The Kawasaki ER-6F ticks all the right boxes as a daily runner, but it’s not much of a looker. And it’s an uncommon choice for customization, too—we’ve featured a handful of custom ER-6Ns on these pages, but never the fully faired ‘F’ model. It takes imagination to look beyond its vanilla bodywork and standard-issue ‘sport commuter’ style, and see potential.
So this 2006-model ER-6F spent most of its life as a loaner, parked in Alex Gao’s garage. That is, until he needed a custom donor in a pinch…
Alex runs Cowboy’s Chopper in Taipei, Taiwan, and he kept the Kawasaki for clients to ride, while he worked on more worthy machines. Then he was invited to exhibit a bike at Taiwan’s massive Ride Free show. So he dusted off the ER-6F, put it on the bench, tore it down, and tried to visualize the final product.
With its clothes off, the ER-6F is a weird mish-mash of design styles. The tubular front frame looks good, but the boxy asymmetrical swingarm and side-mounted shock are a little weird.
Alex picked up on these quirks and the frame’s swooping lines, and loved them. So he decided to accentuate as much of the Kawasaki’s engineering as possible, turning it into a cheeky street tracker.
The subframe had to go though, so Alex hacked it off and fabricated a more level setup, with a neat kick in the tail. (It reportedly took a number of attempts to get it just right.) It’s capped off with a brown suede and leather saddle, a hand-made stainless steel fender, and a taillight from Heiwa.
Next up, Alex shaped a new fuel tank out of aluminum. It’s an intriguing design: curved to match the Kawasaki’s modern frame, but with knee indents reminiscent of older Brit bikes. A pair of polished side panels adds an extra visual hit, and there’s a hand-made aluminum gas cap up top.
Other hand-shaped bits include the front fender and its mounts, and the offset headlight nacelle. It wraps around a vertically mounted rectangular headlight, from the Japanese custom shop 2%er. Lower down is a small LED-powered fog light, mounted to the left fork lower.
Up in the cockpit, Alex installed a set of no-name handlebars and grips, with Motor Rock mini switches and a generic digital speedo. Lower down are custom rider and passenger foot pegs, mounted on one-off brackets.
Under the hood, Alex ditched the air-box for a couple of cone filters, then relocated the electronics to the now empty space.
The motor was left alone, as were the exhaust headers—but Alex built a new stainless steel box muffler. The embossed lines on it are echoed further back, on a custom-made radiator coolant overflow reservoir, wedged into the swingarm. The radiator guard is custom too, and has the Cowboy’s Chopper laser-cut into it.
Most of the rest of the Kawasaki’s running gear is stock, but nothing’s left completely untouched.
The frame and swingarm were powder coated in semi-gloss silver, the stock yokes were polished, and the wheels and fork lowers were done in black. The only color is a simple olive green paint job on the tank and fenders.
The stock Kawasaki ER-6F isn’t likely to pull a second glance, but this one’s going to bend necks. Only one question remains: what’s Alex going to loan to his clients now?