Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

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…








  • s0crates82

    I'll take it! heck, i'd even pay a $500US premium. call it the z1000 superleggera.

  • Woody

    I'd lower it a few inches. It'd bring that seat up as well and it wouldn't look as swoopy.

  • sgeechee

    Hey, nicely done, just as IG Nr.1.
    But i think it would even look better if you put the back a bit higher and lower the front; to mee it seems that theres a bit too much space between engine, forks and front wheel.
    And maybe the handle bars even a bit lower….
    I have no PS skills, but i`d like to see it that way.
    However – keep up the great work, and greetings from Germany!

  • Patrick L

    Yes, it's a lovely design. I agree with the above that it needs some tweeks and a hugger back fender or you couldn't ride it without getting shit all over your back all the time.

  • Andrew

    OK – it seems that the general consensus is a bit higher at the back and a bit lower at the front with lower handle bars.

    @Patrick L, I take yr point about crap up yr back, but I think that's probably the case with 90% of the bobbers out there. A small rear fender = skid marks up yr back. Nature of the beast, I think…

    Any other suggestions? I was sure you were all going to dis' the headlight. No?

  • Really nice work on the p-shopping! I'm more of a traditionalist so I don't care for the newer designs at all. But a nice big round headlight and lower handlebars would make this stand out a little more. Keep up the great work.

  • sgeechee

    Andrew: No, the headlight seems fine. I`m also more on the traditional side, but a round one would just not fit. Maybe a small (although its un-"bobberish") front fender could close the gap at thze front, so lowering could eventually be avoided.
    If you look at the handlebars, the headlight and the tank, lowered bars would let the line between headlight and tank "flow" more naturally, i think – so that its one "curve" from front to rear fender, i think.
    But keep up the great work, and it`s cool that youre so open for criticism!

  • Andrew

    Thanks guys. Gimme 24 hrs – I'll post up a tweaked version. I'm really interested to see how it'll look…

  • kik

    the attraction of bobbers is their simplicity and cleanliness ,this is anything but, i think the base should be more traditional, but thats just my opinion..

  • s0crates82

    @kik

    i see what you're saying, but he's starting with a water-cooled bike in an advanced frame. there's only so much you can do.
    if he were making a bobber of the upcoming honda cb1300, it'd be a different story.

    @andrew

    on your next iteration, how about a pair of stacked round (sv650/oldschool) headlights? i've been wanting to do that to my bike but never get around to it because of the weirdness of finding a new bracket for my clocks

  • Andrew

    @s0crates Lol. Great minds think alike. My thoughts exactly. Will do.

  • Scott

    @s0crates – Yep, some oldschool stacked headlights would be sweet

  • Andrew

    Done!

  • The updated version is definitely better. Good work, Mr. Jones. But if you don't mind placing my opinion, I would lower the head light to continue with the line of its tank. Possibly bigger one. Also it still looks front heavy; gets weak toward the rear end. I would bring the exhaust up high with thicker fender up to the height of Kaw log on the tank? Which will catch your butt better when you accurate hard. Bobbers still can have fenders can't they? I don't know about you guys, but I think I would like it that way.

  • Nice!

  • KIK

    WHAT YOU HAVE IN THIS BIKE IS A BASE FOR A STREET FIGHTER , I OWN A KAWASAKI ZX600C THAT I HAVE BEEN BUILDING INTO A FIGHTER AND IT LOOKS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO THIS BIKE ,I ALSO OWN A XS650 THAT IM BUILDING INTO A CAFE / STREET TRACKER COMBO, IVE BEEN A MOTORCYCLE MECHANIC FOR 20 ODD YEARS AND HAVE COME TO ACCEPT THAT THERES LIMITATIONS TO HOW MUCH YOU CAN CHANGE WITHOUT AFFECTING HANDLING AND OVERALL COMFORT,. I PHOTOSHOP A LOT OF BIKES ALSO BUT REAL WORLD CONDITIONS LIKE SUSPENSION TRAVEL AND STEERING RADIUSES WOULD MAKE SOME MACHINES UNCOMFORTABLE AND DAMN NEAR DANGEROUS,.THOSE ARE MY 2 CENTS.

  • Andrew

    @switchum There's a balance between the height of the headlight and the read-ability of the instrument cluster, so I sorta set in mid-way between those two points. I'm not sure about making it bigger, tho. As for the front-heavy-ness, I think that that's a bobber trait more than anything else. You can see in the update that it's already looking a little more streetfighter and less bobber just from those small mods. If we keep it up I think we'll just get a naked Z1000 rather than a bobbed one…

    @KIK I take yr point on the real-world difficulties of modding a bike as opposed to doing it in photoshop. I guess that's why we called it "Imaginary Garage". But in my experience, when yr creating something new and original, yr better of starting with a blank sheet of paper and going crazy than setting a whole series of "can't do's" up for yourself. As they say in brainstorming sessions; withhold criticism and welcome unusual ideas.

  • Andrew

    One more thing – I've decided that the next Imaginary Garage will be a group effort from start to finish. I'll choose the bike, and then you guys can battle it out as to what we do to the bike, and how we do it.

    To make it a little more interesting, I think we'll approach ICON for some prizes which we'll award to "Most Valuable Contributor".

    Sound good? Stay tuned…

  • sgeechee

    Hey Andrew, first of all: Nicely done again – i wouldn`t have thought that the more classical headlights work, but they kinda do! Also the new rear brigns more balance to the whole thing. Definitely better than before!
    The new concept for IG sounds great to me – a lot of fun, lots of opinions and ideas, and maybe even prices? Aloha!

  • KIK

    @ ANDREW , POINT WELL TAKEN, EVEN IN "REAL WORLD", FABRICATION IS ALMOST ALLWAYS A GROUP EFFORT, PLUS THE ICON INCENTIVES ARE SWEETER THAN KATHY PERRY'S BOOBIES. CARRY ON MY FRIEND !

  • s0crates82

    hahaha, check it out. wbw and the z1k love http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycles/kawasaki-z1000/2010-kawasaki-z1000.htm

    take the tail section of the first one, with the headlights of the second one, and the shotgun pipes of the third. rattlecan it matte black, and have a beer.

  • Snoopy

    Stunning! Don't suppose you can do the 03-06 model ?

  • yawot

    yea c'mon do the 03-06 model bud

  • jesus sierra

    i just came across this….very interesting! i actually own a 2010 Z1000….and was wanting to mod it in some way….maybe this way?

  • doomie

    wow i own a z1000 .but this is very cool man ,GOOD job

  • Bknehammer

    has anybody try this in real life i own a 2010 z1000 but have been wanting a bobber this is the best of both worlds

  • Jsturm

    It looks very cool, stylistically I would have made afew cosmetic changes such as: fatter front tire for the “cat squasher” look maybe with a small tight fender, moved the speedo to the handle bars, and cleaned them up with short pulled back triple clamp and strait tubed drag bars> I love the seat, but that stubby graphite fender doesn’t do it for me, maybe cut it back to 1″ around the seat and installed a tight rear fender starting at the swing arm to 180 degrees around the back tire in gloss black like the tank…Other than that little bit of personalization- that bike is sick…