The teardown begins

By | 2nd December 2012

My existing bike is a 1985 Kawasaki EN450 454LTD. It had problems with starting, which got partially solved by taking it to a mechanic but before I’d ridden it a handful of miles, it had electrical problems I haven’t managed to solve.

In the snow

I have acquired another bike, which still needs a bit of work (wrangling with exhaust studs, mostly) to get it on the road, but I am loathe to lose the Kawasaki. I now have the luxury of not needing to keep it on the road so I am making it my “project” bike. I’m not sure what the end result will be, whether just restoring it to roadworthiness or turning it into a bobber. I have extremely basic mechanic and electrical skills, so I hope to learn something if nothing else.

The first stage is to get it into bits small enough to carry it through the house and down the garden to the shed where I can work on it under cover. I spent an hour with my 5-year-old son taking the first steps toward this goal. We removed the seat, fuel tank, front wheel and forks. I’ve ordered a load of ziplock bags to put all the bits in as we get deeper in. It was wonderful spending some “man” time together, and he really enjoyed himself, bringing his own toolbox out in case I needed some help 🙂 Also, he actually did really help me, sliding a support under the frame just right while I lifted the front end up after I’d removed the front wheel.

I intend to use this under-utilised blog to document things.

The bike has been sitting on the drive under a cover for over 2 years. It has not enjoyed the experience, I think. I am going to do a full strip down, and probably tackle the frame first, once the engine’s out, as that probably requires the least skill and can involve my son.

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