Race bikes represent motorcycles in their purest and most minimalistic form, possessing the bare essentials needed to go around a circuit and little to nothing more. Sprint racers take moto minimalism to the next level, only sporting what’s needed to race in a straight line, with braking and suspension components often being mere afterthoughts. And while sprint race bikes are typically built with a major emphasis on function over form, a select few boast designs that allow them to fall under the category of rolling art, and such is the case with Valen Zhou’s Kawasaki-powered sprint build.
Cobbled together from a collection of bespoke and modified off-the-shelf parts, Valen’s sprint racer is constructed around a one-off chassis that sees elements of road bicycle frames mated to a vintage double-cradle design. Wrapped in exhaust tape to bolster grip, the frame has also been paired with a full-custom suspension setup front and aft, with a bespoke shock and linkage out front and a one-off single-sided tubular swing-arm in the rear — the former of which now supports a custom aero-disc-equipped wheel built around a Honda CG125 hub while the latter holds a spare car wheel shod in Maxxis rubber.
Plucked from a vintage Kawasaki KZ250 dirt bike, the build’s engine consists of an air-cooled quarter-liter single that’s been bestowed with a velocity stack intake and an underslung cone muffler exhaust. Boasting an ultra-aggressive attack-ready riding position, the machine is helmed via a bicycle seat, an ultra-high-mounted set of fixed foot pegs, and a bespoke set of drop-down handlebars with a reverse clutch lever and a custom gear-equipped throttle. In lieu of a traditional gas tank, the sprint racer’s engine draws in fuel from one of several 17oz aluminum water bottles that can be swapped out as needed on the fly. Braking duties are also now handled by a single rear disc borrowed from a motocross bike.
With the project complete, all that’s left to see is how Zhou’s build stacks up against the competition at this year’s upcoming sprint race events.