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6 May 2014

Kawasaki Z650 modifications

Hi All

After looking through so many amazing projects I thought it was time to start documenting mine. I bought it a few months ago in preparation for getting my license. Family and work stuff has meant that I haven’t finished that process yet, but intend to do it over the next month or two.

It was a 78 KZ650 which was modified professionally for a previous owner. He had a ZXR400 front and rear end grafted on. It was what I was wanting from the bike, so when I saw it for sale at a great price I had to jump on it.

When I picked it up it looked like this

Kawasaki KZ650 Arrives

Kawasaki Z650

The first things I wanted to do was to tidy up the front end. To simplify the controls and to make it much cleaner looking. So I ditched the bars and mirrors it came with. As they were not so clean.
I picked up a Renthal bar in grey along with some new Oury grips and new levers.


I’ve still got loads more to do on the bars, but I’m waiting on parts. I’ve bought a new throttle and switch set that looks like this.
These will allow me to remove the tired looking old kawasaki controls for something much more modern and simplified.

Next I wanted to start work on the seat and tail area. I wanted to get rid of the rear fairings/lights and stock seat. I wanted something more brat/cafe style and less bulky.

This meant removing the stock seat and fairing.

Whilst I was doing that I found a long pipe which I didn’t know what it did. With a bit of research I discovered that when the previous owners removed the stock air filter the fitted this to the crankcase. It was going to get in the way of my seat plans so I replaced it with a simple filter instead,


For some reason the ebayer I bought it off sent me two so if anyone else needs one let me know. (I’m in the UK).

Whilst doing this I checked over the air filters on the cards and most of the rubber had perished so I’ve order some new filters.

Next up it was time to crack out the angle grinder and clear up the rear area to make way for the new seat.




Whilst removing the seat lugs etc I also removed the battery cage as it was very badly made and fitted when they did the modifications to the bike. I think the tried to reuse the orginal one, but I was able to pull it off with my hands the welds were so bad. I also removed all of the tail mounts as they won’t work with my new rear light.


I will now have to fabricate and new seat pan and battery box. Along with fabricating a mounting for the lights and number plate at the rear.

For the seat design I want to get something similiar to the look of this one here

However I plan on using waterproof cordura fabric instead of leather of vinyl. I have a wife who is very hand with the sewing machine who has kindly agreed to make the seat cover for me.

Also I’m rewiring certain sections of the loom as there is some bad bodge jobs I’ve discovered. Any wiring I’m adding will be properly wired with waterproof connectors and sleeved like you can see me starting to do with the rear light.

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