We caught up with ADB reader Kane Sedonja to take a closer look at his epic 1986 Kawasaki KX500 build. Here's what he did and what he thinks of it.
WHAT IS IT? 1986 Kawasaki KX500
WHO? Kane Sedonja (Garage 11)
WHERE DID YOU BUY IT? Hoxton Park, NSW
HOW MUCH? Undisclosed
WHY DID YOU BUY IT?
It was an opportunity to challenge what we could do as a restoration company. The condition was bad, and that was evident in the photos. There were a lot of key original parts missing and no matter how hard we tried it wouldn’t start. We thought we may have bitten off more than we could handle but as we went along, we managed to find what we needed to make it happen. The 80s was always a cool era as well, which inspired us to make the call to restore it, as well as how unique seeing the 1986 Kawasaki KX500 is.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO IT?
We have done a lot to it. It needed a complete restoration. We started by stripping it down to a frame and working out from there. The forks were re-chromed and hydro blasted, triple clamps restored, frame re-coated, and we gave it a complete engine restoration and rebuild. The tank had to be restored as well which was a mission unto itself.
We had a stroke of luck with the radiator shrouds and side panels and we were able to find new old stock ones in Europe, this was a massive key part of the visual side of this restoration. We stripped apart all the brakes systems and Cerakoted and restored them all back to original colours. New old stock brake lines were found to help with the OEM looks.
We had to find and restore a used air box for it as there are not too many left around. The air filter cage had to come from a guy in the US who 3D prints replica ones, as it’s impossible to find them. The other thing that was good was we had the translucent rear frame protector still in reasonable shape so that had to be restored as well. We had to rebuild and restore the shock and swing arm, which was a long mission but well worth the time.
Rims where replaced with Excel’s and new spokes where laced to restored hubs. We then went out and found as many new OEM clips, straps and other small items to add to the OEM target we where trying to get to.
HOW DOES IT GO?
Straight into the G11 office.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND BUYING ONE?
This is a hard question to answer when it comes to an 80s big bore bike, or any 80s motocross bike for that matter. These things look amazing when they are finished and restored, how ever the process is a massive financial and mental challenge, due to the nature of 80s motocross and how much development was going on year on year. A lot of parts are hard to find and not reproduced, unlike 90s and later bikes. They are not the best to ride, but the feeling of riding old bikes is amazing, as they give you a feeling once forgotten, and they can make you feel like a rockstar compared to modern monsters.
For a short answer to a long question, yes, I would, however, do your research and do it for the love not the investment.