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Project Naked Concours

I bought a few boxes of 1986 Connie parts and a battered engine for $100. (All prices here are $Cdn). Then I bought a low sided 1986 for $650. About two days after that, the local Big K dealer called about a 1986 they had in storage for the last couple of years. Yup, I bought that one too, for $600.

I already had a perfectly good touring Connie. And the thought of wrecking two bikes didn't make much sense when I knew that at least one was perfectly rideable. The Naked Connie concept started to germinate. Besides, the reason these bikes were cheap was because of broken plastic and if a bike needs repairs, I don't want to be stuck replacing or repairing the most expensive parts.

This is the $650 special. The other one has been parted out. It has a nice Corbin seat with backrest and good tires which I can use.
Other than a completely totaled upper and left side fairing and a left riders peg MIA, plus a bent shifter, it's really not that bad. ( Am I an optimist or what ! )
Since the exhaust is going to be visible, that unfinished factory look had to go. I sandblasted the crap out of it (literally & figuratively) and sprayed them with some flat black manifold paint. Since I didn't have much use for the leftover paint, I used the whole can and gave the pipes a few coats.
I bought this set of 1995ZX9 Ninja gauges on eBay for $82. Cheap. Mechanical speedo and electronic tach. The temp and gas gauges and idiot lights are also part of the package.
The back side of the ZX9 gauges appear to have all the same connections as the Connie. The wiring harness is too short to connect with the Connie. The solution should be quite simple. Remove the harness from the old Connie gauge set and swap it into the ZX9 gauges. It appears to have all the right number and sized connection.
Here's the back of the old Connie gauges. The only wires that will likely be discarded is for the clock.
A hint of what's to come - naked bike mirrors.
The next step is to find a headlight and mount. This should be quite easy. The only tough part is finding a mount to fit the 41mm fork tubes. Most aftermarket mounts seem to either have a maximum diameter around 38mm or are ugly. Might have to make a pair.

Article By: David J. Morrow

Updated January 2005 

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