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Josh Williams’ Venomous Kawasaki ZX-6R Custom!

Josh Williams Injects Some Venom Into His ZX Custom

Updated August 15, 2018

When we first got in contact with Josh Williams, his 2000 Kawasaki ZX-6R was nothing like what you see in the pictures here. It was in pieces, it looked a little worse for wear, and the first photos we saw were decorated with oil stains splashed across the garage floor. Fast forward a few months, and now we’re looking at a different machine all together. The hardworking truck driver, dedicated husband, and father of five from Florida has definitely put the hours into the build.

Josh Williams ZX Custom 1

The “Venomous” Kawasaki ZX Custom

Hailing from just outside of Panama Beach, Josh had serious plans to take his ZX-6R to the track – but it needed a fair bit of work before it was strip worthy. “When I first got it…man, it was in a state. It was running rough, the plastics were sun damaged and cracked beyond belief. The previous owner had plasti-dipped parts, sanded the headlight, and pretty much all of the existing mounts were broken. I rode it around the block a couple of times and realized I had my work cut out. Then I told my wife what I was going to do…”

Josh Williams ZX Custom 2

Fortunately for Josh, and his wife (!) the ZX-6R looked worse than it was. After giving the bike a full strip down, Josh got started by smoothing out the rough running engine. He was able to solve the problem with a good old fashioned clean up. After cleaning the carbs, giving the engine a little TLC, and replacing the plugs and fuel pump, it was running much better. Finally, he replaced the existing filters with a K&N oil filer and air filter, and the ZX-6R was reborn. That wasn’t the end of the motor work, but it was enough for the time being, and since Josh was ordering every part at a time, “running smoothly” was satisfactory!

Josh Williams ZX Custom 3

The fairings needed replacing, so after ordering a new set Josh fitted them, but put them to one side. There were more important things that needed doing before the paint work could happen. The headlight assembly was replaced and upgraded with HID lamps, new mirrors were added, and plenty of brackets needed fixing. On top of that, Josh replaced the old brakes with new Tokico rotors and calipers, and updated the instrument cluster too. Before fastening the plastics in place, Josh added a set of green LEDs around the bike for an added surprise.

Josh Williams ZX Custom 4

At this point, new parts arrived, and Josh was able to re-jet the carbs, add a new exhaust and fit a 12” extended swing arm. Josh also gave the radiator a damn good clean and repaired a few leaks that had surfaced. New Shorty Levers were added, and then the painting could begin.

Josh settled on a fierce black and green color scheme – it wouldn’t be a Kawasaki without a hint of green, would it? A flame motif was skillfully painted onto the fairings, and the wheels were painted to match. Finally, the bike was almost finished. We say “almost” finished, because Josh isn’t done yet. In the future, he’s got plans to add a big bore kit and a nitrous system. But like in all things, patience is a virtue.

Josh Williams ZX Custom 5

All in all, the build took just over nine months. And what a nine months it was: the ZX-6R has gone from a wreck to a racer, complete with the all-important and opinion dividing extended swing arm…“I know there’s a lot of stretch haters out there, but they think it kills what the bike is built for doing – and it does if it’s stretched too far. But mine was built for drag purposes. However, I can still take a curve and launch 12K rpms from a dead stop without doing a backflip!” says Josh.

Josh Williams ZX Custom 6

Naturally, Josh had plenty of people to thank for all the help they’ve given him during this restoration and customization. “I’ve got to give props to my best friend Matt Howard. Not only did he put a lot of his time into this build, he even showed up with parts for the bike paid for out of his own pocket! That’s a true friend! Also, John and Theresa Mallory from Mallory Towing because I used their shop like a personal garage! And of course, I have to thank my wife. Not only did she agree to model in the pictures, but also for the serious support she gave me! There were times when she went without, just so I coud buy parts! That’s real love, right?”

Josh Williams ZX Custom 7

Finally, Josh (and us guys at Gear Heads) would like to thank the talented Erin Sable for her stunning photographs.

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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