I’ve been wanting to do another virago build ever since I finished my 750. But these days I’m really getting away from the large displacement machines so you can imagine my excitement when a 500 version popped up on CL in my favorite shape (non-running piece of yard art) and price. This little guy is VERY similar to the 750 and 920 big brothers, except sized down in every aspect. What more could I ask for? Here are a few day one pictures.
mmmmmm…fuzzy seats are classy!
This thing hurts to look at…such an ugly machine. But don’t worry! With a new front end, new wheels and tires, new sub frame and seat, and a thoroughly detailed motor and single carb conversion…this thing may not look too shabby!
These carbs are WEIRD! Down draft, cool stuff.
I was pleasantly surprised to turn the key and see lights! Then I pressed the starter button and she cranked! So I cleaned these old dusty carbs out and put them on…Lets see what happens next.
I finally got around to upholstering the solo seat for the Ninja. I had procrastinated on it as long as possible because I knew it would be hard! Since the tank is coming back from paint tomorrow I was forced to get everything else in line so I spent a few hours and it wasn’t as painfully difficult as I had expected. Here is the final product. Painted/ finished pics to come!
I got the battery box (hidden under the tank nicely) and little perforated trim pieces welded on the Ninja finally. I am going to take some thin steel round stock and finish up the trim, then I can paint the frame back to black. I’ve decided to paint the tank and swing arm a very dark purple or blue. So my next job is to prep the tank…which is going to take a lot of work.
So I realize it has been awhile since I started a fresh build. I’m still plowing through the details and on my RD60 (120) build so make sure to keep updated with that. But this Ninja is going to be something very special for me. I’m going to take what I just picked up, a 100% original non-running 2005 Kawasaki Ninja ex250 from scrap, and make it into the first of its kind.
Here is what I am starting with.
Cosmetically it is actually quite nice, almost too nice to alter…but not quite 🙂 So I JUST got this puppy, and immediately tore it down. Found this PERFECT KZ650 tank that fits right up, chopped the sub frame mostly off, and am starting to get an image in my head of what I want to do with this. For now, here is what I have…not much to look at!
So I’ll be gone for a bit, but as SOON as I return you’ll know because I’ll be kicking ass on this little bike.
So for the gas tank, I wanted to do something creative and fun. So I went for the admittedly not original Japanese rising sun design. I’ve never had a bike with it before so it’s new to me! Took some work, sanded to bare metal, bondo on some inperfections, primer/ sand then white base coat, wait a week, sand and one more white coat, wait a week, sand and tape off and red sun coat, wait a week, sand and clear coat. Tada!
To anyone wanting to do good paint jobs. There is no shame in using rattle can if you get quality gas/ oil resistant engine enamel. MOST important is respect the dry times and prep prep prep! The finished product will be smooth and clear and very durable!
She is complete! I’ve been riding her daily for about a month now problem free. Finally got it timed and tuned to perfection, adjusted the valves, fresh oil and she is ready to roll. To recap this build: XS650 front end conversion with rebuilt forks and heavy weight oil, piggy back rear shocks, new tires, brake pads/ shoes, frame and swingarm painted red, flawless polished aluminium gas tank, low rise flat tracker handlebars, over sized TT500 round slide carb, SuperTrapp exhaust, new chain and sprockets, rewired with no battery so the lights run off the magneto (like 4 wires on the whole bike!), 100% custom seat pan/ upholstery, plus a lot I can’t recall right now…
She starts first kick every time and runs like nothing I’ve every had before…Truly an inspiring bike to ride! I’ve always ran ethanol free in her too.