PICK OF THE WEEK

STONECHATS CROFT

Classic-Japanese-Bikes recently was contacted by Ron who, with his wife Elaine owns and runs beautiful Stonechats Croft in the incredible Scottish Highlands.

You can click on any picture to visit the website and get more information. I highly recommend you do!

Ron has owned the Kawasaki Z1 pictured below. He has owned it for over 42 years and obviously he's been busy improving the original to a stunning degree. It's really on a completely different level than the vast majority of modified Kawasaki classic bikes.

I'll let Ron describe the Croft as below...

"My name is Ron and my wife's name is Elaine and we welcome you to Stonechats Croft.

Our aim is to offer you affordable, home from home, quality accommodation. Somewhere to relax and unwind or pursue your chosen sport. For more information please read below and use the links...

Stonechats Croft is a working croft in the Scottish Highlands and it has been said we have the most wonderful views in the whole of the UK. The croft land goes down to the Atlantic Ocean and Badcall bay which is ideal for the sea kayaker and those that fish.

If you are a photographer that loves wildlife, nature and surreal cloud formations with the most amazing colours, this place is for you! For hill walkers there are some of the best walks in the UK in the area.  15 minutes from the croft is the world famous Sandwood bay, said to be the most romantic beach in the world, also the prettiest in the UK. There are resident sea otters on the croft and regular visits from the white tailed sea eagle.

From the croft Mount Suilven and Mount Quinag are clearly seen. This part of Scotland is said to be the last wilderness in Western Europe. Next to the croft is the Kylestrome Estate with some spectacular walks round loch Glendhu and Glendhu forest. The world famous Handa Island is 5 minutes drive away, so if its puffins, razorbills, black throated divers and buzzards this place is perfect for those that love bird watching. If its isolation you want, Cape Wrath is close-by which is the most north-westerly point of Europe.

Close to Cape Wrath at Durness is Smoo Cave where the Celtic tribes lived 5,000 years ago. Also in Durness is a museum dedicated to John Lennon as he spent much of his childhood holidaying in Durness. If it is a night out you want, to sample the best sea food in Europe and listen to some traditional folk music, Ullapool is only a short drive from the croft. Stonechats Croft is open all year so if it is a winter break you need to relax and escape the modern world, this place is perfect.

We are also Biker Friendly so if your touring the west coast of Scotland you can use our accommodation as your base.

Accommodation:

We offer two types of accommodation, bed and breakfast in the Croft and self catering in our Mobile home.

Our Croft has two bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other has twin beds. Both rooms are en-suite and both have stunning views of the Assynt Mountain range and Atlantic Ocean.

Nearby

The village of Scourie is a mile and half away and has a supermarket which is also an Off-Licence. At the Garage you can buy your fishing permits and camping equipment. 10 minutes away is Tarbet where you will find the Shorehouse Seafood Restaurant run by Jackie and Julian Pearce where prawns, crab and lobster caught by Julian and his son Adam on their own boat the Fulmar provide the shellfish for the restaurant.

Local outdoor pursuits include:

bird watching holidays in scotland Bird Watching (Scourie lies just to the south of the famous sea bird sanctuary of Handa Island)

Fishing holidays in scotland Fly Fishing

trout fishing holidays in scotland Wild Trout Fishing

salmon fishing holidays in scotland Salmon Fishing

Fishing holidays in scotland Sea Fishing

walking holidays in scotland Walking

hiking holidays in scotland Hiking

rambling holidays in scotland Rambling

hunting holidays in scotland Hunting

sea kayaking holidays in scotland Sea Kayaking

biking holidays in scotland Biking

Daily Wildlife Cruises in scotland Daily Wildlife Cruises...

Fishing

Fish for wild brown trout in some of the finest lochs, amidst the stunning scenery of Assynt. Sutherland is also renowned for its excellent wild brown trout fishing and you will find endless fly fishing opportunities in the hundreds of small spate rivers, streams, lochs and lochans. Some of the waters are easily accessible and others take a fair bit of effort to reach on foot, but they all hold hard fighting wild Scottish brown trout. There is a local angling club for brown trout in Scourie with access to over 30 lochs.

Game Angling

Badcall, Scourie is an ideal getaway for all game anglers to go fishing for these wild brown trout and every year wild monsters in the 4lb to 7lb range are caught, providing a challenge for anglers of all abilities! The lochs and rivers of Scourie formed the setting for the recent television programme. 'Nick Hancock's Fishing School' which followed the progress of six fishing novices as they learned the art of fly fishing for trout.

Salmon fishing is also available in the area and permits can be obtained locally, as can Permits to fish the lochs.

Sea Fishing is also fantastic in this area, with some monster skate caught from the shore and great mackerel fishing spinning off the rocks. Evening Sea Fishing trips are also available limited to 4 rods at a cost of £15 per person.

Biking in Scotland is very popular and the west coast of Scotland is a favourite with bikers. With its beautiful scenery and twisted roads Sutherland is ideal for the biker.

Atlantic Sea Kayaking

The west coast of Scotland is a stunning place to visit and has some of the best natural locations for canoeing and kayaking in the world and Sutherland is one of the most amazing sea kayaking areas on the west coast of Scotland. Our accommodation at Badcall Bay is only 100 metres away from our own beach on the Atlantic. This is ideal for the kayakers as they can leave their kayaks on their own foreshore ready for their next kayaking trip. This really is the perfect place to sample sea kayaking for the first time or for the more experienced to develop your skills further.

Daily Cruises from Scourie starting mid April running through mid September are operated by Mr Ken Nash, Scourie Boats, Scourie, Sutherland. Tel. 01971 502011. These popular cruises around Handa Island leave daily from Scourie harbour, starting around 10am, depending upon the tides. 6 person maximum. Cost per person - £10. These cruises are weather dependent.

Walking, Hiking and Climbing

For the walker and climber there is a wide variety of options. The higher mountains and munro's are within easy reach, while from our croft one can walk and enjoy the deserted beaches and wild rugged scenery of the hills, rocks and thousands of small lochs set in a landscape which has remained unaltered for thousands of years.

Handa Island - ideal for Birdwatchers

There is a ferry service from Tarbet Beach about three miles north of Scourie to Handa Island, one of the largest seabird colonies in N.W. Europe. Nesting on Handa’s cliffs are tens of thousands of seabirds, including Britain’s largest colony of razorbills and guillemots. Puffins nest atop the Great Stack and also on the island you will see great skuas, arctic skuas, fulmars and kittiwakes.

The ferry sails on weekdays depending on demand from April through till September. The short crossing only costs around £7.50 return."

Classic-Japanese-Bikes would like to thank Ron for bringing this great Kawasaki Z1 to our attention and wish the Stonechats Croft years of success.

If you are lucky, perhaps Ron can take you on a brisk tour of the area and no doubt he'll provide superior advice on the local roads.

Again, Thanks Ron!

Classic-Japanese-Bikes

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!

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.

MAKING THE COMMUTE LOOK GOOD.

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.”

TO READ THE REST, CLICK ON THE HAND BELOW...

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.


THE BUILD: HOW THE MASTERS DESIGN CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES

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!