CAFE RACER NR 06

This cafe racer is built from a Kawasaki Z650. Read all about the build.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

‘Hey guys! Can you do some small modifications on my Kawa Z650 from 1978?’. That’s how Mitchel’s bike started. Of course we can do some small modifications, but why not let us do the whole bike?

Easier said than done, because the bike arrived in five different crates. Not a problem, but a little bit a puzzle (plus a big trash can…). And the bike itself!! Whoa, what a creative mind had been working on that bike! When we received the bike, it was a Kawa Z650 transformed into a chopper model. Probably by a railroad worker, considering the amount of steel used for the subframe.

It was up to us to bring back the shape of the bike.

THE JOURNEY OF A CAFE RACER

The rear subframe at the springs is raised by an inch and the subframe itself is completely new. All existing steel bricks were removed from the frame. Although it is still visible that someone chopped this bike up, it is only visible in the tiniest details. Anyway, we spent a shitload of time on it and we are absolutely proud of the outcome! And check out these tires: Complementing the bike by a mix between old and modern! The modern Daytona speedo is another detail with a wink on this 40 year old machine.

We were requested to paint the gas tank in a Sunset orange color scheme and we decided to put a subtle metallic flake through the paint. It is beautiful to watch the sun set in the mirroring gas tank!

To come up with a road legal solution for the number plate mount, we fabricated a custom rear wheel plate holder with plans to bring this in production. The system is created in such a way that it fits any rear wheel hub and allows for invisible number plate light routing.

The front fender and the number plate at the back reduce the worst part of the water spray in rainy conditions. With a small fender like this in front, the water spray is still there, but only reaches the front light. The rider does not get a water spray on his visor now.

And yes, the side stand… We are Wrench Kings of course! The foot pegs are foldable Tarrozi pegs on a relocated position. On the new position the pegs had to be foldable to allow room for the kick starter. Although the bike has a small Lithium Ion battery hidden underneath the gas tank, the kick starter still works fine. As with the battery, all electronics are hidden underneath the gas tank. There is really nothing underneath the seat.

LIST OF MODIFICATIONS

  • Frame and subframe powder coated in glossy gray
  • Handle bars, triple tree and all brackets are powder coated in glossy black
  • Blacked out engine look with new bolts everywhere
  • Custom sunset orange metallic paint job on the gas tank
  • Relocated side stand bracket and a new side stand
  • Relocated foot pegs (Tarrozi) with custom brake and gearshift link system
  • Tarrozi passenger foot pegs
  • Stainless steel, Dutch made exhaust damper
  • White exhaust wrap. Hate it or love it! 😉
  • Relocated electronics (new wiring loom with new waterproof connectors)
  • Custom (bolt on) battery box above the engine
  • Led ring head light
  • Daytone Velona speedo
  • “Hidden” rear light
  • Very small indicator lights in front
  • New handle bar
  • New Biltwell grips
  • Brembo brake pump
  • New clutch lever
  • New seat
  • Bar end mirrors
  • Continental Trail Attack 2 tires (Perfect tires with a stunning tread!)
  • And of course a general service (New oil, filter, brake pads, brake oil, fork oil, etc.)

SPECIAL THANKS

We are proud again! And we had a good time shooting these pictures! Bas Duijs, the photographer, is a good friend by now and it is always a pleasure to work with him. Naturally we would like to praise his work with a reference to his website: www.basduijs.com.

We trust that Mitchel will have many smiling kilometers with his brand new 40 year old Kawasaki!

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