’ve already mentioned, there are two modifications of Zephyr 550: the early and more recent . Their seats look mostly identical from the top side, but from the side of the frame the difference is significant.

My goal was to design the seat base which will fit both modifications of Zephyr 550 and cafe-racer kit tail. I based my work on an early type of seat base, but even with such a base it was closer to making a seat from scratch than for modification. For one thing, the length of my seat is 52cm, so it is significantly shorter than the original seat.

Its rear part is narrower and is of completely different configuration.

In addition, both types of original Zephyr 550 seats have a “soft” front “hood”. It means that the front upper protrusion has no hard base. And as the elevated front end of the seat is a significant part of seat design I had to design and make a hard “hood” for it.

And on top of all this I had to make the seat base acceptable for manufacturing from fiberglass, which also means scores of modifications. After I finished with the seat base, as it was with a tail, I handed it  to the paintshop for priming, painting and clear coating. I hope to get the first parts ready in two weeks.

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