This text was initially printed within the February 2000 difficulty of Bike Cruiser.
As motorcycling credos go, “Born to Experience” is getting a little bit lengthy within the tooth. We’re considering of slipping “Born to Customise” into the brand new cruiser vernacular. Doesn’t roll off the tongue as crisply, we’ll admit, nevertheless it fits our functions.
Up till a number of years in the past, there was only a handful of outlets cranking out aftermarket equipment for cruisers. And people have been sporadic of their choices, catering to only some makes and neglecting many fashionable mannequin traces. Metric customizers, particularly, gave the impression to be disregarded within the chilly, doomed to a lifetime of ordinariness. They wished to cruise the boulevard with a flashy chrome facelift; they clamored for augmentation, too.
Clamor no extra! Lately, the market’s awash with a plethora of choices for metric riders. The massive OEMs have stepped up, with Kawasaki dedicating an particularly wholesome quantity completely to its cruisers. And we’ve been hankering to take a crack at an enormous Kawasaki ever since we sunk our wrenches into final yr’s Vulcan Traditional.
So, it was whereas drooling over a pile of those catalogs that we realized we had the right sufferer—a unadorned Nomad—bucking impatiently within the Bike Cruiser paddock. Hallelujah. We grabbed the newest version of Kawasaki’s Hearth & Metal Cruiser Equipment catalog (Quantity III), our inventory 1999 Kawasaki Nomad (carbureted), an harmless store foreman, and obtained right down to nuts and bolt-ons.
Throwing A Wrench In It
We commenced the wrenching first on the bow of our fantastic frigate, the place we bolted on Entrance Fender Trim ($110), two curved parallel tubes of chromed metal. We had these shiny rails put in in minutes.
Above decks, we coated the deal withbar mount with a Handlebar Billet Clamp ($70). This one was a stable chrome-plated brick with a ribbed, raised design within the center. It merely dropped down over the inventory half, tarting up the highest heart of the handlebar. Since that is the spot most seen from the motive force’s vantage level, you’ll be admiring your handiwork a lot.
Towards the top of the bar, we popped on a few Chrome Lever Reservoir covers ($18), agreeably clean and polished options to inventory lids emblazoned with DOT graffiti.
A fast scan down the entrance of the bike uncovered an unsettling windshield meeting. We jacketed the ugly screws jutting out from the mounting brackets with Nomad Windprotect Mount Covers ($210).
We would have liked some operate with our type so a Billet Gentle Bar designed for the Nomad ($315) was tucked beneath the inventory headlight. Sealed beam spotlights on both finish spat out sufficient candlepower to land a small aircraft, and the triple chrome-plated end shone like Liberace’s piano. We favored the uncluttered design of this rack and the way in which it complemented the inventory headlamp.
Journeying to the middle of the entrance wheel, we slipped billet Vulcan Entrance Axle/Nut Cowl plugs ($50) over the entrance axle. This easy bolt-on added an exclamation level to an space the place there was solely a boring interval earlier than. The inventory instrument housing atop the gasoline tank appeared homely, so we jazzed it up with a Chrome Billet Contoured Tank Panel ($170), courtesy of Professional-One. A considerable, sculpted chunk of chrome with instrument id symbols engraved straight into the metallic, it changed a humdrum inventory merchandise. This high-profile space tends to be scrutinized by the general public and friends alike, and an excellent contact similar to this may actually enhance your social rating on the native riders’ membership/Espresso Barn.
Down under, we slipped a Body Junction Cowl ($15)—a easy spring clip in fundamental black—over the entrance body part, to streamline the fissure between the decrease proper entrance body and body tube. The clunky Allen bolts across the junction had been annoying us for months. After this fast repair, we breathed simpler.
Kevin Gerioux’s Customized 1998 Kawasaki Vulcan Traditional
The primary cruiser to be voted Americade’s Better of Present
Since we have been already monkeying round within the center, we yanked the inventory Nomad saddle. It didn’t meet the lofty requirements we usually insist on for our boyish keisters, so we hooked up an opulent two-piece pad from Mustang Seats to interchange it. The Classic Model seat ($359), which featured a clear, braided trim and got here provided with chrome mounting , bolted on in minutes. We sank into leathery nirvana, at simply the appropriate angle for cruising. Our solely complaint was the curved again part of the entrance seat. The angle of this rise made us really feel our caboose was greater than the remainder of the prepare. Then once more, it most likely was.
In between the cylinders, we slipped on ribbed chrome Air Filter Covers ($158) over the filters on either side of the bike (a carbureted Nomad, keep in mind) to decorate up the lackluster neighborhood. They screwed proper into the prevailing meeting. And, since we have been already within the ’hood, we thought we’d clip on a Water Pump Cowl ($39)—chrome, after all. Each modifications are fashionable with cruisers as a result of they’re easy and the outcomes are rapid.
Over on the opposite aspect of city, we wired the Billet Key Choke and Change Relocator, Clean ($130), a Professional-One merchandise. Not solely did this costume up the left aspect behind the engine bay, it relocated the ignition change and choke to 1, simply accessible location. You’ll want the corresponding Vulcan Traditional choke bracket for the setup, and be warned—this step took a number of hours (see web page 92 of our October ’99 difficulty for the sordid particulars).
Lurking under the engine and stepped upon their complete lives, the inventory floorboards had no place in our shiny world order. We took ’em out, dressed ’em up with chrome-plated Driver Flooringboards and Chrome Driver Floorboard Supports ($220 and $198), and stepped throughout them once more. We did the identical with the rear footrests, changing them with chromed-billet Nomad Passenger Flooringboards ($270 with Kawasaki’s “V-Wing” emblem engraved on the underside).
Amidships, within the crotch of the crankcase space, we slipped on a Nomad Chrome Interior Engine Cowl ($136). That erased the unique, oddly contrasting, black-welded metallic and prolonged the polished floor of the crankcase in order that the entire space appeared as a single unit.
We sparked up the dreariness behind the engine in seconds, with a Chrome Drive Shaft Cowl ($45) utilizing just one clamp.
The Nomad’s uniquely sculpted saddlebags additionally wanted a trim, nevertheless it couldn’t be a buzz reduce. We chosen the chrome-plated Nomad Saddlebag High Rails ($210), which accented the refined curves of the Deco containers whereas offering one other floor on which to lash gear. They’re an amazing bonus for those who occur to be a continual packrat. These rails have been a bit trickier to put in, since we needed to measure up the bag lids earlier than drilling, to make sure the rail unit was centered appropriately. Lastly, we mounted the Saddlebag Facet Rails ($220) on the decrease a part of the baggage to focus on the underside edges and to finish the shimmering impact.
Inside the baggage, we stuffed a pair of Kawi’s new Nomad Streamliner Saddlebag Liners ($244). The detachable mixture organizers/comfortable baggage are a godsend for addled editors and absent-minded entrepreneurs on the go (one and the identical, actually). They hold most of your small necessities neatly packed in an simply accessible sequence of pockets.
Behind the rear seat, we pressed on a Nomad Rear Rack and Help Plates ($129 and $101, respectively), each chrome. The rack serves up yet one more space to strap junk onto, for those who can’t assist your self. A solemn sticker on the again of this formidable hunk of metallic intones “Most load 5 lbs.” We hope that’s simply dry Japanese humor. Atop the curve of the again fender, we drilled and clamped a Blind Mount License Plate Meeting ($143) of chrome billet, which successfully floated the license plate body out over the taillight. It’s an exquisite, uncluttered design that solves the normally awkward recreation of “disguise the license bracket.”
To tie all of it up and present we had a imprecise sense of fashion, we chucked on the Nomad Rear Fender Trim ($136) thus matching our stern with the bow. These bolted in simply, the trim piece offering a pleasant complement to the saddlebag rails in addition to the rear rack. And so they assured that you just appeared nearly as good going as you probably did coming.
We needed to cease ourselves from masking each stable floor with chrome, although the catalog contained sufficient choices to meet that want. By doing it our approach, the Nomad sparkled in all the appropriate locations with chrome touches, nevertheless it wasn’t a pretend sheen—it was the actual deal.
|Catalog Customized Kawasaki Nomad|
|Most gadgets are painless bolt-ons, requiring mere minutes of your priceless time. How a lot? Give your self about two days. Add 9 hours if drunken buddies are watching, deduct the identical quantity if making an attempt to impress the woman subsequent door.|
|In all probability one in all few cases in life the place placing on weight would possibly get you on the quilt of .|
|Do it your self, alone, at house. Strut swanky outcomes out on boulevard the very subsequent day to adoring glances. Compliments will rain down like panties at Tom Jones live performance.|
|Bike’s facelift lasts longer than “The Macarena” craze.|
|Nobody mentioned this is able to be low-cost, however you’re making a killing on the inventory market, proper? Plow dividends into equipment. Assist the native financial system.|
|Variety of bolt-on elements:||24|
|Complete worth:||$3695 (ouch)|
|Weight of motorcycle, inventory (moist):||775 lb|
|Weight of motorcycle after metallurgy:||804 lb|
|Internet weight acquire:||29 lb|