Take a look at this 1977 Kawasaki KZ400 in the small photo and at the veritable café racer above only to find that there are little similarities, enough to have you say we’re talking about two different bikes. But it is precisely the ease of transforming an old Japanese bike into a café racer what impresses us the most about this project.
Billetproof Customs bought the bike for $300. The reliable engine still ran good, so it was worth stripping everything off of it in order to see what can be done from a fresh start. Said and done. They started with the frame, which was seriously modified and then they built the wheels and brought in lowered front shocks and custom shortened rear shocks. The old Kawi was now 2 inches lower and got itself a much more aggressive stance also thanks to the shortened clubman bars.
The bodywork was next. A refurbished 1979 Suzuki GT 500 fuel tank found its place on top of the frame together with the one-piece seat and rear tail section, which were custom made out of fiberglass by the builder. The reconditioned engine was now ready to go back on and it was fed through a single carb instead of its original dual ones. Also, it now features custom made and wrapped exhaust pipes and so they obtained a retro look instead of the classy one that chrome would have given the bike.
After adding a disc front brake and custom drilling the rear drum as well as hiding the battery under the tail section, the bike was ready for painting. Like all the above mentioned, this was done by the manufacturer and olive drab was the color of choice. Other nice details worth mentioning are the headlight, bar end mirrors and speedo, taillight as well as the custom stitched seat in between. Hit the jump for a multitude of photos.