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1992 Kawasaki KZ1000 – Silver Bullit Cafe’s

Posted on April 16, 2012 by Scott in Café Racer. 24 comments

Albert “The Chief” Hurt comes from a long line of automobile mechanics. His grandfather, father and all his uncles worked as mechanics in the family shop. At the age of 12, Albert earnt his pocket money by sweeping the shop floor. “After I had worked there six months I was able to scrape up enough money for my first street bike, a 1972 Yamaha DT1 250,” he says. There have been many bikes since then, but it took a marriage breaking down and being diagnosed with stage 3 cancer to really motivate Albert to build his dream bike. “I have found a passion that I always had,” he says. After surviving his battle with cancer, Albert decided to build the ‘ultimate cafe racer.’ So he got to work and managed to find the perfect donor bike, a beat up old KZ1000 in El Paso, Texas. After 7 months of wrenching, including many nights in his garage during winter he has finally finished. We’re pleased to introduce you to Silver Bullit Cafe’s KZ1000.

We’ll pass you over to Albert to explain the project in more detail. “After all the expenditures for parts, bike and the normal monthly bills there was just no money for a heater in the shop. As it turned out, it was not a very cold winter but I did spend some time in the shop in the teens. I felt like a one of the kids out of a Charles Dickens classic – all bundled up with finger less gloves on. Wrenching to my hearts content or until I froze my ass off, which ever came first. Usually the cold won.”

“Since I was building a Cafe Racer I wanted to get rid of the stock suspension. I came across a 1995 Suzuki RF900R which was being parted out so the logical step was to install sport bike suspension on the beastie. The rear swing arm need a little shimming and I had aluminum shock tabs welded on to give it the old school look.  This was a mono shock swing arm so I cut off the mount, grinded it down and sanded it flush so you would never know it was there. After a couple coats of silver and satin black, I added the Kawasaki Green Pin striping to give it some bling. The shocks are from Benji’s Cafe Racer’s.”

“The rear suspension is also from a 1995 Suzuki RF900R. Swing arm is about 1 1’2″ over the stock swing arm. I only needed to shim the right side about 1/4″ to get the EK630 chain to line up. Yep, that’s right – an EK630 drag bike chain; I don’t think the beastie is going to break this one. The rear sets are from a 2006 Suzuki GSX-R 600. The emblems came from a 1970 Kawasaki Trail Boss 100. The pin striping is in Kawasaki racing green.”

“I tried to keep the muscular look of the KZ1000 double overhead cam engine. I went with a black and silver theme through-out the bike so I figured the engine should get the same treatment. Black cylinder followed by a silver head and black rocker cover. The carbs got the same treatment, polished and then added the black Uni filters from TC Bro’s Choppers. The silver header paint is VH1 but not so sure I like the paint; it’s very easy to scratch and you notice every little piece of dirt on it.”

“I wanted to have the ability to properly stop the beastie. The brakes have more than enough power to bring the KZ1000 to a halt in short order. I have some new stainless brake lines from Galfin ready to install. The bike is very low with the Suzuki suspension. The tire and rim in front are a 16″ while the rear is a ZR1 17″ fattie. The Kawasaki green striping on the tank and wheels off set the black. The controls are a combination of aftermarket parts from Drag Specialties, Dime City and KZ1000.

And finally the engine specs: Inline four, 999cc, DOHC, Stock Horsepower 95, Mikuni Carbs, Uni Pod Filters, Ape Air Block Off Plates, 5 speed Transmission, 1 down 4 up. Wet Clutch, Kerker four into one Header, Moto GP 8″ Muffler. Top speed you ask? Whatever you’ve got the balls to do. I know it will do the ton.”

It’s been six years now and Albert is still cancer free and he has already built six bikes this year. It’s proof that great things can come out of bad situations. Not only does Albert have this beautiful KZ1000, he has also found a new lady in his life – we couldn’t have written a better ending. “To all cancer survivors this bike build is for you and your caretakers. Fight the good fight and hang in there; never give up,” he says.

For the complete story visit the Silver Bullit blog or to hire Alberts wrenching skills visit the shop site.

[Photography by Mike McCall]

  • DStereo

    Inspired. and Inspiring. Thank you Albert, I really needed this on this Monday morning.

  • MotoTrooper

    Flash bike, good on you Albert. Keep ’em coming.  Just maybe need a bit of editing on the description?  The exposed spring forks look interesting but no mention of what they are or how they came to be (guessing the same RF900 Suzuki’s but modded?).  The front wheel looks like a 17 incher like the rear.  Aside from the description it looks like a good integration of parts to make a great bike.

  • 1975blaze

    nice to see ’90 bike made to look timeless.  i like the mono to twin shock swap, counter intuitive to so many builders i would think.  nice ride.

  • Coxster

    Reminds me of a beast I let get away back in 1996 ( minus all the coolness and upgrades of course )  This story reminds me of what I can be grateful for

  • Another nice bike. I know it’s simple, but that bit of “Kawasaki green” is cool.

  • davmo

    Great story. Way to go, Albert. 

  • revdub

    Awesome story and an awesome bike. Keep kicking butt, Albert.

  • Love it! It has an understated elegance that is so often missing in custom bikes.

  • blackbird

    Que Fantastic!!!

  • cagivarider

    Nice and clean work, but to me, the bike is a little bit odd proportioned.
    As all the old inline4s fitted with modern components: the 17″ wheels are
    a bit too small, the modern swingarms a bit too long. This makes the
    bike(s) look low and long, i.e. more like a dragster than a roadracer.

    Good luck Albert, enjoy your ride!

    Best regards

  • BenjaminMorgan

    Geometry is all wrong for me, quality work, but doesn’t look right to my eye.

    • Uncross ’em and give it another look.

  • HomageMotoWorks

    HAHA….there’s always one intertoobz expert………

  • Car2nst

    Way to go, Albert! Don’t know ya but I’m proud as hell of you and your accomplishments! Live 200 years and build a 1,000 bikes and I’ll bet they will all be as sharp as this bike-Good on ya!

  • JURP

    One of the nicest builds I have seen in a while. Very unique and different from the run of the mill. Congratulations on all your work.

  • 1pfr2go

    I agree HomageMotoWorks.  The bike looks very well proportioned to me with the engine as the main focal point. Albert, to me, has produced a “stunner”…. and I’ll bet it can shake the wrinkles outta my ole pecker in a hurry! 😉

  • mesac

    I saw the bike came from El Paso, Texas. I live there. Is it still here? 

    • I believe he just bought the bike there. Albert lives and works in Washington. I should have mentioned that.

  • Asdf

    I used to own one of these and, when they go, they’re a really great bike.
    I am confused as to why you’d make an already lengthy bike even longer, though – surely that doesn’t make for cafe racer handling?

  • Johnd

    all this work into the bike and to throw a 50 dollar ebay muffler on it, shame

    • Silverbullitcafes

      Actually it was 65.00. 

  • Davidabl2

    Anybody who thinks it’s misproportioned has either NOT seen the new Norton Commandos–or DOESN’T like them either.

    I ran across the Pipeburn link while looking for a KZ on EBay, even though I am a regular reader…

    Very fine work, ‘tho I had something much more basic in mind  myself.

  • Larryscaw78

    I seriously cant wait to get mine looking somewheres in this ballpark..   Very nice bike man !!

  • Lou Harlan

    The KZ900 will always reign supreme for vintage Superbike in my book…Everyone has a favorite the KZ900 is mine. Badass 1000 man VERY COOL!!! You do art and justice to these Mcycles!!!