If you weren't looking closely you'd miss it. You'd browse by Norm Wilding's tiny booth at the Indianapolis trade show, see an ultra-clean, lime-green ZRX1200R sitting there, say to yourself "nice-looking ZRX," and then walk right by.
But three steps later you'd stop, dead in your tracks, and think slowly to yourself, "something's not right with that ZRX ... something's missing."
You'd turn around, retrace your steps, stare at the bike for a second or two and note three items in quick succession: the emptiness behind the cylinder block (where carburetors usually go); the single-shock rear suspension in place of twin shocks; and the inverted fork assembly. But it still wouldn't completely register ... until you spied the Kawasaki logo on the tank done in typical Kawasaki script-only it didn't say Kawasaki. It said Kawabusa. And then you'd smile.
That's exactly what happened to us, just as it happened to show-goers all weekend long. We've seen a lot of project bikes and specials in our years here, but this one ranks as possibly the most sleeper-esque of them all. It's just so cleanly done. The Hayabusa parts-the injected engine, the braced swingarm, the inverted fork-are in plain sight, but they're so successfully integrated into the ZRX's shape and overall design they're not obvious. And that's the beauty of the bike.
Can you get one? Maybe. Wilding's only built one, this one, "for fun," he tells us. But if enough folks want one, he says, he's willing to build more. We plan to do a feature on the bike in the near future, so stay tuned.
For more information on the Kawabusa, contact Wilding at Mid-Missouri Motorcycle Customs.