The Kawasaki W650 is one of our favorite platforms for custom builds. Kawasaki introduced the retro-styled standard in 1999 to resemble the British twins of the 1960s. The 50-horsepower parallel twins featured kickstarters and a bevel-gear, shaft-driven overhead camshaft, complete with Ducati Desmo-style cover, which makes the bikes instantly recognizable from the right side. Too bad they were only available in North America for a couple of years, and were replaced by the fuel-injected W800 in 2010.
Enter Uwe Kostrewa of Germany’s Hombrese Bikes, who has built one of the most incredible W650 we have ever seen. Uwe got his start on two wheels with a Honda Monkey, of which he says:
“She made a little kid’s blood boil and triggered a passion that continued through to this day.”
After that came mopeds, enduros, supermotos, and finally a Yamaha SR500 that was pushed into his shop. As Uwe began transforming the bike into a cafe racer, Hombrese Bikes was born. Uwe calls himself a “semi-builder” because he has a “normal job” and customizes bikes mainly in his spare time.
To see a machine of this quality turned out of such a small shop is truly thrilling for us here at BikeBound. Uwe did nearly all of the work himself, including the majority of the painting. We will let him give you the full story on the build.
(This bike has also been featured on one of our favorite blogs, Bike EXIF, but with different photographs.)
W650 Tracker: In the Builder’s Words
My name is Uwe Kostrewa and I am located in Germany. I am a private person who builds bikes for myself and sometimes for friends, or to order for people when I have enough time–because this is not my normal job.
So I am a semi-builder 😉
My playground is a small hall with my four bikes and my lovely 1966 Ford Mustang. I spend lot of time in this hall to build the bikes.
What you see here is a Kawasaki W650 from 1999 with 34,000 km. I made a complete build up. The rims and other parts are powder-coated. The ground of the frame is powder-coated and then painted by myself. Also the white parts and engine are painted by myself.
I cut the rear frame a little bit shorter and after this included a little LED backlight in it. The front plate and the exhaust is also my own creation and build by myself. The seat is a foam by fiberglass–also by me.
I painted the gas tank and the number a little bit in a used-look because the rest of the bike is so clean.
- Handelbar by LSL
- Rear Bumper by YSS
- Gas-Tank by 70th Yamaha
- Front Disc by EBC
- Frontlights by Highsider
- Silencer by Moto GP
- Airfilter by K & N
- Tires by Avon ( Road-Rider )
- Turnlights and Speedometer by Motogadget
The bike runs great and it is around about 25 kg lighter than the original…I am very happy with it.
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