Zaph's Kart Track Tool (build thread) - Kawasaki Z125 Forum
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post #1 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Zaph's Kart Track Tool (build thread)

Well, picked up a little something to ride around town and the kart track.



Some background. I've been exclusive to big race tracks and fast bikes for about 5 years. It's been fun, but it's been expensive as ****, with race tires, fixing crashed bikes and medical bills. Since 2014 I broke 11 bones and have 3 titanium plates with 50 screws. I've crashed at the kart track 3 times and the worst I ever got was a slightly sprained thumb. (Remember to make a fist when you fly like superman off a high side) But anyway, some other medical issues are forcing me out of the big track and back to the little track. I rode supermoto bikes there maybe 6-7 years ago and I missed it.



This bike is a track tool only. Though I am still keeping it street legal for various services, like pit bike duty and running to the YMCA to work out, etc. In this build, price is important. My last race bike, a Ninja 300, I ended up dropping $10K into. I don't want to do that again, especially on a 125. This is really a budget build.

I picked the Z125 over the Grom for a couple primary reasons - way better suspension from the factory, more lean angle with the pegs 2" higher, and it just looks better. Picked it up for $2626 at Southeast Sales (Milwaukee) during a sale they had with no additional fees beyond TTL. OTD for a few bucks less than $3K. Good timing, the 2018's go up to $3200 or $3400 if you want the "special" paint job with the bold new graphics. (no thanks) Ok on to the mods:

Dunlop TT93GP tires. Bought from Summit Racing for $153 with free shipping. Cheaper than anywhere else, and the tires are drop shipped from the Dunlop US warehouse so it's less likely that I will get old stock. There appear to be some decent race tire options like the Mitas (Savas) or the PMT slicks, but both are known to be so soft that they will only last a day or two. I don't want to be changing tires every other day so I opted for the Dunlops.

Motodynamic integrated tail light. Purchased directly from Motodynamic in case I need to exercise the warranty rights. The price was decent and I liked the look of it more than the TST or Mnnthbx options. As a bonus, it appears to have all the correct plugs, so no wire stripping is required. Has a load resistor too. I installed it right away to rid the bike of that massive beaver tail. I have one or two license plate brackets laying around that I can use. Easy installation. I believe this is the best integrated option out there.

Galfer stainless steel brake line and
DF366W Galfer Front Wave Rotor - Ordered the rotor from HardRacing and the line from Riders Discount. Front only, I'm not touching the rear brakes on this. I don't use the rear brake EVER unless I blow a turn and start off roading. To me, the Galfer kits available are somewhat wasted money with rear rotors, pads and stainless lines. And the big problem with those kits - they lack the MOST important item - decent race ready front brake pads. More on that below.

Pro Taper SE Handlebar 7/8 Schoolboy Low - I nosed around bar dimensions for a long time. Definitely need something lower though it would benefit to have it further forward. Mnnthbx has a top triple clamp option that moves the bar mount forward 25mm. Very cool, but it's too pricey for my tastes. So I'm just going to try these bars first. They are cheap and no big deal if I don't like them. I can always add pivoting risers to move the bars up and forward if I need to.

Yoshimura RS-2 full exhaust and
Bazzaz Z-Fi fuel controller - The Bazzaz was a much better value. I have some good options for dyno tuned maps to load up in the Bazzaz. There are lots of exhaust options for this bike so far, but the Yosh is one of the better horsepower options. The Comp Werkes system looks nice with the way it tucks under the bike, but I believe the exhaust is so short that midrange power would suffer. The Yosh curls around and makes a loop under the bike for a longer effective length. Ordered by calling Mike @ Riders Discount directly - their price on both items was WAY lower than anyone else.

Chimera Z125 Short Stack Ram Air Intake - Chosen mainly because it has a crankase breather connection. Ordered from HardRacing.

Bikers preload adjusters from Japan.webike.net - Before replacing the front springs, I'm going to add a little preload and see if that helps. I appear to be just barely bottoming on the hardest braking. If not, time for new springs in the front. No new springs needed in the rear with the preload on the highest setting. Was going to get the Takegawa adjusters From Hardracing but they didn't stock them and it was a 3-4 week lead time. I am getting the adjusters from Japan via standard mail in 7 days. BTW, don't be afraid of Japan.webike.net, they aren't idiots shipping garbage like AliExpress.



I don't intend to do any suspension mods as that would blow the budget. So far, stock feels pretty good, which was surprising for a bike at this price point. Strong springs too. The Grom felt mushy and sloppy in comparison. If I do anything, it might be to go with a bit thicker fork oil. I think a lot of people don't realize that fork oil weight can be a significant adjustment.

I need to keep the front caliper, so no Brembo mods for me. There is a chance that I may someday race in a Grom/Z125 class with supersport rules that requires the OEM calipers.

I picked up a set of cheap chinese levers off ebay because I feel like I need the adjustability. DON'T buy cheap chinese levers, especially brake levers, unless you are willing and able to check fitup tolerances. These are hit and miss, and some people have crashed because of a brake lever that binds at the plunger pin. Then the rotors and pads heat up, brake fluid boils and expands and the front end locks up. I will check these proir to installing. If measurements don't fall within reasonable tolerance range of the originals, I throw them in the garbage and get a set of ASV levers.

Moose Racing Aluminum Handguards and
Woodcraft Axle Sliders - Front and rear. This is a combination that makes crashes a no worries issue. I've used the same combo on my supermotos and it was a good 3 points of contact. Of course on the Z125 with a Yoshi system, the right side with the canister is a contact point. If I start to worry about the exhaust side, I may put an "Advanced Performance Accessories Muffler Slider" slider on there. It's basically a chunk of stiff hose with a pipe clamp. Those are popular with the supermoto crashing crowd.

What remains are the brake pads. The options for this bike kind of suck right now, and my understanding is that it's because the rotor and caliper are new designs this year. There are NO good front pads and the only reliable rotor option is the solid non-floating Galfer. I don't tust the Area 22 rotor unless they come back and tell me the exact alloy and heat treatment used. EBC only has their horrible base HH pads, and they have not brought EPFA or GPFA models to market. There are a couple bargain level pads that I'm sure will fade immediately. SBS is one of them. There are no Vesrah RJL or other good pads typical for cheap calipers. I use RJL's on my 300 race bike. The makers need time to come up with pads and we're stuck with garbage for now. I'm surprised the brake system is all-new because it looks like it was stolen from a 90's scooter.

A lot of these parts still have to arrive yet. I'll post more updates as I get stuff mounted and run at the track. Eventually I'll have some action pics and maybe a video.
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post #2 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 10:06 PM
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Looks good. You should have hit us up on that braking package, as we're able to group it at a deeply cut price. Our ASV levers aren't even comparable to the import stuff if you decide you need them. Have fun on the track!
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post #3 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Let us know when the good pads are coming. I really want Vesrah RJL's for this. They worked so great on my Ninja 300 build with their crappy OEM caliper, and they are favorites with the SV650 racing crowd too, It's a pad that by design brings out the best of old caliper tech.
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post #4 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 12:07 AM
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Was the yosh pipe lower than $409?
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post #5 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I got it a little cheaper than that.

I heard a rumor though that the Yosh RS2 might have a right side cornering clearance issue for serious racers. I have to look into it. The solution might just be to add some ride height or tweak the installation.

Mostly, I just have to start getting the rest of my parts bolted up, take a run at the track and see where things stand.
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post #6 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 09:41 AM
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Sintered pads are coming, but I'll say the Galfer organics we use are a solid improvement.
The Yosh could touch down right side, but honestly no more than any other system. It's tucked tight to the bike.
If you're pushing hard enough to be concerned with the pipe, upgrade the forks with the Ohlins inserts. Night and day from a performance standpoint. Faster lap times for sure, and it will keep the bike riding higher in the stroke, increasing ground clearance in the turns. We have a how-to video in our section.
Keep an eye out for for coming posts. We're currently building a turn-key track bike for corporate Kawasaki, and will document all of it.
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post #7 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
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Yeah I got it a little cheaper than that.

I heard a rumor though that the Yosh RS2 might have a right side cornering clearance issue for serious racers. I have to look into it. The solution might just be to add some ride height or tweak the installation.

Mostly, I just have to start getting the rest of my parts bolted up, take a run at the track and see where things stand.
That would suck if true. I haven't heard anything like that yet. Even if true I'm still getting the yosh. Haven't found another pipe with the loop besides the zoom.
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post #8 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone else think that many of the exhaust options are too short? I just think back at a little of my history of trying to get good power out of short exhausts and ending up with a gutless bike.

The Comp Werkes is highly crashable the way it's tucked under, but I would like to see a real dyno curve with it.

The Yosh on my 300 never came close to touching down. But that was like a 7/8 size bike while the baby Z is a 2/3 size bike. In any case, I bought it and I'll find out. Worst case I think it will be fine if I get new springs more suitable to my massive mass. (215 lbs) Probably going to need them in the front anyway. The rear seems stiff enough with full preload cranked up.

Maybe it just might be good enough to improve my body position a bit. I mean, Grom riders with stock footpegs practically have to sit on the sides of their bikes in turns, Lol.

Last edited by Zaph; 07-07-2017 at 10:43 AM.
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post #9 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaph View Post
Does anyone else think that many of the exhaust options are too short? I just think back at a little of my history of trying to get good power out of short exhausts and ending up with a gutless bike.

The Comp Werkes is highly crashable the way it's tucked under, but I would like to see a real dyno curve with it.

The Yosh on my 300 never came close to touching down. But that was like a 7/8 size bike while the baby Z is a 2/3 size bike. In any case, I bought it and I'll find out. Worst case I think it will be fine if I get new springs more suitable to my massive mass. (215 lbs) Probably going to need them in the front anyway. The rear seems stiff enough with full preload cranked up.

Maybe it just might be good enough to improve my body position a bit. I mean, Grom riders with stock footpegs practically have to sit on the sides of their bikes in turns, Lol.
You check out the Comp S from Two Bros? There was a guy selling those for like $300. Sits a little higher than the Yosh.
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post #10 of 108 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 09:37 PM
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You won't beat the Yosh. Added bonus, the Z pegs sit over an inch higher than the Grom.
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