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WACKY RACES. A Kawasaki 750 H2 Digger by Florida’s FNA Custom Cycles


Posted on July 27, 2017 by Andrew in Classic, Other. 49 comments

Written by Marlon Slack.

Lately we’ve been featuring some custom rides that still manage to be clean, practical motorcycles. Bikes you can pillion on, motorcycles you could take shopping – bikes you could take to meet your mum. But just in case you thought us here at Pipeburn HQ were getting sensible here’s a chopper designed by FNA Custom Cycles run by a 1972 Kawasaki 750 H2 two-stroke, a digger so mental we’re going to get it sectioned.

Now Florida-based FNA fabricate all sorts of mechanical mastery for custom motorcycles. Head headcase is Eric, a dude who as mad as he is clever. ‘I got this Kawasaki 750 H2 engine a few years ago when I repaired a couple of springer front ends,’ he says. ‘I had it sitting in the shop after putting fresh rings in it’. And it sat, dormant, for nearly two years before one of his friends, Matt White – a guy so cool they named a colour after him – prodded Eric to make something pretty wild.

‘I decided I wanted to do an old style magneto-ignited digger bike,’ Eric says. ‘And I wanted it to steer well and not be a pain to ride’. So the whole frame was designed and built in-house by FNA, who fabricated up the goose-necked hardtail with a few neat touches. The leather seat flips up for easy access to the capacitor and the oil filler. The tank, more 70’s than a carpet of chest hair, was set into the frame. The period vibe continues down below.

‘I’ve always liked the style of Triumph leading shoe drums,’ Eric says, ‘and they actually stop pretty well too.’ But there was a problem. He’d intended the whole bike to be polished within an inch of its life, but the standard Triumph hubs were steel and don’t respond all that well to a buffing. Instead he used early 70’s conical hubs with the same 8″ brake size, strapped to a sportster wheel at the front.

But the real highlight of this bombastically bodacious build is the ridiculous ‘72 two-stroke powerplant, which Eric wanted to scream like a banshee. The key? A 50’s era 6-cylinder Fairbanks unit. ‘Making a 60-year-old magneto work on a quick revver like this was a bit of a task,’ he explains. ‘I had to reverse the rotation and update the bearings, as well as time the timing belt so it’d fire every 120 degrees of crank rotation. Then two wires per plug and it’s firing properly’.

Such boffinry continues with the exhaust, with Eric turning to the internet to help him figure out the proper chamber dimensions. ‘We started out with a $18 dollar program off the ‘net that calculates the size after you punch in your bore, stroke, port timing and desire for RPM. It then spits the dimensions for cone sizes. We put that in a 3D CAD program. We then laser cut and rolled each 15 piece per pipe for the exhaust system and put in place.’

Phew. Who knew the internet held something other than videos of cat videos and porn? After all that number crunching, Eric estimates this puts out over one hundred horsepower of wailing, powerband-riding, underpant-ruining, two-stroke gorgeousness.

“Eric estimates this puts out over one hundred horsepower of wailing, powerband-riding, underpant-ruining, two stroke gorgeousness”.

At the end of the day this whole bike acts as a rolling showcase for the exceptional parts that FNA fabricate. The kickstand, footrest, hangers, fender and lights are all made by the Florida madhouse, with a few favours called in by friends.

The Kawasaki’s paint was completed by his Uncle, Terry Thompson, and the miles of gleaming alloy and steel were buffed up by local company Woodstock and a gentleman known as John Mooney, guest starring some small flashes of chrome served up by Brown’s Plating.

How long did this Kawasaki madness take? ‘Around 900 hours to complete, over the course of a year and a half,’ Eric says. And not a moment of that was wasted. All bow down before your new God of ostentatious 70’s excess – you won’t see another bike as mental as this for a while.

[ FNA Custom CyclesFacebookInstagram | Photos by Erick Runyon ]








  • the watcher

    Was loving it til the rider-on-board shot! Stupidest riding position I’ve ever seen. Shame.

    • John in Pollock

      Could not agree more.
      At least the motor is only bolted into that abortion, and not totally wasted.
      This is the quintessential “Florida man”

    • Cobra_Jet_Kid

      Yes, what a joke of a bike!

    • Paul Schwartzberg

      The riding position reminds me of a circus clown riding a tiny bicycle.

  • MotoTrooper

    “Vive la difference!” and all that. I do enjoy seeing these extreme builds done with commitment versus those of the half-assed variety who then defend their shoddy workmanship with the excuse of, “well it’s a rat-rod done cafe/scrambler/bobber whatever.” These guys took a vision and busted ass and knuckles to finish it no excuses or apologies needed. Yeah it ain’t my cup of tea in a lot of areas but I do wonder what the riding experience is like. Alien, uncomfortable, but in a straight line probably pretty fricken’ thrilling when that triple comes on the pipe.

  • joshua tall

    I want to know more about the hand controls and the levers. Who did they source the internal throttle from? Who made the hand grips and levers? Where can I purchase them? I find what I like the best from these builds….they are not for everyone!

    • BobFalfa

      The Levers are usually available from India mostly they are made in brass, , I did have the web address but it’s gone……..I’d suggest googling “reverse motorcycle clutch and brake levers ” and possibly through in vintage and Royal enfield , or Royal Enfield custom parts
      When you find them the pictures show how they work,
      Pricewise they weren’t out of order…..I was going to buy a couple of pairs, about 2 or so years ago, but didn’t (I realised that they would in every likelihood be put in a box never to resurface)

      • Interesting…

        • BobFalfa

          There are a few sets on flea bay UK,at present at £25 to £33 BUT the few I just looked at weren’t as high quality as the one a couple of years ago.(Mainly it was the quality of the screws )
          They are now referred to as vintage inverted reversed
          I just went to Google with this search

          “reverse vintage inverted royal enfield brake levers”
          and then images

          If you wanted to add an internal throttle, an old Honda 50 or 90 sorts that

          • Fast2Furious

            Flea Bay. Really. Did you come up with that all on your own.

          • BobFalfa

            Really, you want to get a manager , Why handle yourself!!

    • Gman

      KustomTech. ( lowbrow custom) for hand grips. Internal throttle are available from a bunch of places but Exile Cycles has the best one.

      • BobFalfa

        Yes but Exile internal throttle is 25mm only some folk want to stay at 22mm (7/8) the Honda allows you to do that,if you go to 1 inch bars then the cost of the reverse lever goes up a lot…there was a picture on the google page of a really nice set which I suppose were 1″……and they looked seriously expensive

        • Gman

          The KT levers are not cheaper either size and yes I have 1 inch bars on my Honda to accommodate. I believe the lever are available in 7/8 but not sure about IT. But be cognizant that these levers are not adjustable and quite wide., not a good match for smaller hands.

    • Gman

      Sorry, I meant hand levers.

    • Eric

      The hand controls are from Cook Customs in US, these are a slightly different version than their stock ones to fit the lines of the bike better. Hard to get an internal brake lever and throttle to work, but they work great.

      • BobFalfa

        Well that’s the question answered, although They wouldn’t be for me at the best part of $600,

  • martin hodgson

    Big Daddy Don Garlits, The Snake Don Prudhomme, these legends of drag racing and their crazy machines inspired Digger bikes and they’re meant to be exactly that, crazy, over the top, big rear tyre, angry engine’d and with the sound and smell of the race track. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea and clearly they’re not meant to be a tourer, but as a Digger this ticks all the boxes. A 100bhp widow maker triple set alight by a monster mag? How can you not love that!!!

    Call me crazy but I love diversity, I love the history of the custom scene and I love it when anyone is willing to go balls to the wall and build a crazy custom that they love and we can appreciate!

    • Bultaco Metralla

      You got it

    • Bingo.

    • guvnor67

      Yup! It’s different, it’s awesome, it’s a digger baby!

    • Gman

      Amen

  • Zundap

    “INSANE” I can’t decide whether watching you start it or a hole shot would be more exciting. It doesn’t matter what it looks like in the end as long as it’s fast. Way cool, a big “Whoomp” from me.

  • pony

    I flippin’ love that!
    Crazy attention to detail and those stingers must sound insane.
    Sure the rising position looked a touch cramped but at least he’s riding it! Compare that to Brad Pitt on his zero bike, this looks much comfier

    • Gman

      Hmmm. I don’t know which looks more uncomfortable being stretched out or cramped up. Tough choice..:-)

  • AB

    Hell YES. A-ring-ding–ding-ding

  • Jim Roberts

    given the troubled times we live in it’s great to see that there are people out there that haven’t lost their sense of humour

  • Lemmy

    This bike looks like a hoot ‘n’ a handful all at once. Too cool!

    • Marlon

      Holy shit – this is Lemmy from Revzilla!?

      • Lemmy

        Yes. I’ve been loose on the internet for a little bit today.

        • Marlon

          I feel a little starstruck. Keep doing the work you’re doing over there mate.

          • Lemmy

            Star struck? Did you bump your head?

            I’ll try to do that. And I might pop in here from time to time if I see something that piques my interest. 🙂

  • Jolef Havel

    Dare to be different ! These guys nailed it. The point has been made. Now remove that engine and stick it in a ROKON. That’ll also be a headturner !

  • I’d vote for it for bike of the year just for the exhaust system alone. The bike is wierdly and insanely beautiful in a Big Daddy Roth Ratfink way. I love it!

    • guvnor67

      Soooooo good, soooooo Kraaaaazy kool!

  • Somehow we managed to call the builder ‘Chris’, when in fact the poor guy’s name is ‘Eric’. Our bad. Sorry mate.

  • Jeff Wilkening

    Completely mental and very cool.
    Always loved diggers. The sound must be awesome.

  • Kelly Rutherford

    100 hp? My stock ’72 had 100+ ! Danco expansions and Mikuni carbs upped it to135. Port work can get you near 200. But the stock frame was unsafe at any speed. This is more functional, quite likely. Very, very nice!!!

    • BobFalfa

      “But the stock frame was unsafe at any speed”
      That is an understatement…..the rider would find out,quite quickly, the colour of adrenaline is in fact brown

  • deABREU

    What a waste of a crazy motor and masterful craftsmanship. That riding position, the stupid rake, the hard tail… This is useless as a bike

  • Polly Molly Moo

    With that fuel tank, they’ll probably not even make it down to the end of the strip! The KH750 was legendary for doing less that 20MPG – that tank looks like it contains about a coffee cup full of petrol! I would love to hear that thing getting off the line. Many years ago, a guy used to rock up to the pub near my house on a KH500 with expansion pipes. When he went home after a few beers, the noise his bike made could be heard for quite some time after he’d left the premises. The wail of those pipes was amazing.

  • Rick Graybill

    I had a 1975 Kawasaki H1 and bought tuned pipes from a maker out of California I was running the klotz techniplate oil and 103 octane fuel which the bike didn’t need but it smelled like perfume and it sounded awesome

  • Frank

    This is FUCKIN` GREAT!!!! Something fresh, best thing I have seen in a while. People should understand this site is about custom bikes…these are not the bikes that one would ride around the world. Each bike has it`s purpose, and this one`s purpose is to look good, and turn heads!

  • Lowflying

    Evil, black, spitting, screaming, sheer badassery wailing from the depths of hell, revving out of control until it explodes in a blue-smoke mushroom cloud!