Tales of the Hibernating Biker

So, what does a motorcyclist living in Minnesota do once it’s too cold and/or snowy to pursue her favorite hobby? She pursues her second-favorite hobby: The Winter Bike Project. Most the bikers I know who have a prohibitively cold winter make good use of their time off the roads to tackle a project on their bikes. Be it just adding some chrome or a full engine overhaul, it serves to keep one from getting too depressed about winter.

My project is an ambitious one. I bought a 1990 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6D 600cc sportbike this summer from a friend in Madison. This was one of a stable of bikes and was a bit neglected. So, my mission, which I chose to accept, was to remake this battered old bike into a sexy ride.

Thus, PROJEKT SPIDER was born. The bike gained the nickname “Spider” when I took apart the brake calipers to clean them. I kept finding spider webs and egg sacks. The same thing when I took the seat and side tail fairing. And again when I took the brake and clutch levers off. This bike was a home for wayward arachnids or something.

The plans for the bike are extensive. Here’s a short list of the plans thus far:

  • Full repaint of all body work (now black, will be silver)
  • Powdercoat the frame (now matte silver, will be glossy black)
  • Powdercoat or paint the swingarm (again, glossy black)
  • Replace broken lower cowl fairing
  • Replace cracked inner cowl/dash insert
  • Replace cracked right front signal lens
  • Remove rear signal lights
  • Install custom LED rear signal lights in tail fairing
  • Replace front sprocket (for more vroom!)
  • Replace throttle and clutch cables
  • General maintenance work on engine, electricals and cooling system

I did some small things to the bike already, like replacing the brake lines with steel braided, replacing the brake pads, cleaning the brake calipers, and replacing the grips and bar ends. With the help of my boyfriend, I’ve sanded down all the body work except the tank in preparation for priming and painting. We drilled the tail fairings for the LED turn signal lights last night. I have some back up fairings on the way (thank you, eBay!) which I can use if I dork these up.

I’ve been keeping a photo log of the progress of my bike project online. Check it out if you’re so inclined.

2 Comments so far

  1. Steve (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 11:07 am

    Have you had any problems with some of the LEDs burning out prematurely?


  2. Lex (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 11:11 am

    Actualy, I’ve never had that problem with LEDs. My boyfriend had trouble with them on his hardtail chopper, but we surmised it was likely just too much hard vibration for any light to stand.



Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.