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Kawasaki KX500 “Carbolution” by JZ HANDMADE
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Kawasaki KX500 “Carbolution” by JZ HANDMADE
6w ago Concepts
Sponsored by Moto Animals

The Kawasaki KX500 is one of the most infamous dirt weapons ever created. The 500cc 2-stroke motocross bike made 63 horsepower in stock trim and weighed just 220 pounds — lighter than most of today’s 250Fs and more powerful than the 450 four-strokes! The bike was a true widow-maker, with a reputation for neck-snapping power delivery and wild handling. Said Motocross Action Magazine in a recent retrospective:

“Turning the throttle felt like pulling the red handle on an F-18 ejector seat. It was an adrenaline junky’s dream.”

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Unfortunately, the AMA axed the 500cc motocross class in 1993, and the bike’s development remained stagnant until its retirement a decade later. However, there seems to be a KX500 renaissance at work. Dirt Bike named it “The One Bike to Ride Before You Die” and other publications have tested it against modern 450s, where it still fares well in certain tests. Says MXA:

“A decade ago, you couldn’t give away a KX500. Now, people are going into the dark corners of their sheds and dusting the cobwebs off their ancient green beasts.”

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That’s exactly what Jan Žuži of the Czech Republic did, dragging this 1987 KX500 from the weeds beside his father’s cabin:

“Because this bike was lying almost my whole life in my father’s cabin, my father agreed I could do with it anything I want…so I rescued it and made a fully functioning show bike…”

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Jan built his first bike in 2016 for his own pleasure, but his world truly changed when he met the guys from Klasick Wheels, a custom motorcycle shop and coffeehouse in Prague and one of the hotbeds of new wave custom culture in the Czech Republic:

“Since then, my whole life is upside down and everything is about custom bikes…”

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Soon Jan had opened his own shop, JZ Handmade, where he works on projects set in steel and wood. For this build, Jan set out to create his own vision of a futuristic dirt bike. Only the engine, frame, swingarm, and rear suspension are original — the rest of the bike is handcrafted. The signature element is the carbon bodywork, which Jan designed and molded himself, developing his skills and trying different methods and technologies throughout the process. The end result is one of the most striking custom motocross bikes we’ve ever seen, aptly nicknamed “Carbolution.”

Custom Kawasaki KX500:& Builder Interview

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