Sometimes, a custom build is simply an amalgam of off-the-shelf parts, mounted with a good eye for taste and proportion. Other times, it’s a creation like the “Scrambler 440” featured here. The base bike is a Kawasaki KZ440, the larger-bore version of the KZ400 twin sold from 1974 to 1984, but you could hardly recognize the original bike. This truly is one of the most radical KZ customs we’ve ever seen, doubly incredible because it is not the work of a big-name, professional shop. Rather, it’s the work of a single man: Mark van Hout from Erp, the Netherlands.
According to Mark, almost everything on this bike is handmade, including the exhaust, tank, fenders, subframe, swingarm, triple clamp, steering clamps, and seat. Excepting paint and seat, he did all of the work himself. The engine is pretty much the only component of this custom left original, and even it is running a single carb Mikuni VM34 setup.
As you can see below, the tanks is a work of art, its wire flaring narrowing in perfectly formed knee indentions to match the narrow nose of the custom seat. As you can see, the bike has Renthal handlebars, mounted in risers placed in the very clean custom triple.
The USD forks are off of an Aprilia RS125, a two-stroke sportbike with scalpel-like handling, and the front brake is from a Ducati Monster. As you can see, the gunmetal paint of the tank is matched by the headlight housing–a nice touch. The headlight itself is from an old tractor, and Mark mounted the tachometer in the housing.
The exhaust is a custom two-into-one unit, with the muffler riding high along the right side of the seat like that of a motocross bike. Obviously this KZ440 did not start as a monoshock design.
The custom swingarm, linked to a monoshock, shows incredible craftsmanship, and the white paint of the swingarm and frame make for a super-clean look. The rear brake is from a CBR600RR, and the black three cross wheels are from a Suzuki GS500.
Follow Mark on Instagram: @mcmacsen