Back in The (Wednes)Day…

This is a 1975 Kawasaki BX-200 A-1 Pro bicycle I restored about a dozen years ago. It is the same model—not the same bike—that my early BMX hero (and later friend) David Clinton powered to the 1975 NBA title. It took me two years and almost $2,000, but I got it to within 90% of original spec. The bike's 28-spoke steel wheels were MIA, so I asked my friend Steven at Alex Rims in Taiwan to make me some Supra-B triple-wall chrome-plated alloy rims with 28 holes. This favor took nearly six months to materialize, but when I took delivery of the custom hoops the rest of the bike came together fast.

The dope fiend from whom I bought this bike for $175 had the original owner's manual. This jewel came in handy for constructing the CNC'ed alloy bar clamps and plotter-cut vinyl top tube graphics. I sold this bike on eBay seven or eight years after I finished it for $910. It was the last piece of BMX memorabilia in my Elsinore home, and I was happy to pass it on to someone who cared more about the vintage bike scene than I did.

When I was working on this bike in my garage, my neighbor came over and said, "My uncle used to make those things. Is that a Kawasaki?" I said yes it is, and asked him his uncle's name.


"Bill Bastion?" I followed.

"Yep—in the '70s. He made a bunch'a BMX bikes back in the day."

"I know," I told him, "FMF, Kawasaki, Race Inc.—I met your uncle in the early '80s when I worked at Max. We used to sponsor his Race Inc. BMX team. Nobody was doing BMX bikes with aluminum until Bill Bastion came along. This Kawasaki was on the market before Scot Breithaupt talked Bill into making frames for FMF. There were some smaller guys making alloy frames in the '70s, but none had the staying power of Bill's creations. BMX machines like this Kawasaki are what got me into bicycle manufacturing and design. That bend in the down tube in front of the bottom bracket was a Bill Bastion signature—all the bikes that came out of his factory had it. If you see your uncle, tell him McGoo from Max said hello…"


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