Heads Up Racing, Inc.
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Pigpens Bike - Rebuild
 
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Beginnings....

So this is my story.

July 27, 2008 I lost Tim, my friend, brother, buddy. Not "like" family, he was family.

He was doing what he loved, riding the bike with friends on a curvy country road, and then he was gone. Life is like that sometimes, a light switch that turns on and off.

After his accident and funeral, his father Don took the bike home, with plans to rebuild it the way Tim had it, and keep it put away so no one else would be hurt on it. Turned out it was more than he could handle, plus he was moving overseas to work for an oil company.

So Don and his wife Susan called me up out of the blue and offered it to me, on two conditions: I could part it out, or restore with the understanding I would never sell it. I jumped at the chance to have a part of Tim's life, and brought his wreck home.

The poor ZX-12R was in sorry shape. Tim never made these projects easy on me, so I knew what to expect. We had rebuilt the bike once already, after he laid it down Dec 2007, but this time around it was mangled in every way. Pretty much every part but the engine and wheels were broken, bent or scratched and cracked.

So I tore into it and started my list, and started scrounging parts and pieces to bring the beast back to life.

A little history on the ZX-12R. This was Kawasaki's answer to the Hayabusa. 2000 was the last year of the unrestricted bikes, meaning this one didn't have the 186 mph limiter. Tim had added a full Yoshimura exhaust with header, a Power Programmer, BMC filters, and went down a tooth in front. Meaning this thing is a screamer.

When we rebuilt it, he had gotten some of those famous Hong Kong fairings, which didn't fit well, and the color green he couldn't match. At that time he just painted the tank and rear fairing black, and said the heck with it.. once it got dinged and scratched up some, and the money got better, he would just paint the entire thing black anyhow.

Here is how it looked in early 2008, after we rebuilt it the last time around:

So the time to decide what I would do was here. I could go back to the original metallic green which he liked, redo the green HK fairings, or go all black. I chose black since that is where he was headed, but added my own twist. I had been searching for a fairing set and came across a beautiful black set, with some red ghost flames...  something about them just said "yes".

The black is what he wanted,

The red flames remind me that the bike was like the Phoenix, back from the dead,

The red at the bottom is a little nod to his all time favorite bike, his ZRX1200..


I plan to add his little Pigpen screen character plus a note of how this is my tribute to him and all the other fallen riders, plus some lettering for the various online motorcycle forums he and I frequented.

I am trying to put it back the way he had it, and also the way we talked about he was planning to change some things, like the all black paint. I am also "upgrading" some pieces and parts, since my buddy was more often than not strapped for cash (aren't we all?) and had to settle occasionally on something he just couldn't afford. We often talked about "if only", so as I go I'll try and honor his wishes as much as I can.


Follow along as I do my best to bring this bike back from the scrap heap and honor my fallen friend and all his brothers.

And for those of you who are addicted to this sport/passion of riding, please ride safe. Remember to tell your family you love them every chance you get.


ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time).. Pigpen was passionate about his protective gear.. it was  a chance thing that got him, 1 in a million; the gear did everything it was supposed to...

Think this guy was serious about his gear? (that was coming out of the office!!!)

                                                                                 



tear down

This is the bike as I got it, and all the various parts that are damaged....  at first it doesn't look all that bad....

Long list of junk....

All the plastics, including tank cover. Forks bent. Exhaust smashed and bent. Bars broken and bent. Frame tab for fairing bracket cracked. Fairing stay mangled. Gauge cover cracked. Right peg broke, rear master junked. Rear subframe bent and twisted, under tray broke. Left side cover ground thru and leaking.....

In addition the turn signals, bars, mirrors and other odds and ends will need replaced.

Surprisingly, the motor fires right up and runs like a champ. No damage to the header, no leaks in the radiator.

The wheel runout checks out good... there is a small ding in the swingarm but other than that it looks straight. I need to replace the forks and subframe so I can verify the chassis is straight.

Turned out that the frame had cracks that I didn't find until pulling the motor, and swingarm. So not much of the original remains, except the motor, header, tank and wheels. A few odds and ends survived, but not much.

There are more pics at: http://s206.photobucket.com/albums/bb23/texlurch/ZX-12R/

 

 



Rebuilding....

As the project progresses, I'll add to this section...

Here is what I want to add on the rear seat cowl:

 

And of course those itty bitty bar end mirrors.. I thought they were silly and gave him crap all the time, but they were his thing... so they are going back on!

The fairing set I chose is this one:

Snakebyte over on the Kawiforums was kind enough to share a couple pics of his bike with similar fairings on it, so here is the basic plan (thanks bud!!!)

So far as other parts I am putting it back like it was... but after seeing these pics of the fairings on the bike I decided to polish the wheel lips...... we'll also go with some flushmount signals and the double bubble style screen he had before. Some Watsen Design black signals will fit in there real well....

He had the itty bitty bar end mirrors on the bike.. I rode it a couple times in the past and have no idea how he saw anything behind him....  LOL! But they were "Tim", so something is going back on the bike.

He had something like this, but smaller:

I found some a little bigger and look like they will be "somewhat"usable.. we'll see!

Got the mirrors in, and with a little minor work they work just fine! Also got the bike back from the welding shop, American Heliarc in Houston, TX. did an awesome job fixing some damage on the replacement frame and radiator; thanks guys!!

And of course, right after I left town for work, the new fairings arrived.. here's a little teaser:

 



Going back together

So here are some in progress pics as I test fit all the bits and pieces. The fairings fit surprising well, much better than the last set. It's gonna be nice......  !

 

 

Almost done... already added the Watsen design flushmounts since these pics were taken. Exhaust is a GP style for the R1 Yamaha that sounds AWESOME!

And I finally got the seat cowl back from my airbrush guy Marcel... turned out GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last few things that I feel "need" done is to get the footpeg brackets and exhaust hanger powdercoated black, and some custom gauge faces done up. Then I'll call it "done" for now.

Future plans and "wants" are a braided line for the rear brake, along with some custom billet brackets.

Wave rotors, would love some aftermarket magnesium light weight wheels.

Going to get it dyno tuned and see what it will do.

May add some carbon fiber accents, undecided on that right now.


I need to send out huge thanks to the following, who helped make it happen and supported my obsession along the way..

 

Don, Susan and Tammy Waters..  you guys know how I feel

My buddies and pals Gregg, Gerald, Sammy, Brandt, Rueben.. appreciate the help and support more than you know

My "better half" Kelly, who puts up with all my endless bad habits and hobbies, luv ya babe!

All the guys and gals on the web forums we surf: Motohouston.com, Superbikemoto.com (July 09 Bike of the Month!), Highperformancecrew.com, Kawasakiworld.com

Ebay, where you truly can find everything you want!

Motorcycles Unlimited

American Heliarc

Your Powdercoating.com

Rushbikes.com, "The" place for airbrush work



On the road again....

Almost done. I think it needs the exhaust hanger and peg brackets done in black....

Took a maiden voyage out of the neighborhood to shake it out and make sure everything was working like it should, ended up at Tim's corner and took a couple pics. I miss you boy!



The continuing saga

After a couple rides in the country, I decided I better put it up before I did something stupid.. needs some suspension work to handle the way I like. At this point, I was looking at LSR events, but decided to set it up for both the drags and maybe an LSR meet down the road at The Texas Mile.

Lowered and stretched. Got a great deal on some Performance Machine wheels and got them powder coated in Anthracite with clear. Also got a few more bits and pieces done in black.

Added a shift light, Dynojet Quickshifter and a tether kill switch.

Future plans are nitrous on a progressive controller, 1270 kit, ported head with better springs......

Here is the list so far:

Aftermarket fairings, black with ghost flames
Custom airbrushed “Pigpen” on seat cowl
Dino Enterprises billet seat hinge
Watsen Design led signals
Red leds under fairings
Custom gauge faces
GP style R1 exhaust modified to fit
Hindle Step tube header
BMC filters
Timing advancer
Bear Purple short stacks

Power Commander
Dynojet quick shifter
Muzzy billet clutch, heavy steels
Shift light
17T front, 48T rear
Custom chain guard and hugger
Lowered 1 inch in front, 2 in rear

Aftermarket stiffer spring on shock

Vortex lowering links
5 inch stretch
Performance Machine wheels in Anthracite PC

EBC pads
Shinko 003 softies
Pazzo levers
Rizoma grips
Billet bar end mirrors customized to fit
Braided brake lines, billet rear reservoir, billet front reservoir cap
Scotts stabilizer
MPS Racing tether kill switch

Front end strap for drag racing
Powder coated rearsets and muffler hanger, mirror block offs

Modified swingarm bottle mount, with anti-drop bracket

CO2 shifter

Wave rotors

Full Racetech setup in forks

And of course some current pics....

 

 

 

Latest pics, with new rotors, headlight veil, and tank painted black below the seat..