The Story

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.


  • Base bike – Kawasaki W650 MY 1999
  • Reduced, shortened and reshaped original fenders, painted
  • Existing seat modified, reshaped and re-covered in two tone design
  • Original headlight with visor added, new paint and Philips racing vision bulbs
  • Billet gear shifter extension on existing shifter arm
  • New Ohlins Black Edition rear twin shocks
  • New Beringer classic axial master cylinder and 6 piston Aerotec Caliper
  • New EBC Inox Vee front disc
  • New Renthal 754 22mm bars, extended with aluminium bar ends, custom machined from a Ducati 998 fitment and painted
  • Renthal grips
  • Throttle and switchgear retained from original bike
  • Single mirror – existing, painted arm, chrome lens housing retained
  • New Daytona Velona 80mm 9K analogue & digital single combination clock
  • Refurbished and painted satin black existing wheels and hubs, nickel nipples and re-strung with new stainless 36/40 bulldog spokes, also painted satin black
  • New Continental Twinduro TKC80 tyres 110/80 front and 140/80 rear
  • New chrome vintage look horn
  • New K&N oil filter
  • New Alloy engine protection plate – painted
  • Airbox covers cut & modified with mesh, painted and decal’d
  • Engine overhaul – all new gaskets, filters, bolts, cables, hoses etc.
  • Reshaped tank, removing kneegaurd mounts and Kawasaki decals
  • Engine blasted, polished and painted
  • New DID VX GB chain, EBC racing clutch pack and sprockets (14F 40R)
  • New 2-1 exhaust headers and custom pipework into chrome reverse cone
  • New KTM oversized adventure pegs grafted onto existing footrest mounts
  • New Brake foot pedal from a KTM 1290 SA footrest grafted onto existing brake lever
  • Custom Wreckless design decals onto new paint scheme
  • Hand made one-off chain guard in aluminium, painted satin black
  • New Rizoma Iride S Rear bi-directional running light, brake light, indicators all in one
  • New Rizoma Iride L Front bi-directional running light & indicators all in one
  • Frame and swing arm powder coated satin black
  • New one off machined billet side stand painted to match the frame