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Kawasaki KZ400 – “The Bolo Shit”

Posted on May 11, 2012 by Andrew in Brat, Café Racer, Rat. 26 comments

Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. There’s an elephant in this custom bike room and we’ll need to get it out in open right now. I haven’t got the slightest idea what a “bolo shit” is. I’ve Googled. I’ve Bing’d, why I even tried an Alta Vista search by travelling back in time. Nada. Now according to the always amusing, a “bolo” is a itself a term for pooping, so that would make it’s name “shit shit” which, while quite funny, doesn’t make any sense at all. Then I saw the gun on the tank. Bingo. Another Google search of “bolo gun” tells me that bolo is a nickname for the Mauser C96, better known as “the gun that the Nazis always have in war films.” Except that the gun on the tank looks nothing like C96. So where does that leave us? I’d suggest we just all don these here special glasses that make white elephants invisible to the human eye and click that “read more” link below.

OK, enough jokes. The bike is out of a shop located in Bologna, Italy that goes by the name of BR Moto. They’ve earned themselves quite the reputation for custom magic and as you can see this one is no exception. And when you realise that it’s the bike owned by Matteo Mussi, the man behind BR, you’ll understand why no stone has been left unturned or hole undrilled as the case may be.

Matteo’s mother tongue (sound rude – happy Aussie mother’s day to you all, by the way) isn’t English, so info on this bike is about as scarce as the similarly rusty Yamaha XT 500 we featured last week, but you’ll notice the dirt tires (something that’s become a bit of an unintentional theme on recent Pipeburn posts) along with some very skilled stripping of any necessary bits and pieces and a nice seat replacement to streamline and further minimise the overall looks.

Matteo was looking for a fair weather workhorse that he didn’t have to worry about babying or taking off of the ass felt asphalt but at the same time he was looking to have something a little fang-able. The result is the holy, be-stickered, rusty work of art your peepers are currently fixated on. Fun? You’d be hard pressed to have more fun than this at the opening night of the Sex Addicted Fashion Model And Champagne Swilling Association’s annual general meeting. Hic.

Front and rear rims are ala Borrani, with a Metzeler on the back and a Heidenau on the front. No – I’d never heard of them either. Pipes and mufflers are a one-offs from Matteo’s own shop, and sources with their ears close to the bike’s hyrocarbon back bottom burps report that the sound is pretty damn ballsy and give the bike a deceptively large-capacity burble. Want. The bike, that is. Not the bottom burps.

(via the Wide Open Moto Blog)

  • I wonder if it was meant to read “The Bolo Shot”?

    • NepalRider

      Bolo shot, yes sounds right. “bolo shit” would have be a realy bad misspell

    • Looking at the tank, your answer is no.

  • Wow what a great bike, love your site can’t wait to see more things like this!

  • Hahah. I forgot to ask Matteo what it actually meant- next time I’m round there I’ll find out for sure.
    Our theory at WideOpen is that its a reference to Bologna- you often see “Bolo” around the place as a shorthand term for Bologna. On the other hand it kinda sounds like ‘Bowl o’ shit’….
    Sweet bike though- hope you’ze enjoy it!

    • davmo

      Beat me to it. Didn’t know the Bologna angle, but the bowl o’ shit was the pun I figured they intended. Heidenau’s, yah! The choice of mini motards because hardly any other decent street tires are available in 8″ size. Dig the pipes on this one. Excuse my unfamiliarity with this model, but an oil bag? Maybe it is a small beer keg. Happy mum’s day. 

      • Alyn

         I assumed that to be the battery housing?

  • Kyle

    In the US Army, “to bolo” is to fail to hit enough targets in a shooting exercise.  Usually a term for teasing.  There’s also the Chinese actor Bolo Yeung.

  • Davidabl2

    Spanish names, fashionable for customs bolo=ball (sometimes) in Spanish.
    Ball’o’shit  might be somebody’s idea of colloquial English.
    So, what we have here is a bilingual joke/pun by somebody who’s mother tongue  isn’t either language.
    The world is getting smaller all the time 🙂

  • Davidabl2

    …and “‘Bowl o’ shit’….” would be a marijuana reference in many parts of the world, I think.

  • Aynrand2012

    Shitting shit

  • Roklobster

    Cool bike to start with. Sort of corroding and rattish. Makes the tires appropriate as it seems like the type of bike you wouldn’t be too worried about taking on a dirt road. I don’t get those ironing board seats though. They can’t be much good when you’ve got your right wrist up it in a low gear… I guess it satisfies some peoples thirsts for minimalism.

  • arnold

    Better on Much work and no thought. Bolo indeed.

  • arnold

    Sorry,. critism without elaboration. The first strike to me is the drilling. Forward of the brake pedal is a cover  that was designed to keep water and crap out. Flip over to the other side and the shifter will become a hand shifter in short order. This all says ” Here bato , do you have a drill press an a quarto inch drill”. None of it is laid out, and it is ‘lightening’ parts that would be eliminated. This calls into question the engineering of the tripletree and forking as well as most everything else.

    My two cents worth is to only add that Bolo in parts of America Central and Sud is slang for a village drunk.
    Or a kind of ugly twin engined pre WW2 aircraft.

  • I wonder if there is a similar trend in the car world where the object is to build a “Bowl-o-shit”? The more hammered and wore out the more “Style” it has and I can hardly wait for this trend to be old news.

    • I met a guy the other day with a mid 60s T120 that had rust instead of paint, and another pottering around on a early 50s Gold Flash that I could barely believe had an MOT, both very happy, riding them to work every day, and both totally uninterested in the idea of spit and polish. 

      Something has to be said, however for intentionally making something worse for the sake of style, I guess that’s what you were getting at. I’m all for leaving something that isn’t broken, but breaking something so you can get it on Pipeburn or BikeEXIF, pretend it’s your daily ride?

    • Ttcycleworks

      Are you being facetious? Never heard of a “rat rod”? That’s where this whole bike trend originates, whether the participants know it or not. Lowbrow customs, etc. 

  • GuitarSlinger

    Bolo = A type of string tie made popular in the American Southwest by bot hispanic and anglo cowboys as an answer to the Eastern habit of wearing ties and bow ties with a suit . 

    Also a Bat , Toy , Knife , Punch ( as in in the gut ) etc .

    But honestly … looking at this bike …. I do believe Shit Shit or bowl of shit is quite apposite . It looks like something any half wit with a couple of tools and minimal skill scrounging around a Junk Yard could of built in an hour or two 

  • Davidabl2

    “My two cents worth is to only add that Bolo in parts of America Central and Sud is slang for a village drunk.”
    True enough, I’d forgotten that. “Bolo” as being in a state of drunkenness,  so bolo=somebody who’s always in that state 🙂  Word has many meanings, none of them good if it’s somebody else naming your bike.

  • metric-wrench

    I fail to see the “custom magic” here.
    This is a nice bike…that’s all.

  • Gusty

    This bike has acne scars. 

  • 73caferacer

    Per Wiki: As used by US police, the term dates to at least 1960.[1] An all-points bulletin can also be known as a BOLO or BOL, which stands for “be on the look-out”.  

  • Bolo

    In some latin american countries “bolo” means drunk…

  • Psycheau Bill

    Bolo is an ape in the series “The Mighty Boosh” I see a Who sticker on the bike, which tells me there’s some english connection.   “The Mighty Boosh” is a comedy series from the UK. Bolo is an ape, the servant of Nabo the Shaman. It’s a funny series worth watching and that’s what I think this is pointing to. I could be wrong of course.

  • Joel E Cervantes

    How about Bolo…gnia Sh!t cause its the sh!t. I want one.

  • Hritvik T

    Which Handlebars are those