A civilized scrambler for the Caribbean lifestyle…
Sixteen years ago, automotive mechanic Andres Salcedo came to Canada from his homeland of Colombia, where his father owned a shop — Caldas — for more than 40 years. Salcedo honors his father by calling his shop by the same name. A lifelong art, design, and moto aficionado, he built his first custom a couple of years ago, a ’79 CB750. Says Salcedo:
“I built it into a cafe racer in my very small garage between strollers and bicycles…”
After seeing the build online, an old friend Salcedo hadn’t seen in more than two decades reached out, asking Salcedo to build him a bike of his own. As a resident of the Dominican Republic, he needed a rugged, reliable street scrambler that could handle the odd beach path or unpaved road.
Salcedo chose a 1982 Kawasaki KZ750 (four), which offered a stout 78 horsepower from its air-cooled, 738cc DOHC inline four — good for a quarter mile time of 12.6 seconds. Below, we get the full story on the build, “Cesarius,” which Salcedo calls “civilized scrambler, perfect for the city, but good enough to take a run at the beach or an unpaved road.
Kawasaki KZ750 Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I am an automotive mechanic by trade, came from Colombia to Canada 16 years ago. Always had a love for motorcycles, still have my first one, a Honda monkey 50cc from the sixties. I love art and design and I try to translate it into motorcycles. After riding a pretty much standard motorcycle for several years, a couple of years ago I decided to build my first bike. It’s a 1979 Honda CB750, I built it into a cafe racer in my very small garage between strollers and bicycles. I try to do everything myself and there’s a lot of trial and error but I won’t quit until it is exactly how I want it. Caldas was the name of my father’s shop in Colombia for 40 years — I honour it by calling my own shop the same.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
My second motorcycle is a 1982 Kawasaki KZ750. After posting my motorcycle online a friend that I haven’t seen in over 20 years contacted me and ask me to build one for him. We both share the love for bikes and the passion for art and design. He knew exactly what he wanted. He lives in Dominican Republic and wanted a motorcycle that would serve him well off-roading but also good enough on paved roads — very stylish and with a retro vintage look that would take abuse and harsh Caribbean weather. I decided on a Japanese bike from the eighties. They are solid bases for projects and parts are relatively available.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The frame was modified at the tail, a loop/tail light combo was added, the seat and the tank were repositioned as all the electrical and battery had to be lowered to accept the new seat, the frame, forks, headlight.
Swing arm and wheels were powder coated flat black, the tank and side covers painted flat green. New headlight, bar, bar end turn signals, stainless brake lines, new dual sport tires, cut fenders.
The engine is untouched. Carbs tuned to individual pod filters, 4-to-1 Kerker exhaust from the eighties, wrapped exhaust, new grips and digital tach/speedo combo.
All brake calipers, top tree and a few brackets and control are aluminum polished. HID headlights.
• How would you classify this bike?
I would call it a civilized scrambler, perfect for the city, but good enough to take a run at the beach or an unpaved road. The name of the bike is “Cesarius.”
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I love the handling of the motorcycle, it is fast and responsive, turns heads wherever it goes but most importantly I am proud of renewing a friendship with the love of motorcycles and design as a common denominator.