Pink Thing: A low-ridin’ Kawasaki W800 from 2LOUD

2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800
If you’re after a cute little bobbed street tracker, you’d be hard pressed to find a better donor than the Kawasaki W800. Right out of the box it has a great stance, it’s relatively easy to hack around, and its punchy air-cooled motor is a work of art.

The W800 is also pretty compact. Weight-wise it’s in the same ballpark as the Triumph Street Twin—but a lot of that weight is comes from parts like bulky mufflers and massive chromed fenders. And those are usually the first things to get binned.

2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800
The odds are stacked even more in your favor if the guy working on your Kawasaki is ‘Max’ Ma Yicheng. Based in Taipei, Taiwan—like Rough Crafts—Max runs 2LOUD Custom and has a talent for metal shaping and finding a great line.

His skills are on full display on this pretty-in-pink custom, built in the classic Japanese style and based on a 2016 model W800. It starts with the hand-made fuel tank, designed with a slimming effect, and a front neck tunnel that’s reminiscent of classic enduros. Since the W800 is fuel injected, Max had to install an external fuel pump to keep things flowing.

2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800
His handiwork extends to the side covers and rear fender too. He’s also shortened and re-looped the subframe with a neat little kick-up at the back. And there’s a quirky new saddle up top, refinished in leather and suede.

The frame’s been freed of its passenger peg brackets and de-tabbed, and Max has made subtle changes like drilling out the gussets. There’s a lot of detailing that you’d miss on a first pass: like the stunning new foot controls, or the original rear turn signal mounts that have been reshaped to be neater.

2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800
Max’s handcrafted changes are matched by an equally impressive parts list. He’s fitted high-performance Öhlins rear shocks and a new Brembo front brake caliper, complete with a gorgeous little adapter plate. And he’s even installed a Rapid Bike EVO—a sophisticated fuel injection and ignition management system with multiple maps.

The airbox has been tossed in favor of filters, and the exhaust system is Max’s own design. There’s some killer detailing there too, from the curved and drilled mount plates to the beautifully turned end caps.

2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800
Equal consideration has gone into the cockpit. The stock W800 bars actually have a rad bend for a build like this, so Max kept those but ditched everything else. The bars now wear new controls, Biltwell Inc. Kung Fu grips, a new throttle assembly, and micro switches with tidy internal wiring. There’s an electronic speedo from Daytona, and all the lighting is LED.

2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800
Pink wouldn’t normally be our first choice for a paint scheme, but it works beautifully here. Max has matched it to a warm grey, separated by a marvelous silver foil pin stripe.

The rest of the W800 complements the new livery. Max has stripped the front forks and rear brake drum of their black paint, and even the engine covers have shed their chrome finish.

2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800
We literally wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the missing front fender, or the Adlert Classic tires (a Japanese-made alternative to the usual Firestones).

The only down side? Kawasaki has discontinued the W800, due to tightening emissions regulations. So best you snap one up while you still can.

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2LOUD Custom's low-ridin' Kawasaki W800