We’re thrilled to present you guys with another build from Dave Solomon, the spirited Englishman behind the Bandit-powered Z1000 we recently featured. Today, Dave brings us the story of another classic fitted with a 1200cc, Suzuki-bred monster of an engine.
Here at BikeBound, we are highly discriminating in terms of design and taste, but completely open-minded when it comes to builds that mix and match components across makes, eras, and classes. It is this creativity and ingenuity that’s at the heart of modding and hot-rodding our machines, and it’s nothing short of our mission to celebrate this spirit.
Creation of ButcheredClassics.com
Here’s the story straight from Dave on the inspiration for the bike, and details of the build itself.
OK, so I’ve introduced you to the world of the Z1000. That bike is “my dream bike”–can just sit and look at it for hours and every mile is a dream to behold. However, it’s not everyones favourite cup of tea. There’s a breed of two wheeled enthusiast out there who despise the big old Kawasaki purely for what it is (we’ll call these people, just for namesake “Purists”). They despise any change to any “classic” vehicle and one even called it a “Frankenstein creation” Now I know there are many people who follow my belief that you shouldn’t have to suffer the same faults with these bikes as they left the shop 35 years ago as a stock bike: bad handling frames, poor suspension, skinny wheels, etc.
However one “purist” took exception to this view and suggested I leave their Facebook owners site and go join a site like “Butcheredclassics.com.” He thought this a hilarious comment: I just took it on the chin and once realising there was no such site…I created it!
A site purely for enthusiasts of bikes right up to 1990 but with modifications that you feel make it that bit more special…it was all going well until one day someone made a comment on my Z1000 being a show bike and outa the reach of the common man…the challenge was on!
CB750 with Bandit 1200 Power
I purchased an old CB750 frame for one hundred of our English pounds and then went on to buy a donor 1200 Bandit which a friend had for sale…the idea was to build a show-worthy bike for under £2K. No thrills or fancy tuning, but a build that anybody could do and afford and a bike to be proud of.
The donor bike was stripped. I pressed out the stem and found out the Honda and Bandit both utilise the same steering bearings. Slight modification to the stock stem and the front end was in. Swapped out the ugly Bandit front “fender” for a GSXR1100 ’86 slabside item and I was happy.
The rear end went straight in with the help of some replacement top hat spacers. Once the swing arm was fitted the top and bottom mounts were welded to take the mono-shock set up (I could’ve just gone with the stock twin shocks which would’ve brought the price of the build a bit cheaper…but not much).
Front and back end fitted it was time to get that motor in. Luckily there’s loads of room on that Honda front loop, so it wasn’t too difficult, but a friend who made the engine mounts for me also scalloped the bottom rail to allow a bit more for chain clearance.
Paint was left to a very nice man, Chris Davison who, in his retirement loves to paint motorcycles for very little money…in fact he charged me a third to paint this than a local bodyshop charged to paint the green Kawasaki…bargain!
The seat was recovered by Tim Dudley who is a god with seats…he made and fitted the cover, then as a little twist I asked him to stitch in the “Eddie Lawson” pattern just annoy them purists (there they are again)!
Scouring Ebay found me a lovely endcan for the stock downpipes from the lovely people at Danmoto…no its not a Yoshimura. (Just like it’s not a Honda!)
The only expenditure on this build that I could of held back on was the purchase of the Mikuni RS36’s…I could of easily stuck with the standard CV carbs, however the sale of the the standard Suzuki frame and bodywork paid for these so it was all still going to plan. The Koso digital clock tipped the scales against me and on first ride out the bike owed me £2150…if I had stuck with stock carbs it would’ve been £1500!
She rode fantastically, accelerated all the way through the rev range and turned heads wherever she was parked up. Unfortunately I’m limited to parking four bikes in my shed, so when the new 1983 Katana build (yes with a Bandit engine…lol) started a few months back, I had to sell her to make room for the new venture and the Honda became the natural way to create room as well as funds.
There a saying in the Butcheredclassics.com Facebook page: ”Most people buy…others build!”
Something about a bike you’ve built yourself, you make it as expensive or as cheap as your budget can take, because you built it no other builder will ever criticise someone who has created their own bike!