Difference between revisions of "I want to make my bike into a streetfighter"

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===What is a streetfighter?===
 
===What is a streetfighter?===
  
A streetfighter is a motorcycle that has been modified from the original, usually because it's been wrecked and the owner either didn't have the funds or didn't want to restore it to stock condition. What you end up with is a custom bike, usually one that doesn't look like any other. A streetfighter can be good and beautiful, ugly and full of attitude, or just plain ugly. Imagination is the only limiting factor when it comes to making a streetfighter, that and some cash, which is why most streetfighters fall into the second or third categories.  
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A {{wikipedia|streetfighter}} is a motorcycle that has been modified from the original, usually because it's been wrecked and the owner either didn't have the funds or didn't want to restore it to stock condition. What you end up with is a custom bike, usually one that doesn't look like any other. A streetfighter can be good and beautiful, ugly and full of attitude, or just plain ugly. Imagination is the only limiting factor when it comes to making a streetfighter, that and some cash, which is why most streetfighters fall into the second or third categories.  
  
These shots show the progression of the streetfighter. They're not all EX250's, but you get the point. On the left is your basic '03, fully-faired stock bike. Next is the "wrecked, put back together enough to ride" concept. Right center is the Frankenstein/nearly-rat-bike look, followed by as minimalistic as you'd probably ever want to go: function with very little form. Given its design, this look is very difficult to achieve with an EX250. The final picture is what Jim Race calls "when streetfighters go wrong".
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These shots show the progression of the {{wikipedia|streetfighter}}. They're not all EX250's, but you get the point. On the left is your basic '03, fully-faired stock bike. Next is the "wrecked, put back together enough to ride" concept. Right center is the Frankenstein/nearly-rat-bike look, followed by as minimalistic as you'd probably ever want to go: function with very little form. Given its design, this look is very difficult to achieve with an EX250. The final picture is what Jim Race calls "when streetfighters go wrong".
  
 
[[Image:KawasakiEX250 full-faired.jpg|200px]] [[Image:ZX-6 streetfighter.jpg|150px]] [[Image:Frankenstein01.jpg|150px]] [[Image:completely minimalistic streetfighter.jpg|170px]] [[Image:marksbike.gif|170px]]
 
[[Image:KawasakiEX250 full-faired.jpg|200px]] [[Image:ZX-6 streetfighter.jpg|150px]] [[Image:Frankenstein01.jpg|150px]] [[Image:completely minimalistic streetfighter.jpg|170px]] [[Image:marksbike.gif|170px]]
  
===So, you mean a naked bike?===
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===So, you mean a {{wikipedia|naked bike}}?===
  
Actually, it's more appropriate to call bikes naked if they were born naked. In other words, naked bikes come from the factory without fairings. They are standard, regular motorcycles. Should you want to, there's no reason why your EX250 can't look like one, too.  
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Actually, it's more appropriate to call bikes naked if they were born naked. In other words, {{wikipedia|naked bike|naked bikes}} come from the factory without fairings. They are standard, regular motorcycles. Should you want to, there's no reason why your EX250 can't look like one, too.  
  
===How, then, do I make a streetfighter?===
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===How, then, do I make a {{wikipedia|streetfighter}}?===
  
 
It's very easy, really. Just start taking bits off your bike, until you get to the point where everything you don't want on there is off. Then, you can start replacing them with different bits, as fits your whim and budget. A couple trips to the bike shop, a few cans of paint, some mouse clicks, and you'll have a unique bike, which is part of the charm of a streetfighter.  
 
It's very easy, really. Just start taking bits off your bike, until you get to the point where everything you don't want on there is off. Then, you can start replacing them with different bits, as fits your whim and budget. A couple trips to the bike shop, a few cans of paint, some mouse clicks, and you'll have a unique bike, which is part of the charm of a streetfighter.  

Revision as of 14:34, 3 July 2007

What is a streetfighter?

A streetfighter is a motorcycle that has been modified from the original, usually because it's been wrecked and the owner either didn't have the funds or didn't want to restore it to stock condition. What you end up with is a custom bike, usually one that doesn't look like any other. A streetfighter can be good and beautiful, ugly and full of attitude, or just plain ugly. Imagination is the only limiting factor when it comes to making a streetfighter, that and some cash, which is why most streetfighters fall into the second or third categories.

These shots show the progression of the streetfighter. They're not all EX250's, but you get the point. On the left is your basic '03, fully-faired stock bike. Next is the "wrecked, put back together enough to ride" concept. Right center is the Frankenstein/nearly-rat-bike look, followed by as minimalistic as you'd probably ever want to go: function with very little form. Given its design, this look is very difficult to achieve with an EX250. The final picture is what Jim Race calls "when streetfighters go wrong".

KawasakiEX250 full-faired.jpg ZX-6 streetfighter.jpg Frankenstein01.jpg Completely minimalistic streetfighter.jpg Marksbike.gif

So, you mean a naked bike?

Actually, it's more appropriate to call bikes naked if they were born naked. In other words, naked bikes come from the factory without fairings. They are standard, regular motorcycles. Should you want to, there's no reason why your EX250 can't look like one, too.

How, then, do I make a streetfighter?

It's very easy, really. Just start taking bits off your bike, until you get to the point where everything you don't want on there is off. Then, you can start replacing them with different bits, as fits your whim and budget. A couple trips to the bike shop, a few cans of paint, some mouse clicks, and you'll have a unique bike, which is part of the charm of a streetfighter.

Or, you could end up with what is affectionately termed a "rat bike".

OK. I want to make a streetfighter. Where do I look for parts and stuff?

Browsing your local shops and motorcycle junkyards is a good place to start. You might find something you like at a price you can afford. eBay is another option. Searching "motorcycle accessories" will give you ideas for several bikes' worth of mods. If you're looking for something specific to the Ninja, the usual search string is ( Ninja 250, EX 250, EX250 ), including the parentheses. But you'll probably want something with a universal fit, so spend some time looking around, planning, and dreaming.

Notes: The main things that need to be taken care of are headlight, front turn signals, gauges, and mirrors. There are plenty of places to spend a lot of money on headlights, but you can get by with a universal 7" light that clamps on your forks. You'll probably need to buy the wiring connector and bulb or H4 conversion separately. If you care about being strictly legal, make sure you get one that is DOT approved. If you don't, it could be something you could get a ticket for from an overzealous cop. It's your bike; you decide.

There are two choices for mirrors. Find some universal bar-mounts, or get bar-end mirrors. One of our members has the Napoleon bar end mirrors, and he says the visibility is much better than stock. Here is a picture of the Napoleon; Ken Sean is similar:

Napoleon bar end mirror.jpg

Another bar-end option is to get mirrors from your local bicycle shop. Cat Eye is one brand that has been mentioned as working well. They're usually pretty cheap, also.

There is a longer discussion of bar-end mirrors on the mirror alternatives page.

Hints & Tips: Streetfighter

Streetfighter builder shopping guide

Some of these places (only some) are wildly expensive, but this list is generally directed toward the thrifty 250 owner. Shop well and allow plenty of time.

General accessories

Targa

Ride Now Powersports

Cycle-Re-Cycle

PowerSports Network

Four Strokes Only

AU Streetfighter

Extreme Creations

Sigma bicycle computers

Buster's Motorcycle Accessories

Old Bike Barn

EMGO

Cycle Therapy

JC Whitney

Lockhart Phillips

Twisted Throttle

Wild Hair Accessories

Fairings for 7" headlights

Givi universal screens

Air Tech vintage fairings, seats, tanks and windscreens

MRA windscreens

National Cycle Screens

Emgo makes a cute little bikini/cafe fairing. They only sell through dealers, but you can usually find several to choose from by searching 'cafe fairing' on eBay. It is sold under the name of Viper, but many places won't tell you exactly who makes it.

To find additional fairing choices, search terms can include 'bikini fairing', 'flyscreen', 'headlight cowl', 'handlebar fairing', and 'cafe fairing', and 'fairings for naked bikes'.

Updated Fairings

For a more modern look, you can get a fairing/headlight combo.

Fly N Cycle carries several brands.

Acerbis is a popular choice.

Search 'fairing' and 'headlight fairing', and don't forget eBay.

How-to:

webBikeWorld

Motorcycle News

Turn Signals

The Emgo catalog is a good place to start. Get cozy in your dealer's waiting room and see if there's something that does it for you. Here are some additional ideas:

PowerSports Network has several pages.

Custom Wizard also has many pages.

Dennis Kirk carries many different signals.

JC Whitney may have what you're looking for. They do have the saving grace of being cheap.

Keith at Asian Cycle has some interesting arrow signals in colors to match your bike.

When it comes time to search eBay for signals, you are going to have to be a little creative with your search string. There are thousands of OEM lights for dozens of different brands. You should end up with something that looks like 'turn signals -Harley, -Yamaha, -Honda, -Suzuki'. That will narrow it down to a thousand or so.

Mirrors

If you want to put your mirrors on the bars, there are plenty of options. Later 250's have mounts on the brake and clutch perches for mirrors. Most have at least the one on the clutch side. You can get an adapter that allows you to put a screw-in mirror on your bars if one isn't there already. Mirrors are available from Emgo and nearly every parts house on the web.

This article will cover the options relating to bar end mirrors.

CRG makes very nice billet mirrors that are priced beyond the scope of many streetfighter builders.

Napoleon also makes some nice mirrors. You do get what you pay for.

Cipa makes a teardrop-shaped mirror that's a little out of the ordinary.

Ken Sean mirrors are widely available, and affordable. Mounting instructions, which show how to mount the mirrors and retain your bar ends, which will help reduce vibration.

webBikeWorld has links to dozens of mirror manufacturers.

Gauges

While it's not strictly necessary to have gauges (excepting that you do need a speedometer), you may want to know what your engine is doing at times. There are cheap speedometers readily available, and also a variety of gauges. It depends on what you think is necessary, and what your desired "look" is. The cheapest option is probably to either use an OEM speedo, or a bicycle computer. You'll have to rig up some sort of light for the bicycle one. Make sure you get a speedometer with a trip meter (aka "gas gauge").

If the look you're after is chrome, and lots of chrome, you're in luck. It would help if you also wanted to shift at 8000 rpm. It seems the cruiser people do a lot more customizing than people with higher-revving engines, so much of what is available is aimed at them. Finding a 14,000 rpm tachometer isn't easy; you'll probably have to go with one of the electronic gauge setups that do everything in one box, or use a 12,000 rpm one.

Standard gauges

Sigma MC8 Computer and Housing Check w/seller to see if light is constant-on.

JC Whitney

Cycle Pages

Old Bike Barn

Electronic gauges

Trail Tech Vapor

Electro Sport Selling products from Acewell Meter. Customer service reputation is not great.

Veypor

Headlight Accessories

High output headlight harness

Daniel Stern headlight circuit upgrade

Rally Lights

CB600F/Hornet/599 headlight Get parts from Honda, make it fit yourself.

IPF headlight upgrade Converts any 7" round light into H4

Another IPF retailer

Candlepower H4 conversion .pdf

Old-style (bulb) 7" headlight conversion

Rubber fork mounts Mounts that attach your light to the forks are available many places. These come in several anodized colors and have rubber mountings.

7" Headlight Buckets

Buckets in 5 colors (probably plastic)

Cafe racer light

Chrome universal assembly

Chrome bucket

Buckets in several colors Appears similar to Emgo bucket, available from most N American dealers.

Multi colors in plastic & metal Also appears to be similar to Emgo item.

Emgo black bucket

Other Stuff

Anodized footpegs in several colors are available from Dennis Kirk, Cycle Pages, and your local Emgo dealer.

Spiegler SS brake lines come in a variety of colors. Not just a modification, it's an upgrade.

If you really want to change the appearance of your bike, and feel that you can do some modifications:

Air Tech has vintage seat/tail sections.

CafeRace has some seats as well.

If you really want to spend a lot of money, you can get a different fuel tank, courtesy of The Tank Shop.

Air Tech also has many vintage tanks to choose from. Theirs, however, are made of fiberglass and not recommended for street use.


Happy shopping. Happy customizing.

From the N250RC FAQ staff