Some workshops customize motorcycles so well, it’s hard to tell whether or not they are ‘factory’ customs. Most of these outfits are in Japan, but one of the top European builders in this style is LSL-Motorradtechnik.
LSL usually focuses on the ‘modern classic’ Triumphs. But the German company occasionally transfers its attention to the Kawasaki W800—a bike closely related to the Bonneville in spirit if not metal. This stylish ‘Clubman’ is the latest W800 to roll out of the Krefeld factory.
The bike has a distinctively OEM look, but the list of modifications is extensive. LSL has fitted its own bespoke triple trees to the stock 39mm forks, and uprated the front brakes with a 300mm Galfer wave-style disc and steel braided hose. Ergonomics are improved with LSL’s own ‘Scrambler’ bars; a small custom headlight and micro Daytona speedometer are mounted in front.
LSL takes its modifications very seriously; the 2-into-2 exhaust system has EC homologation, for example, and performs better than the retro pea-shooters of the original Kawasaki W800.
The spoked wheels have black anodized aluminum rims, and the back wheel goes down an inch in diameter to 17”. Dual-sport Pirelli Scorpion tires are fitted front and rear. The bobbed fenders are fiberglass and the seat is in LSL’s ‘Six Days’ style. YSS shocks smooth out the bumps, and CNC-machined rear sets move the rider’s feet a little further back and upwards from the stock position. Black engine cases and side panels finish off the cosmetics.
It’s a stealthy rather than vintage flavor, and one that suits the W800 surprisingly well. Kawasaki, are you listening?
Thanks to Wesley Reyneke of Rather Be Riding for the tip.