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I'm re-styling the front end of my survival bike. Help me weigh up my options....

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I'm re-styling the front end of my survival bike. Help me weigh up my options.... Empty I'm re-styling the front end of my survival bike. Help me weigh up my options....

Post by Big Chris on Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 pm

Currently this is how the bike has looked for the last year or 2

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I am really happy with the tank (GPZ500S), and everything behind it, the seat setup (it is hinged to give a lockable storage area underneath), and the pointy tail section (which allows a sliding mudflap to extend under the number plate by about 200mm so its a semi-decent mudguard). But I don't like the lights, they were done a long time ago, before the tank/seat/tailpirece,  and now they don't look right. I also don't like the gap between front of tank and front down tubes/headstock area. The lights currently are like this:

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So, I have bought these HID projecta headlights. I had the same ones on my transalp in Aus, they are brilliant lights, very bright, each has a dip & main built in, and they are small, smaller than a 330ml coke can. They come with chrome shell so the grey paint is etch primer as they are going matt black. I rigged them temporarily on some box section to see how they look on the bike.

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This is how the bike looks now, with the old lights and clocks removed. I like this look, minimalist and purposeful. From the top the fuel tank is much bigger, and visually dominant over the small tailpiece, so these wee lights retain that dominance of the fuel tank.


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Add in the lights and the front end looks like this (I tried paining them black in MS paint but the fekn file format isnt supported on my pc...). It retains the short stumpy purposeful look. I can make up some infiull panels for the area in front of the fuel tank.

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BUT... I also have a reproduction of a Katana headlight fairing. By some act of serendipity it is almost the same width as the tank, to within a cm or 2 on each side. The flat top of the fairing lines up with the flat top of the fuel tank. I could hide various types of headlight inside the aperture, I could make a mesh grille for that aperture, I could paint the fibreglass to look distressed and rusty. In the photos it is just resting on, so I could adjust the angle, height etc. One other option is to line up the bottom of the fairing with the line of the seat and bottom of the tank.

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But, it is physically very big, No longer is the tank so physically dominant, no longer does the bike have the short stumpy look. Additionally, I can't help but be reminded of my Gran's 1960's vacuum cleaner

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I'm going for a post apocalyptic look rather than a ratbike look.

So, What do you think? Which setup do you think looks better? Short and stumpy with small lights, or with the katana fairing?

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Post by esox on Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:54 pm

1) The lights on their own look odd - far too small, front end looks like there`s something missing.
2) Deffo use the Kat fairing somehow, maybe mount it a bit higher or add screenage to give more height. Greater mass at front with a slender rear (ooooh err missus) is a winning appearance. Makes a bike look purposeful.
3) My mum used to have an Electrolux like that when i was a kid. I used to play with it and imagine it was a spaceship.
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Post by CB_Phil on Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:20 pm

Kat fairing looks good, but agree it needs something above or drop the bars yo keep the fairing/ tank line the highest

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Post by Big Chris on Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:57 pm

I can't drop the bars, they'll hit the tank on full lock, they have to be on the current 40mm risers

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Post by june_whitfield on Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:59 am

CB_Phil wrote:Kat fairing looks good, but agree it needs something above or drop the bars yo keep the fairing/ tank line the highest

perfect place for a plastic skull the decapitated head of your enemy!

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Post by CB_Phil on Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:33 am

Bottom of the jaw being the fairing....

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Post by Lurchenstien on Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:51 pm

I kinda prefer it without the fairing, but the lights could do with some kind of surround, as they do look odd sitting out in the open. With the clocks off, I'd guess that they're being moved or replaced, maybe work out where they're going and see what you have to work with. My headlights are similar to those, I had them stacked on the 125 but without any sort of surround, they looked odd. When I moved them to the 600, I decided they had to have a surround, so I went for this. I'd like them to be a little further back, but it's not something that bothers me a whole lot.

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Post by Urban Terrorist on Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 pm

No to the fairing, can't you make something angular to mount them in, like the tail piece?
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Post by magnamaniac on Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:01 pm

And with the lights, "invisible" from the side, under the headstock?

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Post by Big Chris on Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:05 pm

Thanks for your input guys.
If I am to do the fairing, in order for the forks to turn lock to lock,it will probably have to be mounted like the photos below. With the back corner lined up to the end of knee indent of the tank, its uncanny how close the two are. This moves the fairing higher and more forward. It would look alright with a small flyscreen too, possibly sat at the same angle as the diagonal line beside the headlight.

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Post by Big Chris on Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:06 pm

Urban Terrorist wrote:No to the fairing, can't you make something angular to mount them in, like the tail piece?

What sort of shape? Could you post a sketch?

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Post by Big Chris on Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:15 pm

by magnamaniac Today at 6:01 pm

And with the lights, "invisible" from the side, under the headstock?

I could mount them on this radiator guard rail. Here they are drawn on.



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Post by CB_Phil on Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:49 pm

That could work

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Post by Jim2014 on Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:17 am

Looks great in second set of photos. Why not mount the twin lights inside the fairing and blank off the gaps around them? Would use the lights you already have with the added bonus of upsetting katana fans!
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Post by Big Chris on Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:35 pm

Jim2014 wrote:Looks great in second set of photos. Why not mount the twin lights inside the fairing and blank off the gaps around them? Would use the lights you already have with the added bonus of upsetting katana fans!

Going to have a mesh screen with the lights hidden behind them. I'll use the lights you see in these photos, they are small enough to fit under fairing, behind a mesh, hopefully it will be so dark in there that you only see them when they're on.

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Post by spotarama on Fri May 08, 2020 10:52 am

Not sure but my personal choice would be a fucking great big single light ( maybe a 9") with a mesh grille, but that's just me, seems to me that post-apocalypse we will need as much light as we can get as there will be far fewer street lights

Incidentally, a katana fairing mates up almost perfectly to the fake scoops on a vmax
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