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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meet Old Empire’s magical ‘Merlin’

Kawasaki W650 is actually a standard retro motorcycle made by Kawasaki since 1999. The "W" in the model name which makes historical references to the Kawasaki W1, W2 and W3 models, manufactured between 1967 and 1975. The W650 replaced by Kawasaki W800. As We can see this motorcycle can be made anything like the café racer, flat tracker to bobber, and the Kawasaki W650 has the potential to create many other custom motorcycles.
Here she is Old Empire Motorcycles Merlin Café Racer built based on Kawasaki W650. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1n69BVy)
"The Merlin is our first attempt at a custom parallel twin and our first Kawasaki W650," notes Alec Sharp; OEM’s chief knight. "We were approached by a customer who is based in Amsterdam. After some emails and skyping, we had a good idea on where we wanted to go with the build. Although much was sent over using our build idea sheet, it was left to us to ultimately come up with a design to take the W650 somewhere we felt it had not been before."

"We managed to keep all the controls stock, but added some hand-dyed leather wrap and a bit of scotching. Front lighting comes in the form of a big bates headlight with peak and the customer asked for mini led indicators which we mounted as discreetly as possible. We also decided to work with our friends at Smiths again to make up an OEM grey-faced metric speedo which, safe to say, looks mighty fine integrated into the custom top yoke."
Right side view of Old Empire Motorcycles Merlin Café Racer. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1n69BVy)
"The original state of the engine and frame required us to send them off to be soda blasted by a local firm who did a sterling job of cleaning it all up. The the engine was masked up and the crankcases repainted a high temperature satin silver with the barrels and head going satin black with polished fins. The casings were then fine scotched and the rebuilt carbs with custom air filters were installed to leave the engine looking fantastic."
Rear side view of Old Empire Motorcycles Merlin Café Racer. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1n69BVy)
Exhausts were hand made from tubular bends, TIG’d together and wrapped to stop them melting your leg. Mini baffles with a good deal of sound deadening material installed take a little edge of what is a really fantastic sounding engine.

The back of a very cool, stop lamp integrated with a cafe racer seat that has a characteristic shaped like a wasp tail. The paintwork deserves a special mention because it must be seen to be believed. Greg of Black Shuck Kustoms achieved fantastic dark green, smokey, bare metal high gloss finish with gold pin striping you see here. Amazing stuff.

In conclusion, this may be one of the finest OEM builds in terms of aesthetics and functionality. We like to think we are improving continually and we can’t wait for our next opportunity. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | OLD EMPIRE MOTORCYCLES | PIPEBURN | CAFERACERSUNITED]
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