Tribute Twin

What’s this? Did BSA build a previously undiscovered prototype cammy A10?

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY PAUL MILES

KAWASAKI’S MILLENNIAL W650 parallel twin has deservedly carved out a niche in the marketplace as a go-to, easy to live with retro-styled machine. The long-stroke 72 x 80mm 676cc air-cooled motor is very much of classic proportions, the styling evoking the timeless lines of a Meriden Bonneville – possibly to better effect than the Hinckley Triumph twins themselves achieve.

Look once. Look away. Look back…

This combination of simple, robust engineering and subtle, understated styling has endeared the Japanese twin to a legion of special builders, professional and amateur alike. The Kawasaki has often been the starting point for a café racer, flat-tracker or bobber project for builders attracted by the relative affordability of the basic machine, especially when compared to the equivalent British classic 650. The W650 also offers the prospect of better garage behaviour and road manners. It’s even been known for a particularly nostalgic owner to fit Triumph tank badges and imagine themselves to be straddling the real thing.

There is another group of special builders, though, who like to think even further outside the box. Terry Dobner is one such fellow. When he first laid eyes on the W650, he didn’t see a Triumph homage at all, but instead thought it would make the basis for a tribute to one of his all-time favourite machines, BSA’s mighty Rocket Gold Star.

Read more in the latest issue of CBG – on sale now!