aristurtle (Lurker) View all posts in this topic  
Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:04 pm
Took the plunge...        

So, a year or two ago I had a moderately serious crash, and I started looking into pulling the fairings off for good. Then life happened, and between a wedding and moving to a new apartment I had neither time nor money, so I slathered on a coat of ABS cement and kept on keeping on.

Last month, the other side of the fairing decided to break all on its own. I guess the strain of the slightly-bent front bracket, over the course of twenty-odd months, finally made it snap. So, now both sides of my fairing were held together with glue, and the seat was held together with duct tape. Too much of a "beater" even for me. And, frankly, the 80s-style plastic oragami never really rubbed me the right way in the first place. So I pulled off all of the front plastic.

Now we're getting somewhere. I started buying parts. I took the FAQ's suggestion with EMGO because, well, they were pretty cheap, but a lot of the stuff was hit-or-miss. The headlight bucket I got was great, and the mirrors were fine, but those brackets that I see in a lot of these builds: I have no idea how you guys deal with them. You know the ones I mean, these ones: I bought a pair, and they are shit. Like, from a butt. I don't know if I just got unlucky or what, but the part where the small piece clips into the big piece? On one of them, when I tightened it, it was visibly hanging on by less than a millimeter, and on the other one it just popped off.

So I bought some cast aluminum headlight brackets here, with rush shipping because it had already been a week since I rode a motorcycle. They worked fantastically. I had to temporarily remove the upper triple to get them on, but it was worth it compared to the crappy ones I had been trying to make work.

Another thing: my bike is a 2002, which was after Kawasaki started putting a mirror mount on the clutch lever perch, but before they put one on the brake master cylinder. So I tried to buy the Emgo mirror mount that the FAQ suggests. Guys, it just doesn't fit. Has anyone here managed to make this work? How?

So, right now I only have a mirror on the left side. I'm trying to get a replacement for that front part of the brake lever bracket that has a mirror perch on it; it won't be symmetrical but I'll find some way to deal with that.

Anyway, I have the headlamp on, with some neoprene washers to try and mitigate the vibrations. I got a speedometer from the same place that sold me the headlight mount; it came with hilarious Engrish instructions.

I believe this is sold under the "Drag Specialties" and "BikeMaster" brands, but I just bought it from here. Whatever, it's all coming out of the same Chinese factory. At first I was apprehensive about cutting into the stock wiring harness from the instrument cluster, so I tried to find some crimp-type quick disconnect connectors that would fit into the chassis harness connectors, but nobody local had any small enough. Then I remembered that my stock instrument cluster is held together with JB-Weld, and so the resale value is probably negligible, at which point I carved into the stock harness with gusto.

I looked at the wiring diagram for a bit in the FAQ until everything made sense. The lights on the replacement gauge are LEDs, and that D stands for "Diode", so they only wire up one way. On the oil light and "neautral" light, the switch is on the ground (cathode) side, but on the high beam light the switch is on the anode side and the ground pin is just wired to that black/yellow wire that is chassis ground everywhere. And the way Kawasaki wired the turn signal indicator was just too clever for their own good. I took both wires (grey and dark green) and connected them to diodes and ran the cathode ends of the diodes into the anode of the LED, and the cathode of the LED to ground.

The actual speedometer part uses a mechanical cable, and the stock cable fits fine. The speedometer expects a 2:1 ratio, and the stock speedometer is 23:9. But the new speedometer also expects a 19" front wheel, and the stock is 16". If my math is right, they both just about cancel out. I'm going to test this tomorrow against one of those displays that shows your current speed against the speed limit.

I mounted it to the top triple by replacing one of the handlebar bolts with a longer one and spacing it out with a couple washers and a nut.

I'm pretty happy with how this whole thing came out. I still need a right side mirror, and the turn signals haven't come in the mail yet, but it's looking good. I think, though, if I repaint the tank next spring (and it really needs it), I'm going to paint the headlight bucket the same color.

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