The mad scientists at ICON Motosports spend their days concocting motorcycle gear that runs the gamut from stealthy to totally outrageous. And when they’re not busy with that, they’re hard at work in their Portland garage building wild custom motorcycles to match.
Meet Quarterflash: an 8-bit dream wrapped in a flurry of neon hues, named after a band that came out of Icon’s hometown in the 80s. A little outlandish and extremely saucy, it’s just the sort of custom build that we’d expect from Portland’s finest.
And if you’re thinking that this machine sits a little low for a full-faired sportbike, you’re not wrong. That’s because Quarterflash didn’t start its life as some four-cylinder screamer, but rather as a mild-mannered Kawasaki Z125.
If you don’t know the Z125, it’s pretty much Kawasaki’s answer to the Honda Grom; pint-sized and ready to play. In stock form, the Z125 cranks out 9.5 hp and weighs just 225 lbs. But Quarterflash has spent an inordinate amount of time in the gym, to help unleash its full potential.
The Tennessee-based small-bore parts specialist, MNNTHBX, had something to do with it. They supplied a 155 cc big-bore kit with an upgraded crank, plus their MTake intake (think of it as a ‘big breather’ for a Grom).
ICON also slapped on a full Yoshimura exhaust system, then installed a Dynojet Power Commander and AutoTune kit. With a little fettling, Quarterflash now scores high on both bark and bite.
ICON holds firm to the mantra that you should never skip leg day, so they went to town on the Kawasaki’s running gear too. There’s a MNNTHBX swingarm extender and lowering link out back, hooked up to a Nitron shock with a remote reservoir. The stock 12” hoops are shod with new Avon rubber, with EBC brake pads adding extra stopping power.
But the job was only half done. Realizing that Quarterflash needed a body kit to match its ferocity, the team sourced a sportbike fairing from Airtech Streamlining.
Modeled on the iconic Yamaha OW-01, which is substantially larger than the Z125, the fairing was gently tailored to fit. ICON sculpted a new one-piece tank cover and tail section from fiberglass, finishing things off with a racing foam seat pad and a host of 3D-printed details.
The new bodywork went a long way to convert Quarterflash from pit-bike to pocket-sized retro superbike. All that was missing was an assortment of appropriate accoutrements.
ICON added new rear-set foot controls lower down, with fresh clip-ons and grips in the cockpit. The Z125 runs with Magura brake and hydraulic clutch master cylinders, with the reservoirs mounted to a CNC-machined bracket that sits where handlebar risers normally would. The OEM Kawasaki dash tucks neatly behind Quarterflash’s tinted windscreen.
And then there’s that retina-searing livery. Slathered in graphics that jumped straight out of an 80s arcade game, Quarterflash unapologetically pays tribute to Icon’s latest helmet and jacket designs.
Just like the music, hairstyles and tracksuits of the 80s, Quarterflash isn’t for everyone. But if it speaks to you, we invite you to comb your mullet, roll up the sleeves of your linen jacket, pop a quarter in the machine and hold on tight.