Zed Brat/Cafe Update
By Anthony van Someren - 09 Apr 12
On the bench, awaiting clocks and final headlight position.
How she came: z900 paint & badges are not standard on this US imported B2/Ltd.The donor is an imported KZ1000Ltd/B2 (with 16 inch rear wheel) with Vance & Hines 4 into 1 and open style filters, giving plenty of torque and a lovely soundtrack on full-shout. The goal was build a properly practical custom that can take me to work every day - come rain or shine and be a great two-up bike for me and the Dutchess, but still be a cool ride that I could take round Brands on a trackday, run down to Brighton on, or park outside Bar Italia on a summer Friday night. ...Who says that your daily hack has to be an old Fazer or Hornet? It's a bit schizo, cos on the one hand I'm a true cafe racer aficionado; loving that drop-bar, rear-set riding position, but to be a good two-up bike I need a long seat, plus it's based on a big, long heavy bike - so it's ended up with a cafe riding stance and a brat-style seat and rear end, whereas most brats seeem to keep their original upswept bars and footrest position. It was the Wrench Monkees who paved the way with one of their early big Zeds, sporting adjustable Rizoma drop bars and (Tarozzi?) rearsets; showing me just how good this combo could look.
Posh Rizoma bars and expensive Motogadget clock
Wrench Monkees' Z1000 Bratstye seat with rearsets and drop barsSo far the bike has been stripped of it's clocks, bars, lighting, hand & foot controls. The mudguards, bodywork and seat, are all junked, the rear of the frame has been deluggued and the curved subframe cross-bracing under the seat has been chopped off and replaced with flat bracing to accommodate the flat-based seat, which was built by Glenn via Steve at Redmax Speedshop. To get this lovely seat unit made up offsite I had to build Glenn a 3D paper template showing the base, sides, height and cross sections of the seat, and from this folded up and posted chunk of card Glenn has somehow built a stunning seat with variable densities of foam, perfect stitching and piping. One of the hard parts is folding the electrics that were previously hidden behind the side panels into a small space under the seat. Various components were spread around the battery box on vertical panels which Rex is folding upwards and boxing-in. It won't be a clear space but it will be neat. Another small hassle is the Raask rearsets, which came from Tim & Kev's new Spirit project donor - also a late 70's z1000. With them fitted the gearside lever is now too far away and there are no linkage points on the lever so I may need to run the bike with a race pattern set-up (one-up, five down) which will take some getting used to. I plan to keep an old school paint-job on the tank (the only real bodywork on show), and instead of my usual preference for black on black components, I'm going to let bare metal and chrome do it's retro-thang in a few places. With a bit of luck, the bike will be on the road by the end of this week, and from there I'll take a look at the suspension and handing.