Mak Nelly

She is my third 1500 and I bought her used with about 4000 miles on the clock. I probably paid a little more then I could have if I would have waited a little longer but still well in the acceptable range. There will always better bargains “tomorrow” I keep telling myself…



After finishing the Mak Machine and BigMak I realized that I had somewhat drifted away from the Drifter (especially with the BigMak which is travel bike).

This is something I regretted. On the other side I knew that a stock ’99 or ’00 version won’t make me happy either. So I kept looking at old bikes’ pictures, restored or original conditions.

I realized that the first thing I took notice of on an old bike was the colour scheme. So my inspiration for Mak Nelly was born out of a color scheme that would replicate the pastel themes often found on old bikes.


It was important for me to show soft colors and inspire an upbeat mood; hence my decision of the two-tone yellow and white. The colour is stock Nissan and is (again) Aspen Pearl and a Nissan yellow pearl mica.
This needed a strong contrast which I found could be best achieved by having the rest of the bike and its parts, bits and pieces in black.
Mak Nelly enjoyed pretty much the same parts treatment as the MakMachine and BigMak. The handlebar, paint job and powder coating, wheel spokes, extended brake lines, were locally sourced, the rest came from the USA through dealers, manufacturers and e-bay.
I ended up with a number of different suppliers but this was kept in check because I did not want to customize but rather retro style, which meant to me no design change and the proverbial “less is more”.
Typically me devoted to details, the biggest time consuming aspect was the disassembly and while at it, thorough servicing of the bike. It was taken apart right down to the frame cradle and the right frame insert off as well, with only the engine left inside.
All hollow parts were greased on the inside, bearings packed and/or exchanged, new internal engine dampers installed etc.
Apart from the frame, all parts were re-powder coated and the final drive and radiator where painted black.
Wiring was only re-organized as the ignition is still where is located by Mum Kaw. And I think it will stay there - after all early bikes sometimes were “put together” for function and bits and pieces ended up in “unique” locations. The cables though were extended but I left them on the outside to be more authentic.
To look at Nelly makes me feel I am looking back through time, to ride Nelly I know I have stepped back in time – and I have to say – the looks I get are nothing short of amazing.
I hope you like Nelly too - I know I do and I doubt I will tire of a good dose of nostalgia, even if it is a “romantisised” era long gone by.







There are four major non standard modifications.

1) The “battery box” on the left side which can accommodate the bike battery. BUT I honestly felt to wire power from there into the harness does look messy, so I decided against it

2) The Cobra 2in1 exhaust which is black ceramic coated! NICE

3) I have installed quite a number of Mean Streak parts from the Special Edition version including engine covers left and right side. Possibly the best thing of these modifications are the OEM Mean Streak shock absorbers. They lift the bike up a bit and give incredibly comfort. (IF I ever need it I have the OEM Mean Streak 2in2 exhaust as well)

4) Kick starter – ok it’s make believe; I did look into making it an “electric” version but that would have been a bit of an issue with the exhaust and spacings. As it is - it looks the part – and you wouldn’t know the difference.

I kept track of the modifications and categorized them as follows:

• Brake and clutch and related: 11 modifications

• Hand and foot controls and related: 5 modifications

• Engine and related: 14 modifications

• General: 5 modifications

• Electrical and related: 5 modifications

• Leather and related: 7 modification

• Suspension and related: 5 modifications


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