Like many bikes roaming the streets, our 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R is a bit seasoned. Even though it’s yet to hit the ground as a result of operator error while in motion, it has fallen victim to no less than eight parking-lot incidents.
The owner, Alex Larson, has walked out to a busted bike without a soul in site more times than he’d like to admit. The most frequent incidents found Larson staring at his Kawi laying on its side in a parking lot, but he’s also come out to a busted bike that was graciously placed back upright by the perpetrator who then fled the scene—how considerate. But his most memorable incident involved an SUV that dragged the Kawi across a parking lot while leaving the scene when its trailer hitch got stuck on the ZX-10R after backing into it. Needless to say, this Ninja has had a hard life.
For those not familiar with the build, we took delivery of the battered Kawi a few months ago and have slowly taken it down a budget-minded revival path. Thus far we’ve given it a thorough tune-up, new tires, a Scott’s steering damper and an M4 pipe, all of which have helped breathe some new life into its weathered hide.
This month we decided to spend our meager budget on some key mods that won’t break the bank, but go a long way in improving the old girl. First up was some needed attention in the cockpit and that came from McCoy Motorsports in the form of its in-house billet brake reservoir cap and a matching MCarbon carbon-fiber reservoir cover. Yes, these are simple mods, but a glance at the before-and-after pics is proof that a little goes a long way.
Putting that notion to practice, we decided to swap out the busted foot pegs with some trick billet units from Competition Werkes. The stock ones were little more than nubs from the parking-lot tumbles and the Competition Werkes units not only improved foot control, but they look tons better. Take note that we had to modify our pegs with a file in order to make them fit. The process can be accelerated with power tools, or if you don’t value your time you can hand file them like we did (we actually do value our time, but didn’t have the fancy tools).
Rounding out the trio of budget mods was a set of Shogun no-cut frame sliders from Surfside Moto. While we understand the stock plastics are thoroughly trashed and are held in place with duct tape, zip ties, Velcro, J-B Weld and a little luck, some quality sliders will help prevent any further damage in a tip over, particularly to levers and footpegs.
The Shogun units installed in minutes and even though a few extra holes in our fairings wouldn’t have mattered, the fact that these sliders install without any cutting or modifying means they’re easy money and a must-do mod. Had our Kawi sported sliders during the SUV incident we’re certain the damage would have been greatly reduced.
We’ll admit that the mods this month were meager, but a glance at the pictures proves that they were still significant. In the end we vastly improved the old mare, making this is the last stop for our 2004 ZX-10R. If anything, we think this build is proof that some TLC and a little time can do wonders for a neglected bikejust be careful where you park it.
A dash of carbon and...
A dash of carbon and a hint of billet did wonders for our old steed.
Quality sliders that don't...
Quality sliders that don't require cutting are the best of both worlds.
The stub of a stock...
The stub of a stock peg is all that's left of what was once a real perch.
We had to file down the step...
We had to file down the step in order to make the pegs fit.