Kawasaki GPZ 750 last of the aircooled 83’
An evolution of the SK8MX. I longed for a rad “gnas” rusty racer.
Named after one of the best BMX ever the 70’s “PK Ripper” built by SE racing who still build this retro legend today. The idea of combing old-school classic racer looks with a
modern twist and throw in the SK8 & BMX bits was the plan.
The different details and used parts give it a “gnas” character but it still has the racer look I was hoping for.
Hand made in a basic garage with friends a few beers and lots of hours! Gnas is a group of friends that get together to tinker with bikes, ride and generally have fun. We all have day jobs but love that gnas has grown and we are getting more mates working on and riding bikes.
The Kawasaki GPZ 750 has what’s regarded as the best Aircooled engine Kawasaki every made, it’s the last of its kind heavily developed before water cooled engines came in. This was a true shoestring bike build. I found the bike in a shed for £400 and with all the used parts going into it probably only put another £200 in, but masses of hours in the workshop. General custom modifications PLUS
Raw steel single seat with micro LED lights for stop, tail and indicators , Elina BMX Style cover, the holes are punched in just like that plastic BMX seat.
Raw steel tank, came on an old bike and was super rusty, it had never been painted. It took a lot of cutting and welding to get it to fit right but it does and holds fuel too. Skateboard deck tape grips, leather belt straps, miss matched from the jumble, old but still useable, hand painted tank art. Both the seat and tank have had a light satin coat of lacquer. I used a couple of Spitfire skateboard wheels for tank rubbers, I just bored them out with a drill and file, cut small section away and popped them over the frame.
World industries Deck front mudguard, this was a multi-piece construction from one deck, an evolution to the guards I’ve done before. Cut, shaped, bonded to fit 3 dimensionally around the front tyre, who’d of thought you can do woodwork with a grinder!ha.
Spitfire wheel cable holder. I took a skateboard wheel, drilled and countersunk a the side to fit an allen head bolt drilled it out for the brake line and covered it with blue shoe lace braid. DMR V12 BMX cut pedal rear sets, truck pin foot levers. I’ve done the central part of a pedal for pegs before but these V12’s were the ones to have back in the day on your BMX. Levers made from scratch with the truck pin (it’s the bit that holds the skateboard axel to the deck mount) as the toe peg, easy to miss at first or second glance but Skaters clock it first look. It’s so cool when you see them realise what it is.
Mini gauges, wheel ignition cover, alloy clip on’s. Venture Truck headlight/dash mount. Headlight is from a jumble but the internals are modern. I stripped a headlight that had built-in LED indicators and built that into the old used headlight bowl. It keeps things super clean but got indicators, shit, most my bikes don’t even have lights!Ha. Brushed forks, hand painted LANDING GEAR logo, total Laugh for BMX’ers.
Enamelled frame and engine, brushed aluminium detailing, drilled out sections and wired bolts (little nod to classic race bikes). Mono-shock rear conversion, raw steel “bolt up” rear subframe (like an old Manx Norton) made from 20mm pipe, left to surface rust then satin lacquered to match the body. The mono alloy swing-arm and Ohlins shock adds a modern twist to what was a twin shock rear. Primo Powerbite BMX crank arm brake brace, stainless lines. Another sick BMX part from the day. I had to make a steel mount at the crank end to fix to the swing-arm but the rear calliper mounts through the same hole the V12 pedal used on the BMX. It’s one of the most simple but effective mods, probably my favourite on the bike. World Industries deck chain guard (just enough deck left!). Venture Truck rear light/plate mount, I had to very carefully cut a thin channel down the allow axel section with the grinder so the metal number plate would flow from it and around the back sprocket, it kind floats and is a close favourite mod of mine. Cut and shut the old exhaust to a 4 into 1 and found some antique looking wrap which really suited the theme, finished with a GP style stainless spring mounted end can. Primo Powerbite BMX crank arm side stand, this took some thought for the mountings both end, but managed to keep arm as the focus. Spitfire wheel (yes last of the four from the skateboard, nothing goes to waste here.ha) chain tensioner, gold series chain. Cast 3 spoke wheels, drilled rear (like a Manx Norton), SKYWAY hand painted logo.
This one had many very late nights, in-fact through the night and into the morning workshop sessions. The added pressure of finding cheap decent used parts to utilise too was a mission instead of simply ordering it and it arriving, but that’s the “gnas” way, it was so worth the hard graft, totally stoked with it.