The Daytona 200 is one of my favorite races of the year. This year I was perusing some historic photos of the race when I came across one from 1969. It’s a faded photo from Kawasaki showing five race bikes and riders trimmed in green and white. Of course they’re Kawasaki racers, they’re in green.
Seeing that green brought back memories of my dad taking me to school in the 1980s on the back of his green KZ440, and my own old Ninja 500. It’s the same color as many of the new Kawasakis you’ll find on a showroom floor, whether those are dirt bikes, Jet Skis, or even electric bicycles. But that 1969 photo shows the first time that Kawasakis were painted in their now-famous color.
But where did the Kawasaki Racing Green color come from? In 1969 Kawasaki was looking to make a splash at the most important race on the American calendar. At the Daytona 200 racers used the high banks of iconic NASCAR superspeedway, and riders fought hard on the dangerous circuit. That 1969 race was also on TV in color and Kawasaki wanted to stand out. And, those bikes did.
Kawasaki shocked the paddock with a bevy of 250cc A1RA and 350cc A7RA factory racers painted in green and white. Racers are a superstitious lot and green had always been a jinxed color. But the team of talented riders including Ken Araoka, Art Bauman, KMC employee Walt Fulton III, Dick Hammer and Cal Rayborn, threw out old superstitions and also wore green-and-white one-piece suits.
By: Dan Mayfield
Title: Green Meanies: Where Did Kawasaki Racing Green Come From?
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/green-meanies-where-did-kawasaki-racing-green-come-from
Published Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2023 18:34:27 +0000
Cool Whip: HB-Custom’s crisp Suzuki DR650 scrambler
If we had to use one word to describe the bikes that roll out of Holger Breuer’s workshop, it would be ‘crisp.’ Whether he’s building a bobber or a scrambler, the man behind HB-Custom has an eye for perfect proportions and liveries that pop. Even when he’s working with a tired old Suzuki dual-sport as a donor, Holger manages to make magic.
This 1994 Suzuki DR650 came to the HB-Custom workshop in Husum, Germany, all the way from Berlin. Holger’s client actually booked two bikes in at once; an old BMW boxer to turn into a bobber for solo rides, and the Suzuki, which was destined for around-town duties and the occasional two-up jaunt.
The bike arrived as a rolling chassis with a very loose brief, so Holger envisioned a svelte scrambler for whipping through Berlin’s city streets. He’s built a number of handsome custom Honda Dominators, and figured that he could apply the same formula to the Suzuki DR650. And he was right.
But first, the Suzuki’s well-worn motor needed attention. Holger tore it down and rebuilt it, complete with new seals and gaskets and a fresh coat of paint. This engine might be almost three decades old, but it’s clean enough to eat off of.
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Cool Whip: HB-Custom’s crisp Suzuki DR650 scrambler
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/suzuki-dr650-scrambler
Published Date: Wed, 24 May 2023 17:01:22 +0000
Custom à la carte: A BMW R nineT streetfighter from France
Lionel Duke builds a little bit of everything. His Nice, France-based custom shop, Duke Motorcycles, has transformed Honda Goldwings, Kawasaki ER6s, and Ducati Scramblers into unique one-off creations in recent years. But the most interesting thing to come from his garage actually isn’t a bike at all—it’s a box full of parts.
More specifically, a box full of parts to convert any stock BMW R NineT into a radical-looking plug-and-play custom streetfighter. It was this very kit that caught the eye of Duke’s latest client, who saw a picture of Lionel’s prototype build online and decided he wanted one for himself.
The client loved the original kit’s supercar-inspired design, but wanted a few unique touches of their own to truly make it theirs. And Lionel was more than happy to oblige.
“He had been asking around Parisian workshops that offered their own R nineT kits,” he says, “but none of them were willing to modify their standard parts to suit his tastes. I told him that it wasn’t a problem for me, as I actually prefer to do different things on each project.”
By: Kurt Spurlock
Title: Custom à la carte: A BMW R nineT streetfighter from France
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/bmw-r-ninet-streetfighter
Published Date: Mon, 22 May 2023 17:01:16 +0000
Speed Read, May 21, 2023
We’re feeling both retro and futuristic this week, so we’ve rounded up bikes that cover the full spectrum. Leading the charge is Verge’s new Mika Häkkinen edition electric bike, followed by the new Fantic Caballero 700 scrambler. We then profile a Yamaha SR400 from Australia, before coming in to land with a fetching Triton from France.
Verge Mika Häkkinen Signature Edition With an impressive 51 Formula One podiums and two championships to his credit with Lotus and McLaren, the Flying Finn knows mechanical excellence. So when Mika Häkkinen partnered with electric superbike manufacturer Verge Motorcycles, you knew it was something worth paying attention to.
Häkkinen joined forces with Verge early in 2023, and instead of just a plain endorsement, Verge announced that Häkkinen is now part of the company’s advisory board and has personally designed his own limited-edition bike. Capped at 100 units, each Häkkinen Signature Edition Verge comes with a numbered plaque with Mika’s signature, unique cosmetics and will sell for around $87,000.
By: Alfonso Paca
Title: Speed Read, May 21, 2023
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/motorcycle-news-may-21-2023
Published Date: Sun, 21 May 2023 16:34:50 +0000
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