The last few years have been a little disappointing in terms of new bike releases, with many companies still struggling with the double impact of Covid-19 and ever-expanding emissions laws that have curbed development in the superbike section. So you would think excitement might be down at the recent Tokyo Motorcycle Show of 2023, but never fear, the Japanese always have a way of saving the day. Custom bikes absolutely dominated in what is typically a more trade-orientated event, and front and centre was local outfit Bull Dock with a stunning line-up of their picture perfect resto-mods. But one bike simply stole the show, their ‘Magnum Opus’ Kawasaki Z1 GT-003 – a collaboration with Nitron – that just might be the most magnificent machine in years.

When it comes to the resto-mod scene, the big Japanese workshops have simply been dominating the scene and AC-Sanctuary and Bull Dock stand head and shoulders above the rest in building bikes that are as close to two-wheeled perfection as you are ever likely to find. Locked in a friendly arms race, the two both take bike building to an absolutely elite level, have their own full range of in-house branded products and sport waiting lists that run years long. So, if Bull Dock was going to turn up to TMS 2023 and really blow the doors off the place, their latest build had to go to all-new levels of incredible.

Here GT-003 more than lives up to the hype – with unbelievable aesthetics – their most powerful engine combination to date and a completely trick new approach to taking the legendary Z1’s handling and adding gargantuan levels of grip. Enjoying a long association with British suspension manufacturer Nitron has meant that Bull Dock bikes always feature the latest and great products, but the Japanese division of the firm wanted to help their builder buddies do something totally different, and in case you haven’t noticed, this ’70s superbike now features a full mono-shock conversion.

But this wasn’t a case of ditching the twins, making two new mounts and calling it a day, first the chassis went into the company’s jig and was perfectly aligned to provide a flawless foundation. Next, with the use of the latest CAD and simulation software, the frame was braced and stiffened in a number of key areas, including along the bottom cradle which normally doesn’t need such attention. One of the company’s Mccoy branded swingarms is employed, but there are no twin shock mounts on this bad boy, instead, it’s set up to run a fully linked mono-shock, with Nitron building a piggyback NTR-R3 unit just for the job.

The front end is no less impressive, with fully machined lightweight billet triple clamps not only securing the all-black Nitron NTF43CR2 forks but integrating a mount for the Bitubo steering damper. The traditional way up forks are fully adjustable and the bike is set up to transfer weight through to the rear shock onto the back tyre the second the throttle is opened exiting a corner, for levels of grip and rider feedback never before seen on a Z1. To further improve the handling in all aspects, the wheels are ultra-light forged alloy Lavorante’s which have been wrapped in sticky Pirelli rubber.

The braking is equally as insane, radial Brembo GP4 calipers, huge Sunstar discs, colour-matched Mccoy rotor buttons and bolts, and just look at that rear master cylinder, perfectly machined in-house and as trick as anything in the GP paddock. And you’re going to need all of that stopping power, because this motor is a monster. No content with the usual capacity increases to the already big four, the lightweight, forged and meticulously balanced bottom end now has a capacity of 1230cc. The heads are completely rebuilt and flowed, feature a full valve train upgrade and spin a set of Yoshi cams.

Pops’ company helps to provide the fuelling too, with Bull Dock taking a pair of Yoshi flatslides and rebuilding them to suit the way their bike brutally delivers bulk power. There are a bunch of Mccoy parts used to help keep the oil flowing fast and strengthen the gearbox, while the clutch is now not only hydraulically operated but is a dry unit too.

It looks tough as hell, but more importantly, the machined pressure plate and custom springs can be easily pulled without dropping the oil to add or remove from the stack to tune just how aggressive the lock-up is. The full titanium exhaust is a thing of beauty, and its hand welded to achieve the tight curves a mandrel machine simply cannot perform on the lightweight material, and it all pours out of a Win Mccoy end can.

I’m getting hot under the collar just talking about it and only now we arrive at the looks; words simply can’t do the visual impact of this bike justice, just drink it all in! From the custom carbon and reinforced glass bodywork to the perfect factory tail and the pure porn that is the custom front fairing with mirror-tinted screen, this is the bike you buy when you hit the lotto.

The paintwork is simply flawless too, the gloss white and graphics package is show quality stuff, and the seat gives a nod to the racing inspiration. Raw carbon guards are used around the instruments and in the tail section, and then how about those winglet machined mirrors?

Yes, the resto-mod arms race is exploding, and unlike the usual ICBM, this intercontinental ballistic motorcycle turns apocalyptic fear, into fun-filled smiles of the best possible kind.

[ Bull Dock ]