Inspiration for my café-racer project was simple: capture the memory of my friend, hero and legend, Gary Nixon. Number-one requirement was a strong powerplant, but I wasn’t out to replicate a 50-horsepower Triumph. No, I was instead headed in the direction of one of the biggest, baddest, fire-breathing engines of its time, a two-stroke Triple built by the company that broke Vincent’s speed stronghold—Kawasaki. Yes, I’m talking about the famous Erv Kanemoto-tuned KR750 on which Nixon finished second overall in the 1976 Formula 750 world championship. But, because I couldn’t use a rare, decades-old, competition-only machine, I started with a modern four-stroke Z1000.