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Posts by Category: Kawasaki

Kawasaki March 26, 2018 posted by

The Dark Knight: 1992 Kawasaki Ninja ZX11

No computers no launch control no ABS, just 1052cc's of grunt fed by 4 carbs all wrapped up in bodywork that would make the dark knight drool. And with less than 9,000 miles since new, this 1992 Ninja ZX11 is a treat to behold.  I know the ZX11 might not seem like a rare sportbike but its important to remember the big Ninja was the fastest production sportbike from 1992 to 1997 in large part thanks to its ram air system.  This means it meets the RSBFS technology and historical significance criteria and when you add in the  mileage/condition of this particular unit it seemed worthy of a post.

1992 Kawasaki ZX11 with 8775 miles on ebay

We have seen previous posts here on RSBFS regarding the ZX11 which is also known as the ZZR1100 outside of the USA.  An evolution of the ZX10 (which is currently shooting up the price chart in a big way for collectors) the ZX11/ZZR1100 took the preceding model and no pun intended, turned it up to 11.  Launched in 1992 the big Ninja introduced ram air systems to the big bike segment while also offering wind tunnel based bodywork that made it far too easy to just be cruising along in comfort and suddenly realize you are well over the speed limit.  The ZX11 held the crown of fastest production motorcycle until the introduction of the Honda Blackbird  in 1997 and is considered by many to be the progenitor of the hyperspeed-touring market segment.

Another plus for the ZX11/ZZR110 is that even though it is now over 25 years old it still looks great.  I still like the fairing "wing" integrated turn signals more than the current trend of back side of the mirror embedded units and there is no eye-watering 1990's graphics package to overcome (cough-Vance-and-Hines-Yamaha-cough).  While the ZX11 was offered in several monochromatic schemes include my personal favorite of Candleberry wine red, the sales leader for the big Z was always "Ebony Pearl" or as the sales people often referred to it, Batman black.

This particular ZX11 is in excellent condition having covered only 8,775 miles since new.  Even better is the fact that the current owner seems to have kept up the the bike, although no mention is made of tire age/rubber.

Here is a summary of the info the seller has provided

  • 3rd owner of this bike and have put <800 miles on it since I purchased it 3 years ago.
  • Has a full D&D header system, K&N, Jet kit & ignition advancer (use premium fuel).
  • Recently changed all the engine & brake fluids and it has new EBC brake pads.  Also changed the fuel filters and fuel bowl transfer tube O rings, as well as the temperature sending unit in the radiator as the temp gauge didn't work when I took delivery. 
  • No cracks, rashes, abrasions, chips, etc. There is a small area on one of the fork lowers where the prior owner had to have a registration tag and it has pulled some of the paint off the lower left fork tube, but everything else defies this classic's age.
  • Will come with a number of spare new parts and gaskets to keep this beast humming well into the future.

Note:  I did communicate the seller and he indicates the OEM windscreen and exhausts are not available.

So is this big black beastie worth the Buy It Now price of $4,300 USD?   Well I have to admit I have a weakness for the big Z even though it is a BIG bike and a bit too tall for me. Also the pictures on this one are good but not great (there is no clear pic of the license plate area) and I would have much preferred to see it out in sunshine /daylight.  Lastly I am not sure what the holes are that appear in the frame under the gas tank on the riders right size, I think the cover shroud from the fairing might have been removed but this would need to be confirmed.

Overall I really think the question is what is your intent for acquiring this bike.  The listing seems targeted towards day-to-day riders rather than collectors or perhaps a nostalgia-rider who never got to experience the big Zed.  For any collector considering this particular ZX11 the main question would be whether the recent dramatic price jumps in the predecessor ZX10 model means they think the ZX11 will see similar appreciation in the near future.  All I can say is that if I bought this bike I would be putting in the earbuds and go for a late night or early morning blast listening to this.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

The Dark Knight: 1992 Kawasaki Ninja ZX11
Kawasaki February 15, 2018 posted by

Boosted: 1978 Kawasaki KZ 1000 Z1-R TC Turbo for Sale

Turbochargers are pretty ubiquitous these days, allowing for insane levels of reliable performance and fuel economy, especially when coupled with modern electronics permitting compression ratios that early adopters of boost could only dream of. Modern cars offer flat torque curves and seamless power, but older turbocharged set ups were notorious for lag that felt like you were towing a piano, right up until the turbo finally spooled up and launched you at the horizon. For a brief, glorious period in the 1980s, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, all flush with cash from their domination of the world motorcycle market and caught up in the rush towards an exciting, digital future, introduced turbocharging to the motorcycling world. Slapping TURBO badges onto cars was already the cool new thing, so why not bikes? Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple, and the trend died out after a few short years. But it all started here, with Kawasaki's Z1-R TC.

When the Z1-R TC was introduced, turbocharging was considered pretty exotic technology for the most part, and only rarely seen even on production cars. At the time, the Z1-R was at the end of its life cycle, and newer, better, faster things were being offered by other manufacturers, so Kawasaki needed to drum up some interest in their lame-duck model before the introduction of the GPz. What better way to do that than by creating something that would likely kill inexperienced riders? Hey, it worked for their famously lethal two-stroke triples... The new turbocharged version of the bike quickly developed a widowmaker reputation like its predecessors, and for similar reasons: an on/off powerband coupled with primitive handling and marginal brakes. Even passing slower cars and trucks required a bit of precognition, and riders learned to build boost while waiting for a gap in traffic, dragging the rear brake to control speed while holding the throttle open to keep the turbo spooled...

Ultimately, the bike was a hoot, but if TCs didn't kill their riders with their unpredictable power delivery and sketchy handling, they had a tendency to blow up: the Z1-R TC Turbo was basically a stock bike with the addition of an aftermarket turbo package from the Turbo Cycle Company that included a log-style or 4-into-1 header and a boost gauge. Oh sure, you could specify a fully built engine to handle the boost if you wanted to, but how many buyers do you think opted for that when the bike was new? Not too many. And how many new owners do you think ignored the safety sticker instructing them to not, under any circumstances, adjust the wastegate to allow more boost and sweet, sweet performance, basically for free? The answer again? Not too many.

Luckily, this example avoids the whole "four-cylinder grenade between your legs" issue with a built motor that should provide years of trouble-free, if not lag-free, hooliganism. Which just means you're that much more likely to wheelie into a hedge, but at least you'll have a better idea which of the bike's lethal characteristics will most likely kill you.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for Sale

Here we have a beautiful '78 Z1R-TC Turbo. It has been completely rebuilt and gone through. Engine has a welded crank, fresh MTC turbo piston set with Teflon buttons, valves have been reseated with new seals, all engine seals have been replaced, new clutch, cam chain and guides are new as well, copper head gasket, carb rebuilt, as well as petcock, new o-ring chain and sprockets all brakes rebuilt, new pads, turbo spins freely, opened and inspected, new gaskets, you get the point. tires are Dunlops, tank replaced with a rust free one, no bondo fresh paint with lots of clear, one defect on decal on left front, (if it really bothers you, my painter will fix it, I just wanted to get the bike up for sale now rather than waiting for that, original bike had about 18k on speedo, was growling so it got replaced, boost gauge was cracked, so it got replaced with a Mr. Turbo new old stock.

I did my best to keep it as original as possible, tail pipe is dent free and freshly triple chrome plated. all chrome on engine is brand new triple chromed, (if you hate the chrome, I have a very clean non turbo '78 Z1R that I will swap out the chrome for stock) but it looks incredible with the black engine, exhaust head pipes were badly blued so I chose to paint them with header paint (no sanding, just painted) new owner can choose to rechrome head pipes, but they will blue again. I built this bike to be ridden (welded crank and forged turbo pistons). Without those mods these bikes twisted cranks and melted pistons.

That being said, still has original Bendix/Zenith carb, and stock ignition and advancer for originality, but Nice coils were added. I put some break-in miles on bike, waste gate is set to just seat as for break in I didn't want to boost it, but the sweet sound of the turbo is evident while riding, hoping to put some miles on it before end of auction as well as a little more fine tuning. I was a certified motorcycle mechanic and worked on the big 4 Jap brands through the eighties and nineties, have changed careers since then, so now I truly enjoy working on these old bikes for a hobby, but can't keep them all. I'm sure I forgot something, but be assured, engine is built correctly and bike is really nice. 

I was assured by previous owner it is the real deal, My buddy had it at his shop for a while getting title sorted out and gathering parts for me. He also contacted a Z1R turbo Guru who claimed he could tell you if it was a true Z1R turbo, and he was unable to tell us it wasn't. For what that is worth, wish I had original bill of sale etc. but I don't. Bike does have the correct ATP stuff that only came on true TC Z1-R's, Nice bike, contact me with questions, I have a slight reserve on bike which I may lift if we get close, good luck... Thanks for looking, will try to add more pics,  and update listing as needed, also new battery, and Amsoil, engine cranked over with plugs out to ensure full prime with oil, and oil return from turbo verified before initial fire up of course.

If you're concerned about the bike's authenticity, I know it can be a challenge with TC: if you can source a nice, clean Z1-R and the original parts for the turbo kit, you can build one of your own, since that's pretty much what Kawasaki did with the original. It's nice to see that kind of transparency from a seller, and the fact that the engine has been fully built to survive actual use should go a long way towards helping the bike find a buyer. So a bit of a question mark surrounding the bike's originality might keep the value down slightly, but you can't argue with the build quality so maybe this one will actually get ridden, instead of tucked away in a corner somewhere. Ultimately, the same things that made the TC a lousy motorcycle are the qualities that endear them to collectors today: they're wild, wooly, and savage, a rite of passage more than a practical mode of transportation.

-tad

Boosted: 1978 Kawasaki KZ 1000 Z1-R TC Turbo for Sale
Kawasaki January 30, 2018 posted by

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B

Dan would have to weigh in on how many bikes Gary has listed and sold on RSBFS, but suffice it to say the past year has been a great success.  Saving the best for last would be a debatable and bittersweet claim, maybe there's another container of gray-market wonders back there ?  Better to relish the KR-1 presented here.

1988 Kawasaki KR-1 KR250 for sale on eBay

Not actually derived from or intended to be a race bike, the KR-1 had a meteoric rise and quick retirement just a few years later.  The parallel twin pushed 55 hp, but peaky like no one's business, making power just between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM.  Never offered stateside, it thrilled young riders in the U.K. and the Pacific rim, and has only occasionally found its way here.  The super-light under 300 lbs. machine was over-equipped with dual disks, adjustable suspension, and 17-inch front / 18-inch rear wheels.

Gary has made presentation of gray market specials look easy, but this one is different.  Rather than doll up someone else's issues, this KR-1 was brought over restored, low miles, just about perfect.  As always, it's ready to run with legal title and registration.  His comments from the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 with only 20,640 kilometers (12,825 miles). Bike is in mint condition. The collector whom I purchased it from in Japan did a full frame up restoration. Complete engine, front forks, front and rear brakes, drive train, rear suspension, custom paint restoration. I don’t normally buy bikes like this but when I saw that no expense was spared to make this bike look and run new, I just had to have it. Bike looks gorgeous and is in mint condition. There are only a few very light scratches and handling marks. All fairings and components are 100% Genuine OEM Kawasaki factory. All replacement parts used in the restoration were genuine OEM parts. Bike is completely stock. Bike runs like new. Comes with new battery and new engine fluids.

I’ve saved the best for last. The last is here.

Kawasaki saw the writing on the wall early and focused on four-strokes for 1993.  But the power delivery, quick steering, and riding position of the KR-1 are legend.  Hopefully an adult rider can keep it out of the tank slappers it destined novice riders to experience.  In a era where a successful design could be considered 100 machines ( Buell or Bimota ), or a thousand ( Ducati or Moto Guzzi ), Kawasaki saw the future on the other side of 10,000 KR-1's.  But for a fan of the green and white, there was never such a lightweight.

-donn

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B
Kawasaki January 28, 2018 posted by

The Green Alternative: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7

As slab and Slingshot Gixxers from the mid to late '80s get more and more expensive and desirable, now is an increasingly good time to look to their competition to snag an equally capable but much cheaper mount. Early Kawasaki ZX-7s are a great alternative, with more forward-looking styling and a reputation as the baddest race replicas George Bush-era money could buy.

1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 for sale on eBay

This 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 hits all the boy-racer high points, with a garish tri-color livery that extends across the seat from the fairing, monochrome Japanese character decals and the infamous Ninja badge. If it were mine, I'd ditch the green tinted screen and have the wheels powder coated in their stock single hue. Otherwise, its pretty much as it should be, down to the period Vance and Hines can.

From the eBay listing:

SECOND OWNER 1989 KAWASAKI ZX7 WITH 23000 ORIGINAL MILES. GOT A BUY IT NOW PRICE OF $6500 OR WILL CONSIDER THE NEAREST BEST OFFER. GOT A CLEAN AND CLEAR TITLE IN HAND.

PLEASE ASK ALL QUESTIONS AND CLEAR ALL DOUBTS BEFORE BIDDING. IT IS THE BUYER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO INSPECT THE BIKE PRIOR TO BIDDING. CALL 718 966 0606 TO COME INSPECT THE BIKE. THE BIKE IS BEING SOLD 'AS IS' WITH NO WARRANTIES. NO RETURNS.

PAYMENT: $200 NON- REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED VIA PAYPAL WITHIN 24 HOURS OF END OF AUCTION AND THE BALANCE PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE BY CASH IN PERSON, CERTIFIED BANK CHECK OR BANK TRANSFER WITHIN 7 DAYS OF END OF LISTING. IF IT IS A BANK CHECK, THE BIKE WILL BE HELD UNTIL THE CHECK CLEARS. I WILL NOT ACCEPT BALANCE PAYMENT VIA PAYPAL UNLESS BUYER MAKES PRIOR ARRANGEMENTS.

SHIPPING IS BUYER'S RESPONSIBILITY. BIKE NEEDS TO BE PICKED UP WITHIN 2 WEEKS OF END OF AUCTION. IF BUYER IS UNABLE TO PICK UP THE BIKE WITHIN 2 WEEKS THERE WILL BE A STORAGE FEE, IN THE EVENT I AM NOT INFORMED OF THE SITUATION.

The pictures don't give a huge amount of detail, but the bike looks mostly squared away but not perfect. With a little elbow grease it could be a decent collector piece, but it's a very nice rider as-is.

The Green Alternative: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7
Kawasaki January 28, 2018 posted by

Boosted Optimism: 1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo

You are looking at what Cycle magazine dubbed the fastest motorcycle of 1985. Ripping off a quarter mile faster than liter bikes of the day, the Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo took the latest fad and turned it into a very sharp weapon indeed. Easily the most potent of the Turbo set, the GPZ750 Turbo pushed the boosted boundaries further than any of the Big Four. Yet despite the performance possible, Kawasaki failed to achieve success with their Turbo offering - much like the rest of the Big Four. Turbos screamed with graphics, torque and power, but generated few sales.

1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo for sale on eBay

Kawasaki bolted a Hitachi HT-10B turbocharger in front of the engine, positioned as close to the headers as possible to reduce lag. Utilizing digital fuel injection, the air-cooled, transverse four-stroke in-line four was otherwise comparatively simple in design. Kawasaki engineers raided the parts bin, adding some strengthening to the normally-aspirated GPz750 block handle the Turbo pressure. The top end came from the more conservative KZ650, lowering the compression ratio to a range more compatible with a turbo and pump gas. Expect approximately 95 unfettered horses from this combination.

From the seller:
YOU ARE LOOKING AT A 1985 KAWASAKI GPZ 750 TURBO THAT I HAVE OWNED SINCE NEW. THIS BIKE LIVED ALL OF ITS LIFE IN A CLIMATE CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT. THE BIKE HAS NEVER HAD FUEL IN ITS TANK, NEVER BEEN STARTED OR HAS HAD ANY ELECTROLYTE PUT INTO THE ORIGINAL BATTERY. MOTORCYCLE WAS PICKLED WHEN NEW AND MAINTAINED THAT WAY THROUGH OUT ITS LIFE. I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY ARE STILL OUT THERE IN THIS CONDITION, I'M THINKING VERY FEW IF ANY. BIKE IS STILL ON MSO, NEVER REGISTERED. I HAVE ORIGINAL OWNERS MANUAL AND BROCHURE. THIS IS A CHANCE TO OWN A BRAND NEW PIECE OF MOTORCYCLE HISTORY. I HAVE MORE PHOTOS IF NEEDED. TIRES ARE STARTING TO SHOW THEIR AGE WITH A LITTLE CRACKING ON THE SIDES, REMEMBER THEY ARE 33 YEARS OLD. PAINT IS FLAWLESS AS IS THE REST OF THE BIKE. PUT IT IN YOUR OFFICE OR MUSEUM , IT IS CURRENTLY IN ONE OF MY LIVING ROOMS.

The Turbo era has remained a relatively underperforming element of the collecting world. Sure, Turbo bikes are rare and unique - and slowly (glacially) gaining in value over the years. However they have failed to ignite the collector world just as they failed to ignite showroom fires back in the 1980s, and just as they failed to deliver on "literbike performance" from a smaller package. One might be willing to call the entire Turbo era a wholesale failure according to nearly every standard by which we compare motorcycles. Those might be harsh words, but the unfortunate reality of this particular segment of our two-wheeled universe. These words, by the way, come from an owner...

This particular Turbo GPz is perhaps the last "new" bike of its type in the world. Zero miles, never filled with fuel and original battery and tires make this a unique find for the right collector. And it would need to be a collector, as after sitting this many years unused, considerable care would need to be taken to turn this back into a rider. But riding it would destroy the value of this zero mile example, making this a museum piece at best. And what price does a brand new 1985 model go for? Would you believe six figures? Me neither. Props to the seller for asking a huge sum, but not riding the fastest quarter miler back in '85 does not necessarily escalate the value tenfold. Yes, it can only be new once - but few bikes make it to the $100k milestone (and those are far more coveted models). Still, it is a cool time capsule worth looking at. Check it out here, and then jump to the comments and share your thoughts and experiences with Turbo bikes. Good luck!!

MI

Boosted Optimism: 1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo
Kawasaki January 24, 2018 posted by

Tennessee Stud: 1989 Kawasaki ZXR400 H1

The hard-edged Kawasaki ZXR400 is something of a rarity among grey-market Japanese 400cc sportbikes, as importers drag far more Honda VFR 400s and Yamaha FZR400Rs to our shores. For whatever reason, the Hondas and Yamahas seem to command most of the demand.

1989 Kawasaki ZXR400 H1 for sale on eBay

It's not for lack of trying on the Kawi's part, though. The ZXRs are known to mimic their epic ZX7 big brothers, bringing racebike handling and revs to a street package aimed at tiered licensing laws. Never as comfortable as their competitors, the ZXRs made their mark at the apex.

This 1989 Kawasaki ZXR400 wears British registration plates in the pictures, though the seller shows photos of a Tennessee plate and title. The pictures don't show a whole lot of detail, but the bike looks very clean and well cared for.

From the eBay listing:

Here we have an ultra rare and cool looking 1989 zxr400 H1. It is Tennessee registered and ready to be ridden. This team green Kawasaki has lots of power for a 400, and is perhaps the fastest example of any of the Japanese 400 I've ever sampled. It suits taller riders better than the 400cc VFRs or CBRs. Handling is spot on as well as the brakes. This would make a fine lightweight class racing machine were one so inclined. Please contact me with any questions by texting or calling 423 747 3265.
A $300 deposit is due via PayPal within 24 hours of the auction's conclusion, and the balance within seven days. Please only bid on this item if you are serious and are willing and able to dispense with the transaction in a timely fashion. I will be posting several collector motorcycles for sale over the next couple of weeks, so please look for my other auctions. I can provide or arrange for shipping at a reasonable rate if needed. Thanks, and happy bidding!

If the video below fails to play, please visit my Youtube channel (Israel Gillette) and search for ZXR400 Test Ride

Bidding is low with the better part of a week to go in the auction, which means this could be a slick pickup to sort as riding season approaches the East Coast.

Tennessee Stud: 1989 Kawasaki ZXR400 H1