From Purple to the DARKSIDE


Back in March 2011 I wanted a spare time bike project I had been exclusivly riding the only the sidecar for about 4 years and was pining for a 2 wheeled ride. (dont let anyone tell you its not addictive) I didnt want a new bike I wanted a fixer upper for something to do of a evening instead of staring at the conscious robbing one eye monster. So much browsing of the adverts came up with this.


I had always fancied a popup katana so while it wasnt the best example it was cheap enough.
The bike had been rattle canned purple, so naming the project was easy but not imagative...purple
I`m not really into restorations but rather refurbishing for me at least bikes are for riding not for looking. Reliability and function being key words, so new parts and made parts I`m not so worried about originality.

It didnt go, the previous owner was obviously no mechcanical guru as the valves were out of adjustment and the carbs needed a clean, that was all I did to it to make it go. (His reason for selling was he had it for nine months and couldnt make it go) During the rebuild it was pretty obivous the bike had some major crash damage, not all was fixed properly. The most notable being a bent and cracked front wheel , the crack had been carefully bogged and painted over to hide it. So for the next 20 odd months I set about fixing it up,

In January 2013 the Katana state of origin was mooted, I wanted to go to Armidale, better get the Kat registered! So in six weeks of concerted effort I got it on the road including a full rewire. So I got to ride to Armidale in the rain, which was fun. Plus I was given a trophy, the Rat Kat bogie prize perhaps, but a trophy none the less.


The bike ran well apart from spraying every one with "purple rain" (leaking oil) and intermitantly misfiring at high way speeds, as I proceeded to ride it around to work and the power O and such. These niggling problems were slowly getting fixed, with new coils and some work on the fueling I had it sorted except for the oil leak from the cases. It was still with the round headlight, but I had startred to aquire the cosmetic bits like the fairing..

Then out of the blue I had a prang on it and parked it under a trayback ute...
The only nice thing about that was the offers of help and support I received from the forum.
More that words but offers of free and cheap parts, unbeliveable, yet true thankyou...

So what followed was a frame off rebuild, with the frame straightened, new forks, many powder coated bits inc frame and engine covers. The engine split and the oil leak fixed. Cosmetic work including the fairing and a major rebuild of the tank. Fitted a new exhaust.

So it now looks like this

Couldnt call it purple any more, as it s not purple colour
Some on the forum like to call popups darksides cause they believe the headlight will fail leaving the rider in the dark..

so to play that back, now its the Darkside.
Still a few small things to do, but hey can wait till after I rebuild the sidecar motor, my new spare time project.

Cheers John
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