Velocity Learn, February 26, 2023


The latest motorcycle news, customs and electric race bikes.
Deus ex Machina returns to their roots with a no-nonsense Kawasaki W650. We additionally profile a Honda CB550 café racer, a Kawasaki KZ400 restomod and RGNT’s all-electric ice land pace record-breaker.

Custom Kawasaki W650 by Deus ex Machina
Kawasaki W650 by Deus ex Machina It looks like we don’t see that many Kawasaki W650 customs round as we used to, and extra’s the pity. The plucky little twin is a pleasure to trip; simple going with one of many best-looking engines round. And it’s enjoyable to customise, too.

Deus Ex Machina has been constructing {custom} W650s because the Australian store’s early days. So it’s refreshing to see head wrench Jeremy Tagand return to the platform, with a tidy {custom} W650 nicknamed ‘Goldy.’

Custom Kawasaki W650 by Deus ex Machina
For those who’ve been following Deus’ work for some time, you’ll acknowledge a few of Jeremy’s signature W650 mods. The banana seat is a well-liked aftermarket half, whereas the handmade facet covers recall Deus’ early W650 builds. An aluminum TT-style gas tank sits up prime, with a cutout that traces a line excessive of the engine.

Custom Kawasaki W650 by Deus ex Machina
The inventory 19F/18R wheels are wrapped in dual-sport rubber from Pirelli, with stainless-steel fenders floating above them. Jeremy’s seen to the W650’s largest weak spot—its rear shocks—with a pair of custom-built Icon models.

Different upgrades embody a pair of DNA pod filters, and a two-into-one exhaust from SC Challenge in Italy. The LED headlight is a Highsider half, the flip indicators and rear three-in-one LEDs are from Objective Constructed Moto, and the speedo’s Daytona merchandise. New handlebars put on Vans grips and Rizoma bar-end mirrors.

Custom Kawasaki W650 by Deus ex Machina
Compact and minimal, Goldy is the right blueprint for anybody that desires to mod their W650, with out shedding an iota of its approachable nature. Extra of those please, Jeremy. [Deus ex Machina]

Honda CB550 café racer by Skog Moto
Honda CB550 by Skog Bikes It’s onerous to think about a greater donor for an archetypal café racer than a Honda CB. You might argue that the brand new wave café racer scene was constructed on Honda CB750s, CB550s and CB450s.

This tidy Honda CB550 comes from Dave Skogerson in Seattle, Washington. It’s quintessential café fare; stripped to the naked necessities and “constructed to trip,” as he places it.

Honda CB550 café racer by Skog Moto
Sensibly, Dave kicked the undertaking off with an engine rebuild. The heads had been ported and polished, the clutch was rebuilt with a Barnett package, and something past its sell-by date was changed. Dave ditched the airbox for a row of velocity stacks and fitted four-into-one headers from MotoGP Werks, then tuned the fueling to squeeze the utmost efficiency from the inline 4.

Honda CB550 café racer by Skog Moto
The Honda additionally had its wiring redone, and upgraded with a Motogadget controller, a contemporary ignition and a tiny Lithium-ion battery. The suspension was overhauled, with Hagon springs contained in the OEM forks and new Hagon shocks out again, and the wheels had been rebuilt. They put on trendy Continental ContiGo! treads, whereas quite a lot of tweaks to the brakes assist to sluggish them down.

Shedding weight was excessive on Dave’s agenda too, so he de-tabbed the body and put in light-weight aluminum yokes up entrance. The CB550 tank is the one piece of inventory bodywork remaining. The tail part is an aluminum unit from Bedlam Werks, and the facet covers and fenders are actually within the bin.

Honda CB550 café racer by Skog Moto
The complete bike is delightfully minimalistic, carrying solely what it wants and nothing extra. Woodcraft clip-ons, a pair of aftermarket gauges and a basic 5 3/4” headlight adorn the entrance, with tiny Motogadget flip indicators fitted at each ends. Tarozzi rear-sets spherical out the package.

The paint job is equally restrained. The CB is generally black, with a success of brown on the seat and tasteful Honda ‘wing’ logos on the tank. [Via]

Kawasaki KZ400 restomod by Andy Greaser
Kawasaki KZ400 by Andy Greaser This 1978 Kawasaki KZ400 restomod belongs to longtime RevZilla Frequent Tread author, Andy Greaser. Andy’s title has appeared in Frequent Tread bylines for about six years now, however he’s just lately left the group to pursue new alternatives. And he’s going out with a bang—through the use of his final article to characteristic his very personal bike.

To be truthful, Andy’s article isn’t actually about his bike. It’s about one thing else that we’re very captivated with; pictures. Working with RevZilla employees photographer, Luke Darigan, Andy unpacks what it takes to fee a professional photographer to {photograph} your bike, with the categorical purpose of getting it featured on web sites like Bike EXIF.

Kawasaki KZ400 restomod by Andy Greaser
Utilizing Andy’s KZ400 as a mannequin, Luke delivers a set of textbook glamor images worthy of any web site or journal. Based mostly off that course of, Andy delivers sage recommendation to anybody that loves constructing {custom} bikes—however isn’t fairly positive how you can current their work to a wider viewers. Whether or not you’re a builder or a photographer, it’s a must-read.

Kawasaki KZ400 restomod by Andy Greaser
As for the bike itself—it’s as unassuming as it’s charming. It wears the gas tank from an older KZ400, with its pure patina left intact, with a ‘bread loaf’ seat that makes use of recycled materials from an previous scorching rod’s gentle prime. The fiberglass fenders are Triumph elements, and the rear shocks are aftermarket gadgets, scalped from a Sportster.

The engine was handled to a top-end rebuild, with a brand new clutch and a row of Mikuni VM carbs, tuned for midrange energy. Different modifications embody new wiring, Renthal bars, a classic oil temp gauge, outsized exhaust flanges, and the Peterson Air Drive Base (now House Drive Base) parking sticker from the bike’s previous life.

Kawasaki KZ400 restomod by Andy Greaser
It’s not a wild {custom} by any means—however Andy is aware of that. “I’d say this KZ400 is an ideal instance of a {custom} anybody may construct at residence with a MIG welder, some fundamental instruments, and somewhat know-how,” he says. “I took my time and tried every kind of concepts earlier than discovering options I preferred.”

“You may keep away from a whole lot of frustration by being sincere about your bike. Don’t waste time, don’t waste cash, and don’t waste potential.” [Andy Greaser | Images by Luke Darigan]

Electric ice racing motorcycle by RGNT
RGNT units new electrical land pace file The Swedish electrical bike firm RGNT has simply set the brand new land pace file for an electrical bike on ice. And so they did it with a motorbike styled like a basic café racer, no much less.

RGNT kicked off the ‘Aurora’ undertaking with their very own RGNT No. 1 Basic SE mannequin. It’s successfully an electrical retro commonplace, with slick styling that wouldn’t look misplaced in a Triumph or Royal Enfield showroom. Working after hours and on weekends, they rebuilt it right into a café racer that’s extra racer than café.

Electric ice racing motorcycle by RGNT
The No. 1 Basic SE shed its unique seat and fenders, however stored its ‘gas tank.’ RGNT’s in-house group fabricated a light-weight fairing to chop by the air, equipping it with an HMI race display. With studded tires, clip-ons to tuck the rider in tight, and a software program hack to unlock one other 9 kW from the motor, the crew was able to race.

RGNT headed to the Svenska Motorsport Alliansen-sanctioned and -licensed Velocity Weekend in Årsunda, Sweden this weekend to take Aurora to the ice. With RGNT engineer Timmy Eriksson behind the bars, RGNT set three new data with this bike, and a bone inventory RGNT No. 1 Scrambler SE.

Electric ice racing motorcycle by RGNT
These data are the quickest electrical bike on ice (155.14 km/h), the quickest electrical A1 bike (135.03 km/h) and the quickest electrical bike manufacturing mannequin (114.3 km/h).

RGNT didn’t need to make their bike look this gorgeous to set these data, however they did it anyway, as a result of aesthetics are baked into the corporate’s DNA. As their firm motto reads; “Experience clear. Experience in model. 100% electrical.” [RGNT Motorcycles]

Electric ice racing motorcycle by RGNT