Chris Plank’s Kawasaki Z650



I’m a man of few words, so I’ll keep it short!

At the end of 2011 I saw the Movie: ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ (in german: ‘Verblendung’) from Stieg Larsson with Rooney Mara as ‘Lisbeth Salander’. In this movie, Lisbeth was riding a nice cafe racer. When I saw the bike, my heart began beating faster and I said to myself: yes – time to build a thing like that! Thats the reason why i was looking around for a stock bike. Then i found the 1979 Kawasaki Z650, it hadn’t been used for 12 years and was leaning against a wall in a garage. I had a picture in my mind how the bike should look like, so i stripped it down until the frame was left, and began to build it up again. First i did all the mechanic things like changing all the wear parts, oils, repaired some defects that appear after this long stand and waked the engine up again. Then i bought some parts like handlebars, footrests, tachometer, tail, tyres, lights, etc…, cleaned and polished many parts to get them back on the bike. The whole electrics and battery was getting a new home under the tailend. I like colours that belong to our earth, like brown, green, sand etc, so when I first saw the awesome Marakesh-Brown on a BMW X1, I thought that I would someday make something using this colour. And this ‘someday’ came with the Z650. All of the work i nearly did myself, except painting the colour with the airbrush, and doing the leather on the seat. I loved working on the bike, seeing how it goes forward step by step. And after about 150 hours of work i can now enjoy my 65hp Cafesaki on the Austrian roads – and it makes big fun :)

Stay on your bikes, cheers, Chris…