This is one of two Kawasaki S2 350cc motorcycles I acquired when I traded away an Elsinore about ten years ago (Suzuki RE5 and a Triumph T-160 too). V/2.0 had languished for years in a shed beside an old mechanic’s workshop up until then. I started work on her in 2019, and I basically had completed the frame and engine by November of 2019. I had also just completed building aluminum RD 400 bodywork for Christopher “Siege” James. I had decided basically there was no time to get together a “Show Ready” bike for 2020. Dan Torres at Milwaukee Moto who I met and became friends with in Austin Texas in 2018 basically told me to “quit being a quitter and build something!” That conversation started a seven week long push to complete V/2.0 hoping she’d be accepted to some of my favorite venues during 2020. She made 1Show, and then Coronavirus quarantine hit. I want to say thank you for sponsoring this show.
During this build, time was tight, so I did a few things like ordering the windshield but asking the manufacturer to lay the pattern windshield on a grid so I could build the fairing from the grid pattern while I waited (It FIT too?). Anyway, here is the list of the work done updating V/2.0:
1). Complete rebuild, all bearings, cylinder bored, clutch, pistons, gaskets, seals, Stainless bolts, polished cases and new electronic ignition,
2). Exhaust, two sets. One set I made with stingers, this set I bought with the silencers, and
3). Carbs are completely rebuilt, velocity stacks (screened), and rejetted
1). Rear of frame cut and hoop added,
2). All unused brackets removed, new brackets added, and powder coated
3). I fabricated the rearsets, brackets, and linkage for both brake and shifting (it’s reverse pattern now),
4). Suspension components were completely rebuilt or replaced, and
5). I turned the front fork tubes on my lathe to remove the unused brackets,
1). New stainless spokes and aluminum rims which I lace up,
2). The rim centers were powder coated and the drum turned/cleaned up using the lathe
3). The bearings replaced,
4). The hardware and brake backing plate cleaned and polished, and
5). I installed a new magnetic pickup in the front wheel for the electronic speedometer pickup.
1). Complete new wiring harness,
2). Rebuilt and polished the old switches maintaining the headlamp on and off switch and the unique to S2’s choke/throttle arrangement,
3). Lithium ion optimized reg/rec installed for charging management with matching lithium ion battery,
4). KOSO singel needle sweep electronic tachometer installed with digital speedometer window and warning lights discreetly hidden in the gauge face. This maintains the illusion of the old race bike while meeting the requirements for a street ridden motorcycle, and
5). New LED lights installed
Body: (I hand fabricate using 1100 aluminum and gas weld all of my aluminum pieces):
1). The fuel tank is hand beaten, welded up, and polished. This tank is unique with a hidden petcock that feeds a center mounted fuel rail and a pad mounted for the rider to lay down on and tuck in behind the fairing,
2). The oil tank has been moved behind the rear set and mounted inside the tailpiece,
3). The tail piece is constructed with small roundels for numbers behind the rider and with a short high backed saddle for the rider, and
4). The fairing mounts, headlamp mounts, and instrument mounts I created to be low, narrow, streamlined and look like a track ridden factory racing bike while remaining street legal.
This is V/2.0. She’s small and fairly light, weighing in at just under 300 lbs with fuel. She runs great. I ride her occasionally, and I literally love how it feels to ride her. She is the first motorcycle I’ve ridden on the street where I’ve literally had people stop in front of me, wave me around their vehicle so they could look at her, and then sit there giving me thumbs up hand signals and pointing at V/2.0. gesturing their approval. She gets attention, and that’s fun; however, the real fun begins with her when the RPM needle swings past about 4500. I think I was unprepared for how speedy this build would end up being. I literally love riding this build. She’s unique, she’s speedy, she’s updated, she works right, and she feels like you might have just reversed time and be sitting ready to attack the IOM in the 1960’s when you are riding her. If I ever let her see a lightly misting grey day on some tightly twisted winding roadway surrounded by lush green foliage, I think the illusion of “reversing time” might just come true on V/2.0.
I call V/2.0 art because of not only her hand fabrication, but because what she does when you ride her, she makes you imagine another place, another time, and another era. That is exactly what I built her to do. Besides all of that, my wife said I can show her in the house too on special occasions… That means she’s ART!
Thank you for considering her. Love what you are doing here.
William “Brian” Cox