Over the last six months, one of the fastest risers on the custom scene has been the French workshop Blitz. The buzz started right here on Bike EXIF with their extraordinary BMW R60/2, so we’re pleased to get exclusive pictures of Blitz’s latest build, a 1977 Kawasaki Z650. The aesthetics are characteristically stark: the entire bike is refinished in monochrome shades, apart from the blue Suzuki 125 tank and vintage grips. The engine is painted black, the frame is powder coated grey and the wheels and exhaust system are finished entirely in white.
Blitz stripped down and overhauled the 34-year-old motor, fitting new bearings, piston rings, cam chain, tensioner and valves. With double overhead cams, the stock motor is a strong performer—horsepower is reputedly in the mid-60s. And with a weight of under 500lbs, the Z650 is a brisk ride. It’s also a bike that handles well: designed by Gyoichi ‘Ben’ Inamura, creator of the legendary Z1, it was acclaimed for having the agility of a 500 with the grunt of a 750.
Blitz have fitted bars from a Triumph T140 and the taillight is a modified bicycle light. The seat and the battery box welded underneath it are custom made, and the bike has been rewired and fitted with discreet ‘mini’ switches. In contrast with the slick finish of the mechanicals, the headlight is a spotlight from a 1970s rally car—with the original patina left untouched. It’s a mix of the raw and the cooked that strangely works, as the Wrenchmonkees have also discovered.
Is this the clear direction for the new wave of custom motorcycle building?