Posts by Category: Kawasaki

Kawasaki April 10, 2017 posted by

Krazy Rare: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1

When it comes to quarter liter two stroke imports, the usual suspects are in (relatively) plentiful supply. While never officially available in the US, all sorts of fine, Japanese and Italian hardware make it to our shores thanks to creative individuals, and of course, our friends up in Canada. We usually don't go a month on RSBFS without highlighting a Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha or Aprilia smoker. What we do not see very often - as in maybe once a year - is Kawasaki's entry to the two-stroke wars: The KR-1. The KR-1 was developed with a familiar set of blueprints and without graphics could resemble any number of Japanese imports, both visually and in the performance department. But the KR-1 is a very rare little machine (not only in the US), and one that you should pay attention to when an example shows up.

1989 Kawasaki KR-1 for sale on eBay

With weight in the 270 pound range (dry), and a claimed 55hp when new, the KR-1 was good for a 130+ MPH terminal velocity. A six speed cassette tranny and triple disks all around put the KR-1 in the same competitive class as the NSRs, RGs and TZRs of the day, although the higher spec KR-1S was the real performer of the bunch. Performance aside, reliability is rumored to be slightly compromised with the Kawasaki; reports indicate that these motors tend to be less robust than those of its peers. Something to consider as parts availability raises its ugly head....

From the seller:
This bike is very clean. The motor has never been opened up. I have had this KR SINCE 1999. It comes with Jolly Moto pipes and has had the fork brace changed. Runs very strong. Looks good. It does have a few blemishes , at 6,850 mi not bad.This bike would be a great edition to your 2 stroke collection.

Given the rarity of this model, I long for more pictures and far more detail. The seller notes that the engine has not been opened up, so figure on a rebuild before riding in anger. Two strokes are notorious for air leaks at high RPM (i.e. air entering the engine other than through the carb), which creates a lean running condition which vastly increases internal temperatures while at the same time reducing the amount of lubricating oil. The end result is usually loud, messy, expensive, and potentially catastrophic to the rider (lesson #1: don't seize the motor mid-corner).

This bike is located in California. There is no mention or picture of a license plate, so no idea in which state this bike is titled - if at all. That would be a key question to the seller. Otherwise, should all else be copacetic, this KR-1 could be a real steal for your collection. There is no doubt that it looks quite clean. The price is set at $8k for this Buy It Now classified, although the seller is open to offers. This seller appears to have a few other bikes by the looks of the big Gamma and NSR400 parked alongside - maybe we'll see a couple more bikes available in time. If you ARE the seller, jump over to the Comments section and share some details with a KR hungry audience. Good Luck!!

MI

Krazy Rare: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1
Kawasaki March 24, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R with under 1,300 miles !

Update 4.08.2017: The seller has notified us that this bike has sold to one of our readers. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

When Honda and Suzuki responded to the "world's fastest" ZX-11 with the Blackbird and Hayabusa, Kawasaki doubled down with the ZX-12R, pushing 178 hp and 188 mph. This first year ZX-12R still has - and needs - the break-in warning sticker on the tachometer.

A technical showcase as bikes at the top of the range tend to be, the ZX-12R has the first monocoque chassis on a production motorcycle.  The stamped thin-wall "hull" supports the steering head and holds the air filter, with velocity stacks and frame connectors built in.  Completely invisible once the bike is assembled, it provides the big horsepower machine a rock-steady base of operations.  The ZX-12R got a fair bit of wind tunnel time also, with a protruding ram-air scoop and dive planes just forward of the clutch and alternator housings, it still had a low .33 coefficient of drag.  The subdued metallic green maturely recalls the bright racing greens of the past.

This ZX-12R has had two careful owners but not even oil-change miles.  A serial ZX-12R fan, the current owner has taken care of any maintenance or long-term storage concerns, and says this about the bike:

2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R with 1,287 miles. Runs and drives perfect. In very very good condition. I am the second owner and bought the bike with 1,175 miles. The first owner was a gentlemen who bought the bike brand new from Sun Kawasaki in Denver and obviously rode the bike very little and kept it stored indoors. The bike is located in Colorado Springs and has a clear Colorado title.
Within the last month had these brand new parts installed:
Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tires
Walbro GSS242 fuel pump
Injectors professionally cleaned, balanced, and calibrated by RC Engineering (flow chart provided)
Lightweight lithium battery
NGK spark plugs
Smog block-off plates
Coolant flushed
Brake fluid flushed
Oil changed

The owner also provides this video walk-around - https://youtu.be/QzYEOQGIO2o - and cold start.

Starting in 2001, Kawasaki built the ZX-12R to threaten the 200 mph barrier, the perceived threat of regulation caused the major manufacturers to back away from that milestone, agreeing to keep top speeds a bit under.  In return, buyers got a better all around motorcycle in the ZX-12R, with all-day comfort if not fuel capacity, and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio with greater stability.  With careful storage and maintenance to ensure as-new performance, this ZX-12R is as close to a brand new Y2K flagship as one could hope. And being a 2000 model year, this one has no top speed restriction!  The ask is $6,500.

-donn

Featured Listing – 2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R with under 1,300 miles !
Kawasaki March 18, 2017 posted by

Nearly New: 1984 Kawasaki GPz750

From the 30-something files comes the epitome of the quintessential 1980s sport bike: the Kawasaki GPz. Conceived during what was to become the eve of the classic sporting motorcyle, the GPz led the way right up to the next real era of technology and died out with the introduction of the hyper bike. Making the ultimate use of air cooling, two valves per cylinder, carburetors and a steel backbone frame, the GPz soldiered on in the face of advancements from Yamaha, Suzuki, and especially Honda. Successful on the track as well as the showroom, the GPz is a classic memory today. But for those that remember the glory, finding one worth shelling out cash for is a rare proposition. Hence today's RSBFS find: a cherry GPz750 with just over 1,000 miles on the clock.

From the seller:
1984 KAWASAKI GPz 750 1,058 original miles!

I am the 3rd owner of this bike. The first owner put the miles on the bike and the second owner purchased the bike in 1998 and never drove it.

During my ownership, I cleaned it up, rebuilt carbs and got it running (It had not run since 1st owner in the late 80's) I took it out and put 2 miles on it to verify operation. (I own 2 other GPz's). The factory exhaust is long gone & I just installed a fresh out of the box Supertrapp system and installed all the discs to keep it quiet. It sounds awesome!

More from the seller:
The carbs were rebuilt with new jets, pilot & mains, new needle & seats & new float bowl gaskets.
All gauges, lights, gas gauge, blinkers and horn works!
New battery last September.
New plugs and spark plug boots.
Original chain & sprockets, original tires! (You will be the first person to change the tires that Kawasaki put on 33 yrs ago!)

Do I know the front fender is mounted backwards in the pictures? Yes (See it the other way in the picture with the saddle bags!)

What is wrong with bike?
Right side mirror glass is missing, was when I purchased it... I have 7 bikes and did not get that far on this one. Very small nick on gas tank graphic and some nicks on left side upper fairing graphic, these graphics are available from RD Decals in Canada. Tank is rust free on inside but does have about a 10mm ding that you can barely make out in picture that shows the nick in tank! It is missing the factory center windscreen attachment bolt so I have a mismatched one in there (factory one is available for a couple of $'s).

Lastly, the outside carb on left side was dripping a little while the bike was running the other day... To cold to drive it outside to get some cobwebs out and may go away but just want to make sure it is in listing as I'm swamped at work and will not have time to look at it!

What is right with bike?

It is absolutely stunning! It looks better in person than it does in these pictures. All the finishes are wonderfully preserved. How many of these bikes do you see with just over 1K miles???

Lastly, I was going to list the matching Bagmann saddle bags separately but really want them to go with the bike... I have been a ebay member for 17 years and never once saw a set of these come up for auction, they go with bike and the 4 GPz test issues you see in picture!

It is always difficult to find a time-period piece in the type of condition that makes it worth your while. This is especially true when the bike in question was not especially rare to begin with. But time has a way of making certain things better, and in this case time has all but erased the supply side of the equation. Had this been a bottle of wine, it would likely have turned to vinegar long ago - but the vintage becomes rare for simply existing in excellent shape. The best part of a well-aged machine is the price: Few bids have been cast, and this retro icon sits at a mere $3,550 (no reserve). It may not be a smoker or some mega dollar collectible, but the knowing nods when you show up to bike night on this earlier generation super bike makes it well worth the price of admission. Only a couple of days left on this auction - check it out here and share your thoughts! Do you GPz?

MI

Kawasaki March 3, 2017 posted by

Superbike Daddy: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R

I know that for many of our readers, RSBFS is all about the import smokers. And while we do love our grey-market popcorn poppers, variety is - as they say - the spice of life. Two-strokes did not always dominate the sport bike scene, as evidenced by today's example of what ruled the streets in 1978. Our younger readers will be forgiven if this simply looks like a Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM) from the period, but two-wheeled transport circa pre-1980 was a relatively simple affair. Air cooled, carburetor-fed Japanese multis were the hot ticket, and cubic centimeters made the world go 'round. Throughout the 1970s, the Big Four traded blows with big bikes, and the Kawasaki Z1-R (1978-1980) could go toe to toe with the best on the road.

1978 Kawasaki Z1-R for sale on eBay

Owing more to the KZ lineup than the original Z1 design, the Z1-R is pretty typical of this era: big motor (1,015cc over square inline four), tubular steel frame, simple un-adjustable front forks and twin shocks. Novelty items include the bikini fairing (variations to make a reappearance on the ELR model as well as early GPzs), four-into-one exhaust, low maintenance cast wheels, and triple disk brakes. Expect about 90 HP off the showroom floor, in a package tipping the scales at over 540 lbs. With a top speed in the 130s, the Z1-R was a powerhouse with subtle intent. In all, this was an evolutionary move by Kawasaki; the revolution would have to wait until 1984 and the introduction of the 900 Ninja.

From the seller:
OWNED THIS BIKE SINCE 1992 (SECOND OWNER),HAVE ALL THE SERVICE WORK RECORDS I HAVE DONE TO BIKE.VERY CLEAN & RUN STRONG. IT IS A TURN KEY BIKE. GARAGE KEPT. 33284 ACTUAL MILES.

There is nothing *particularly* special or rare about the Z1-R line, save for the fact that they didn't speed off the showroom floors at a sufficient rate. Not even bolting on a turbo and creating the first of the factory blower bikes could help move these models. As a result, staring down the barrel of a 40th birthday, not many of these exist in great condition. Laws of supply and demand govern all, and I would expect to see good examples fetching more over the coming years. This will not likely appreciate in the same manner of a RC30 or truly rare and iconic model, but it should fare respectably given the lower price of entry.

This well-loved Z1-R is located in Oklahoma. The seller claims to be the second owner, which helps explain the condition. There have been some minor, non-destructive mods which should lower maintenance and improve the riding experience, and the seller will include the original parts. This bike is listed with a BIN of $12,500 - a number that some may scoff at. It does appear a bit high for the model. But the challenge would be to find another in this level of condition. I'm sure there is some emotional equity included in that number by the seller - but can you blame him? Check it out here, and share your thoughts. Would you take this, or hold out for an ELR or early model GPz? Let us know!

MI

Superbike Daddy: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R
Kawasaki March 1, 2017 posted by

Commemorative Replica – 2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 Custom

Extending the run of the ZRX1100 ( itself a harkening to the 1982 Eddie Lawson Replica KZ1000R ) the ZRX1200 wound the series down as only a carburetted 1200 cc naked superbike could.  This 30K-mile ZRX is the subject of a tasteful customization with a lot of heavy work done.  If a naked super / show bike has ever tickled your  fancy, this one deserves a look see.

2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 Custom for sale on eBay

The ZRX1200R was kind of the ultimate Universal Japanese Motorcycle, with steel frame, four Keihin carbs, twin shocks, conventional riding position, but 122 hp and almost 83 ft.-lbs. torque.  Water cooling was an oughties concession to noise and emissions.  The headers on the  four-into-one exhaust were black from the factory.  With the added power came some weight however, and the handling was more sport-touring than sport, though an easy 5-speed to ride with all that torque.

As re-imagined by someone in the road racing business, this ZRX has a more European flavor, with Öhlins front and WP rear suspension.  Brembo calipers over Galfer rotors.  The Akropovic exhaust system is polished save the carbon muffler.  Relieved of the bikini fairing, the Kawi racing green paint does it justice in a way the original metallic green couldn't.  Too much to list, as they say, but here's a section of the eBay auction:

As a former race mechanic, now in my late 50's, I built this bike in the spirit of a superbike road racing machine.  I bought the bike off the ZRXOA forum last summer and it was fairly close to stock. The bike has cost me just over $20K and that is doing all the work myself. I am selling the bike because I want to start another custom build, this time on a Z1.

The bike has no known faults whatsoever and runs perfectly. It is a 2003 ZRX 1200 with 30,078 miles. I have only put 140 miles on it in 8 months, just riding locally. All the below parts were fitted less than 40 miles ago, and as you will see from the build list, only the finest available components were used. The bike is located in Hollister, CA. Clean and clean CA title in my name. CA registration through June. The bike has three keys (keys fit all locks) and toolkit.

Although the motor is stock, the addition of Yoshimura TNR-MJN 34 flat slide carbs has transformed the response and midrange. The bike power wheelies very easily in first and second. Naturally the handling and braking have also been transformed with new suspension, lighter wheels, Brembos calipers and master cylinders, Spiegler brake lines, sinter pads and Galfer discs.

Going in my books as a light custom, this ZRX retains all the muscle-bike attributes and only improves the suspension and braking.  The updated carburettors is something only an experienced wrench would do, and the new owner would be advised to find filters for them if riding is the plan.  Not expecting a sky-high price since it is a 30K-mile bike, and might take a few rides on eBay before enough riders see it.  But the overall vibe is very enjoyable, not heavily personalized, and respectful of the original concept, a now 35 year-old ( ! ) replica of Fast Eddie Lawson's 1981 AMA Superbike winner...

Donn

Commemorative Replica – 2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 Custom
Bimota February 10, 2017 posted by

1984 Bimota KB3 in Italy!

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Big Four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers appeared to know little about frame design and its effect on handling. Enter the small shop known as Bimota, formed as a hobby by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini. Using existing motorcycles as a jumping off point, the Rimini firm created stout new frames and sensuous bodywork made to accept a variety of Japanese engines. These were initially offered as kits; buyers received the chassis, bodywork and suspension, to which they affixed the engine, transmission and electrics from a donor cycle. Completed Bimota motorcycles were ridden to rave reviews; razor sharp handling (usually to the compromise of comfort and convenience) was the order of the day.

1984 Bimota KB3 for sale on eBay

This 1984 Bimota KB3 (the 3rd model in the series of Kawasaki-powered Bimotas), shows the company making a massive turning point. Unlike kit-built bikes assembled by amatuers or hired guns, by the early 1980s Bimota was starting to assemble them in their own factory. This tiny company from northern Italy near the Adriatic Sea was making the jump to become a full-fledged manufacturer of motorcycles. And whereas the kit-built bikes were all unique and custom - showing the nature (and skill level) of their builders - this move by Bimota to assemble in house leads to a more consistent offering across the model type. This KB3, powered by a Kawasaki KZ1000 engine, was one of the early Bimotas that could be considered "factory built."

From the seller:
Bimota KB3 1000cc - ONE OF ONLY 30 UNITS FACTORY BUILT
model year 1984
VIN 0051.

Fantastic original preserved shiny conditions, one of only 30 factory built kb3 (not a kit), just 15k kms from new. Perfectly working. Unique opportunity.

Ride and collect!

The KB3 came on the heels of the watershed bike for Bimota, the GPz550-powered KB2 Laser. And whereas the KB2 frame was created using short, straight sections of chrome moly tubing welded in a pyramid matrix to handle loads, the KB3 chassis incorporates longer sections of tubing and novel aluminum stress plates - all of which have been welded, bolted and epoxy bonded together. Billet aluminum sections join upper and lower sections, and provide a base for the swingarm pivot. The sleek bodywork is created from Kevlar - a magical substance of strength and lightweight in 1984. Maximizing stiffness to ensure optimum handling while shaving off an estimated 65 lbs from a standard KZ1000, the KB3 was perhaps the ultimate literbike in existence.

There were only 112 KB3s created, ensuring the rarity of these special bikes. We have seen a few on the pages of RSBFS, and they never fail to enchant. These are bikes that do not come around often, and never in such original condition. This bike is located in Italy (naturally!), appears to be in the best original condition we have seen, and is looking for a new home. When first offered by Bimota, these were very expensive machines ($13k and up). Collector status has done well for these incredible bikes, and while the opening ask on this one was a single US dollar, I expect the final auction result to include a few more zeros. No idea where the reserve is set, so this will be one to watch. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts on your favorite old-school Bimota in our comments section. Good Luck!!

MI

1984 Bimota KB3 in Italy!