Custom Bikes Of The Week: 28 July, 2019

The best custom scramblers, retro kits and minibikes from around the web
Let’s all gawp at the latest oddity from Curtiss Motorcycles, and then drool over a fabulous retro kit for the Kawasaki Z900 and a killer Sportster scrambler. We’ve also discovered the obscure Honda QA50 KO Minibike and the Royal Enfield Indian.

Styling kit for the Kawasaki Z900 by Japan Legends
Kawasaki ‘ZXR900’ kit by Japan Legends Fans of old school Kawasaki fours rejoiced when the Z900RS hit the scene. But if you’re into a different sort of retro—like late 80s and early 90s superbikes—the Spanish outfit Japan Legends has all the goods.

They make a kit to transform your stock Kawasaki into a modern replica of the undeniably cool 1989 Kawasaki ZXR. And despite some reports we’ve read, it doesn’t use the Z900RS as a base. Instead, all you need is the non-RS Z900, which is effectively a contemporary street fighter.

Styling kit for the Kawasaki Z900 by Japan Legends
There’s not much info out there (Japan Legends don’t even seem to have a website), but as far as we can tell, the key pieces include a fairing, tail section and belly pan. The kit costs between £1,600 and £2,250 without shipping, and also includes LED lights, mirrors, new bars and a MRA windshield.

Styling kit for the Kawasaki Z900 by Japan Legends
Dubbed the ‘ZXR900,’ the kit was originally only available in green (duh), but Japan Legends have just produced a black, red and silver variant too. Why? So you don’t need to paint your tank to match the kit if you don’t have a green Z900. Both versions look equally rad…but that classic green, white and blue livery is hard to argue with. [Japan Legends Facebook]

Harley-Davidson Sportster by Biltwell Inc. and Rouserworks
Harley-Davidson Sportster by Biltwell Inc. and Rouserworks A couple of years ago, Biltwell Inc. built the ‘Frijole 883‘—a Sportster to compete in the NORRA Mexican 1000. Prepping the bike meant buying a ton of spare parts, including a second Sportster to scalp for a spare motor, just in case something went wrong. The Frijole took on the Mexican 1000 and finished…with way less damage than expected.

So the Biltwell crew and Rob ‘Rouser’ Galan took all their leftover spares from the Frijole 883—and built a second Sportster. And so the ‘Spare Parts Sportster’ was born.

Harley-Davidson Sportster by Biltwell Inc. and Rouserworks
Biltwell and Rouser wanted the new bike to be more powerful, and lighter, than the Frijole 883. According to Biltwell’s blog; “Rob did 99% of the work on this build and I think the only thing I did was weld the pipe, pick a few colors, and help make a few decisions.”

The ‘SPS’ has just about everything you’d want from a desert-racing dual-Sporty. It has an S&S Cycle kit inside, a Rekluse clutch, burly suspension and big wheels—but it also has lights and a plate, making it fully street legal. In fact, it’s currently doing duty as a commuter, while Biltwell and Rouser figure out where to race it. [More]

Royal Enfield Indian by Madhouse Motors
Royal Enfield Indian by Madhouse Motors J.Shia runs Madhouse Motors in Boston—a shop that specializes in vintage motorcycle maintenance and restoration. But she also tackles the odd custom build, and when she does, things get a little crazy.

This is a pretty rare 1957 Royal Enfield Indian, built to enter into this year’s Handbuilt Show. If you’re wondering what a Royal Enfield Indian is, our friends at Return of the Cafe Racers have a neat history lesson—but in short it’s an Enfield with a Indian badge on it.

Royal Enfield Indian by Madhouse Motors
This one’s pretty rare beyond just its origins though. J.Shia has her own unique take on customization, and a penchant for trying unconventional things. This motorcycle not only features a hand shifter that runs ‘through’ the fuel tank, but also a foot-operated throttle.

There’s a bunch of smaller details too. The tail light’s made from an egg-slicer, the headlight’s a modified police light, the footrests are old shoe fitting devices, and the hand shifter uses a part from a lathe. I’ve seen this bike in person, and there’s miles of stuff to pore over. [More]

Honda QA50 KO Minibike
Honda QA50 KO Minibike Everyone knows and loves the classic Honda Monkey—but have you ever heard of the QA50 KO? Neither had we, until we stumbled across this cutie pie on Silodrome.

Honda only produced the QA50 from 1970 until 1972. It’s delightfully basic; a 50 cc, air-cooled motor that makes 1.8 hp, an automatic clutch and a two-speed box. The frame’s made from tubular steel, there’s zero suspension out back, and there’s barely a smidge of travel up front. It also has tiny wheels, drum brakes, and a seat and fenders that are comically fat.

Honda QA50 KO Minibike
This particular QA50 has a great story too. It was bought in the 1969 for $199, by a youngster that had saved up money cutting lawns. That same guy held onto it his whole life, and is now finally putting it up for sale.

It’s been restored in anticipation of the sale: repainted in its original Gypsy Yellow hue, and fitted with new tires, new upholstery with period correct Honda stencils, and the original manual and spark plug wrench. Who’s tempted? [More]

Curtiss Hades electric motorcycle concept
Curtiss Motorcycles Hades The Hades is the second electric motorcycle concept from Curtiss—the boutique brand formerly known as Confederate. And it’s been designed by none other than J.T. Nesbitt—the former Confederate designer (he designed the Wraith) who’s now come back into the fold.

As you’d expect from Curtiss and Nesbitt, the Hades is way, way out there. All we’ve seen are renders, but Curtiss have released some tech specs. The frame will be “titanium or chromoly,” with a “double-wishbone parallelogram fork.” Components will include Race Tech suspension, BST carbon fiber wheels and Beringer brakes.

Curtiss Hades electric motorcycle concept
It’ll be powered by a proprietary motor, with a claimed output of 214 hp and 147 lbs-ft of torque. That chromed NutriBullet bit is the battery, which is said to have a capacity of 16.8 kWh.

All this will set you back a mere $75,000, and production is slated for 2020. Curtiss are taking pre-orders, while also very openly asking for investors in their business. Here’s hoping they manage to take the Hades from paper to street. [More]