Video: Reviving, reworking a 1972 Kawasaki offroader

Around 20 years ago, American television was swamped with a terrifying onslaught of “custom motorcycle programs.” Almost none of the “builders” featured were particularly nice people, although some were extremely talented. Others, well, they were better suited for chair-throwing memes than they were at building actual go-fast bikes.

(For an interesting retrospective look at what it’s like to actually ride one of those TV bikes two decades later, see Bikes & Beards’ YouTube video showing an Orange County Choppers creation. Spoiler alert: It’s a total piece of crap).

Instead of walrus-mustachioed, over-muscled, big-ego buffoons, the TV networks should have been showing work like this excellent video of a 1972 Kawasaki 100, getting the resto-mod treatment. Alas! YouTube won’t let me embed it!

Now, everyone has their own personal opinion on what to do with vintage bikes. For some, they’re best off left in non-running condition and hung over a bar. Other people want nothing less than a complete rebuild that sticks as close to the original part numbers. Others want bikes that just run, no matter the mechanical and aesthetic costs to get to that point. And, others “Want their own bike man, do ya dig it, this cool brat-style machine really expresses my identity as a beat poet,” and so it goes.

Regardless of your personal preference, there’s no denying the finished product here looks much cleaner than the original rusted mess, and probably serves as a fun little runabout. With the original 6V ignition replaced to a 12V setup, the bike is far more practical. And best of all, there’s no chair-throwing, no silliness about artificial production timelines, just close-ups of the various trials and tribulations encountered while resurrecting a vintage two-stroke. The vintage scrambler style gets a slight update, and whoever’s riding this bike now is probably loving it.

Good for them, but—how do we get stuff like this on TV? Any ideas?

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