When you think of the Kawasaki W650, custom bike usually does not come to mind. Being a very unlikely candidate for a custom build, Down and Out Cafe racers want to change that. Very few have attempted it with the exception of Deus Ex Machina who has created some beautiful ones. Down and Out was drawn to the beautiful pushrod twin engine and overall frame design that lends itself well to a cafe racer design. Well, they differently pulled it off with this Kawasaki W650 Cafe Racer build.
Down and Out wanted a traditional cafe racer styling with a modern twist. To give the bike a modern look and performance to match, they started with the suspension. A stock swing-arm was ditched for a cool look single sided swing-arm from a Honda NC24. In the front, the forks were upgraded with a set of USD ones from a Kawasaki ZZR1400. This gave the bike not only better handling, but a cool beefier look up front.
To get that traditional cafe racer styling, Down and Out completely chopped off the rear section of frame. Starting from scratch, a simple yet very stylish sub-frame was fabricated. To continue the look, they hand fabricated a custom aluminum seat and tail section. The stock W650 tank did not lend itself well to their vision, so it was scraped. A Honda tank with a much slimmer profile was used and the tunnel modified to mount up to the W650 frame properly. Finally, to finish the bodywork off, an electrical box was fabricated and mounted under the seat with some cool vented holes added.
To finish the bike off, a custom 2 into 1 stainless exhaust was built. Brembo master cylinders with billet folding levers were added to be matched up to the ZZR1400 calipers and rotors. All in all, this is one of the coolest Kawasaki W650 Cafe Racer customs we have seen. With such an aesthetically beautiful engine and simple frame design, it’s no wonder they are being more popular. Be sure to check out more of Down and Out’s builds on their website and give them a follow on social media.
Down & Out Kawasaki W650 Cafe Racer Photos (Courtesy of Simon Krajnyak):