Last week I posted about the long, arduous process of removing the stock decals from the 1993 Yamaha FZR 600, in preparation for the new DIY paint job. Despite the enjoyment I have had with this bike, I could not get over the look of the tail of the bike. There are a ton of FZR owners out there who replace the entire tail section with one from a more modern Yami R6. but this is expensive, and more than I wanted to get into, requiring welding and mods to the subframe. So I opted for some plastic chopping…
I started the process by taping off the lines I thought would look good, while the fairings were still on the bike. Using painter’s tape, I could visualize what the result would be, and then grabbed the trusty Dremel too, with a plastic cutting wheel. To a certain degree, you are doing this free-hand, because the tape will not stop the blade from ruining a perfectly good (albeit, archaic looking) fairing. Fortunately, I hadn’t consumed too much coffee, and my hand was reasonably steady. The photo above shows the cut for the first fairing.
Getting the second fairing to match up is more difficult. I used the tape again, this time using the cut piece as a guide, lining up the “negative space” that the cut would leave. A few minutes later, I was left with two smaller fairings, slightly different from one another, but nothing some sand paper couldn’t solve.
Next was to use an angle grinder – with a cutting wheel on it, to remove the brace bars that slope down from the subframe. These are used to hold the coolant overflow on one side, and the helmet lock on the other. Zip, zip, and they were gone. Might need to figure out a place to reweld the helmet lock. I will be making a custom coolant overflow catch bottle from a typical water bottle – so popular today in the gyms of America.
The most difficult part was getting the tail light section to work correctly. After cutting off the under fender, there were parts of the light bracket (which also holds the tail fairing) that jutted out below the new lines of the rear side fairings. Ugly! So it was back at it with the cutting wheel, eliminating the bottom part of the bracket. This made lining up the tail fairing very frustrating, because I needed to fabricate some brackets to hold the light. The only material lying around at the shop was some flat steel, so shaping was cumbersome. Eventually, after a couple of hours of manipulating the steel into shape, the brackets were done – and the light was in position while on the bike.
The last step was to figure out a temporary spot for the rear blinkers. The old bracket was long gone, so a couple more brackets made of steel, and they attached to the bike. For now, they are a little too far forwards, but they should work fine for the time being.
Time to prep for painting…