Bram and the boys from Bilthoven, The Netherlands, are back with another incredible build. This time the base bike is one of our favorite models: the Kawasaki Z650, better known as the KZ650 in North America. This “Son of the Z1” put down 65 horsepower with a dry weight of 465 lb, offering the agility of a 500 with the punch of a 750. This Z650 arrived in five boxes, but Bram’s crew doesn’t call themselves the Wrench Kings for nothing. They pieced the bike into the beauty you see before you here.
We will Bram give you the rest of the story.
Custom Kawasaki Z650: In the Builder’s Words
“Hey guys! Can you do some small modifications on my Kawa Z650 from 1978?”
That’s how Mitchel’s bike started. Of course we can do some small modifications…but why not let us do the whole bike?
Easier said than done, because the bike arrived in five different crates. Not a problem, but a little bit of a puzzle (plus a big trash can). And the bike itself! Whoa, what a creative mind had been working on that bike! When we received the bike, it was a Kawa Z650 transformed into a chopper model. Probably by a railroad worker, considering the amount of steel used for the subframe.
It was up to us to bring back the shape of the bike again.
The rear subframe at the shocks is raised by an inch and the subframe itself is completely new. All existing steel bars are removed from the frame. And although it is still visible that someone chopped this bike up, it is only visible in the tiniest details. We spend a shitload of time on it and we are absolutely proud of the outcome! And check out these tires! Complementing the bike by a mix between old and modern! The modern Daytona speedo is another detail with a wink on this 40 year old machine.
We were requested to paint the gas tank in a Sunset orange color scheme and we decided to put a subtle metallic flake through the paint. It is just beautiful to watch the sun set in the mirroring gas tank!
To come with a road legal solution for the number plate mount, we fabricated a custom rear wheel plate holder with plans to bring this in production. The system is created in such that it fits any rear wheel hub and allows for invisible number plate light routing.
The front fender and the number plate at the back reduce the worst part of the spray in rainy conditions. With a small fender like this in front, the water spray is still there, but only reaches the front light. The rider does not get a water spray on his visor now.
And yes, the side stand… We are Wrench Kings of course! The food pegs are foldable Tarrozi foot pegs on a relocated position. On the new position the pegs had to be foldable to allow for the kick starter movement. Although the bike has a small Lithium Ion battery hidden underneath the gas tank, the kick starter still works fine.
As with the battery, all electronics are hidden underneath the gas tank. There is really nothing underneath the seat.
All in all the following modifications are made on this bike:
- Frame and subframe powder coated in glossy gray
- Handle bars, triple tree and all brackets are powder coated in glossy black
- Blacked out engine look with new bolts everywhere
- Custom sunset orange metallic paint job on the gas tank
- Relocated side stand bracket and a new side stand
- Relocated foot pegs (Tarrozi) with custom brake and gearshift link system
- Tarrozi passenger foot pegs
- Stainless steel, Dutch made exhaust damper
- White exhaust wrap… Hate it or love it! 😉
- Relocated electronics (new wiring loom with new waterproof connectors)
- Custom (bolt on) battery box above the engine (with external charger if required…although with the kick starter, this is not really necessary.)
- Led ring head light
- Daytona Velona speedo
- “Hidden” rear light (led strip with rear light, brake light and indicator lights)
- Tiny indicator lights in front
- New handle bar
- New Biltwell grips
- Brembo brake lever
- New clutch lever
- New seat
- Bar end mirrors
- Continental Trail Attack 2 tires (Perfect tires with a stunning tread!)
- And of course a general service (New oil, filter, brake pads, brake oil, fork oil, etc.)
We are proud again! And we had a good time shooting these pictures! Bas Duijs, the photographer, is a good friend by now and it is always a pleasure to work with him. Naturally we would like to praise his work with a reference to his website: www.basduijs.com
We trust that Mitchel has many smiling kilometers with this machine!
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