James Whitham’s W650 tracker

Kawasaki W650 tracker by James Whitham

It’s comforting to know that even TV stars and retired former race aces aren’t immune to the project bike disease. That’s why former Grand Prix, World Superbike and World Supersport racer James Whitham has spent the last 15 months of his limited spare time building his take on the street tracker concept.

Based on an ageing W650 twin—Kawasaki’s rival to Hinckley’s revived Bonneville—Whitham’s tracker is the epitome of stripped-down, pared-back style. Without such fripperies as lights or indicators, the bike is his vision of how a bike should be—simple fun. Read more »

Top 5 Kawasaki KZ750s

Kawasaki KZ 750

I’ll admit it, I didn’t know that Kawasaki made a twin-cylinder ‘Z’ until I came across the bikes we’ve selected below. It seems illogical that Kawasaki would release a twin when they had a great four-cylinder engine in their line-up, but they wanted a piece of the vertical twin pie. It meant going up against Triumph’s Bonneville and Yamaha’s XS650—so the Kawasaki KZ750 was born.

Produced from 1976 to 1983, the KZ750 was (at the time) a fairly modern motorcycle. At its heart was a 745cc vertical twin motor, with double overhead cams and chain-driven counter balancers, good for 55hp, and twin disk brakes. Testers reportedly loved the KZ750—and it was known for being extremely reliable. Read more »

New Icon 1000 Gear

Icon 1000 Oildale jacket
New and Noted: Motorcycle Gear

New and Noted: Motorcycle Gear

For those of you lucky enough to live in the northern hemisphere, the riding season is well underway. And that means lots of fresh new product from the motorcycle gear makers. Here’s a roundup of new gear that has caught our eye, from brands both… Read more »

Guzzi Le Mans by Kaffeemaschine

Guzzi Le Mans by Kaffeemaschine

If you grew up in the 1970s, you probably look back fondly on the Formula One cars of that era. The Marlboro McLarens, the Martini Brabhams, and best of all, the svelte John Player Special Lotuses. Axel Budde of Hamburg-based Kaffeemaschine is a fan of… Read more »

BMW R100/7 by Boyle Custom Moto

BMW R100/7 by Boyle Custom Moto

Kim Boyle has lived a life on two wheels. He started out in BMX, working for GT Bicycles, Airwalk, Vans and DC Shoes—and then got hooked on motorcycles. Over the past six years he’s made a name for himself with a series of super-clean builds,… Read more »

Top 5 Harley Panheads

Top 5 Harley Panheads

Is Harley-Davidson’s venerable Panhead the best looking motorcycle engine of all time? It’s certainly up there with the Triumph and Moto Guzzi twins. It’s nearly half a century since the last Panhead rolled off the production line, but its appeal has never waned. It’s a… Read more »

How to build motorcycles for a living

How to build motorcycles for a living

“Wouldn’t it be great to build motorcycles for a living?” I’m guessing the thought has crossed your mind while working on your own bike. It’s kind of like saying, “Wouldn’t it be great to climb Mount Everest?” Of course it would, depending on your tolerance… Read more »

Wrenchmonkees Triumph Thruxton

Wrenchmonkees Triumph Thruxton

Custom bike building is a long game. It’s easy to make a short-term splash, but difficult to keep the momentum going over several years. In Europe, there are a handful of companies with the requisite grit and vision, and the Wrenchmonkees are one of them.… Read more »