A scrambler built for the deserts of Tatooine!
“Rescue, Rebuild, Recycle.” This is the motto of Tempe, Arizona’s AspiRe Cycle. Founder Chris Elliot certainly put those words into action with this 1978 Kawasaki KZ400, which he found as a chopped-up wannabe cafe racer. After rescuing the bike with his VW station wagon, Chris and Build Rad Stuff gave the bike a two year-long, full frame-off rebuild / customization, transforming the bike from a failed cafe into a trail-riding machine.
They also gave the bike one of our favorite nicknames ever — “Womp Rat” — named after the large desert rodents native to the desert planet of Tatooine — the homeworld of Luke Skywalker! Says Chris:
“This KZ400 scrambler conversion is something I’d love to ride through the Tatooine desert and the dusty streets of Mos Eisley Spaceport.”
Below, we get the full story on this groovy scrambler.
KZ400 Scrambler / Desert Sled: In the Builder’s Words
This bike was a full frame-off restoration/modification made by AspiRe Cycle and Build Rad Stuff Fabrication and Welding. I love to find old bikes that have seen better days and give them new life. This bike started off as a chopped up, barely running “cafe racer” style motorcycle. I purchased it, loaded it into the back of my VW station wagon (it fits!) and took it home. After sitting around for a few months or more, we started the rebuild. Nothing was left untouched. Every original part was refreshed or replaced with either new old stock or OEM Kawasaki parts. Custom parts were hand made in our shop. We spent over two years getting this bike where it is today, and it’s been a great time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
1978 KZ400 “Womp Rat.” Named the “Womp Rat” after the desert dwelling rodents mentioned in Star Wars: A New Hope, this KZ400 scrambler conversion is something I’d love to ride through the Tatooine desert and the dusty streets of Mos Eisley Spaceport.
Complete with knobby 50/50 Kenda K270 tires and scrambler pipes, fenders, and handlebars, this trail riding machine has plenty of clearance to get you through any obstacles you might encounter while trying to escape the inevitable Tusken Raider attack. Just watch out for those pesky Jawa scavengers! Power Converters supplied by Tosche Station.
-Fully stripped, hooped, and powdercoated frame, tank, fenders, and accessories
-Stainless and polished hardware
-400cc Kawasaki 4 stroke twin with rebuilt top end
-7th Gear Designs electronic ignition kit
-Polished and painted engine cases
-Fully custom stainless steel scrambler exhaust pipes with black ceramic coating
-Custom mounted front and rear fenders
-Kenda K270 18×4.50 front and rear tires
-Hagon rear shocks
-All Balls Racing tapered steering bearings
-Removable luggage rack
-Seat and tank upholstery by Ceballos Customs LLC
-Shaved and painted front forks
-Custom toolbox battery holder
-Hand made aluminum electronics tray
-Sourced all OEM and NOS parts
-Custom hand painted “Womp Rat” logo on tank by Asher Emerson
Follow the Builder
Photos credited to Joy Rider Productions.