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Kawasaki


1981 Kawasaki 750 LTD

Posted on April 14th, by Scott in Bobber. 31 comments

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Written by Ian Lee.

Some people like lots of shiny chrome on their pride and joy, while others prefer the aged look of patina. Today’s bike firmly falls into the second category – with a finish that looks like it was pulled from a swamp. The builder, Janne Martola is an artist hailing from Finland, his artistic expertise being built into this well worn Kawasaki 750LTD. Buying it as a non runner three years ago, Janne has spent the last three years fine-tuning the machine – both aesthetically and mechanically – in a manner which appealed to his tastes and budget. Used as an expedition machine for Janne’s to access places of an interesting nature, this bike is a custom which is ridden hard. On occasion the Kwaka has to pass for a scrambler in it’s duties, and this it does admirably for a bike that was so vanilla when it left the factory. Built in a small garage on a shoestring budget, the bike may not appeal to everyone’s taste but it is definitely a custom in the truest sense of the term. And the fact it’s an everyday rider makes it all the more interesting. But you can probably tell that from the patina.

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‘01 Kawasaki W650 – Old Empire Motorcycles

Posted on April 3rd, by Andrew in Brat, Café Racer. 14 comments

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Wales. A rather quite place, all things considered. Unless coal mining or male choirs are high on your list of wow, it probably doesn’t cross paths with you all that often. But magically zap yourself back in time a few thousand years and Wales would be offering up a whole different set of attractions. And the foremost one amongst a list also featuring dragons, giant Celtic armies and beautiful maidens would be one Mister Myrddin Emrys, a.k.a. Merlin the Magician. So, inspired by Wales’ greatest ever son, our favourite Brit builders have taken inspiration from their wand waving western neighbours and conjured up this little wonder from their alchemic cauldron. Hey presto, meet Old Empire’s magical ‘Merlin’.

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1978 Kawasaki KZ400 ‘Elsa’

Posted on March 12th, by Scott in Brat. 17 comments

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Having two daughters of my own, I’m a sucker for a good father and daughter story ­– especially when it involves building a beautiful motorcycle. Sadie Glemza from Ohio has been brought up on the sweet smell of gasoline. She was four years old the first time her dad let her ride a motorbike. As she got older, Sadie started racing Junior Dragster, running 8.00′s in the 1/8 th mile. So when she came across a beat up old KZ400 for $400 she thought it would be a great project to do with her dad – who knows his way around a wrench set. “My dad has always been my go to person for anything about a car or motorcycle and it was only fitting we worked together on creating this gorgeous build” says Sadie. So with limited funds they got to work on the bike she calls ‘Elsa’.

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1975 Kawasaki KZ400 by Vast Moto

Posted on March 5th, by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 14 comments

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Written by Ian Lee.

Motorcyclists sure are a social bunch. Which is weird seeing as the act of riding is a solitary pursuit in itself. However, many a strong friendship has been forged over a rusted bolt or faulty starter motor. And some can lead to greater things. It is thanks to this social aspect that we have today’s feature bike, Vast Moto’s 1975 Kawasaki KZ400. Created in a small Portland workshop, the bike is built on the concept of motorcycles built for the people, by the people. Being the first build completed by a bunch of roustabouts who banded together for a common cause, this little Kwaka is proof of what can happen when you fall in with the right crowd.

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2012 Kawasaki D-Tracker by Verve Moto

Posted on February 18th, by Scott in Tracker. 7 comments

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When Verve Moto were approached by a customer to build a tall, light and powerful enduro bike with a 250cc engine that could handle all the different roads Bali has to offer, they knew the Kawasaki D-Tracker would be the perfect donor. The stock bike is called a D-Tracker in Indonesia (KLX250S in most countries) and is a very popular model given the countries rugged terrain. Verve found a lot of inspiration from the many custom enduro builds coming out of Europe, but they also wanted to put their own ‘Bali style’ into the build.

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‘76 Kawasaki KH500 – ‘Kermit’

Posted on November 19th, by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 2 comments

In a world of sterile, bubble-wrapped motorcycle design that puts government regulations and usability above all else it’s easy to forget that once upon a time, motorcycle design was an entirely different beast. Take, for the sake of argument, the rather ‘charismatic’ Kawasaki 500cc triples from the 1970s. Put simply, they were an air-cooled three cylinder sportsbike with two exhausts on one side and one on the other, barely-there brakes, a penchant for death wobbles at high speed and the ability to flip itself rubber-side-up with any decent twist of their throttles. They were also bloody quick. So quick, in fact, that journalists of the day refused to believe Kawasaki’s quarter mile claims until they themselves managed to replicate them, thus proving that the bike was actually the quickest production motorcycle of its day. Even the legendary Plymouth Hemi Cudas would eat their dust. Cue this immaculate and very green rocket from the crypt, Craig Johnston’s Kawasaki KH500 – aka ‘Kermit’.


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1976 Kawasaki Z900 – ‘La Latina 900′

Posted on September 25th, by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

If there is one material Pablo & Carlos Delgado are comfortable working with, it is metal. The brothers have been ‘traditional metal craftsman’ since they started their foundry back in 1995. Having been brought up as the children of a famous Spanish artist, the brothers always knew they were destined for a creative career using their hands. They started out building art and sculptures out of metal, and I guess you could say they are still doing that, except now their sculptures have two wheels and engines. Apart from metal, the Delgado brothers have a passion for vintage Kawasaki motorcycles, particularly anything starting with a Z. This is the Z900 they recently built called the ‘La Latina 900′ which recently rolled out of their Spanish based workshop in Madrid called Valtoron.


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Kawasaki GT550 – Auto Fabrica

Posted on June 6th, by Andrew in Café Racer. No Comments

Less is more. It’s a phrase that’s tossed around with more reckless abandon than an SUV being driven by a texting teenager. Most builders think that stripping the indicators and mirrors off of their latest project bike gives them a ‘clean and minimal’ look. But we’re here to tell you that as far as minimal goes, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Want to see the other 90% beneath the surface? Look no further than the inaugural build from London’s Auto Fabrica – their ‘Type One’.


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1982 Kawasaki Z1100ST ‘Big Z’ by Maccomotors

Posted on April 27th, by Andrew in Brat. 1 Comment

Written by Ian Lee.

Some families are close. Sometimes family gets together to start a business, or to work on motorbikes, or to just hang out. Today’s feature bike is a product of all three of these, and as the first build, this custom workshop is off to a great start. Maccomotors is a family based operation, with two brothers working out of a shed in Chiclana De Frontera, Cadiz at the base of Spain. This is their first build, the ‘Big Z’, a customised 1982 Kawasaki Z1100ST, built in a small workshop, by two brothers armed with big passions and great ideas.


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AD&RM’s ‘85 Kawasaki KH100 – “The Pickle”

Posted on April 5th, by Andrew in Brat. No Comments

If you’re anything like us, you baby your rides – probably more than you baby yourself, or even your partner. Bike covers, wax, polishing, and a nice warm garage to keep them out of the elements. But you can’t help but feel a little precious when you stumble upon a story like that of Ryan Wall’s. After rescuing a bike that was going to be trashed by a mate, he left it’s already shot and damage carcass under a tree in his folk’s tropical Brisbane yard for 6 years before he decided to make it his next project. Meet the bike that beat the rust and just got fast – AD&RM’s ‘The Pickle.’


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