ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Ever heard of a Kawasaki Z970? Neither had we. But that’s the moniker the Wrenchmonkees have given their latest custom, a stunning Z750B that’s been bored out to almost a liter.
It’s the pet project of company founder Per Nielsen, who wanted to build “the perfect City-Dirt tracker” with a beefed-up motor and loads of torque. According to Nielsen, “Our local engine workshop was keen on the idea of a big bore engine as well. But there are no kits or tuning parts available for these old twins, so we had to do it ourselves.” While the workshop machined out the cylinders, Wössner in Germany built new 89mm diameter pistons.
The top end of the DOHC motor was ported and everything else was checked, replaced or fixed.
More visible is the departure from the Wrenchmonkees’ signature monochrome look, with an orange frame and pinstriping on the tank. The exhaust pipes are attention-grabbing too; taken from a Yamaha XT500, they’re hooked up to a SuperTrapp muffler system—which has been routed to the left side, to avoid the rear brake master and sections of the wiring.
Carburetion proved trickier to sort out: “The old carbs are very difficult to find new parts for, apart from gasket kits,” says Per. “I tried with a ‘standard’ Keihin CR33 upgrade, but that was far from enough. So I put on two SR/XT Mikuni TM36 flatslide carbs, with large K-N filters, and it worked. It runs very smooth, and pulls wheelies on the gas!” (I’m guessing there are a few more ponies than the 50 quoted for the original motor.) The icing on the cake comes from 19″ wheels shod with Maxxis dirt track tires, and the overall effect is taut and purposeful.
To get the full spec of this machine, you’ll have to wait for the next issue of Sideburn . “the world’s best go fast, turn left magazine”. Reserve your copy here .
Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 1/60 sec | f/10 | ISO 100 | Focal length 70mm | EF24-70 f/2.8L USM
Sanctuary Kawasaki Z1
Honda CL750 Scrambler
From David Edwards— Honda’s most important motorcycles? Tough question but the Super Hawk 305 and Scrambler 305 have to be in the conversation. These were the two that put Honda on the big-bike map in the mid-1960s, each more than a match for British 500s of the day. And now the aftermarket firm Cobra USA has just paid homage to the CL77 Scrambler, with a new showbike that started life as a 2010-model Shadow RS750.
Cobra’s Denny Berg is the man responsible for building the bike, which amazingly isn’t all that changed from stock. The mid-level twice-pipes are an obvious addition, as is the bench seat, but the rest is an exercise in paint and some nice detail touches. Notice the old Honda taillight, faux steering damper knob and the stock gas tank all retro’d out with a seam down the middle, plus rubber knee grips—from a GB250—and round “Wing” badges.
Berg’s affinity for Scramblers goes way back; one of his first customs was a 305 that had been run into the rear of a pickup truck. “Before this build began, I got out my old snapshots, some bike magazines from back in the day and I went on the Internet, immersing myself in Honda Scramblers,” says Berg. “But when I began construction, I never looked at shots of the old bikes again. I was after the feel, the flavor, of a Scrambler, not an exact replica.” Goal met, we’d say. U.S. readers can find out more about the CL750 Scrambler in the February issue of Rider magazine, out soon. (And if you want to see Cobra’s Honda street tracker version, inspired by Bubba Shobert’s RS750, head over to our Facebook page .)
PS: David Edwards has written the foreword to Tom Cotter’s The Vincent in the Barn: Great Stories of Motorcycle Archaeology. Currently one of Amazon’s bestselling motorcycle books, it’s highly recommended.
Project name: Cobra CL750 Scrambler
Design: Ken Boyko – Denny Berg, Cobra Special Projects Division
Fabrication: Denny Berg
Paint: Scott “Chivo” Harrington, Lead Sled Customs
Chrome/polishing: Precision Plating – Metal Finishing
Assembly time: 4 months
Engine mods: Cobra Fi2000 fuel module, custom air cleaner, silver paint
Pipes: Twin upswept by Berg
Chassis: Stock, smoothed and painted, relocated shock mounts, footpegs
Forks: Stock, shortened 0.75-in. rubber boots
Shocks: Progressive Suspension #14 series
Front wheel: Stock, 19-in. painted silver, Bridgestone TW39
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