Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer by November Customs

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

The Kawasaki Zephyr was built during the retro/naked bike boom of the 1990s, with styling that recalled the mighty Kawasaki Z1 of yore.  The blend of 70s style and 90s tech was a success. The Zephyr 750 offered a 71-hp air-cooled inline four that tuned for low and midrange power — perfect sporty street riding.

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

Enter Paul and Linda of November Customs, located in the Northeast of England. Their project started with a desire to build handmade monocoque bodywork and “it snowballed from there.” The result is the most incredible Zephyr cafe racer we have ever seen — covered in hand-formed steel bodywork, with upgraded suspension and brakes.

Below, we get the full story on the build, along with some killer shots from @thewrongspeed.

Kawasaki Zephyr 750 Cafe Racer: Builder Interview

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

We are a couple of shed builders from the Northeast of England. Paul a time served engineer he has been messing with bikes for the last 30 odd years he has bikes in various magazines over the years also. Linda has always had a passion for bikes and when we met more than a few years ago, she brought her artistic background into the bike design/building.

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

Kawasaki 750 Zephyr 1992.

• Why was this bike built?

Just to see if we could make a monocoque bodywork it snowballed from there.

Kawasaki Zephyr 750 Cafe Racer
An earlier iteration of the build…
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

Cafe racers endurance racers of old and a trip to Brooklands.

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Triumph Thruxton wheels, Triumph 675 discs, Ducati 848 forks and yokes made to fit the Kawasaki headstock. Ducati 748 clip ons, Brembo callipers, and radial master cylinders from an Aprilia.

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

Bespoke handmade mechanical anti dive. We converted the cable operated clutch to hydraulic clutch. Korso digital speedo, CB900 swinging arm. We made the sub frame and made the seat to suit.

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

YSS shocks. Brembo back caliper on a custom hanger with bespoke brake torque arm. Thruxton disc mounted on a spacer to run a twin opposed piston calliper. Aprilia RS4 rear sets.

The body work is all handmade steel and made into a monocoque with twin filler caps although only one is used as such. These were also made by us.

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

Modified Fireblade screen brace. Ignition barrel relocated under the seat to clean up the front end. One off wiring loom. Hand turned billet bell mouths.

Kawasaki Zephyr Cafe Racer

Leather seat was also made by us. The paint is by Northeast auto body & paint. All engineering and metal work is done in house by November Customs.

• How would you classify this bike?

Cafe Racer, Endurance

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

Seeing as we had no clear direction on the bike really proud how it has turned out altogether.

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  1. Richard Horton

    I cannot quite work out how the anti-dive on the front forks works when fitted on one side but not the other?

  2. The anti dive is only on one side as that’s all that’s needed. If it were on both sides it would lock the front-end out completely giving no suspension movement at all making the bike feel like a pile driver and push on in a straight line when trying to brake into a corner. However only having it on one side still gives the anti dive effect and the supposed benefits of it but doesn’t lock the front end so hitting a bump won’t unsettle it….too much anyway haha.

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