When it comes to building custom motorcycles and one off parts, there’s little else that fires me up with more excitement & enthusiasm. I absolutely love what I do and the creative edge in the process, a personality trait that I inherited from my dress maker/designer mother.
While speaking to one of my most admired peers recently, I was asked “how much of your KZ1000 is custom built” and then the breaker; “how much of your time have you invested in designing and making all these parts”? Hmmmm……….Next!
Well, in reflection, that’s probably a fair question. The first answer is that the OEM fuel tank is stock, other than its Pingle petcock & paint job. The seat fairing, it’s also stock and the …………
Fast forward to the second question, thats one that I either don’t want to or rather, can’t answer with any accuracy.
To bring it into perspective, I’ve included a few photos to this posting of some of the custom, one off components, every one of them specifically for this bike: let’s take a quick look at the front brake rotors & their carriers, 340mm of cast iron, each on 12 floating buttons. T6 aluminum carriers made to fit them to the Dymag magnesium wheels. Then there’s the calliper hangers to fit the Spondon callipers to the Marzocchi M1R forks: those extended fork tubes were custom made for this actual bike in Italy. The titanium front axle & it’s flange nut, also custom. And then there’s the fork yokes, steering stem, handlebar fixings & handlebar ends. The rear axle carries its own wheel spacers, sprocket carrier, flanged axle nuts & rotor carrier. The rear calliper hanger, it’s torque arm and fixings were all one off’s too.Rear Ohlins piston rod / swing arm mountings & bushings along with their upper frame fixings. Then there’s the chain guard and all the engine mounting plates & spacers.With the exception of the Bimota foot levers, all the footrest components were made specially for this bike.On the engine, there’s custom made exhaust collars, aluminum cam end caps that allow fixing of the oil cooler hose clamps and then there’s the smog blanking plates on the cam cover.
Last but not least, I’m very proud of the auxiliary under seat fuel cell. That concept came to me about five years ago and is now a reality! The cell holds 12.5 litres of fuel, stored low down in the middle of the chassis. The location alone prompts thought. The location promotes a low centre of gravity and dare I say, mass centralization! Full of fuel, the complete cell weighs almost 14.5kg, so a little thought on CoG & mass centralization, please!
Most of the above parts are made from aluminum which has been anodized.
In closing, the next time someone asks about your custom build, be prepared to:a. Avoid the question b. Shock yourself at the amount of cash & time invested in your endeavour!