Two Wheel Motorsport, my local Kawasaki dealership, said they could do the work and estimated two hours of shop time and a twelve dollar seal. I dropped off the unit and got a call back four days later saying it was done. It was a nice surprise to find that the work took less than an hour and my $250 estimate was suddenly a $120 bill. You hear a lot of negative talk about dealerships but Two Wheel did this job professionally and quickly, and then didn't overcharge when they easily could have.
I cleaned out the shaft drive end and re-greased everything. Reinstalling the unit was easy and straightforward. With the grease holding the spring in place I was able to simply slot the drive unit onto the shaft splines and re-torque the four nuts. Everything went together smoothly and the drive feels tight and positive.
Since this was the only mechanical issue with the Concours I was able to begin thinking about the customization side of things. With over 100lbs of plastic and metal removed from the bike I needed to start thinking about how to minimally dress this naked machine in order to cover up the plumbing and electrics. Having a metal shop at work means handy access to fabrication tools. Our shop teacher is also a Concours owner and is eager to help with panel building. He suggested I do cardboard cutouts of the pieces I need and then we can begin the process of creating metal body work.
|Body work craft day in the garage.|
The shop at school has a plasma cutter and we should be getting a laser engraver shortly. With such advanced tools I'm already thinking about engraving panels. Collecting together a bunch of line drawings of iconic images and sayings in a variety of languages would be an interesting way to dress up the minimal panels on this bike. If the laser engraver can work on compound shapes I might drop the gas tank in there and engrave Kawasaki down the spine of it where the gold stripe will go rather than looking for badges or decals.
I enjoy the mechanical work but now that the Concours is working to spec I can focus on the arts and crafts side of customization. Next up is trying to figure out how a minimal front panel that contains the headlight and covers up the electrical and plumbing at the front will look.