Month: November 2009

UPDATE: Reader ride. KZ1000 shaft drive streetfighter.

Reader John Cripe sends in some pics of his KZ1000 shaft drive streetfighter. I’m labeling it a streetfighter but it really more than that. I love bikes like this. It’s the kind of build that you might think about but only one in a billion might try. And what a great result. That rear end is inspired.

Thanks Much for the pics!

John Writes:

Thanks for the thumbs up comments.
I’ll give you some history on the BIMON. The acronym stands for “built in memory of Nigel” My son we lost in 2004. I needed something to get my head into and we rode motocross together so a tribute bike seemed appropriate. The 65 is his AMA number.
The build; I purchased the KZ,my second 1000 shaft, at a yard sale for $125.00. I had no intention of doing the build then but the bike was in sad shape and I thought it would be a parts bike if needed. I stripped it down and put it in boxes. It sat for months.. I honestly didn’t have a clue on the direction it would go but I new it had to be special. I originally thought a mono-shock would be cool. So I got out the sawsall and cut the sub frame off. At that point I was committed so I purchased a used R1 shock off ebay and began the drawings to design the shock mount to the swingarm. I was never good in geometry so I guessed at a good trajectory for the shock and gusseted the frame and swingarm to handle the weight. After the shock was mounted I designed a new shorter and lower sub frame, put the engine back in the frame and checked the sag. The sub frame almost touched the rear tire so I knew I had to do something different. I got another R1 shock and cut away and redesigned the mounts for 2 shocks and it worked great. I cut the original seat pan for the seat and used the orig tail but cut it in more of a Z1 shape. Ebay was my best friend and I purchased the following for the build; a set of Vortex clip-ons, a used set of orig gauges, a set of rearsets with rear master from a Ninja (I think) a front brake perch and master from a GSXR,some carbon fiber mini signals, an R1 tail light and a set of coils and wires. I painted the frame silver to cover up my less than perfect welds. The frame is gusseted in several places to eliminate that flex we took for granted in the 70’s. The seat cover was a replacement cover that I had for my son’s race bike and I hand cut the foam for the seat. The paint job was donated ( cost me a steak dinner) by a very good friend and fellow KZ lover. I wanted to pay him but he would only accept a steak dinner. The paint is symbolic as well. The 99 Ford blue and silver is the color of the truck my son had his accident in, the yellow is Suzuki yellow, his race bike. The upper triple clamp was machined by another very close friend from billet aluminum.
I have put over 3000 trouble free miles on it and it rides better than my 1980 shaftie, which has all new suspension. I had it at Mid Ohio for “Vintage Motorcycle Days” and got a lot of smiles out of it.
I have a photo collection of the build and still can’t believe I managed to make it what it is.
I hope I wasn’t too long winded on my story. I know it was theraputic to do the project and I get to ride with Nigel every time I ride it so it continues to get excellent smiles per gallon. Even those who have ridden KZ’s all their lives scratch there heads in amazement when they see it.
Thanks for letting me share my story Steve. Thanks for putting it on your site as well.

My Pleaure John. Beautiful Bike and a Beautiful Tribute.