Wow, this one runs!
So sayeth my son when I brought this bike home. I have a well-deserved reputation for bringing home motorcycles that only a mother could love, and usually they are rather deficient in the gas>smiles transformation area. This bike was bought from a member here, who had recently had an early deer hunting experience and tossed it down the road. As I said in my intro (although who reads those?) I am a serial monogamist motorcyclist. I buy bikes, usually not running, fix them up, ride them for a year or till they need tires, then sell and find something else. I won't go into the whole history, but recent bikes were nighthawk 250, '75 GL1000, VF750CD, XR400, FZ1, XR650, DL650, XR400, MT-16, VFR800, DL1000, GSF600, and now the Vs.
Yes the XR4 is in there twice, it's the only bike to date that I've loved enough to buy twice. The FZ1 was very close though.
Anyhow, I bought the bike crashed from Freerydejunky for reasonable money and brought it home, did minor adjustments and rode it for a week while I planned it's future and ordered parts. FRJ was a very nice fellow, and I doubt that many of the things I've fixed were his doing, and in the interest of keeping a friend I'm going to assume that everything I found happened with POs before him. I took the holiday to do the following to the bike, in no particular order. Oh, I should mention that I'm a former helicopter mechanic with very unrealistic expectations and standards when it comes to mechanics, so if you glaze over at the OCD I won't be offended.
Bike had exposed, cut wires in the taillight area, and lots of ugly wiring done in the battery area. Had a PC3 but wasn't run elegantly. Now, I should mention that my standards when adding accessories to a vehicle is that it should look like Soichiro (insert whoever is his equivalent at Kawasaki) designed it that way from the beginning. There was a stebel nautilus horn, which had a relay correctly installed, but it made a sad little goat bleat. It had a switch (low, off, high) for heated grips but had non-heated sponge grips from a 1970s beach cruiser bicycle. There were many unspeakable acts of wiring done to this bike. On the good side, it had a fairly nice three fuse sub panel with a 40a relay switched from one of the taillight wires available for accesories.
The forks were badly tweaked from a previous fall. There were no bar ends. Lots of push-lock fasteners were missing, and replaced with zip ties. The side panels and front lower panels were sprayed black. It had SW motech pegs and lowering blocks. It has a larger foot on the kickstand. Came with a full muzzy exhaust, missing the rear mounting grommet. It's louder than god shooting M80s off in a bathroom.
So far, I've done the following:
Made a set of steel plates to go inside the footpeg mounts so I could actually tighten the mounting bolt without breaking them. Lowered the footpegs on their mounts as well as using the lowering brackets. Problem arises that the brake pedal won't adjust down far enough to match the pegs yet, will likely have to cut some threads off and do a little bit of massaging.
Removed handlebars, riser, and top triple nut and straightened the triples relative to each other, should get rid of the tweaked front end. Rotated each fork tube and verified that they're straight.
Removed everything on the bike, and cut away/removed 100% of non-stock wiring. Rusty connectors, poorly crimped connectors, undergage wiring, bare ends, all of it. I reused the three fuse panel and it's associated relay, but that's it. The three circuits are horn, GPS, and heated grips. GPS will also feed a volts display in a few days. Measured less than .1v loss from battery to connector. I ran a new, single ground wire out of honest 10g stranded wire to the tail which provides ground for all added circuits as well as the relay. Got rid of multiple grounds to multiple points as well as lots of ring terminals on the batteries. Added a separate, 12g, fused point to the battery which feeds a powerlet in the dash replacing a rusty cigarette lighter. This will be used for heated gear/battery tender. All wire is at least 12g, all exposed connections are crimped with heat sealed connectors, all other connections are filled with dielectric grease. All wires are run in techflex, carefully ziptied to the OEM harness in such a way as to look stock. I'd show you pictures, but seriously, go look at your stock harness. That's what it looks like. This took a full day, like I said, OCD.
Added heated grips, of the PWM controlled, actual grip style as opposed to the heated sticker under regular grips style. Bikemaster brand, used them before on other bikes and had good experience. FWIW get them where you want them before installation, as it's extraordinarily difficult to reposition them if you don't. AMHIK.
Installed new relay, new wires for stebel horn. Previous relay was stuck in a frame rail, and was dented, bent, and the contacts were rusty. New relay is bolted to the upper frame rail, has higher gage wires running to it, and once again all connectors are dielectric greased.
There was a strange assortment of neprene, tape, felt, and composite deck shims jammed around the instrument cluster. I assume this was an effort to get rid of the 3100rpm buzz that I've read about. I removed all of it, and added a couple strips of adhesive felt to both the instruments and the trim ring, then shaved about a 1/16" off the posts on the back of the guages. This shave allowed the screws to compress the rubber grommet, which took away 99% of it's movement before I put the trim ring on. With the trim ring it is totally solid, with zero plastic to plastic contact. Should be quiet.
The painted panels were an exercise in futility/stupidity. They were painted black, but they were chipped and showed lots of spots of silver. I would have preferred them silver. Second time I rode the bike I hit the front brake and immediately sprayed brake fluid all over from a loose banjo fitting, which I cleaned up, tightened, then continued my ride. The dripping fluid did however take a big chunk of the black off the front right panel. Great, says I. I douse the rear panels with dot 4 and leave it sit for a day. Nothing. No loose paint, no bubbling. I say Ok, then hit one panel with an environmentally sensitive, earth loving, gentle paint stripper. It instantly starts to chew the plastic up causing a great hue and cry and panic, as I ran it up to the parts washer to try to neutralize the stripper. Got it stopped, and spent an hour sanding the plastic smooth again. Hit it with bed liner, and it looked great. Hit the other side with the same bedliner paint, and it immediatly acted like a mild paint stripper and removed all the black with no damage to the beautiful silver underneath. Grr. I wiped off the expensive bedliner/paint stripper, and sanded the silver away to give some tooth to the next coat of bedliner, which adhered much better, thank you very much.
I greased everything that could be greased, lubed what could be lubed, and generally tried to get my hands on every part of the bike I could.
Still to do is mount the GPS (odered a speedy's mount, couldn't make one for that price) have to address the kickstand, seems like an aftermarket foot clamped on a shortened stand, which gives the bike a lot of lean. I added some immitation barkbusters, and immediately regretted it due to the cheapness and the fact that they're cast aluminum so they broke on installation. I'll be adding better ones later, for now I consider these decorative. When the voltmeter comes in I'll install it in the hole left by the old grip switch. The bike didn't come with passenger grab handles, I'm adding a set of racks to the back to address this. Gotta glue some neo magnets to the fairing to allow me to use my tank bag. Have to add some reflective red rim strips to the wheels, then figure out where else I can add reflective tape. I'm a big fan of visibility, particularly when it comes to nighttime visibility.
Anyway, that's where I am right now. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this forum, I've gone about 50 pages back in every subforum for a knowledge base, and appreciate all the good info. Any questions feel free to ask, criticisms will be welcome as long as there's a beer involved somewhere.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention. I've only ridden it a couple hundred miles, but so far this seems like I'll be keeping this one for longer than usual. It seems to have every stupid trait from every one of my past bikes that I loved, and that's a good thing.