“I can make that happen,” I said, and called Kawasaki, The Edge Performance, DynoJet, AAA Trim, Two Bros, Dunlop, Vortex, Tricked Toys, Arai, Pro6 Cycle, R&G Racing, A Vicious Cycle, Sidi, Stomp Grip, etc, etc. “Cliff, did you say a sportbike for girls? Where do we send the product?” I’ve never had so much interest in a project bike, ever.
The design/build process was different – pragmatic, organized, authorized and tested every step of the way by our female rider, whose primary concerns were safety, comfort, look and performance – in that order. Diametrically opposed to all the other stuff I’ve built. Mars vs. Venus I guess?
Bottom line she loves it, and to a far greater degree than her Harley. Here was how the process went using Marti’s feedback onthe stock Kawasaki Ninja 650:
- “Mirrors are bad, can’t see anything but my jacket sleeves.” Napoleon bar ends mirrors were fitted, stock mirrors were machined off to leave factory block off plates.
- “Gearing is too short, it’s jerky.” 42-tooth rear sprocket was changed to a 38 Vortex aluminum version, with new chain. “Much better,” with very little change to the true GPS speed.
- “I never know what gear I’m in.” Added an LED gear indicator box up front. “Great, much better.”
- “I can’t hear the motor, it’s hard to know at times when to shift – feels weird.” Installed the fabulous Two Bros black pipe along with a DynoJet PC5 and Auto Tune (dynamic wideband mapped to 13:1) with low rpm ‘fixed mapping mods’ by me to smooth it out and eradicate all deceleration backfiring. “Love it, the sound is wild.”
- “Bike is too tall.” Lowering kit installed on rear shock, forks slid up 1” at trees. Seat was cut down by AAA Trim. 1” total process netted out a 2” drop for our 5’8” rider. “Much better.”
- “Sometimes it feels like the bike wants to fall in.” Installed the best street tires made, Dunlop Q3s. “Turns much better and stops quicker too.”
- “Rear fender is too long.” Installed R&G Racing’s eliminator kit from A Vicious Cycle – top drawer product – along with Kawasaki’s fabulous factory rear seat cover. “That’s cool.”
- “I slide forward sometimes when braking.” Installed Stomp Grip sticky tank side panels. “Great, better when leaning into turns as well.”
Rear pegs were in the way – cut ‘em off and refinished the brackets.
Abbreviated the air box – poor bastard couldn’t breathe.
Lots of stuff on the motor and bike blacked out.
Ninja tank badge and pink on bike (pink is powerful – too much and you kill the project) was cut from vinyl by Sundance Signs.
Tricked Toys sourced, prepped and powder-coated the rims and main spring to perfection, matching Marti’s pink S&S coat.
My buddy said it best: “Nothing is sexier than a hot chick on a sportbike!” My sponsors tell me it’s an exponentially growing market for them.
- Cliff Randall