Kawasaki Motorcycles

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.
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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Return of the Cafe Racers - Double Take – Berrybad Kawasaki W650

Double Take – Berrybad Kawasaki W650

From time to time, you see something that makes it hard to believe your eyes. They call it cognitive dissonance; a state where two conflicting images or ideas exist in the mind at the same time. It confounds you and makes it hard to compute exactly what it is that you’re seeing.…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Minsk Motorcycle – Sparta Kawasaki KZ400

Minsk Motorcycle – Sparta Kawasaki KZ400

I’m always excited to feature a build from a country we haven’t previously visited here on the Return of the Cafe Racers website. This Kawasaki KZ400 was put together in Minsk, Belarus a landlocked country in eastern Europe that’s bordered by Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.  It also happens to be…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Accurate Description – Kawasaki Vulcan Cafe Racer

Accurate Description – Kawasaki Vulcan Cafe Racer

The Vulcan S ABS Café is Kawasaki’s “learner approved” cruiser. Its styling is typical of all cruisers that follow in Harley’s footsteps with its laid-back riding position, wide handlebars and overinflated bodywork (in my humble opinion). However, at its heart is an engine that uses the same configuration as some of the…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Force Fed – Magnum Opus Turbo KZ650

Force Fed – Magnum Opus Turbo KZ650

In 1978 former Kawasaki Marketing Director Alan Masek knew that the mighty Z1’s dominance of the street was coming to an end. Honda’snew CBX and Suzuki’s GS1000 were set to leave the Z1 in their dust, but rather than sit back quietly and watch that happen, Alan devised the Zed’s ultimate swansong.…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Law abiding build – The Officer Kawasaki KZ400

Law abiding build – The Officer Kawasaki KZ400

There are several amazing custom motorcycle shows happening in the United States right now that have made it onto my bucket list. To name a few, the One Show (which I just missed…again!), the Brooklyn Invitational, Born Free and the Handbuilt Show. After each show, I religiously scour the internet for coverage…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Fixing other peoples mistakes – The Little Rat Kawasaki KZ440

Fixing other peoples mistakes – The Little Rat Kawasaki KZ440

I’ve had the privilege of following Sofi Tsingo’s GT Moto workshop evolve over the last few years. During that time she’s improved her skill set tenfold and also generously devoted her time and work to helping out charities. She’s also built a handful of amazing bikes and her latest creation is the…

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