Only once the newly built-up motor was back in the frame, Simon found something wasn’t quite right. So back the engine went, and back apart it came. ‘The crankcases had warped’, stated Simon, matter-of-factly. ‘The guy put them on a sheet of glass and they simply rolled around!’
Now you might think that this would spell disaster, I mean, decent KX5 crankcases aren’t exactly keeping eBay share prices buoyant or Kawasaki dealers in new Mercedes. And you’d be right. Well, half right. Because whilst you won’t find huge stocks of KX500 bits at every dealer, Simon found himself a reliable supply of parts. ‘All the bits came from Cradley Kawasaki in Birmingham’, he explained. ‘And they’ve been excellent. Every single part I’ve ordered, with the exception of the cases which they had to get shipped, have come off-the-shelf’.
And so, with shiny new cases, the motor was finally ready to go, dressed up with a Boyesen ignition cover, new coolant hoses, and a set of V-Force reeds nestling between the barrel and the Keihin carb.
The actual rebuild phase of the project started in earnest at the end of last summer. ‘I simply piled into it, working on the bike most evenings. And my friend Mark helped out every step of the way’, stated Simon.
The KX’s distinctive up-and-over front pipe is now a Pro Circuit part, linking to an FMF silencer at the rear. The SM braking upgrade was achieved with a Talon 320mm disc and, hanging from the forks with a specially fabricated bracket, is a twin-pot caliper from an old CBR600.
For the controls, Simon fitted a pair of graphite-coloured Renthal ‘bars, with a pair of Reikon levers hiding behind the Acerbis handguards.