1993 Kawasaki ZX750L Ninja
I did a considerable amount of body and paintwork on this bike when I originally got it (Spring of 2006, I think) as it had been in a light accident and boogered up the front facia, windshield, and side panels. The front fascia would have been an expensive piece to replace, so instead, I practiced my bodywork skills and repaired it.
Since portions of the plastic were completely gone, particularly around the headlight areas, I first modeled them in with a firm clay called Plasticene. I then laid fiberglass over that, making a mold of the area. Then I removed the clay, laid the fiberglass mold over it, and then laid in fiberglass to make the actual repair. From there I finished with some body filler, high build primer, and lots of sanding. Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures back then, so there’s only a few of the repair in process.
Kawasaki metallic maroon/red does not have a color code to match paint to, so we had to do a visual match and guess at the paint store, and I think we did pretty good. It was a polyurethane color with clear, and is a bit easier because its all in one. With metallic’s, you pretty much have to spray the entire panel of whatever you are doing, and since there was areas on both side panels that needed fixing, I ended up spraying both of those. There was a very small scratch one of the rear side panels, and I elected to skip that as there was logo’s on it that I didn’t want to remove and have to replace.
I ordered an aftermarket windshield for it, some replacement turn signals, of which I had to fabricate some brackets for, and then reassembled the windshield, front fascia, and side panels together with stainless steel button head screws for the ones that were visible.
It turned out right good, if I do say so myself!
It also had some clutch issues, and needed a new back tire. To save some money, I removed the rear tire myself, and took that into the dealer to get the new tire installed. While I had the rear tire off, I also replaced the rubber spider that joins the rear sprocket to the rear wheel hub, as that was really worn. I also replaced the chain and both sprockets, as the teeth were worn. Back to the clutch, it turned out that it was a worn rod on that connects the clutch slave cylinder across the transmission case that pushes on the clutch. After replacing that, and fine tuning it, the clutch worked great.
I had a lot of fun on this bike, at times greatly exceeding the speed limit….shhhhh!! but it was also an extremely uncomfortable bike. My hands would go numb and cramp up as the handle bar pins low and you lean way forward on it. Since I then picked up my second, and most favorite bike in the summer of 2007 (2004 Honda VTX 1800C), I then barely rode the Ninja except to get my need for speed. Based on it being so uncomfortable, and my only use of it was to go fast, I decided to either sell it or trade it off. I had it for sale for awhile, and then found a good deal on craigslist that was for a trade. I have always loved the Shelby AC Cobra cars, and wanted to eventually build the kit car version from Factory Five that uses a Mustang as a donor car. Well, the craigslist ad was from a kid that had started putting a body kit on a Mustang, ran out of money, and wanted to trade for a crotch rocket…. Luckily I had one, and we were almost equal in value. He threw in a new battery for the Mustang, and we traded even up! Both of us were happy! The kit car is something that will be waiting for a while, but I’ll eventually get to it.
Here’s the Ninja before I passed it over, and then the Mustang I got in return!
1996 Ford Mustang GT with 4.6L V8 and 5-speed manual transmission.