The W650 was an accident, an impulse buy, which had build momentum from day 1. The design brief in my head was 80% locked in early but there was some evolution – I wanted it to look a little sleeker, better balanced visually with some quality components and a chunkier more aggressive look, but still retaining the essence of the original bike. I wanted to minimise some things (fenders, seat) and maximise others (bars, foot controls etc.).
The style is more retro urban scrambler than anything else, something for buzzing around town on but equally suited to a blast down some country lanes to a café meet or a country pub. I wanted an upright style bike that looked vintage but stopped and handled like a modern bike should whilst being easy to ride and not intimidating from a power perspective. We geared it down a touch for a little more urgency at low revs.
The tank, fenders and airbox cover paint was a combination of Traffic White in gloss and Signal Black in satin. Inset WRECKLESS logos on the tank and airbox covers (WRECKLESS branding and design) with the bike name on the airbox covers.
Most of the challenges were self-inflicted (changes of direction and last minute modifications) and caused the bike to be constantly delayed (often waiting on parts), Also, if we weren’t 100% happy with what we had done, we went back and did it again (and again in some cases).
Fitment issues and challenges also played a big part – “fits your bike” is a phrase I treat with a degree of caution now. Some manufacturers / suppliers promised lots and delivered little – what we ended up with was hard earned as well as a function of who delivered on their promises. The importer for a very famous brand strung us along for over 4 months on a critical component eventually causing a last minute change of direction, which was delivered in 2 weeks from some new friends in Belgium. Also, weird things like discovering the standard Kawasaki handlebars had a 25mm diameter at the clamp which meant having to have bespoke machined spacers made to accommodate 22mm Renthals onto the existing bar risers – I guess this is what custom is all about, dealing with lots of micro fitment issues and finding solutions.
Every nut, bolt & washer on this bike has been touched, painted, upgraded, replaced or modified.
It’s the first custom build from Wreckless, and the bike choice was a risky one to some degree – the W650 is a bike crying out to be modified but ultimately, there are 1000’s of examples out there to compare it with. We think this one stands out from the crowd.