Hi, I'm new here!

I have only ridden one stand up ever- my dads Kawasaki 750sxi. I immediately fell in love with riding and have developed a bit of a bias towards Kawasaki's. I've saved up this summer and decided I want to get started this winter on rebuilding a ski for this coming summer. Although I wanted to find a 750, prices of those seem to be heavily inflated compared to 650's I've seen in my area.

I decided that I should stick with a 650 and do some modifications or possibly and engine swap to get it up to the speed of a 750. I found a $600 1989 Kawasaki 650sx in my area that is completely stock from the looks of it and has had the engine rebuilt a couple of years ago but doesn't start because the owner claims that it hasn't been started in a couple of years and likely needs the carbs to be cleaned.

Unfortunately, since I am heading to school, I won't be able to pick up the ski until October or November. Right now I am in the planning stages for the paint job and possible mods for the ski. This is what I have planned right now:
-New paint/decals
-New hydroturf
-Footwells and or foot straps
-clean engine/engine bay
-intake grate mods
-sharpen impeller
-Oil block off plate
-Larger carb/carb mod
I've been looking at this thread for some cheap mods: http://www.pwctoday.com/showthread.php?t=157734&page=3
And this site: http://www.groupk.com/k650.htm
What are some must-do mods that you think I should do to my 650? I don't mind spending some money but would like to keep the budget between 1,500 and 2,000 all in (ski included). I'll include a price count on each of my threads to keep track to *try* and stay within my established budget.

I've been anticipating getting this ski so much that I made a paint design for it:
(sorry the pictures are so small, open them in a new tab and they look great.)
Stripes white clean.jpg
Stripes red clean.jpg

Let me know what you think of them!
I really like the black plus it'll be less colors to deal with come time to paint. I might try getting into racing at some point but am unsure so I added the numbers for reference. I'll need some good decals for my MC numbers, race number, and Kawasaki logo regardless.
I've been looking at this thread for painting: http://www.pwctoday.com/showthread.php?t=167161
Let me know if you have any advice for my paint job! I plan to do a single stage paint with primer/hull repairs (looks like my ski might need some of that)

I'll update this thread with my progress and upload some pictures of the ski when I get it in a couple months.

I know this thread isn't as revolutionary or exciting as some of the other stuff I've seen on this forum but I don't have much experience so I am hear for advice, criticism, and to share my coming experience with other newbies like myself.