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Kawasaki Cafe Racers

Kawasaki motorcycles have been in production since 1962. During the late sixties, the Japanese manufacturer established a foothold in the US market with their legendary H1 Mach III, a motorcycle that was both revered and feared for its straight-line speed and unpredictable handling. Today Kawasaki is one of the world's most recognized motorcycle brands. From the iconic Z1000 of the seventies through to today's supercharged, 330kmh+ H2 they continue to produce motorcycles that push the boundaries of performance. In recent years Kawasaki themselves have adopted the cafe racer style with their Z900RS series of motorcycles.
Return of the Cafe Racers - Return of the Mach – Mr Martini Kawasaki Vulcan

Return of the Mach – Mr Martini Kawasaki Vulcan

Through a special collaboration with custom builder, ‘Mr Martini’ Kawasaki motorcycles Italy have released a limited edition Vulcan S. Only 100 units of the ‘Vulcan 70’ are being produced and can be ordered direct from dealerships. Each example comes specially numbered and badged to commemorate the collaboration making them an instant collector’s…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Saki Racer – Paul’s Kawasaki GPZ750

Saki Racer – Paul’s Kawasaki GPZ750

As gaudy as the eighties were they certainly produced some cool motorcycles. Sharp angular styling, bold colour schemes and groundbreaking engineering resulted in a decade of motorcycle releases that reshaped the industry. Suzuki’s Katana was, without a doubt, one of the decade’s most iconic motorcycles in terms of styling and performance and…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - The Queen B – Dexter’s Kawasaki KZ1000

The Queen B – Dexter’s Kawasaki KZ1000

In my hometown of Melbourne, we’re lucky to have a great cafe racer community. Thanks to clubs like the “Melbourne Cafe Racers” there’s always something going. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people who ride some pretty awesome motorcycles. Take for instance Dexter-Lee and his drag bike inspired Kawasaki KZ1000.…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - True Potential – Ruffo Black Kawasaki KZ650

True Potential – Ruffo Black Kawasaki KZ650

Today’s quick update has been a long time in the making. As we’ve seen here before the Kawasaki KZ650 has real potential. By the late 1970’s the DNA from Kawasaki’s all-conquering Z1 had trickled down to the KZ650, earning it a reputation for great handling and performance that set the standard for…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Built for Speed – Custom Wolf Cafe Dragstar

Built for Speed – Custom Wolf Cafe Dragstar

With 30 years of custom motorcycle building under his belt, Wolfgang Batz isn’t about to be influenced by other people’s ideals. As a graphic and industrial designer, he’s developed his own aesthetic and has the skills to conceptualize and fabricate his own components. His latest work is by no means your average, run of…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Rickman Resto – John’s Kawasaki CR-Z1000

Rickman Resto – John’s Kawasaki CR-Z1000

I’d always admired classic competition replica motorcycles. I’d been hunting a bike with a handmade frame and the power of a Z engine for some time and found it in the form of a ’76 Rickman Kawasaki CR Z1000. I shipped the bike from Queensland over to Australia’s west coast and rode…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Gogo Yubari – Kawasaki Z1000 Racer

Gogo Yubari – Kawasaki Z1000 Racer

After Honda revolutionised the motorcycling world forever with their legendary CB750, Kawasaki kicked them squarely in the crotch with their Z1. Kawasaki developed a more powerful inline four that left the Honda in its dust and boasted all of the latest handling and tech components available. Kawasaki were quoted as saying they…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Sly as a Fox – Kawasaki KZ440 Cafe Racer

Sly as a Fox – Kawasaki KZ440 Cafe Racer

Being “sly as a fox” requires experience and skill. It’s the ability to be particularly crafty at what you do. Although in some circumstances the application of the saying may not be a positive one, in this case it most definitely is. Sly as a fox perfectly exemplifies Nigel’s well-rounded skill set…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - The Underdog – Essenza Kawasaki Vulcan S

The Underdog – Essenza Kawasaki Vulcan S

Earlier this month the first series of the Essenza 1/8th mile sprint challenge was completed at the Glemseck festival in Leonberg, Germany. Manufacturers and custom builders went head to head in a knock out style race schedule to decide the victors. Racers were limited to 2 cylinders and a capacity no larger than…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Batten Down – Kawasaki ER6N Cafe Racer

Batten Down – Kawasaki ER6N Cafe Racer

It’s almost time for me to head to Indonesia for the 2016 installment of Kustomfest. Kustomfest is one of Indonesia’s biggest custom car and motorcycle exhibitions, attracting builders from all over the country. Last year the show hosted close to 200 custom motorcycles in the main hall while outside the carpark swelled…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Cool Breeze – Barn Built Kawasaki Zephyr

Cool Breeze – Barn Built Kawasaki Zephyr

As far as iconic naked sports bikes go the Kawasaki Zephyr may not be one that first jumps to mind. However, that may be because, like me, you don’t live in the UK. When the Zephyr hit the UK market back in the early nineties it was responsible for the boom of…

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