The Kawasaki F11 250 was a 2-stroke, oil-injected dual-sport that offered ~24 horsepower with a wet weight of 280 pounds. Top speed was reported to be 77.7 mph. Says Bike-urious: “The F11 turned out to be too ‘dirt’ to be a popular dual sport and not ‘dirt’ enough to be a racer.” So the production run lasted only a few years.
Enter Paul Fuelling of Mabel Studios. Paul and his wife, Kim, build custom furniture and doors for a living, and they remodel vintage campers as well. When the clutch started to go on their ’73 Kawasaki F11, they decided it was time for a full rebuild, giving the bike a modern stance and improved setup for the gravel roads and trails around Boone, NC, where they live.
The bike was invited to The Congregation Show in Charlotte, NC, last weekend, where we had the thrill of seeing it in person. We were simply staggered with the build — our show favorite — and immediately reached out to Paul for the full story on this stunning 2-stroke trail and tarmac ripper!
Kawasaki F11 Custom: In the Builder’s Words
This is a 1973 Kawasaki F11 250 / oil injected 2 stroke / street legal bike.
It was a great little bike when we bought it, all original and looking good. Perfect for the winding mountain roads of Boone where we live. After the clutch started going out though I decided to go for it and do the rebuild. Wanted it to have a more modern stance and be more set up for gravel roads and trails.
I shortened the frame, back fender, and seat. Lightened it up by getting rid of a lot of stuff. After deciding to keep the oil injector I found the old Black Flag bug sprayer and decided to use that along with an old mag light as the oil reservoir.
We made the entire seat from scratch with an aluminum pan and battery box and a deer hide my cousin shot and tanned. We also went ahead and did a rebuild on the top end, clutch and carb. which included ditching the cable controlled choke and making a gnurled pull from random brass parts.
We had the frame, kickstand, and skid plate powder coated and the exhaust ceramic coated by Brew Bikes. Then a rebuild on the forks and new half inch longer Progressive rear shocks, a handmade and painted headlight/number plate, modern mx fat bars, and Oury grips that i remembered from my BMX days.
Lastly I made an inner mud flap from a conveyor belt. All that took us a year and half of working on it in between rock climbing, trail riding, and doing our regular woodworking job. We loved building it and will probably start another one when we come across the right bike.
My wife Kim and I are Mabel Studios. We build furniture and doors for a living and have also remodeled some vintage campers, check out our website to see some of our projects.