Kawasaki Ninja 650 “Urban X” Scrambler Custom
If Kawasaki Made A Modern Scrambler…
Updated August 14, 2018
This might only be a custom, but if Kawasaki are looking to jump on board the Scrambler wagon, we think they should follow Nicko Eigert of Indonesia’s Smoked Garage Custom Motorcycles design aesthetic. When Indonesia’s largest dealership got in touch with Smoked Garage for a custom of their own, who knew it would be so awesome? It’s called the “Project X” and its Smoked Garage’s take on a 2016 Kawasaki Ninja 650 powered scrambler. Everyone’s doing scramblers these days… So if a Kawasaki Scrambler is on the cards, we reckon it should look like this!
Nicko will be the first to admit that he’s taken a few design cues from Holographic Hammer and their Kawasaki scrambler concept, but he’s definitely made this his own. While his team were busy pulling the Kawasaki a part, Nicko was busy drawing up his plans. The downside to using modern machines as scrambler bases is the fact that the frames carry a lot unnecessary bits and pieces, brackets and lugs etc, that detract from the scrambler concept. With an eye for design, Nicko has seamlessly designed a unique assortment of side covers, panels, and a new tank that have cleverly wrapped the bike in a new scrambler aesthetic, without sacrificing the integrity of the original platform.
The Ultimate Custom Kawasaki Ninja?
The sub-frame received a little bit of surgery, being shortened to fit the scrambler shape, and now comes with a new box unit that holds the electrics in place; it also gives the frame more of an iconic flat top look that works to hug the new side panels and give the new seat a cozy fit with the new tank. The seat itself has been concocted using layered foam, and has been upholstered with dark leather and double stitched. With custom made tank in place, and new front and rear guards added into the mix, Smoked Garage then turned their attention to the smaller details of the build.
To call the headlight a “smaller detail” is a bit of an injustice, since it’s such a bold feature of the bike. Unlike a lot of modern scrambler models that opt for the classic round headlight arrangement, Nicko decided to think outside of the box and install a dual lamp arrangement that fits directly onto the triple clamp, courtesy of some specially made brackets. The new headlight, in conjunction with the rest of the bodywork, set the tone of the machine and give it such a unique appearance.
Thankfully, Nicko made the right call with his tire and wheel choices, unlike a lot of modern faux scramblers you see out there. Taking inspiration from one of my favorite little bikes, the Suzuki VanVan, Smoked Garage installed an 18” rim with a custom hub at the front, and a 14” at the rear, with the front wearing a 120 Dunlop, and the rear shod with a 180 tire. The front wheel is kept on the ground thanks to a new set of Showa USD forks, and the stock swingarm at the back is kept in place with a Showa monoshock.
Since the Kawasaki Ninja 650 parallel twin engine needs very little in the way of tinkering, Nicko decided to leave it alone and focus on fabricating a new exhaust system – one that gives it a distinct scrambler aesthetic – which has been blessed with a tunable SuperTrapp muffler, and a custom shield to protect the paintwork.
The choice of paint was obvious: Kawasaki company colors were a must, but Smoked Customs have added their own flare with a beautiful set of white graphics, and a few muted blacks to merge the different rear sections into an optical illusion of a one piece unit. The final bits and pieces are a mix of the Kawasaki’s original parts and Smoked Garage’s own in house fabrications.
It’s a shame that it’s only a one off custom, because as “scramblers” go, this is the only real modern model that has really hit all of the high notes. Now, all we need is for Kawasaki to give Nicko a call…