JOHN'S KAWASAKI CR-Z1000 rebuild
I'd always admired classic competition replica motorcycles. I'd been hunting a bike with a handmade frame and the power of a Z engine for some time and found it in the form of a '76 Rickman Kawasaki CR Z1000. I shipped the bike from Queensland over to Australia's west coast and rode it 'as is' for a while. Although a lot of the important bits were there I was never entirely happy with it and eventually decided to fully restore it, back to original. The CR Z1000 was to be the first bare frame restoration that I had undertaken. Being an earthmoving mechanic and having turned my hand at many things mechanical, I wanted to complete most of the restoration myself.
Someone had sacrilegiously painted the bike's frame in a past life, hiding the trademark Rickman nickel plating, so it had to be stripped back. To avoid damaging the original frame and bronze welds I dispensed of the paint using a soda blaster. At some point, the frame had been modified to match the specs of the Rickman Predator, with the lower headstock tubes being braced to the headstock with a gusset and two banana tubes that tie the top and bottom headstock tubes together. The swing arm had also been braced. It all looked like it was done well, but the nickel had been damaged during the modifications. After the soda blasting revealed the imperfections, I took to the frame with a die grinder and flapper wheel to smooth it off before being nickel plated once again. Following the nickel plating 'Competition and Industrial Coating' put a clear ceramic coat over the frame, swing arm and any other nickel bits to seal them for life. I also had this coating applied to the new wheel rims and all of the other polished engine bits and pieces.
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