Posts by Category: Kawasaki

Kawasaki January 14, 2017 posted by

Mechanics Special: 1974 Rickman Kawasaki CR1000

This is definitely not our usual material, but you may have notice Mike has returned to make regular contributions on the site. He's a bit of fanatic when it comes the tuner specials and felt inspired to write this one up. Let us know what you think in the comments! -dc

RSBFS does not normally post work in progress project bikes, basket cases, or "piles of parts" specials. But what if the motorcycle in question originally came that way? Because what you are looking at is a Rickman CR, offered to consumers in kit format. Provided with a frame, bodywork, suspension and wheels, the avid buyer needed to supply engine, tranny and electrical - usually from a donor bike. Thus, this is somewhat true to the original kit offered by Rickman. Does that make it fair game?

1974 Rickman Kawasaki for sale on eBay

The Rickman brothers created wonderful toys - think of them as the UK equivalent of Bimota. With handcrafted frames welded in stainless and evocative fiberglass bodywork that rivaled the best the Italians had to offer, Rickman kits were assembled into fantastic creations. And as the bodywork and the frame were the biggest pieces of the kit offering, this appears to be your chance to get back to the kit bike days and build one of your own. With no manual, instructions or parts list the risk is definitely on you - but Rickmans are not exactly available on a daily basis. This is rare indeed, although not as desirable as a clean, running example.

From the seller:
Here is your chance to own a rare Rickman Kawasaki CR. Mostly complete with tons of parts and upgrades. Like fresh orient express big bore kit, D ported GPZ head, original body work. The list goes on. All parts are in good shape and a great start for your vintage road race project. Sold with bill of sale. ((No Title))

This is NOT the bike for sale, but a good representation of what the finished product could look like:

This project could make for an awesome cafe racer - but you need your rose-colored glasses for best effect. There is much work to be done between the current state and the finished product, and there are a great many unknowns in between. If those chasms can be successfully negotiated, you would have yourself a rare bird indeed; if not, this remains a pile of parts. With a starting bid of $4,500 USD and a BIN of $6k, everybody must be wearing optimistic lenses these days. I can see the potential, but historic values might suggest this is priced closer to a runner than a collection of cool parts. Check it out here and let us know what you think!

MI

Mechanics Special: 1974 Rickman Kawasaki CR1000
Kawasaki January 10, 2017 posted by

Collectable Icon: 1983 Kawasaki GPz550

For riders of a certain -- ahem -- level of experience, the GPz model lineup was the quintessential sport bike during a time of alarming advancements. This was a watershed era for sport riders everywhere, as the Big Four labored tirelessly in the pursuit of new technology. By comparison, this era of the GPz could be considered one of the last "basic" layouts; the best of the old school tech. The next step involved liquid cooling, suspension advancements, brake advancements, fueling evolutions and chassis revolutions.

1983 Kawasaki GPz550 for sale on eBay

Although it does sport a Uni-Track single shock rear suspension - which not only saved weight over twin shocks, but more importantly introduced the revolution of rising-rate linkages - very little else on this GPz could be considered high-tech. Instead, Kawasaki relied upon execution excellence by assembling an air-cooled four-cylinder engine using two valve heads (a hot-rod version of the KZ motor), good for nearly 60 horsepower. Triple disks all the way around (albeit with single pot calipers) and an air-adjustable front fork promised sporting credentials. As an overall package, the GPz delivered.

From the seller:
Low mileage
Original paint
Perfect running middleweight four
Triple Disc brakes
Electronic ignition
6-speed
Fuel gauge
Amp meter
New clutch , fresh battery
Factory keys, owners manual
Air charged fork
Adjustable unitrack
Adult owned
Clear Massachusetts title

In the world of touch-enabled smart phones, this is a Motorola flip phone with no text option. Even in the day it was shockingly fundamental. All would change in another year for Kawasaki with the advent of the Ninja (initially as a 900, then later as a 600), but the writing was on the wall for the air-cooled GPz series; within 5 years they would all be gone. Here is your chance to go back in time and re-live the glory that was old-tech expertise. The pictures could be better, preventing close inspection (i.e. is that rash on the left side case?). As always, RSBFS recommends talking to the seller and visiting the bike in question if at all possible. Bidding has been very light, so this might be a January bargain. Check it out and let us know what you think!

MI

Collectable Icon: 1983 Kawasaki GPz550
Kawasaki October 28, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: Street-Freaking-Legal 2015 Kawasaki H2R for Sale

2015-kawasaki-h2r-l-front

You read that right. This is not an H2, it's an H2R, modified to be street legal. If you've, up until now, been confusing the two, let's be clear: we're talking about two different animals here. The Kawasaki H2 is the relatively mass-produced version of the bike, with headlight, taillight, turn-signals, a mere 200hp, and an exhaust that won't deafen your neighbors when you start it up in your driveway. The "R" version of the bike was in no way road-legal, lacking all of the above and arriving at your door with an extra 100+hp, a set of slicks, and an ear-splittingly loud exhaust what will deafen your neighbors. While they're on vacation. In another state.

The seller addresses this, but it's worth noting that the guys at Performance Bikes Magazine weren't even able to test the H2R in the UK, as it won't meet the dB limits at any of their test tracks in stock form. So while a quieter exhaust sounds sacrilegious, tracking down a quieter (?!) Akrapovic intended for the H2 road bike might not be the worst idea, depending on your local gendarmerie. 

And unlike most of the bikes you'll likely see at your local bike night, all that surm und drang actually signifies something: 35psi of supercharged, four-cylinder fury. Seriously: the seller claims a dyno-tested 321hp for this bike.

2015-kawasaki-h2r-r-rear

The H2 in either form isn't really a beautiful motorcycle, but that "dark chrome" reflective paint looks very trick, like you can see your evil twin lurking in the fairing and that single, hooded projector-beam headlight gives the bike a ton of cyclopean presence in the flesh. It's like the designers said, "Well, we like what Bimota is doing, but their bikes just don't have enough sharp angles and dangerous-looking projections." The only way they could have made the H2 look more sinister would be to have added actual spikes and blades to it. Or maybe a flamethrower... Nevermind: the H2R appears to already have one of those fitted. Of course, the main thing the fins and projections on the H2R are likely to hurt is your wallet: the carbon-fiber canards on the nose will set you back a cool $1,500 each to replace if you accidentally tip the bike over, or hit a seagull at 200mph.

2015-kawasaki-h2r-front

It's compact, but the H2R isn't particularly light or nimble: it's 475lbs with fuel, but with that kind of power on tap, you might not really want it to steer too quickly. Obviously, this bike may raise some red flags with your local DMV, depending on where you live, but who cares? If you can afford this bike, you can probably afford to grease the right palms to register the bike, or can just carry a wad of cash so you can bribe any public officials you run into. Or you know, just run away from them.

2015-kawasaki-h2r-cockpit

From the seller: Street-Legal 2015 Kawasaki H2R for Sale

VIN 46. H2R #10. Dyno'd at the factory @ 321.1 HP. 772 trouble free miles. Conversion works just like the standard H2; turn signals, horn, lights, fans etc. All added electronics are still under warranty (not that you'll need it). Obsessive compulsively detailed and maintained to the letter. Oil and coolant last changed at 602 miles. Fuel used always 94 octane or higher (ethanol-free, no power boosting additives EVER or oxygenated fuel) - no ethanol-blended fuel was allowed to sit in the bike for more than 24 hours per Kawasaki's instruction. Service hour meter hasn't moved yet - meaning the chances of you having to do any more maintenance than you would on a standard H2 (or any motorcycle) is ABSOLUTELY ZERO. (Its fifteen hours OVER 8K RPM for the first scheduled checkup - no maintenance - and 30 hours over 8K for actual service. If you ever see that day it'll be decades from now and your adrenal gland will be deflated from overuse). Increased maintenance on the H2R is an internet myth.

Mods besides the conversion; the DNA air filter, lithium battery, Expel tank wrap and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC's. Comes with everything including the takeoff slicks, untouched gift box, extra oil filter, lifting straps, tire warmers, shirt still new in the bag etc. Has a clean Ohio title and current registration good until 6/2017. Depending on your location the only caveat is the stock exhaust. Dealing with it would be no more/less difficult than if you bought a regular H2 that's had its exhaust modified. The stock H2R system is glorious but if you need to pass smog/noise requirements in your location for the sake of registration you could either buy the Akro setup or swap it for a take off stock H2 exhaust. California's requirements are likely too stringent (unless you have a 'buddy') but any of the other 49 should be a walk in the park. I rode it all summer and never got hassled by the cops once...and I was really trying. :) I'm willing to provide post-purchase technical support up to a year for the modifications should you have any trouble (you won't). I'll also give you the STL file for the headlight mount and a spare pre-cut Xpel wrap for the tank (I have a template).

For more conversion info and pictures please see the thread here;

The street legal H2R conversion thread.

Here's the eBay ad from when I ran it;

2015 Kawasaki Ninja

Why am I selling it? Same reason I considered selling it last year; to convert another one. I've got a deposit on a 2017 and plan to convert it over the winter to keep my YouTube channel going. If that weren't the case this bike would never, ever, never, ever, ever be for sale. Ever.

When you ride it, if you don't immediately find religion or use the F word, I will gladly take it back.

Asking price? I don't have any clue what the market is since a street legal H2R has never been sold before. It brought $67K when I ran it on eBay 6 months ago and I know from experience I'll have at least 70K in the 2017 by the time I'm done converting it. I'm not having a fire sale and I don't really need to sell it - but - I also don't need two H2Rs. I'm not intentionally being obtuse but really the market is going to dictate it's value, not me. If you're serious, lets talk about it.

2015-kawasaki-h2r-engine

The original H2 was an affordable musclebike from the era of cheap gas, a bike that was all engine, with a frame, brakes, and a gas tank added almost as an afterthought. The new H2 is a cutting-edge dream bike, meant to showcase Kawasaki's engineering might and capability of out-of-the-box thinking. It offers up the blunt-force appeal of the original, with big helpings of technology and high-spec components so that owners can live long enough to parent a whole new generation of Kawasaki addicts.

So what's this one-off monster worth? Well, an original H2R sold for $53,000 in 2015. In the minus column? Well, it loses maybe a couple points from a collectability standpoint for not being completely original. In the plus column? It's possibly the only bike of its kind in existence and is really what the roadgoing H2 should have been from the start.  As the seller says: make an offer. It's clear from the description that this bike is about as perfect as it's possible for it to be, has been meticulously maintained, and is probably one of the fastest road-legal bikes on the planet.

-tad

2015-kawasaki-h2r-r-front

Featured Listing: Street-Freaking-Legal 2015 Kawasaki H2R for Sale
Kawasaki October 26, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing – 1992 Kawasaki ZX-7R-K

Update 11.2.2016: Sold in just one week. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-left

In the early 1990's Kawasaki and Team Muzzy found the handle to AMA Superbike racing and won championships with Doug Chandler and Scott Russell.  And while the Sunday wins sold a lot of ZX-7R's later in the week, Kawi also brought in a few hundred homolagation specials for AMA approval of "production" techniques with racier components.  The -K and -M variants are mostly hidden away, occasionally popping up tired and worn, but the 1992 -K presented here is very clean with low miles, and appears the real deal.

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-right-rear

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-left-rear-unfaired

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-front  20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-left-peg-unfaired

Kawasaki's 749cc straight four used 39mm Keihin carburettors, and made 123 horsepower.  The stamped and welded aluminum frame weighs 9 lbs. less than the 1991 model, and lightness has been achieved in the 41mm front and Uni-Track rear suspensions as well.  The swingarm is fabricated similarly to the frame, and though the rear spring rate reviewed as too stiff, the adjustable remote-reservoir monoshock and slipper clutch almost made up for it.  The endurance fairing has fresh air intakes, and the rear seat frame is a light and easy to repair hybrid.

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-left-fairing

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-right-engine-unfaired  20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-right-front

Recently returned to running condition, this ZX-7R looks great for its nearly 25 years, and has under 5,000 miles.  Modifications are very limited and tastefully done - no green windshields or Supertrapp exhausts here.  Paintwork is almost too good to be true, and has drawn comment on a ZX-7R owners site as missing an access hole, but there was some cross-compatibility between -J and -K models.  Here's what the Arizona owner says in the eBay auction:

Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R 1992.  Rare in this condition.  Super clean with only 4890 miles on it.  Been in my collection, and thinning out some bikes.  This is a limited run for the ZX7 in 91 and 92 as this is a homologation R model for the U.S. market.  I believe we only received 1000 units for both years.

Plastics are OEM and as close to perfect as possible for a 25 year old bike. No rash. Stored correctly.  Just changed the oil and fluids.  Cleaned the Flat slides and new battery again.  Starts right up.  Some period correct modifications with a full Muzzy Exhaust system, steel braided brake lines, fender eliminator.  Airbox has a New UNI High Flow air-filter in it, pictured.  Plus I am including another new OEM Kawasaki Air-Filter.  Clean and clear AZ title.  I do have more pics than what I have on ebay so let me know if you need more.  

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-right-fronttank

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-left-rear-wheel  20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-left-seat

The 1990's were some great years for superbikes that were maintainable and affordable, and Kawasaki achieved the right combination with the ZX-7R.  The -K's were a significant upcharge from the base model and were largely spared the perils of multiple owners and boulevard racing.  Performance with the bigger carbs, alloy fuel tank, and fully adjustable suspension was not to be denied.  The owner gamely presents his bike unfaired, and it appears undamaged, maintained, and without shade-tree modifications.  Quite rare as while up to 1,000 units may have been required for homolagation, most sources indicate that just low hundreds actually made to a U.S. showroom.  Bidding is active but there are still a few days to go.  

-donn

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-left-seat-unfaired  20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-right-mirror

20161026-1992-kawasaki-zx7r-k-cockpit

Featured Listing – 1992 Kawasaki ZX-7R-K
Kawasaki August 13, 2016 posted by

Kleen Klassic Kawi: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-7 for Sale

1992 Kawasaki ZX7 L Front

Kawasaki’s ZX-7 Ninja was known in other markets as the ZXR750, although I’m really not clear on why. Calling your “Fireblade” a “CBR900” makes plenty of sense if your target audience is more excited by technical names than by evocative ones. But shuffling a couple letters and numbers around doesn’t send a very different message… When I was younger, these were just too green for me to lust after, although these days I love the bright, non-metallic green and white scheme.

1992 Kawasaki ZX7 R Side Fairing

The ZX-7’s 748cc inline-four followed the hallowed traditions laid down by Superbike homologation requirements and convention: four cylinders, sixteen valves, liquid cooling, six-speed gearbox, hung from a twin-spar aluminum frame. The resulting 109hp means that, on paper at least, this bike would lose out to a much lighter modern 600, as you’d likely expect: tempus fugit. But the 56lb-ft of torque, while not a performance metric sportbike manufacturers typically brag about, mean that the ZX-7 is also blessed with a rich midrange that might surprise some of your buddies on less vintage sportbikes.

1992 Kawasaki ZX7 Clocks

Built between 1989 and 1994, this particular version of the ZX-7 was a follow up to the somewhat flawed H1 and H2 versions of the bike produced between 1989 and 1991.  Those early ZX-7s were saddled with an engine that was a carryover from the previous generation of Kawasaki sportbikes, along with a famously stiff rear suspension. The J model bikes that came along in 1991 rectified both of these problems and the bikes saw more success on track. In spite of the issues with the earliest versions and the fact that the bike had grown very long in the tooth by the time production ended, the Kawasaki ZX-7 was a popular machine, and always made a great roadbike: highly-communicative front ends, strong brakes, and impressive mid-corner stability helped to overcome weight issue on the final versions, while a primitive slipper clutch and a positive neutral finder probably had Ducati owners green with envy...

1992 Kawasaki ZX7 L Fairing

But as with many Japanese sportbikes of the 1980s and 1990s, most were abused, crashed, and generally neglected, making high-quality, low-mileage examples like this one very difficult to find today, and prices have risen noticeably over the past few years as collectors begin to snap up the good ones.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-7 for Sale

Here is a great 1992 Zx7 for sale with low 10k miles. I recently bought this bike because I wanted a classic sportbike to ride on weekends but this one is just too nice to rack up mileage on in my opinion so it will go to a new owner that can do as they please. This bike has NEVER been tracked or raced. Always Adult owned and loved / babied.

These bikes are getting harder and harder to find in this condition and low mileage, as many private collectors and investors are buying them up and hanging on to them. This bike, as many of you know, will only appreciate it value if kept in its current condition. This would be an AWESOME display bike in a man cave or office, but it is also completely ready to ride.

The brake and clutch fluid reservoir caps were replaced with chrome ones in the 90s ( I have originals in good condition will go with bike), There was a "zxforce" green tinted windscreen installed,  maybe a couple other very small things, Otherwise bike is very stock. Everything works, lights, horn, turn signals, dash indicator lights etc… Bike has a brand new set of Michelin Pilot Power tires mounted and balanced. ~400$ value. Bike comes with manual and original tool kit as well.

The new owner will also receive a Bunch of VERY NICE (some never even worn) matching gear with the bike, Shoei Helmet, 1 piece Teknic track suit, full Teknic rain suit, Intrepid cross country jacket, two pairs of Teknic gloves, Teknic boots etc.. If you don't want the gear I can take some off the final price (contact me for details)

This bike has always been garaged which is very apparent when you see it, no sun fading anywhere. Paint and decals are all original. Have Clean NV title and keys in hand ready for new owner, currently registered into 2017.

1992 Kawasaki ZX7 Controls

Bidding is very active on this bike but is currently just north of $2,000 and far below where it will likely end up. It's no garage-queen, but this bike looks like it’s been well cared-for by a sympathetic owner and the bike is mercifully free of the polished-frame nonsense that was inflicted on these bikes. The green-tinted screen is very tacky, but easily replaced if it’s not to your taste. I always thought those little wings on the tail were aftermarket additions, but they appear to have been original. Grab handle? Stylistic flourish? I’m not sure, but I’d be finding some way to remove it if I owned one of these…

-tad

1992 Kawasaki ZX7 L Side

Kleen Klassic Kawi: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-7 for Sale
Kawasaki July 29, 2016 posted by

Vivid Green Oddity: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale

1984 Kawasaki KR250 L Side Front

Well here's a real curiosity, another bike from the era of experimental engine configurations. Prior to the introduction of the KR-1 featured earlier this week, Kawasaki’s quarter-liter two-stroke sportbike reputation was upheld by this bike, the KR250. Although it’s powered by what is technically a parallel twin, the Kawasaki KR250’s engine is configured more like half of a square four. It’s basically a pair of singles, one behind the other, with separate cranks, and the design is referred to as a “tandem-twin” to differentiate it from more conventional parallel-twins.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Side

Although it complicates construction a bit, it likely helps the bike remain very narrow and improves packaging, as exhaust routing and expansion chambers no longer have to run underneath the engine as they do on most parallel-twin engines. In this case, they both exit on the right side of the bike: one down low, the other partly through the tailpiece in flamboyant 1980s style. The round taillamp set into the kicked-up tail and those bolt-on-overfender-styled hand-fairings are a nice touch. And that stepped seat appears to be a factory part!

1984 Kawasaki KR250 Dash

That unusual engine was backed by a six-speed gearbox and put out 45hp, good for 112mph when pushing the sub-300lb machine. Like other two-strokes of the period, it was lightweight, reasonably quick, and handled well. Later versions added the KVSS "Kawasaki Exhaust Valve Sycronization System" to help with the typically flat two-stroke midrange. They apparently could be difficult to get started, even when new, but are otherwise no more difficult to own than any other smoker of the period. The KR250 isn’t worth all that much in other markets but is extremely rare here in the US, which counts for a lot if you’re a fan of the weird.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale

Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are working fine. Electricals are all working. Has Kawasaki genuine fairings but repainted by previous owner. Has hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Fuel tank has some small dents. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as this is 32 years old. Speedometer looks KAWASAKI genuine parts and shows 36,300km = about 22,600 miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Will needs new tires and fork seals.

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title, as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

The seller also helpfully includes this short video of the bike sounding very fierce. This is another no-reserve auction and bidding is very active so far, but it apparently started at $0 and is creeping up by inches. Currently, it’s at around $1,200 with a couple days left. The seller mentions that the bike has been repainted by a previous owner and I can't vouch for the originality of that color scheme, but I think that red and green paint looks terrific. Like Christmas on two wheels, if Christmas was a heavy smoker with a nasal voice who just showed up in a shipping container from Japan.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Side Front

Parts will obviously be challenging, getting it worked on difficult, and this definitely won’t provide the performance of a modern sportbike, but I bet it’d be hard to find something that will generate more discussion at your local bike night short of a Bimota Tesi.

-tad

1984 Kawasaki KR250 L Side

Vivid Green Oddity: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale