1978 Murray KING KAT - Class 1

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I have always loved the Murray choppers. About 15 years ago when I didn't have the money to spend on bikes, someone in Hamilton Ontario had a whole collection of all the different Cats/Kats for sale for $500 each. I never bought one and soon the ad disappeared and I kicked myself later, since they were all in excellent condition. This past winter I arrived at our Annual Canadian Winter swap meet and the guy set up next to me has Murray built Brentwood King Kat. I was immediately intrigued. It wasn't mint by any means, but the chrome was excellent on the forks which are unique to this bike and fairly desirable. I asked what he wanted for it and he said "$600". It's a fair price for what it is, but I wasn't in the frame of mind to spend that. Besides, I just got to the show and I hadn't sold anything yet!

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Our show this year was in February and strangely enough it was almost 20 degrees outside. Typically in February where still plowing out our driveways. The guys that showed up late had to set up outside, which was a blessing for them. It was much warmer outside than it was inside. I had wait until 10am until the sun hit my corner of the hall where I had set up to sell. Anyway, toward the end of the show when people started to clear out, I asked again about the King Kat that was still sitting there. "Is there and end of show sale price?", I asked. "Nope" was the reply. Fair enough again I thought. I continued to pack up my stuff and a few minutes later I was offered a deal for the bike. On the end of my table was an NOS ARAI drum brake set that didn't sell. I ended up trading the hubs and $200 cash for the KING KAT. It was a great deal for me, since I had 6 of the drum brake sets that I had acquired in a separate deal which I had very little invested in. I also sold about $700 worth of stuff that day, so it was and easy decision. The King Kat was mine!! I packed everything up and drove to pick up a chrome Sears Spyder from a flea market an hour away for $400. I also picked up that Raleigh Fireball that day from my friend Jamie who organizes the show. It's one of the other bikes I'm working on at the moment. It was a pretty good day.

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So I just got the KING KAT frame back from powder coat as well. Only cost me $80 because there was no fork to do.

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Also tested out my new Park wall mounted bike clamp. I like it.

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I've been working on cleaning the parts up. I also took apart the fork so that I could straiten it out a bit. I employed a similar tactic that I often have to use with the forks on the Canadian CCM Marauders. I screwed it to the stairs in my garage and used a 2x4 for some leverage. It worked pretty good. Overall, the bike is in pretty good shape.

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The rims have a tiny bit of peppering and the tires are shot. I'm still kicking myself a little over the Murray wheel set I missed out on at Ann Arbor. I had them in my hands and asked the vendor how much. The actual seller wasn't there at the moment and the guy couldn't get a hold of him, so I put them down and went browsing some more. When I came back, they were gone and the guy tells me they sold for $25. DOH!! Lesson learned. When you find something you really want to buy, wait around to find what they're selling for before you put them down.

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Awesome build! I always wanted to find a King Kat to restore, you're lucky to find such a great example. Looks great so far!

You may know this by know, but the decals for those are available from Bruce Crawford in Ohio. They are so nice I actually bought a set from him even though I don't have a bike :)
 
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Awesome build! I always wanted to find a King Kat to restore, you're lucky to find such a great example. Looks great so far!

You may know this by know, but the decals for those are available from Bruce Crawford in Ohio. They are so nice I actually bought a set from him even though I don't have a bike :)
Yes! I joined the fb group a while back and have a set of the decals ready to go. Good price too!!!
 
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I just started back at work this week after 14 months away. I took a parental leave from teaching after the birth of our first daughter. It's been a busy year, but I've learned how to use my little snippets of time for bike related stuff. I was actually a bachelor this week while my wife and daughter were away at the cottage. I was busy getting set up for my first week of classes. But today, I had a few hours of solid bike building time. After I mowed the lawn, I popped the garage door up and turned on the radio, and started to put the King Kat back together.

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The fork went on first. No issues there. The crank followed with no issues either. Somehow I have a plenty of crank arms to choose from. Can you spot the difference between any of the cranks? The original is on the right. It's in great shape with only a couple little nicks. I think I chose the third one from the right to use. The extras all came from canadian CCM or Supercycle exercise bikes. Who knew?

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After that, I cleaned up my rims a little more and took off the old tires. I picked up 2 sets of NOS goodyear grasshopper slicks a while ago for a pretty good price. Got a 2.125 for the back and a 1.75 for the front. Not what would have been on the bike, but they look great in my opinion. Also moved the bike over to the other stand so I could get some contrast from the garage doors for picture purposes.

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Got as far as the rear fender today which was the worst thing on this bike when I got it. Half of it was broken off, and it was cracked and missing paint. It took me a while to find this fender. I ended up buying a few of them because the first one I bought was a green Philadelphia Eagles fender from the NFL kits. I intended to paint it, but scrapped that plan when I found a black Oakland Raiders set. I then got a great deal on a Pittsburgh Steelers set, so I bought it too. Then I stumbled upon another Steelers set that actually came with an NOS chainguard. I got that for a steal and was happy that the seller hadn't listed the guard for what it was. I would have had to pay way more for it. So, I have lots of NFL parts, decals and troxel seats now. The good news is, I think I might use the two matching steelers seats for my tandem build. Anyway, the guard I got with the last set still has the instructions on the front for applying the decal, but it does have a little rust on the back side that I'm treating with some Metal Rescue. I'm hooked on this stuff. It works so well for eliminating thick rust and rust in hard to get areas.

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Well. I started 3 bikes in this build off, and two of them will cross the finish line. I'm happy with that!! This particular build took a back seat to Pole Position, but I still had enough time to do it right. The only thing left to do is add the colour to the seat which will have to wait for another day. I didn't take as many pics toward the end. Just didn't have the time to do a really thorough story this time around. You can see my garage reno starting to come together in the background of some of these shots. My bike cave will hopefully be done early next year as I continue to chip away at it. I opted for the exercise bike pedals. They are a great match in my opinion. That front springer fork was also crying for a chrome ball light, so I opened up a NOS sears box. Tires are NOS Goodyear Grasshopper slicks. 2.125 on the back and 1.75 on the front. Here are some of the last shots as the bike got closer to completion:

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I ran out of time and sunny days, so I had to find a good spot for a photo shoot. Took these shots at the Auto Shop at my school and I think it suits the build. Thanks to David Shea Manning for the cool kick stand he sent me that found a home on this ride.

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sorry for reviving dead post, what is the fork tube length on the king kat? i'm thinking of putting the springer forks from a king kat onto my OCC stingray...
 

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