Billy Ray Bryants' award winning Kawasaki KZ1000

I recently received an email from a gentleman out of Madison, Virginia who owns a shop that specializes in my all-time favourite motorcycles. What I like to call "the big boomers". Kawasaki's big four lineup from the Seventies.

Mr. Bryant sent these pics and needless to say, a silly grin crossed my face. I'll leave it to him to describe the back story...

"Built this bike back in 2002 for drag racing, and had a personal best and record setting E.T. Of 5.75 seconds @ 126 mph......1/8th mile.. Not that fast you say? Do it on a street tire & no wheelie bar, on a 40 yr.old heavy homemade bike.......2009 tore it down and rebuilt it for the street.

After a year of countless hours. Welding ,wiring ,mounting & un-mounting I had it finished. And my first summer on it was a shakedown season before its final paint, powder coat, polishing. So in 2010 I rolled it out. In show trim,I took to the streets.

After a local show or two I realized it was something that people really liked. When the Spring rally came to Daytona I was on it. To my surprise ,the Kawasaki factory tent at the speedway had a show. And the employees talked me into entering it.

I won most unique bike. And also took the Best in Show out of 41 other nice Kawasaki's. Down to the famed Cabbage patch where coleslaw wrestling is the attraction.....Another Best in Show. On to 2015 I went back to Daytona Beach , Florida and also took home 1st place in the Full Throttle show @Bruce Rossmeiers HD , 1st place at the infamous Boardwalk bike show. And a hard fought 2nd place at the Rats Hole show. Which is my most admired trophy.

After 6-7 yrs. Still riding it , not too many shows anymore,except a 1st place in 2017 locally. I house about a dozen old Kaw large 4cyl. bikes. And build them too. From frame to finish,I do it all."

Billy Ray Bryant Madison,Virginia

Thanks kindly to Billy Ray Bryant for sharing this beast and the story behind it with us. Give him a shout if you need anything for your own "big boomer" Kawasaki. His email is in the picture above.

Cheers Billy Ray!

Trond Sundby and a restored Yamaha LS2

Trond Sundby took some time to contact Classic Japanese Bikes about a restoration he's done on his beloved Yamaha LS2. Here is the story in Tronds' own words...

"When I was a teenager in late 80´s I decided to ride a 100cc instead of the more common 50cc. Bought me a Yamaha RS100 and drove this until my brother in law showed me a picture of his old Ls2. Two weeks later, my RS was sold and I was the proud owner of a Ls2. I just loved the design and that crisp motor. Sounds like a wasp.

At that time I could not afford to customize the bike with all my ideas about chrome and other small upgrades, but promised myself that one day in the future I´ll get another one and make it just as I dreamed about. So I did. In April 2008 I bought me an Ls2 again. Picked it up at an Island called Averøy at the west side of Norway. Absolutely nothing was functional. More or less a piece of scrap. But those bikes are harder to get as time goes by so I decided to buy it anyway.

First I took the bike apart, piece by piece and discovered a bike in really poor condition. The frame was in bad shape, the engine was no longer useable and so on it went. A friend of mine started to assemble a brand new engine. Only new parts, and after a year with assembling parts from all over the world the engine was ready and still never started. In 7-8 years I was looking for new parts (thanks ebay) from every corner and finally it was time for paint. Just to find out that even the tank was crap. When sandblasting I found out that the tank was damaged and built up with fiberglass.

Once again I was looking for parts to my Ls2. I found a blue tank, here in Norway, sanded it down and at last I could paint every piece. Frame, tank, covers and all the other details. I was also dreaming about lots of extra chrome and shiny parts. Delivered engine covers, rear frame, switches, muffler brackets etc., to a professional workshop well known in Norway for their outstanding work. The baggage bracket at the rear end is something we called "tempobrett" and was a must for all small bikes at the 70´s and 80´s. Actually it was a part from the Norwegian motorcycle called the Tempo.

I believe the bikes from the 60´s were delivered with that bracket. It has actually nothing to do with Ls2, but it was kind of required at that time. After all pictures were taken I´ve done some minor reconstruction of that part and now it´s a little less dominating than before. Finally the bike was assembled and in our living room for almost a year! Even my wife allowed me to store it there. Just a piece of art. In the spring of 2017 the bike was ready for the road. Attracts attention where ever I park it. Apparently most middle aged men have some kind of relationship with the old little bike. Well, the bike is not 100% original, but it was never meant to be. I made it exactly to be as I want."

Thank you Trond for bringing this great little bike to us and describing your trials and tribulations along the way. Bravo Sir!


Found on www.thoughtco.com. By John Glimmerveen

Classic motorcycle owners often winterize their classics. Protecting the various components and systems during long periods of storage, such as winter time, ensures the bike will be in good condition when it is time to ride it again. However, if the bike was winterized, it will need some basic maintenance before it is ready to ride.


Assuming the bike was not stored with the tires touching the ground, the tires will only need a visual inspection and the pressures re-setting.

However, if the bike was resting on its center stand, for instance, the tires will be slightly indented where they were in contact with the ground. This problem will be particularly pronounced if the tire/s deflated during storage.

To remove the indentation (commonly referred to as a flat spot) the tire should be slightly over-inflated (approximately 20%, for example, if the regular pressure is 32 lb's. it should be increased to 38.5 lb's.) for a period of at least 24 hours before riding the bike. Just prior to riding, the tire pressures must be re-adjusted to their normal operating pressures.

If the owner was considering fitting new tires, it would be a good time to do this before riding.


The engine and gearbox oils, along with any associated filters, should be replaced for the new riding season.

If the cylinders were treated with WD40 to stop rusting during storage, the cylinders and valves (4-strokes) should be in good shape and not need any further maintenance.

If engine oil was poured into the cylinders, the engine should be rotated with the spark plugs removed and with a shop rag placed over the plug holes to catch any surplus oil that may be ejected.

This procedure should be undertaken by rotating the crankshaft by hand (a wrench on the end of the crankshaft as against using the kick or electric starters) with the ignition off.

Alternatively, the bike can be put into gear (2nd) and the engine rotated via the rear wheel; again without the plugs fitted and the ignition off.

Note: Before attempting to ride the bike after a long storage, the mechanic must free off the clutch plates as they will typically stick together. Before the engine is started, placing the bike in gear and rocking it backward and forwards as the clutch is pulled in will free the plates.

Fuel System

If the bike was prepared for storage properly, a fuel stabilizer will have been added. When the bike is brought out of storage, it will only need new fuel adding. However, if the bike was stored with fuel in (particularly in America), the carbs may need to be fully rebuilt and cleaned to get the residue out of the various components.

The first sign that the carbs are gummed up with old fuel is when the bike will only run on choke at small throttle openings - even when the engine is hot. This symptom indicates that the primary jets are blocked. Diagnosing carburetor problems is relatively straightforward but problems can be time to consume and/or expensive to repair.

Electrical System

If the bike was fitted with a smart charger during storage, the electrical system should be good to go.

However, if the bike was stored without disconnecting the battery or without using a smart charger, the battery will need fully charging or replacing. A DC voltage checkwill indicate if the battery is beyond service.

All lights and switches should be checked for correct operation (occasionally corrosion will occur around bulb contacts).

Brake Systems

The brake rotors should be cleaned with brake cleaner (not forgetting the section of rotors hidden under pads), and the brake fluid bled. The brakes may not be as effective as they were before storage, therefore the owner must exercise caution when first riding the bike after a period of long storage.

2018 Kawasaki Z900RS

First Ride – 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS

Kawasaki’s wide range of motorcycle offerings (there are 60 different options on their website right now) can mostly be broken down into 4 families – KX, Ninja, Vulcan, and Z. The last letter of the alphabet represents Team Green’s brand of street motorcycles, for those of you that spend your time on surface streets and back roads instead of race tracks.


For 2018, the Z family gets a new member that’s just like baby Benjamin Button – it’s brand new but it looks old. That’s because it’s styled like the patriarch of the Z family, the 1973 Z1. That bike was an instant classic, and there’s a reason why we’ve featured so many for sale over the years. Back in 2014, I featured #151 for sale and it did not meet reserve, even though bidding got up to $61,100! When Kawasaki was developing the Z1, they used menu items for internal project names – as this bike would be the biggest and best, it was called “New York Steak.”


Tord Rosenvang from Sweden shares pics of his hotrod Z900

Tord Rosenvang, owner of JMX Engineering out of Ljungby, Sweden recently contacted Classic-Japanese-Bikes to offer up this gorgeous Kawasaki z900 for our enjoyment. There's a table of specifications and descriptions of work done on this hotrod Kawasaki. You can click on the image below to see and read much more.

A quick YouTube look at David Silver's Vintage Honda Museum

Yamaha XSR900 - Retro Classic video review

Yamaha XSR900 and XSR700 series retro-classics have been a big success for Yamaha's motorsports division and here's why. This is a great recent video review of the XSR900 which hearkens back to the popular and stylish colours of the seventies.

Kawasaki History Video. By The Discovery Channel

The Story of Seventies Superbikes- A short video

Yamaha SCR950 modern retro classic

YAMAHA has revealed this new entry in its ‘Sport Heritage’ range, a 942cc air-cooled V-twin based on the XV950 but reimagined as a ‘street scrambler’.

Called the SCR950, it’s got wide handlebars, a wire-spoked 19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear and a ‘high, flat seat to achieve an involved riding position’ according to Yamaha.

In line with other models in the XV and Sports Heritage range, it’s designed to be customised, the firm says.

It’s got a wrap-around two-into-one exhaust with an upswept silencer and ‘scrambler design features' including a flangeless teardrop 13.2-litre tank.

‘Heavy duty’ Bridgestone tyres are ‘built to handle the street and the dirt,’ Yamaha says, and the 830mm-high seat (140mm higher than the XV’s) means more ground clearance, at 145mm.

The 41mm conventional forks give 135mm of travel and feature gaiters, while the shocks at the back have piggyback reservoirs and offer 110mm of wheel movement.

The SCR950 has a 298mm wavey single front disc and an LCD speedometer with a smoked lens.

The ‘high-torque’ engine makes 52.1hp and 58.6lbft.

Complete Cafe Racer Ltd.

Got an email the other day from Tony. He informed me of this new enterprise he's embarked upon. I checked it out and thought this is a website you readers should know about. So here is an introduction and I'll let Tony tell the story...

"Who is Complete Cafe Racer Ltd?

I’m Tony Garnham-Parks and I’m the lucky bloke who get’s the posh title of Managing Director but actually gets to work with the love of my life (not the wife!), motorbikes! Ever since I was a small boy I can remember taking motorbikes to bits with my Dad and then putting them back together, tweaking the engine bits and doing the paint jobs to make them look amazing. My early career included a spell as a salesperson selling motorbike oils, clothing and the like before setting up my own businesses including a spell as a show florist at one point (yes really!) before getting back to motor bikes and everything round them.

What are we?"

Click below to learn more...

Mellowmotorcycles Cafe Racer Suzuki GS1000

I was contacted by Mellowmotorcycles and they graciously asked if I could report on two of their recent builds. After having a long look I thought "Hell yes!". I was linked to one of my favourite websites aptly named Return Of The Cafe Racers and was very highly impressed...

Mellowmotorcycles Suzuki Gs550

`Roaring machines to escape from the madness`

"This is the mantra of newly formed 'Mellow Motorcycles' in the south of Germany. After running their own separate companies for several years workshop co-founders Flo Hubert and Amir Brajan combined their skills to form Mellow, taking a more relaxed approach to business than in their previous pursuits. Mellow aims to focus on the production of cafe racer styled custom motorcycles and their first build, a '79 Suzuki GS550 paints a good picture of what the pairs capablities are.

Flo's experience in the custom scene began in the 4 wheeled world building custom cars that adorned the covers of custom mags around Europe. His next venture saw his producing aftermarket wheels for luxury vehicles and race cars. Meanwhile Amir is a seasoned motorcycle mechanic with advanced skills in fabrication. He's also a seasoned racer, running his own race team and building his own race bikes that won him some prestigious trophies from the European race circuit.

Get Mellow by clicking on the bike pics.


In The Build, Robert Hoekman Jr compiles insights from today's best builders to help you plot out your own beautiful beast. Loaded with photos, The Build features firsthand advice from the masters of moto design, including John Ryland (Classified Moto), Alan Stulberg (Revival Cycles), Jared Johnson (Holiday Customs), Jarrod DelPrado (DP Customs), and the legendary Max Hazan (Hazan Motorworks).

The Build is as much a 192-page motorcycle art book as it is a blueprint to building the perfect custom bike. The book is the bible of custom motorcycle design, starting with an explanation of all the different bike styles, and then moving into a concise, easy-to-read guide that takes from finding a donor bike to figuring out how to alter the lines to your liking. The book also covers selecting and building parts, painting and finishing, and what kind of performance modifications might be appropriate. It's time to do it yourself. Get The Build.

Books about Classic Japanese Bikes

Cafe Racer Kits for Hondas' CRK 500 and 250/400

Here's CafeRacerKits again with a couple samples of their superb ummm...cafe racer kits. Perfect. I nailed it!