Graham is a Precision engineer, living on the Wirral in Merseyside in the UK who's been into bikes since he was eleven, staring with a BSA bantam, through mopeds, Bultaco's, vintage British bikes, sports bikes and then supermotos, but whatever he rides, Graham can't resist fettling and customising his bikes.
Clearly a man of good taste he's embraced the world of less-is-more and like his bikes basic, stripped bare and rugged.
He built his first retro bike three years ago, a CX500, which he turned into a street tracker under the moniker Streetf Tuff Customs (as he had plans to build more) and it was featured in Pipeburn and MCN. Graham also wants to get into hosting shows and exhibitions.
Graham's next project was to be his vision of the perfect Street tracker. It had to be a twin with high level pipes, cool wheels & tank - and obviously it had to look mean. So, he got hold of a Kawasaki Z750 twin as a box of bits and set to it with a grinder and what you see here is the result of his hard labour and passion for simple perfection. He calls it the "Z-SLED".
The donor bike is a Z75-B Twin and was put together with help from John of Trubikes and lots of favours from mates. The original frame was looped at the rear and modified to take a Kawasaki ZZR swingarm, which was re-welded to take on the 1980s style piggyback Marzocchi shocks.
OZ wheels and forks were sourced from an Aprillia RSV sports bike, and the yokes were machined to mate everything together. The rubber is a Dunlop Mutant up front and a Dunlop D616 imported from the States at the rear. Flat-track bars were added with controls from a sports bike, with modified reservoir & CNC levers plus an electronic speedo with CNC mount and led warning. A short front mudguard was fabricated to fit the front fork mounts. The headlamp is a Bates unit attached to a slotted numberboard. At the rear the LED brake light is hidden under the tailpiece.
The tail piece was custom made from sheet metal, inspired by the old Norton racers from back in the day. It also houses the battery, rectifier and some electrics. The seat and bump stop are leather with diamond stitch pattern for that retro look.
The tank was a challenging task. Graham chopped and then machined the finned plates you see pictured, which had to be carefully blended-in to the lines of the tank. It was finished of with a aircraft style filler cap.
The engine was stripped and rebuilt, and treated to a matt paint finish. The carbs came from a Mini (!) with a large K&N oval filter, while exhaust gases exit through a custom stainless 2 into 1 manifold leading to exhausts which were fabricated from stainless dairy pipe, fitted with an imported Supertrapp shorty mufflers, all brush finished.
The paint was provided by a mate who blended it a few years back from a BMW Shwartz Black with aluminium metalflake and a few other colours thrown in.
Graham is rightfully pleased with the results, and we look forward to seeing more of his work under the Street Tuff Customs name. He's halfway through a Kawasaki GT 750 project, has a Yamaha XS500 which he intends to turn into a tracker, another CX500 which he wants to restyle as a Salt Flats Racer, and two Honda C90s which he intends to stretch and chop... We look forward to seeing what he brings to the next Distinguished Gentleman's ride!
Great work Graham, and thanks for sharing with us all at the BSMC.