New from Venice, California comes the W-`ühini aka “The Grasshopper,” an agile W built at the Emporium Of Postmodern Activities by Michael Woolaway. The `ühini namesake comes from the Hawaiian word for grasshopper, an energetic inhabitant of the rainforests and lush farmland on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii where Woolie was born and raised.
Inspired by the classic British dirt racers of the 50s and 60s, the W-`ühini is built with that very purpose in mind, not only with the shape of the tank, but with the rest of the bike equipped to keep on hopping when the paved road ends. The lightweight one-off chromoly framework distributes the weight of the bike perfectly 50/50 with the geometry of the fork and swing-arm to handle unpaved turns like a Grand National dirt track racer – pitching in sideways and holding stable thru corning and acceleration. Sufficient rear braking power is provided by a NOS Grimeca master cylinder that actuates modern Brembo calipers.
The grasshopper green paintwork is a new one for Woolie, with fourteen coats of yellow and blue candy coat. Before the paint was applied, the hand-shaped brushed aluminum tank and tailpiece were bead-blasted in certain areas and left brushed in others. The result is a radiant luminescence that changes with the angle of perspective and intensity of light, the brushed areas at times presenting the color brighter, while at other times the bead-blasted areas shine.
The Nitty Gritty
• Kawasaki W650 motor bored to 800cc.
• Performance valves and 520 cam chain conversion.
• 24% steering angel
• 56.5 inch wheel base
• 10% swing arm angel
• Handmade aluminum tank with NOS Monza gas cap
• Rizoma brake light/blinkers
• Custom seat with perforated waterproof leather.
• Carbon fiber front fender with custom brackets.
• Keihin 36mm CR race carbs
• K&N Airfilter
• Exhaust: Hand-bent stainless steel tubing with internal bafflels
Special thanks to
James Eiland at Rizoma
Pierre at Works Performance
Ed Sorbo at Lindemann Engineering
Matt Means for the paint job
and Martin Linss at CVLT Production for the in-studio photography
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