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Restoring Zephanie 30 Jan 2022 20:59 #861514

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Alright, here we go, time to post progress as I go fixing up my bike a 1990 ZR550 Zephyr affectionately nicknamed “Zephanie” (Zephyr + Stephanie = Zephanie). 

I’ve owned this bike for about a year and a half, and as documented in another thread , I was rear-ended, about a month and a half ago. Just to throw anyone unfamiliar in the deep end on it, here’s a photo from the accident. 



So since then, I have largely been in insurance hell, but recently I settled, and I have a check coming in the mail, but I opted to keep the bike. The long and short of it, is that after careful inspection of the bike, I am confident that it is fully repairable, and that I can take care of it myself. I love this bike too much to give up on it. 

The settlement check would be enough to cover the parts needed, if I was content with the bare minimum, but I like spending money on my bike, so I expect it will go a little “over budget.”  Mostly this is because I will likely splurge a little on suspension and front brake bits. Honestly, I was already planning those before the accident anyway, so it’s kind of all a wash. 

Now, to update where I am at currently, I will admit that I ignored everyone who said “don’t buy any parts until you get your settlement check” and I went ahead and picked up a few things. I knew I’d be keeping the bike and restoring it, and some of these parts can be rare, so I wanted to snatch them up when I had the chance. As such, here is a photo from yesterday. 



So far I have got replacement tank, front fender, side panels, and (not pictured) rear cowl, and headlamp. All sourced from eBay, and obviously in candy cardinal red, instead of the original candy Atlantic blue. 

On the way, I have ordered a new gauge cluster, which I plan to use the good parts to transfer my old speedo/tach into, and a new right hand head lamp bracket. I’ve also ordered a new rear fender, but we’ll see if that shows up or not, since it seems like nobody actually has that part. 

After that it’s time to focus on the shocks and front brake. I don’t want to spoil all the fun, or speak to soon on things I might not be able to do, but I’m excited to get this done and get back to riding. 
A breeze from the west.
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka Zephanie
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Restoring Zephanie 01 Feb 2022 05:37 #861575

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Great start!  Keep us updated with progress pics and glad you are resurrecting your bike!
1978 KZ 1000B (73 tribute)
1977 KZ1000 project
1976 KZ 900
1976 KV 75
1976 Honda Elsinore MT250
1974 Z1 900 project
1971 Honda CT70
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Restoring Zephanie 01 Feb 2022 09:53 #861589

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Thanks, and will do!

I just ordered a front brake line kit from HEL Performance, and plan to get caliper rebuild kits from Brakemasters. I’ll probably get all OEM pieces to rebuild the master cylinder. 

Deciding on the shocks has been the hardest part. I was looking at ZRX400 shocks, but they don’t appear to have the same adjustability. The ZRX1100 shocks do, but then I’d have to have them rebuilt for my smaller bike. Doing that would cost nearly as much, or maybe more than a brand new set of Öhlins. 

Edited to add: my order for the rear fender got cancelled, so I’m grabbing one off eBay. I could easily go with a fender delete kit from Webike, but I’d lose mounting points for reflectors, and I’m not keen on being seen less. 
A breeze from the west.
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka Zephanie

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Restoring Zephanie 02 Feb 2022 01:31 #861636

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Good luck with the rebuild. Looks like you're well on your way.
Cheers !
WA state, USA
1981 KZ1000 Ltd project for me
kzrider.com/forum/11-projects/617085-kz1000-full-spa#861637
1982 KZ440 Ltd project for my wife
1991 Yamaha 1200 VMax
2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000
1971 Buick Riviera boat-tail
2004 Jaguar XJR
1999 Dodge Ram 5.7L Magnum
1977 John Deere 400
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Restoring Zephanie 02 Feb 2022 09:19 #861665

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Thanks!

I have a question for you guys. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for making the black plastic that the headlamp bucket and rear fender are made out of look good? It’s not ABS plastic, I know because I tried melting a broken chunk of my old bucket in acetone, and it didn’t phase it. I’ve tried 303 Aerospace Protectant, and Meguiar’s Ultimate Black, and neither one did anything. I’m not overly concerned with making those parts any darker black, but just not so sun-faded and splotchy. 
A breeze from the west.
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka Zephanie

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Restoring Zephanie 02 Feb 2022 16:27 #861688

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Thanks!

I have a question for you guys. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for making the black plastic that the headlamp bucket and rear fender are made out of look good? It’s not ABS plastic, I know because I tried melting a broken chunk of my old bucket in acetone, and it didn’t phase it. I’ve tried 303 Aerospace Protectant, and Meguiar’s Ultimate Black, and neither one did anything. I’m not overly concerned with making those parts any darker black, but just not so sun-faded and splotchy. 


Paint them.  Of course, you will have to somehow remove those chemicals you applied or it will be fisheye city.  
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Restoring Zephanie 02 Feb 2022 18:49 #861689

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Dang, I was hoping you wouldn’t say that. Oh well. I can scuff them up with sandpaper before paint, and that should take care of it. 

I’ve had thoughts about reproducing some of these parts in fiberglass or carbon because of how hard they have been to get. Not to mention all the old ones are brittle as hell now. So it goes I guess. 
A breeze from the west.
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka Zephanie

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Restoring Zephanie 03 Feb 2022 10:04 #861725

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PigSpit. Not sure how it would work on plastic but it’s the shiznits on LTD style black mags. 
1976 KZ 900 A4 kzrider.com/forum/11-projects/613548-1976-kz-900-a4
1976 KZ 900 B1 LTD
1978 KZ 1000 B2 LTD
1980 KZ 750 E1
Kowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens.
Jimi Hendrix.
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Restoring Zephanie 03 Feb 2022 12:01 #861736

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it’s the shiznits on LTD style black mags. 


That's interesting.  How long does it last?
'78 Z1-R in blue , '78 Z1-R in black, '78 Z1-R in pieces
My dad's '74 Z1
'00 ZRX1100

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Restoring Zephanie 03 Feb 2022 12:54 #861743

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Not sure I just found it this late summer. But I’m seriously impressed with the results. It was a last ditch effort to pretty up some tired rims. My only option was to strip and paint. It made them much more presentable. 
1976 KZ 900 A4 kzrider.com/forum/11-projects/613548-1976-kz-900-a4
1976 KZ 900 B1 LTD
1978 KZ 1000 B2 LTD
1980 KZ 750 E1
Kowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens.
Jimi Hendrix.
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Restoring Zephanie 03 Feb 2022 18:32 #861755

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Plastic Renew
1975 Z1 900
1994 KX250 Supermoto
2004 KX125

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Restoring Zephanie 04 Feb 2022 05:44 #861770

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Dang, I was hoping you wouldn’t say that. Oh well. I can scuff them up with sandpaper before paint, and that should take care of it. 


 


You should clean the part before and after sanding.  Otherwise, the old chemicals can get embedded into the material.  Automotive wax and grease remover works well.  
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