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Imaginary Garage – 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 Bobber (updated)


Posted on October 11, 2010 by Andrew in Bobber, Other. 27 comments

After the first Imaginary Garage got such a good response, I thought I’d give it another go. For the record, I really love doing this kind of photoshopping. It’s like building your dream bike without getting your hands dirty, or spending any money. Perfect for a big girl’s blouse like me, so expect lots more.

This time I’ve chosen a 2010 Kawasaki Z1000. Why, you ask? Well, firstly because I think they are a great bike and a real step in the right direction for the company after a few years of some not-so-great nakeds. Secondly, when I saw the official photos from Kawasaki showing the black version of the bike in skeleton mode I honestly thought “wow”. It looked way cool. Afterwards I couldn’t get that image out of my head. It reminded me of the Confederate Fighter – more like a bike designed by machines than humans.

Then the other day I looked up the image again and had the proverbial light-bulb-above-the-head moment. I realised it looked like a bobber. Bingo:

So what makes a bobber? By definition, it’s a bike with “the rear fender ‘bobbed’ or made smaller and all superfluous items removed to make it lighter.” Guess we’ve got the “superfluous items removed” part covered, so let’s add a fender and a seat to start with. I thought about how the fender would look for quite a while, and tried the classic curved style. It didn’t work, of course. The styles were too different. 60’s hot rod just doesn’t go that well with 21st century Japanese tech, at least not on this bike. It needed to be more like the original design.

Then it hit me – why not just take the front fender and flip it? Add a little carbon fiber texture and it looks perfect. The seat on top and the tank above are just the standard units repositioned, though the tank has been lowered to make the bike less hunch-backed. Then a brake light – something minimal and “tucked away” should do it. Check it out:

Now for the headlight and controls. Let’s lower the handle bars so they are easier to reach from the new seat position, and for lights I’ll just do a chopped-down version of the current unit and move it a little closer to the forks. Yes, I thought about small halogen projectors; call me crazy but I’ve never liked the look and I’ve never seen it done well. It always makes the bike look squinty and awkward like Millhouse. On the top of that goes the standard instrument display pod. I really like the way the new light looks. A bit Corvette-ish, sorta like a shark with it’s mouth open:

OK, now for the finishing touches. Get rid of the catalytic converter and add a bad-ass open exhaust with some black wrap on the headers. Can you imagine how that’d sound? Fwoah. Fill in the holes around the engine, move the foot controls forward next to the pipes, add a front brake line and some logos. Finally, the obligatory white stripes on the tires…

Ladies, I give to you my bobbed 2010 Kwaka Z1000:

As before, I’m open to suggestions for more mods to the bike or ideas for the next project. Only rule is that it has to be an interesting or unexpected combination of styles or eras.

And if there’s anybody from Kawasaki reading this, how’d you like to make this for reals? I’ll art direct, you supply the bike, the beer and the guys who don’t mind getting their hands dirty…