Santiago Chopper’s Alain Bernard is a vintage Kawasaki fan from way back. And when he’s not building trikes, he likes to have a little fun with streetfighter-ish Z1000 customs.
You might recognize the engine, but the frame is harder to spot. It’s a Georges Martin original, built by the French frame specialist who rose to fame in the 1970s. Martin’s reputation for quality and handling was legendary, so we can safely assume that this machine has the handling to match its power.
The engine comes from a Kawasaki that Bernard found with just 1,900 miles on the clock. Rated at around 98 hp and packing four Mikuni carbs, it’s not short on grunt—and propelled the original Z1000J to around 130 mph (200 kph). Bernard has liberated a few extra ponies with an exhaust system from dragstrip kings Vance & Hines; the pipes have been brutally chopped so as not to obscure the Suzuki GSX-R1000 swingarm.
The front end is also from a GSX-R, along with the tri-spoke wheels. But the rest of the bike is custom, from the tank with its pronounced cutouts to the stubby tail section that echoes the ducktail of a classic Kawa ‘Zed’. The very talented Craig Skiver of Craig Paints Bikes of Tampa applied the subtle monochrome finish.
The result is pretty in-your-face—but also an interesting counterpoint to the ‘retro’ treatment usually given to older Japanese bikes. If this is your kinda thing, the bike is for sale for $15,000. Contact Alain via the Santiago Chopper website.