Kawasaki Motorcycle Looks Like A Stunt Devil On The Freeway
The Kawasaki ZX6R is essentially the road warrior of sports bikes. Having been produced in some fashion for over thirty years, it’s only fitting that it would be the choice for veteran stunt bike racer Sitdown Steve. Sitdown Steve takes his modified Kawasaki ZX636 out on the freeway to perform some one of a kind stunts for the camera.
Please do keep in mind – this is theoretically a professional and his stunts should in no way be repeated. While Kawasaki has always made a traditionally strong sport bike, most if not all have come out of the factory built for speed and agility – not high performance stunt maneuvers. In order to bring Sitdown Steve’s sports bike in line with these sorts of stunts, he had to have some heavy modifications made.
Stunt Bike Modifications for Wheelie Aficionados
1. Rear Hand Brake
This is really an essential component. Once that front wheel is in the air – the entire center of gravity for this bike is shifted in a way it wasn’t engineered for.
In order to allow for a stunt rider to maintain control of the acceleration, he’s gotta stay in pretty much a single gear the whole time he’s cruising down the freeway. As su
In order to allow for a stunt rider to maintain control of the acceleration, he’s gotta stay in pretty much a single gear the whole time he’s cruising down the freeway. As such, all the deceleration occurs from a specially modified rear hand brake action.
In order for that brake to operate like it should, it has to be customized to handle all the weight of the bike (and the rider) being leveraged on that back wheel. A traditional hand brake is going to not be ergonomic for those wishing to fly down the road on essentially a sport monocycle. In short, a prudent investment.
2. 12 o’clock Rounded Scrape Bar
Those feet have to go somewhere! Once in the upright position, having a place to leverage some much needed gravity is essential for those doing complex tricks such as foot in seat wheelies and one handed wheelies. It’s full daredevil action time but having a rounded scrape bar is prudent because if you do bail, that bar’s not likely to take a bite of the pavement and swing you about like a ragdoll as readily as something with an angle on it. At 60 mph, every little thing helps.
3. Extended Swing Arm
This is truly the biggest. While the brake is neat and the scrape bar is good planning, the extended swing arm is truly what keeps this bike in the air – outside of skill and practice, of course. You may be surprised to learn that nobody engineers a bike off the assembly line to the stresses of rolling for an extended period of time on a single wheel. While riders can and do push the limit – with some very devastating accidents along the way – in order to truly have a bike ready to handle the stresses of extended stunt maneuvers, you need to install an extended swing arm. Not only does it leverage a few more inches from the back wheel to the front, but it handles the weight much smoother than a factory default cycle.
What’s a Proper Sport Bike to Start Off On Stunts?
If you’ve ever been curious about which sports bikes are good to build from, we’re going to take a look at both the Kawasaki’s latest ZX6R ABS and commensurate motorcycles from Suzuki, Yamaha, and Ducati. To be perfectly clear, the only good learning experience on a motorcycle is the one you walk away from. That said, stunt motorcycle enthusiasts have probably the highest percentage of injury of all the others. Why? Because it entails pushing a sport bike at high speeds in ways both your body and the vehicle itself never imagined.
With that out of the way, here’s the top three other sport bikes to modify for stunts:
1. Yamaha FZ6R
2. Suzuki GSX-R60
3. Ducati Streetfighter 848
We selected these because they all share similar characteristics
• Price Point ($7,000 – $14,000 MSRP)
• Engine Displacement (±600 cc)
• Bike Style (Sport Motorcycles)
• Curb Weight (±450 lbs)
Now the biggest separating factors between these motorcycles – right off the bat – is factory default settings and design. The Ducati Streetfighter is designed specifically for raw speed and agility. Packing over 800 ccs of engine displacement, this motorcycle was made to whip through narrow corridors at lightning speed. By comparison, for the same price, none of the other motorcycles stack up. However, modifying a Ducati is almost as cost prohibitive as owning one. Which is why we’re stuck looking at two basic models (other than Kawasaki): Yamaha and Suzuki. Our biggest complaints with the Yamaha was high speed performance and handling. It feels like it’s designed to be a great weekend speedster – not a stuntman. While the Yamaha is the cheapest of all of the motorcycles listed, it really comes down to the Suzuki in terms of factory default performance, speed, and modifications. And of course, Kawasaki still reigns king in terms of affordability, legacy, and the number of aftermarket mods available for it.
Have another model in mind? Have a good story to share about your own stunts? Share them below in the comments section.