By Pete Cagnacci | March 6, 2017
Viewer discretion is advised for any Kangaroos that may be viewing this bike. Taking its namesake from the amount of Roo hide used across the build, it’s a rustic tracker that will have Skippy shivering in fright. Or whatever it is that Roos do when scared.
Growing up surrounded by family that all rode motorbikes, it’s no surprise that Liam would follow suit. Not only that, but he’s been working on bikes for himself and others now for a couple of years, and the projects are only growing. “I’ve actually only owned my own bike for the past few years, as I couldn’t afford one prior. Now I’m surrounded by them, and loving it all the same.”
Coming across a 1982 Kawasaki KZ750R on Facebook for a steal, this would be the perfect machine for Liam to work on and ride. “The price was right, and so was the style. So I picked the bike up and soon got to work making it truly mine. I completely rebuilt the bike’s style from the frame and motor, to the tank and paintwork 4 times in just as many months. It cost an arm and a leg going over it so many times, but I had to get it to the point where it was truly from my style and me. If it wasn’t something that got me excited as soon as I opened the shed door each morning then it would have to be changed.”
The bike had been picked up a complete basket case (perhaps explaining the price) not running with many missing parts. “It took me about a year to iron out all the issues before I could even ride it. Once I got it running, I rode it once, then stripped it back down to redo it all over again. And so the process went on a few more times until I got it just how I wanted. Every nut and bolt is brand new. The frame was custom built using parts from an original frame that I was given. The seat is made from Kangaroo hide, and the tank came from a Kawasaki Z650 that sat on the wall of a wrecker’s for 15 years.”
A friend of Liam’s by the name of Jordy from Hide and Seeker put together a bunch of custom kangaroo leather bits for the bike, including the tank badges and side bags. “I wanted a really rustic tracker look for this bike so I internally lowered the front forks and raised the rear end. I then mounted the speedo in the headlight and went with a mesh grill to give it more of that off-road feel. All the electrics have been done away with, I designed and made a whole new wiring harness, handmade switch blocks and a hidden battery.”
“Almost everything on this bike has been modified and hand-made from top to bottom – sometimes more than once. It’s been a great learning curve working on this bike, especially doing it all over 4 times in such a short period of time. Stressful – but good. I’ve learned a lot in the process.
The bike is super fun to ride with its power to weight ratio. It’s personal – it’s me and my style.”