performance and benefits are the words of the week. We start with a 1100cc endurance racer from Kawasaki, followed by a farm-built Honda mashup, a street-legal electric utility bike from Cake, and a Ducati Scrambler-turned-motocrew’s dreamy café racer.
Kawasaki Zephyr 1100 from 72 HKG power This Kawasaki Cafe Racer The project started, like so many before it, with the simple question “What else do you have?” Jorge and Antonio, the builders behind Spanish workshop 72 HKG Performance, had been on a little road trip to pick up a project car when they found this Kawasaki hidden in the Found garage, covered with a blanket of unrealized potential.
The machine that began life as the Kawasaki Zephyr 1100 was taken to a workshop years ago for a full custom conversion – but it never got to a point where the owner was happy. So after buying the project car, Jorge and Antonio loaded up both machines and took them home.
It’s rarely easy to take on someone else’s custom order, but it often starts the same way: by taking everything off. So the guys got to work loosening, loosening, and getting the Zephyr back down to its bare bones.
HKG worked back and forth with the bike’s owner before deciding to build a classic endurance racer, which meant a full fairing. After the bike was stripped down, the guys made a custom frame to hold the bodywork, which would determine the width and remaining lines of the build. The entire hand-formed aluminum body took over 200 hours to produce but fits the body perfectly.
The fairing is molded around the handlebars, taking into account the bike’s cooling, air intake and exhaust system. The stock gas tank was modified for smoother lines, with the filler cap removed and replaced. A custom leather seat was made by Senen Leatherworks and attached to the new Endurance-style tailpiece.
The Zephyr’s 1100cc engine has been completely rebuilt with small pod air cleaners and an all new exhaust system complete with a titanium AkrapoviÄ muffler. As expected, the first owner is finally happy with his custom built Kawi. (above)
Honda Bros 400/Africa Twin by Jonny Kerins If we had a dollar for every amazing shed built bike we featured, well… maybe we could buy a bigger shed. This next build comes from Jonny Kerins, a woodworking instructor from Ireland with an obsession with 80’s and 90’s superbikes.
Although it looks factory like, it features a frame and engine combo that Honda never made itself. The chassis is from a Honda NT400 Bros – a 400cc version of the Hawk available outside the US. But the engine is a 742cc twin borrowed from a ’90s Honda Africa twin.
For Jonny, building a Bros 400/Africa twin hybrid was the result of a longstanding love of the small Honda platform and a perfect opportunity at the local moto junkyard. Years ago, Kerins had owned and restored a Honda Bros 400 for himself, so he was well acquainted with the platform but always wanted a little more juice for the push. When he found a Bros chassis and an Africa Twin engine, his wheels spun.
With the right amount of finesse he was able to harness the extra power of the Twin’s larger engine in the chassis he loved so much – and of course all in the early superbike style he loves so much. Coincidentally, he picked up the project when a global pandemic brought the world to a halt, which gave him plenty of time to work on it.
The Bros chassis was outfitted with a handful of high-performance parts from various machines. Forks from a Yamaha R1, wheels from a Honda VFR and bodies from various Honda models have been modified to match. A custom exhaust, subframe and fairing brackets were all made in-house.
Jonny even painted the bike himself in Rothman’s classic Honda livery. Buttoned up, it looks like a classic Honda racer from an alternate universe. (above)
Cakes like e-bikes CES is one of the biggest tech events in the world, often hosting some of the biggest announcements of the year. This year we see Cake, makers of electric motorcyclesannounce a new addition to their lineup for 2023: a road-legal utility bike with an extensive range and no registration requirement.
The Cake Óik is essentially a step-through eBike equipped with a variety of tools for stowing, towing, or carrying loads. Sure it isn’t technically a motorbike â€“ but it is an interesting twist on practical transport on two wheels.
The Cake Óik is built around a forged 6061 aluminum frame with a mid-mounted motor that delivers 100Nm of torque through pedal assistance. An automatic and continuously variable Enviolo Extreme transmission at the rear promises smooth shifts to optimize power delivery and maximize battery life.
Between one and three batteries can be installed for a maximum range of 360 km (224 miles). Without the battery, the bike weighs 30 kg (66.1 lbs), with each battery weighing an additional 5.2 kg (11.5 lbs).
For hauling heavy loads, Cake offers a variety of racks, saddlebags, trailers, passenger seats and more. Cake claims the rear rack can carry a load of up to 60kg (132lbs), while the front rack can hold up to 20kg (44lbs).
If you like the way the Cake Ó…ik looks (and you have to lug around a lot), you can order it now cake website at a starting price of $6,470.
Ducati Scrambler by Motocrew Ducati’s Scrambler has proven itself as both a versatile and custom platform. From the scrambler to the desert sled to the café racer, Ducati has done a great job of highlighting what this platform can do – and the custom world has rooted for it.
The newest Ducati Scrambler Chris Scholtka arrives to bless our inbox motor crew. The mission began with the seemingly fundamental goal of building a customer’s dream bike. The only challenge is that the customer is almost two meters tall – and the scrambler is compact.
To give the bike more of a traditional café racer vibe, a small fairing was mounted directly to the bike’s upper triple clamp. The stock gas tank was mounted higher to match the new bolt-on subframe, which also helped with the fit by raising the seat height. Black T’s custom rear shock is 3cm longer than stock, which also contributes to the bike’s higher fit and aggressive, forward-leaning line.
Perhaps the most dramatic feature is the custom exhaust system, which extends like lobster scales from the cylinder heads and meanders down to a short Leo Vince muffler. Because this bike is designed for everyday use, the Scrambler’s frame has been cleaned up with small Motogadget turn signals and a license plate bracket that bolts on near the bike axle.
The final icing on this build is a Porsche off-white inspired paint finish that further adds to the bike’s classic feel. The signature motocrew chevron motif on the Scrambler’s interchangeable tank panels has been wrapped in vinyl to allow the customer to easily change it in the future should the need arise. (motor crew | pictures of Sasha Nails)