Creating a custom in just four hours....my 550 is going under the knife!

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shock Creating a custom in just four hours....my 550 is going under the knife!

Post  Radar on Fri Jan 27 2017, 19:59

Not to do with my Thundercat, but rather my 1995 Kawasaki ZR550 Zephyr. I am having it converted into a cafe racer over just four hours live one the web on March 19th.

Be great if you guys could join the fun, like the FB link, watch the live stream or even come to event in person on March 19th in Oxfordshire...

Details here...

From the Twisted Iron Facebook Group:

Today we took a drive out to the extremely picturesque wilds of Essex to visit our old friend String Thompson of ‘Raw Steel Choppers’, and his partner in crime Mark Williams of ‘Naked Speed Custom Motorcycles’. With us was Tony Donnelly, a friend who is about to embark on a joint project between these two builders and Twisted Iron to turn his Kawasaki 550 Zephyr winter hack into a custom build… in just 4 hours! ‘This will take place at the ‘Twisted Turnout’ on the morning of Sunday 19th March 2017 and this challenge will be something not to be missed! The guys talked details, budget and concept ideas, they’ll now go shopping and line up some suppliers. Tony has a modest but realistic budget for this project and although he has been riding all his life collecting a varied selection of bikes they are all (in his own words) painfully standard. This will be his first custom bike. String specialises mainly in fabrication and you’ll have seen quite a few of his builds at ‘The Happening’ over the last few years including his ‘Moonshine Rat Rod’ and the ‘Cub Chop’ built for Luke Sackett. We have to say Mark’s workshop was one of the cleanest and tidiest spaces we’ve ever seen, an inspiration to any shed or garage owner! And it was full of some rather beautiful Honda builds such as a CB250N Superdream Brat and a Honda CBR600 Café Fighter along with a freshly blacked up CB250 RS frame. String and Mark make quite a dream team. Early in Mark’s career after qualifying as a mechanical engineer, he went to Spain, “I couldn’t speak a word of Spanish but having been offered a job with one of Spain’s most respected experts in motorcycle racing, how could I say no? Sign language was our only communication, but it’s surprising how quickly you learn a language when you need to eat…" Having started working for them based in Madrid, he soon moved to work in their Superbike racing team! He later moved to another team where he had the privilege of working with Juan Lopez Mella (RIP), racing the Honda RC30 in Superbikes. If you can’t get down to the March ‘Twisted Turnout’ on the 19th, we’ll be covering it on the day on the Twisted Iron page, along with photos, a time-lapse video and a live stream. But it’s definitely going to be worth the trip to see what these talented builders can come up with in 4 hours for Tony. If you can only make one Twisted Turnout this year... make it this one!

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The lads who will be doing the build, Mark of Naked Speed and String of Raw Steel Choppers

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In the words of Blue Peter..here is one they did earlier. My 550 wont be quite as radical as this, but it really shows what these lads are capable of!

Pictures courtesy of Twisted Iron and R&B Images

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Post  bobh on Fri Jan 27 2017, 21:30

Sounds interesting! Culham's not too far for me (or Weasley, I think), and near H Café where we started the Divvy run earlier this month.

It's in my diary. I have another appointment in the morning, but hopefully I'll make it there for the climax!
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Post  weasley on Fri Jan 27 2017, 21:59

It is just around the corner from me.... but I'll probably be at the Geneva Motor Show that day, otherwise I'd definitely be there.
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Post  The White One on Sat Jan 28 2017, 07:51

In the diary, this will be worth a look either in person or on the net.
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Post  Wooster on Sat Jan 28 2017, 10:11

4hrs? Best of luck. left thumb up

I don't do Facebook though. :/
(The 'one we made earlier' looks a bit rough on the plums) Smile
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Post  The White One on Sat Jan 28 2017, 10:35

Wont be sat there for 4hrs but defo worth a look.
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Post  yamahamad on Sat Jan 28 2017, 14:44

Its my birthday weekend & the gf is taking me away somewhere, don't know where yet. I will be interested to see the finished bike in question, best of luck with it.

Paul
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Post  Rosco on Sun Jan 29 2017, 22:59

Wow.

How did i miss this.
Hope it all goes to plan Tony.

I've managed to not bleed brakes in 4 hours so I'm more a cafe diner than a cafe racer.

Looks like they be in a safe pair of hands.

Cheers
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Post  Wooster on Mon Jan 30 2017, 02:01

..Do be?

Two be do be do?


...i got my coat already...
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Post  Radar on Mon Jan 30 2017, 19:49

Thanks for all the feedback folks, spread the word to your biking mates and like/share the FB link if you can

It going to be fun and no mistake
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Post  Rosco on Mon Jan 30 2017, 21:29

Radar wrote:Thanks for all the feedback folks, spread the word to your biking mates and like/share the FB link if you can

It going to be fun and no mistake

We all hope there'll be no mistakes.

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You've got long arms haven't you?
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Post  Radar on Mon Jan 30 2017, 23:14

Rosco wrote:
Radar wrote:Thanks for all the feedback folks, spread the word to your biking mates and like/share the FB link if you can

It going to be fun and no mistake

We all hope there'll be no mistakes.

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You've got long arms haven't you?

Got to love a 2-stroke!
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Post  Radar on Sun Feb 05 2017, 21:16

Bit of an update folks...Remember March 19th is the big day!

Slow days in the office can are a dangerous thing. Once, many moons ago I got bored phoned a colleague across the office and we got talking bikes and silly challenges as you do. Before I knew what was happening I was riding a Honda 50 from John O’Groats to Lands End…Fast forward far too many years: A different time a different office but the same old tedium was in evidence. So I give Russell (of Twisted Iron fame) a bell. We soon got onto the monthly meetings he runs targeted at bikers who love to tinker and diverge somewhat from what the factory intended. I muttered something about how great it would be to ride in on a standard bike and then over the course of the meeting convert it into a special. Me and my big mouth…
So as you may have read, my stock 1995 Kawasaki ZR550 is undergoing somewhat of a transformation on March 19th. I think the time is right for a little update on the progress of the preparation for the big day. I went down to Essex to see the lads at Raw Steel Choppers and Naked Speed who will be doing most of the clever stuff and now we are working on getting parts together for the conversion. The bike will be getting new clocks and the range at Digital Speedos offered up some that I perfect for the look we are going for. I won’t say exactly what just yet; I want to keep the final look under wraps for now. The seat was another challenge, I was unsure about single or dual seat to begin with. One thing is for certain the huge stock seat had to go. So what to do? After a bit of pondering I have decided which way to go and Mark of Naked Speed has recommended a trimmer that makes up bespoke seats to high standard for a reasonable cost. So Bert from Vonzeti will be making the seat from scratch and cutting shaping and covering in keeping with the theme of the rebuild. He is red hot apparently so I am really looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.

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Otherwise things are progressing. String at Raw Steel is working out what he can do to my exhaust and various bits of the 550’s frame, tank etc. Mark at Naked Speed has also sent me a shopping list of bits will need for the build. Exciting stuff, more updates as the build day draws near. In the meantime check out what the boys at Digital Speedos and Vonzeti have to offer and see if you can work out what will wind up on my Kwack!

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Check out the work that Vonzeti can do...

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See if you suss which speedo set up I am going for

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The original thread

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if you want to come along

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Image Courtesy of R&B Images
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Post  Wooster on Sun Feb 05 2017, 22:05

Motogadget Motoscope Multi in white?
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Post  furball on Fri Feb 10 2017, 20:18

Best of luck with this Tony, look forward to the finnished article...

Davie...
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Post  Ondurin on Fri Feb 10 2017, 22:01

This I will try to attend! Might even get the lady on the back of the Tcat to come along!

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Post  Radar on Fri Feb 10 2017, 23:05

Be great to see you there...bring tools!
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Post  Radar on Tue Feb 21 2017, 21:06

Time for another update: Creating a custom in just four hours...28 days to go! More updates and piccies..

Took a little trip out on my 550 to meet up with the lads who will be doing the conversion of the Kwack to a cafe-racer next month. It was at the Twisted-Iron 'Your Garage' meet at Culham located in deepest, darkest Oxfordshire that will also be the venue for the speed build in just 28 days time. Mark of Naked Speed and String of Raw Street Choppers I have met before, but I also got to have a chat with the lad who will be spraying the bike; Ben of Bear Knuckle Custom Paint. He is great lad and had a good natter with him about the theme for the bike and has some great ideas for how to get it across...apart from the one about painting it pink! I told him to use his imagination as I was the one in a grey sweat-shirt and a standard bike and need all the help I can get! On a serious note he seemed to appreciate the theme I have come up with and I am really looking forward to see what he comes up with. He will doing it on a donor tank, cheating I know, but you can only do so many miracles in 4 hours!

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My 550 took centre-stage today, as it will next month when literally the sparks will start to fly!

Mark and String have been cracking on and the parts are coming thick and fast now. We had a good prod about the bike and I will have to tend to a couple of things before the big day. Digital Speedos have sent the bits to Mark and String and they brought up the tail seat unit that Bert of Vonzeti has made for me to see and to offer up to the bike. It looks seriously cool and has absolutely nailed what I want...top work Bert!

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Mark, String, Ben and Russ mutter darkly about what they are going to do to my poor unsuspecting bike!

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Like all projects, tea is a VITAL ingredient!

As for the ride there and back, it was my first big outing this year, and even though it wasn't the most thrilling of rides, it just feels good to be out there to be honest! 180 miles in February and I didn't freeze to death! Global warming, bring it on...who needs polar ice caps anyway??

The bike and build creating a real buzz at the meet with the decent crowd that were there. The workshop is cool and there was a US 50's pick-up and a 1970's Lancia in there that I would kill for! A great venue for my adventure into the world of custom bikes. Outside there were bikes, trikes and scooters of all shapes and sizes, but there was one based (very loosely...) on a Suzuki DR single that was my favourite.

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You have got to love this...

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I really wanted this 70's Yamaha too...painfully standard, but just so gorgeous. I even fit on these unlike modern off road stuff!

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Good turnout for February, some very cool bikes

Overall the atmosphere was great, the cafe was packed and the sausages superb. Roll on 19th March! see you all there!

In the meantime, check out these links to find out more about the build, and if you feel inspired to build a special yourself check out these guys first!

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Ben the painter..get a website!!
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Post  Wooster on Tue Feb 21 2017, 21:38

I like that old Enduro myself, it's a proper park bike. Smile
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Post  Radar on Tue Feb 21 2017, 23:27

There was a varied selection on show

For anybody coming along on March 19th, this is the postcode etc:

it’s definitely worth the trip to This Is Your Garage, Unit 120, No 1 Site, Culham, Oxon OX14 3DA
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Post  Dirt Bike Dave on Wed Feb 22 2017, 05:31

Sounds like a very exciting project Tony, looks like there is a lot of talented guys involved...Can't wait to see the finished article..
I don't do facebook any more so post up plenty pics on here mate... left thumb up

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Post  yamahamad on Wed Feb 22 2017, 22:29

Very exciting tony, look forward to seeing what they do to the bike.

Paul
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Post  Radar on Fri Feb 24 2017, 22:00

Details of the venue for those who are coming on the day...

Venue details and post code.. it’s definitely worth the trip to the four hour build at 'This Is Your Garage', Unit 120, No 1 Site, Culham, Oxon OX14 3DA
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Post  Radar on Sun Feb 26 2017, 07:46

The clock is clicking down now to the big day of the 'Speed-Build'. I have been looking at the 550 tonight and decided to clean some of the winter crud off the brake caliper housings and engine block. That went ok, but my efforts to freshen up the calipers before the build didn't go well...my garage is just too cold an environment in which to paint stuff and I am cack handed with stuff like that in any case. I will leave at removing the crud for now and take it from there! One of the exhaust clamps had worked loose too....the exhaust has been off the bike recently and the vibes on the long run home last weekend must of taken their toll. I had to tighten up up the exhaust collars a little, so ordering a couple of new collets and nuts, just in case seemed prudent!

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Chilly in the garage, hence the snazzy rug!

Less positive is the news that my donor tank has more holes than your average tea bag. I am all for letting the flavour flood out, but petrol is not so clever! This means that the somewhat battered tank on the Kwack currently might have to used after all, meaning that Ben the painter will have to use his fertile imagination to work all the dings and dents into his work, unless anybody out there has a perfect 550 tank kicking about for peanuts!? The lad is top talent, so I am confident he will make the bike look the business whatever way we go. He even has a website now, so make sure you check it out!

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More holes than your average T bag!

Mark at Naked Speed and String of Raw Street Choppers are on the case too, so it will all be alright on the night..well afternoon actually, but you know what I mean...

So not too much longer to wait, the excitement is building, I might even give some hints as to the theme in the next update! Any guesses?


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Ben the painter..now has a website! Link to follow!!
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Post  0ldcat on Sun Feb 26 2017, 19:49

Radar wrote:. . .  Ben the painter will have to use his fertile imagination to work all the dings and dents into his work, unless anybody out there has a perfect 550 tank kicking about for peanuts!? . . .  
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