Trinta & Um ZR 550
By Gareth Charlton - 11 May 15
Back in February we introduced you to new boys on the block Trinta&Um, a group of friends from Porto doing things the right way. A videographer, a mechanic, a welder and a graphic designer by day, most evenings they found themselves gathered together in a garage to spin spanners and bounce ideas off one another. But after they had tweaked and modified their personal machines into their ultimate forms, they were at a loss for their evenings entertainment. The plan was hatched to start a new project, a collaborative workshop building machines they would then sell on completion. Trinta&Um (or thirty-one) was born. That first completed project was a feisty Honda Nx650 tracker, with it came the promise of five more bikes this year. They declared that the next machine we should expect was a 97' Kawasaki ZR550, and true to their word the boys have delivered. This machine however was never destined for a customer, this is a new ride for Trinta&Um core member, David. "Two years ago I had a Yamaha SR250 Special, not customised. As I was going through online ads, I discovered this Kawasaki being sold by a neighbour. In the same night I saw and reserved the bike. Next day, so long Yamaha, hello Kawasaki!" David wasted little time in taking to the web to hunt down the work that fellow creative souls had bestowed upon the Zr550 platform. He was to be disappointed, there were a few lightly modified creations rattling around his image search results but nothing that reached the heights to which David aimed. He did not wish to merely bolt different bits on, he craved the sparks of a grinder and the heat of a weld. The subframe was extensively modified to create both the lines and the loop of David's minds eye, "It took a lot of work to cut and reweld, but in the end it was worth it." The frame was then topped with a brown leather diamond stitched seat that sits midway between brat and scrambler levels of padding. Thankfully the engine and suspension were in sound condition and met with David's approval so he left them as they were and cracked on with the rest of his interpretation. A scrambler/tracker vibe was the end game but he didn't want to adhere to any particular rule set. He opted for a mix and match tyre combination of a dirt churning Metzeler Karoo 3 at the rear and a road holding Tourance up front. High braced bars and a grilled headlight topped with an oval number board follow through the theme. Of course the most striking features of the bike are the lurid colour combinations and paint job. David counts graffiti writing amongst his many passions but for his personal ride he opted for a friend to carry out the artwork. Tiago was the man trusted with the pens and rattle cans. He was presented with the tank, freshly sprayed in a Porsche burgundy and two black number boards on which to exact his creativity. David complimented the design with super bright green grips and lines. The side panel declares in english "Too Tuff to Tame" while the snarling, horned wolf puffs forth the word "Mostrenga" which in Portuguese means big and clumsy woman… We are not entirely sure why, but David adores it and he is the one that matters. David was never targeting a factory fresh aesthetic for his daily ride, preferring to showcase the patina that the Kawasaki's 18 years of life had accumulated. He is rightly delighted with his machine, it embodies his passions and ferries him between his work and play. He may need to spend a little more time at the garage though, we were promised four more bikes by the end of the year and June is right around the corner… You can take a look at the finishing touches being applied to the ZR in this short video.