Transforming a motorcycle into a Brat: steps and budget

Conseils pour transformer une Kawasaki ZR7 en Brat.

Follow the steps of the Bratstyle preparation of a ZR7

You plan to personalize your motorcycle, to transform it into an original and unique Café Racer. You are looking for practical information , advice on modifying a motorcycle. You wonder what budget to plan for a Café racer preparation , how to go about it, how long it will take, etc.?

Following the interest aroused by our previous article on the preparation of a 125 Scrambler, this time we offer you a Bratstyle preparation, carried out not by us, but by one of our customers, Nicolas , supported by his friend vincent. Both wanted to share the completion of their project in order to help those who are about to get started or who hesitate for lack of information.

If you plan to transform your motorcycle into a Bratstyle or another style of Café racer, discover in this article the different phases, the problems encountered and resolved that Nicolas and Vincent had to face. Here are the steps of the Bratstyle preparation of a ZR7 in detail.

Kawasaki ZR7, a good base for a Brat

original motorcycle kawasaki gray model zr7

Nicolas wanted a motorcycle that was both classic and elegant, which would be little used in preparation in order to stand out. The ZR7 , a 750 cc four-cylinder in line, is a machine that has a nice chassis and a generous engine at low and medium revs.

An old model, inexpensive second-hand , proven, and perfectly suited to the project. A good basis therefore for a future Brat whose story began in September 2020, quite naturally when reading an ad: " AV Kawasaki ZR7 2001 35,000 km 1,600 € ".

Once the bike is purchased and sitting in the middle of the garage, it's time to get to work. Much research on the internet then ensued with the production of a multitude of sketches detailing the various modifications envisaged on the motorcycle.

Then, after about a month of reflection to schematize with precision the transformations adopted, the serious things will be able to begin.

A Bratstyle motorcycle, what is it exactly?

kawasaki zr7 prepared in black bratstyle

Before getting to the heart of the matter that interests us here, namely the modification of a ZR7 into a Brat, a quick aside on the roots and specificities of this style of motorcycle. The Bratstyle originated in Japan ; it was developed by Go Takamine , a Japanese tuner and picked up around the world.

Like all customizations, the objective is to lighten the bike and optimize its performance. In a Brat, we can also find particularities specific to a Café racer, a Bobber, a Tracker or a Scrambler:

  • front and rear wheels of the same size (Café racer);
  • thick tires;
  • fuel tank and saddle alignment (Café racer);
  • flat saddle;
  • handlebar placed in height (Bobber or Tracker);
  • front suspension bellows;
  • sometimes raised muffler (Scrambler).

Brat style: align the tank to the saddle

frame kawasaki zr7 tank xjr

The first difficulties encountered by Nicolas and Vincent were the alignment of the saddle and the new tank. Significant and meticulous work has therefore been carried out on the chassis.

Install a new tank on the ZR7

The stock tank of the Kawa seemed too angular to him. He preferred that of the Yamaha 1300 XJR , more elegant to his taste. First problem encountered: adapting it to the ZR7.

xjr tank on kawasaki zr7 frame

In order to optimize the turning radius and prevent the handlebars from touching it, the buffers had to be moved. This step required millimeter precision, but for a perfect result. Fuel gauge and cap have been changed.

Saddle and rear buckle: best respect the Brat style

motorcycle frame buckle assembly

Nicolas absolutely wanted to respect the Bratstyle signature: elongated and flat saddle, adjusted to the tank and straight handlebars . In order to be able to adapt the base of the tank with the new saddle (a model adaptable to a Honda 500 CX), significant work has been done on changing the buckle (with integrated LED light and indicators).

The rear frame of the ZR7 goes back, too, measurements have been carried out meticulously to make the cuts and welds necessary for its repositioning.

motorcycle frame with led loop

The frame tubes have been designed to perfectly match the contour of the saddle and the tank, but also to reinforce the chassis. In order to give the rear of the Kawasaki the clean style that Nicolas wanted, adjustment and alignment required a lot of time.

Manufacture of specific parts for the preparation

The idea was to avoid the “ Mad Max ” style as much as possible. Plates were welded under the saddle in order to place the electrical harness there. A crucial step requiring a lot of work. Objective : to rationalize the different places to best position the electronic components and wires .

In addition, two plates (one of which is perforated for aesthetics) have been welded between the engine compartment and the wheel. They made it possible to accommodate part of the harness as well as the breather.

A protection for the chain was manufactured (folding and welding) on ​​which was welded a small tube in which was concealed the wire for the lighting of the license plate.

Modified front motorcycle fender

The rear plate carrier and pegs have been welded to the swingarm (the front pegs and front fender have been changed for consistency).

baffle in exhaust manifold

The DB Killer was soldered then the pot was mounted. (A paste was created to secure the pot.) Another modification was made to the cones . These touched the frame, so they were cut out and fixed with a two-component glue.

The steps after dismantling the motorcycle

The blank assembly carried out and the planned installations completed, the dismantling of the ZR7 can begin. Once the motorcycle has been stripped, Vincent and Nicolas begin the sanding and painting part:

  • the frame : sandblasted, then painted black, as are the rims, the swingarm, the fork sliders, fork crown, mudguards, etc. (an elasticizer has been added to the paint);
  • the manifold : painted black with high temperature paint ;
  • the engine : sandblasted with bicarbonate and painted black;
  • the rear shock absorber : painted in gold;
  • the tank : repaired (slightly damaged on purchase) and painted black, embellished with a gold border.
bare frame kawasaki zr7 modified with buckle
kawasaki zr7 sandblasted frame
black epoxy painted kawasaki frame
kawasaki zr7 frame and harness
brat motorcycle preparation

Final stages of the Bratstyle preparation

The finished painting, place to the reassembly of what was, a few months ago still, a Kawa ZR7 of series. The wiring harness finds its place in the different locations created, as for the battery, a smaller model is purchased (Solise) to be housed under the tank.

On the cockpit side, a Koso digital counter is installed and the levers and hoods are replaced by black models. New mirrors and a headlight also participated in the transformation of the motorcycle.

brat motorcycle cockpit

On the engine side, a lot of work too. It was equipped with a dynojet kit but following the removal of the air box, a major adjustment had to be carried out: the opportunity to carry out a complete overhaul at a motorcycle mechanic.

The corner of the "merdouilles"

yamaha xjr tank bumps

Some would say they are inevitable. They have the gift of annoying and causing cold sweats. This grain of sand that takes over, we have to put up with it and sometimes awaken the " MacGyver " that lies dormant in us.

During this Bratstyle preparation, the setting of the counter proved to be somewhat recalcitrant as well as the operation of the front indicators (integrated into the headlight), defective due to insufficient intensity. After "some" research, it turned out that the problem came neither from the relay nor from the addition of resistance, but simply from the wire of the daytime running light !

Moral of the story and advice for those who start a preparation: take your time for the connections of the electrical harness . Be meticulous because the slightest mistake is equivalent to spending an eternity to identify and solve the problem.

brastyle black motorcycle

Transforming a motorcycle into a Brat: parts, work and budget

Here is in detail the parts and work carried out for the transformation of the ZR7 into Bratstyle. Thanks to Nicolas for the quality of the information provided.

If they apply specifically to its realization, they will allow you to have a more precise idea of ​​what a preparation can represent, in time and cost:

  • purchase of the motorcycle : €1,600;
  • engine overhaul (carburettor adjustment, synchro, change of intake pipes, etc.): approximately €700;
  • sandblasting, painting : approximately €600;
  • sheet metal, welding, screws etc. : about 500 €;
  • parts and accessories : (cockpit, lighting, saddle, frame, filter, mudguard, speedometer, tank, exhaust, etc.) approximately €2,000;
  • time spent : 8 months.
black bratstyle motorcycle

Namely: except for the engine overhaul, they did everything themselves. Vincent being a coachbuilder and painter by trade, Nicolas did not have to pay any labor costs.

Ideas for advice articles for your motorcycle preparations

On our blog , find articles on the world of Café racers, tips and tricks to help you carry out your preparation project as well as possible.

How to Redo the Wiring Harness of your Café Racer? Motorcycle Shock Absorbers: 4 Settings to Know Equipping your Café Racer with LED headlights: Why? How much does it cost ?

1 comment

  • Mathieu RAYMOND

    Est-il possible d’avoir leurs contacts s’il vous plaît pour avoir les références des accessoires. Leurs comptes Instagram si ils ne veulent pas par mails … En vous remerciant par avance. V à vous

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