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Custom of the Week: ‘Kawasaki KLX250’ by Knuckle Whackjob

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THE LITTLE BIKES are taking over.

More and more manufacturers are adding small dual-sport bikes to their ranks. And riders are enjoying smaller scramblers that aren’t intimidating, don’t break the bank, and won’t cause tears when they fall over.

Kawasaki has cottoned on, and have two new baby dirt bikes on their books: the adventure focused Versys-X 300, and the more stripped back KLX250. The KLX has actually been around since 2009, but took a hiatus in 2014 before returning mostly unchanged—except for a switch from a carb to fuel injection.

This little number is a carb’d 2012-model KLX250. It’s been given a serious hit of vintage enduro steeze—and a few choice upgrades—by the crew over at Knuckle WhackJob.

Based in the Lebak Bulus province of Jakarta, Knuckle WhackJob not only have the best name in the business, hands down, but they have a knack for building really fun bikes too.

This KLX250 was never really meant to be a custom job, but KWJ’s head wrench, Otir, has a huge imagination and zero restraint. The owner just wanted a Yamaha YZ250 swing arm and shock grafted on—and maybe some light subframe mods—but Otir convinced him to go all the way.

After the KLX was modded to accept the YZ250 parts, Otir installed a YZ front end too—giving the suspension department a serious boost. The guys fitted the forks by way of a Pro Circuit kit, with a new top triple and bar risers. The wheels are the original 21F/18R combo, but they’re now wrapped in grippy Maxxis rubber.
The guys wanted to leave the engine mostly stock, so they treated it to a polish and port job, then had it sand blasted and powder coat. An FMF Power Core 4 muffler adds a little extra grunt.

As for the Kawasaki’s bodywork, none of it survived the cull. The tank looks like it’s off an old enduro bike, but that’s just because the new livery is so on point. It’s actually a one-off, hand-shaped for this project in Knuckle WhackJob’s own shop.

You’ll find their handiwork lower down too. The radiator shrouds are custom made, as are the side covers with their integrated number boards. Look closer, and you’ll spot that the right side board’s been shaped around the exhaust, doubling up as a heat shield.

Even though Knuckle WhackJob have loaded the little Kwakka with tons of old-school touches, they’ve also added a bunch of modern, practical mods. In the cockpit you’ll find Renthal bars, ProTaper grips and controls, and Domino switches. The forks wear a set of plastic guards, and plus Acerbis seal protectors.

There’s a sump guard lower down, and a full-length front fender to keep muck out of the rider’s eyes. Lighting comes from a pair of vintage lights housed in a hand-made cage. And there’s even a recovery strap just beneath—handy for dragging the KLX out of sticky predicaments.

We’re especially digging the 70s-inspired livery; a vivid blue punctuated with red, yellow and white stripes. And the ‘Knuckle WhackJob’ decal under the period correct Kawasaki ‘K’ is just killer. The rest of the parts have been subtly finished in black, with a few crafty highlights—like the blue chain and red rear brake line.

But what we like most is how well Knuckle WhackJob have meshed old and new on the KLX, while giving it a proper worn-in vibe. We’d have no qualms getting this scrambler dirty.

This article first appeared on Bike Exif; It’s republished here with permission.

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Is the Manx Missile Cavendish about to trade cycling lycra for motorcycle racing leathers?

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Could the Manx Missile hang up his lycra and pedals for something a little more petrol propelled?

Mark Cavendish has been the fastest thing on two (pedal-powered) wheels for a while now, but in recent interviews, the Isle of Man native and good friend of Cal Crutchlow has expressed an interest in two-wheeled vehicles of a motorcycling kind.

Speaking in an interview with Esquire Magazine from when he was in Abu Dhabi for the Formula One last year, Cavendish shared his love of fast cars and bikes, telling the interviewer that he’d ‘always loved anything to do with motors, or machines… Vehicles really. Just love them’. Before being asked if he’d ever considered being an F1 driver?

‘Nah. I don’t think I’m good enough. Everybody thinks that it’s like driving a car down the promenade, it’s totally not the same. To be honest, I prefer motorbikes more; I would like to race them instead.’

Ok, so it’s not a huge admission or a massive surprise – it’s something we’ve all probably dreamed of and one time or another, but when pressed on the issue he does seem to have considered the possibilities more than just in passing.

When asked if motorcycling racing might actually be next for him he replied with an emphatic, ‘In all seriousness, I think so’.

Adding fuel to the fire have been comments from him earlier this month made during press conferences in support of the Dubai Tour.

When asked explicitly if he’d consider hanging up his cycling blocks for motorcycle leathers, he certainly didn’t dismiss the idea, ‘Anything is possible, you know… I will just look at my options for the short term and the long term and see what I do with my future’.

So that’s definitely not a no.

For cycling fans fearful that he might be closer than expected to making the jump, there’s probably not any immediate cause for panic. In the very same Esquire feature he also explicitly stated that he had a ‘fair few years‘ left in his professional career.

Could a cycling pro move over to motorcycles with any expectation of success? Multi-discipline racers aren’t unheard of. Rossi loves his car racing and Lewis Hamilton has always expressed an interest in a taking turn in MotoGP.

But that’s from a motor vehicle on short track racing onto another motor vehicle on a similar track. We’d imagine that the speeds and skills involved from pedal cycle to internal combustion engine are a little less transferable for any moral human.

But then Mark Cavendish isn’t your average human being and reports suggest that the times that he has spent on track have been pretty impressive.

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Indian electric Emflux claims 120mph, over 100 miles range for under £8,000

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Photo: Emflux

Startup company put its first electric sportsbike concept on display, alongside some impressive claims.

The Emflux can hit 62 mph in 3 seconds and charges to over 80 percent in half an hour. Couple that with a range of around 115 miles and a top speed of 120 mph and you have an electric motorcycle to pique anyone’s interest. Throw in a claimed price of under £8000 and you get the room to take notice.

That’s what the Indian startup Emflux did this week at the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi.

The 25-strong company has completely developed the machinemachine i and the team have designed everything except for the brakes, suspension and tyres.

Featuring a steel-trellis frame and single-sided swingarm, the chassis of the machine certainly looks the part, and along with the 60kW motor and 9.7 kWh lithium-ion cell battery the entire package only weights 169 kgs.

Alongside the mechanics, the technology on-board features a built-in GPS system, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity – all alongside an NVIDIA Jetson TK1 core processor. That’s a mighty big brain to go alongside some mighty big claims from the startup firm.

The company say that they are planning to build 199 of the bikes for the local, Indian market, with another 300 for export.

Oh and if you want Ohlins suspension, forged alloy wheels and carbon-fibre bodywork, then the price will go up by another £10,000 or so.

With new companies coming out with interesting designs and ideas for new electrically powered motorcycles almost weekly now, surely it’s time for one of the major manufacturers to step in? Isn’t it?

Source: Emflux

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