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Posts by Category: Kawasaki

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
Kawasaki January 11, 2018 posted by

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the vibrant quarter-liter two-stroke class saw the NSR, RGV, and TZR go at it with knife-fight-in-a-phone-booth intensity. Notably missing from much of the action was Kawasaki. It didn't help that Kawasaki didn't start building a two-stroke sportbike until 1988 and abandoned the class in 1992, before the other Japanese manufacturers and, as a result, the Kawasaki KR-1S is a bit of a holy grail for two-stroke fans in the USA. They're really nearly impossible to find in any market, as Kawasaki produced less than 10,000 examples in total, and they were obviously never sold here in the US.

If all you've done is glance at the spec sheets of the class competitors, you could be forgiven for thinking the bikes in this class were pretty much the same, with two-cylinder, liquid-cooled two-strokes, aluminum beam frames, six-speed gearboxes, and a suspiciously identical 45hp output. In fact, sometimes only a catchy acronym for the power valve gives the manufacturer away, although KIPS, ATAC, SAPC, and YPVS all performed basically the same basic function. But period road tests and two-stroke enthusiasts claim that each has a distinct character that seems line with corporate sterotypes: Honda's NSR was sophisticated and refined, while Suzuki's RGV was a bit of an unruly wild-child, fast and a bit fragile. But although Kawasaki joined the party late and left early, they left an indelible impression and their KR-1S was claimed to be the fastest, the easiest to tune, and have the hairiest handling of the bunch.

The KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled 249cc parallel-twin with a 180° crankshaft that also drove a balance shaft to improve smoothness, and put power to the back wheel through a six-speed gearbox. The "S" model seen here featured wider wheels at the front and rear, and tested top speed of 139mph. An "R" model was also available, but is nearly impossible to find, with fewer than 200 built. Interestingly enough, last month's Practical Sportbikes features an article that discusses the rebuild of a KR-1R in detail.

Like yesterday's ZX-7R, this KR-1S is slathered in green, white, and blue graphics that suit the bike's brash personality. Happily, the seller also includes images of the bike with the fairing removed, as it shows off the very slick aftermarket expansion chambers and another odd detail: the engine sits almost entirely below the frame! That of course keeps the bike relatively narrow, but seems strange that most of the engine is suspended beneath the frame, rather than nestled between the frame spars.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

1990 Kawasaki KR1S C2. I am relisting and selling another bike out of my prize collection. Journalist called the KR1-S the most exotic and fastest of all the 250 2 stokes of that era. This KR1S is a UK model. Which means UK CDI power box, mile per hour speedo. Non-restrictive. Always been in street bike form. Not a converted back race bike. This is truly a rare bike. Unlike NSR’s, TZR’s and RGV’s and even Aprilia RS’s that come up for sale now and then, you very rarely see one of these for sale. I have owned this bike for over 10 years. I have spent many of thousands of dollars on upgrades. I mean many! I installed a pricy set of Dyna mags magnesium rims. The old KR1S aluminum rims came with a 17” front and an 18” rear. These are 17” front and back. Light weight magnesium and make sporty tires more available. I have put on a set of Michelin pilot sport tires. Green D.I.D.  O-Ring chain with gold aluminum sprocket. Beautiful high end custom steering damper. Then I had made a JMC fully braced swingarm with eccentric adjustment. Beautifully polished. I was told at the time that this was the only top braced swingarm that JMC has ever made for the KR1S. I installed a huge custom made “Pace” radiator made for the KR1S. This radiator is huge, and solves the problem of any overheating. If anything I have to tape of part of the radiator when its cool out. But a nice position to be in. Silicone radiator hose are used. Then I purchased a nice new set of Jolly Moto pipes with Carbon silencers. Bikes sound great and pulls better. I had the rear shock rebuilt and the shock spring powder coated green to match the bike. Front forks have been recently rebuilt with all new bushings, oil and seals. Rebuilt both the front and rear calibers with new stainless pistons, bolts, and seals. I had them powder coated too. Custom made steel braided brakes lines with aluminum fittings. They look like new. I also installed new light weight disks front and back.  Have a fortune in light weight titanium, stainless, and aluminum bolts throughout.  All the lights and switches work. The bike has 16,600 miles on it. So a far as I know the motor has never been touched.  I had plans to rebuild the motor and including all the parts to do it.  I have everything needed to build it included. But now I have gotten old and don’t have time for this project. I have tuned it up, changed all the fluids. Adjusted the power valves, etc. Bike does still run strong but mileage is getting up there for 28 year 2 stroke. The original bodywork on the bike is not too bad for its age but not perfect either. I had a few tabs and small cracks repaired. The tank has a couple tiny little chips, but is in remarkably in good shape for its age. No dents. The tank is clean inside without rust. The body panels have a few scratches and touched up spots.  Still not all that bad for its age either. Please refer to the pictures for more details. I am including the stock rims with a brand new fresh powder coat on them. The stock pipes, radiator, manuals, and various other parts as seen in my list and pictures. Lots of stuff.

The following is a list of some of the parts that are included with the bike, but not complete. No much to list. Please refer to pictures.

  • 4 brand new piston sets, including, rings, pins, clips, and small ends
  • Complete set of crank seals and crank bearings, plus new rod sets. Everything needed to completely rebuild the crank like new.
  • 3 gaskets set, plus one extra head gasket
  • New Water pump part set
  • New carb sets including floats
  • Power valve seals
  • New billet aluminum power valves and power valve wheels
  • 1 extra new front disk
  • Numerous new seals and bearing that go into the motor
  • Stock pipes in good condition
  • Stock swingarm with fresh paint and new bearings and seals. Like new
  • Stock radiator in excellent condition
  • Stock wheels with fresh powder coating, sprocket,  and cush drive

All the old wheel bearing, wheel spacers, front and back disks, sprockets, brake lines, and caliber parts. The old original nuts and bolts that were replaced with titanium and stainless, aluminum

Bike comes with a current California registration and title!  Has all the correct serial and engine numbers, but is listed as a 1980 instead of a 1990. You might think that wow I am asking way too much for this bike? I say “find don’t buy it then”. What I can say how often you see one of these for sale in this condition, with all these extras and titled too? Try to find another? These bikes are only going to increase in value as time passes. Plus I am including thousands of dollars in extra parts.

So the $17,500 asking price is big money for a two-stroke sportbike, but I'm betting it will find a buyer: if that California title is valid, I know a couple folks who'd love to snap it up, and it's really not all that far off what folks have been asking for pristine NSR250s recently. It isn't completely stock, but all of the upgrades described by the seller are clearly intended to thoughtfully boost performance and handling. All-in-all, it's one of the coolest bikes we've posted recently.

-tad

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale
Kawasaki January 10, 2018 posted by

Mean and Very Green: 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7R K1 for Sale

Forgoing the elegance and class of the European sportbikes, Kawasaki's unabashedly garish ZX-7R, or ZXR-750 as it was known in other markets, is splashed with jagged graphics in vivid green, white, and blue. Not a modern, metallic, beetle-green, of course. Kawasaki's impossibly green green, with the un-self-consciously adolescent "Ninja" in fluorescent lettering splashed across the tank, along with a pair of HVAC air tubes that don't actually feed a pressurized airbox, just direct cooling air at the cylinder head... I hated these bikes when I was younger. But I'd buy one in a heartbeat now, since I could ride a Ninja with a sense of humor about the name, and not be worried that people might think I had a pair of tabi boots in my closet and some shuriken in my sock drawer next to a pair of nunchaku...

The ZX-7R was Kawasaki's entry into the hotly-contested 750cc superbike class in racing and on the street, their answer to the Suzuki GSX-R750, Yamaha's YZF-750R, and Honda's RC30. At the time, the 750cc inline four was the go-to configuration in World Superbike competition, unless you were Ducati. Of course, each manufacturer built limited-production homologation specials to help create the very best foundation for their World Superbike entries, except for Honda, whose RC30 was basically an homologation special to begin with.

The ZX-7R sold in 1991 is generally known as the "J1," so what's going on here with what the seller claims is a "K1"? Although they provided a wide range of tuning parts for their ZX-7/ZXR-750 that allowed them to compete successfully, Kawasaki didn't really create an homologation special until the 1991 model year's ZX-7R K1. The K1's solo seat and aluminum tank meant it was was lighter, while flat-slide carbs and higher compression meant the engine made a bit more power and could rev a bit higher. Different ratios with a taller first gear were better for the track, but made stoplight getaways a clutch-slipping pain. Price was nearly double the stock bike, but worth it if you wanted to be competitive.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7R K1 for Sale

Some of the most exotic motorcycles ever sold to the public were built during the 1990s, the golden era for homologation Superbikes.  For sale is a rare and wonderful example of such a motorcycle - a limited edition 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7R K1 production-based race bike.  

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R K1 was a special limited edition of Kawi’s ZX-7R used in AMA Superbike. Kawasaki enjoyed tremendous success in competitive racing with this bike, and plenty of that tech made it to the ‘civilian’ version. Required to produce 500 examples for homologation purposes, Kawi packed this bike full of features like 39mm Keihin flat-slide carbs, an aluminum gas tank, and a close ratio six speed transmission with an exceedingly tall first gear. All these goodies nearly doubled the MSRP compared to a base ZX-7R, but for the lucky 142 riders in the US who got to buy one, it was well worth it.  Weighing 10 pounds less than a base ZX-7R, the K1 had a tweaked engine with higher compression and a redline that was 500 rpm higher. This powerplant produced 120 horsepower at the crank, leading to a top speed of just under 160 miles per hour. (from the website bike-urious).
This particular model has only 3,100 miles and starts, runs and rides beautifully...and sounds great with Muzzy exhaust.  The upper fairing near the right side mirror has a couple small cracks (don't ask), but the bike is in remarkably nice shape overall and shows no sign of having been down.  A new lithium battery is included, as well.

Please Note:  I’m listing this bike for a friend who has an exceptionally nice collection of motorcycles for sale, including other homologation bikes (Honda VFR750R RC30, Yamaha FZR750R OW01, numerous rare Ducati’s), a Vincent Black Shadow, an Ariel Square Four, two BSA Gold Stars, a 1937 UL Flathead Harley Davidson, etc. (additional photos included above).

These are very rare and were extremely expensive when new, and there's been plenty of interest in sportbikes of the late 1980s and early 1990s recently. The starting bid for this ZX-7R K1 is $18,000 with no takers yet and several days left on the auction. The last one we featured sold for $14,500 back in 2015, so $18,000 seems like a fair price for this very clean, low-mileage example but maybe a bit high for a starting bid?

-tad

Mean and Very Green: 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7R K1 for Sale
Kawasaki January 8, 2018 posted by

Green and Clean: 1993 Kawasaki ZXR400R

Happy Monday RSBFS readers! The dreaded winter slowdown has yet to arrive - plenty of fantastic bikes continue to pop up despite the onslaught of weather across the US. If you are snowed in and looking for something to do, adding a rare bike to your collection from the comfort of your home might be an ideal winter activity. And if you need something to melt the snow, this hot ZXR400 might just be your ticket.

1993 Kawasaki ZXR400R for sale on eBay

Built for a time where the Big Four were concerned with the declination of the 250cc two stroke class, the 400s were intended to be the four stroke equivalent of a GP bike. Requisite top-shelf components are found throughout, including aluminum frame, upside down front forks (normal today, but race-worthy stuff in the 1990s), lots of suspension adjustability and big, 300mm brakes signaled the track intent of the small ZXR. On the power side, the rise of the small four stroke was based in RPM. Lots of RPM. With a redline north of 14,000 revolutions per minute, the liquid-cooled four cylinder with four-valves per offers up close to 60 horsepower (depending on the market). Packaged in a tidy, 350-ish pound serving size, the ZXR is a razor sharp missile...provided you are under 6 feet. Bigger riders may show a lot of knees and elbows, hardly comfortable and certainly not very aerodynamic.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a gorgeous 1993 Kawasaki ZXR400R “M” model in mint condition with only 5,045 kilometers (3,134 miles). Bike is completely stock except for steel braided brake lines. All fairings and components are 100% genuine factory Kawasaki. Brand new Dunlop Sportmax tires have been installed. Bike runs like the day it was new. Just serviced with New battery and fluids. This is a premium ZXR. Museum quality. Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a streetbike for road use.

A bit sharper than contemporary 400s - at the expense of overall usability - the little green screamer was a solid effort to supplant the quarter liter two strokers. The hype was real and the 300cc class today owes this bike a debt of gratitude. This ZXR400R looks great. This is a classic grey-market bike in classic Kawasaki livery. The passage of time is tough on performance benchmarks, but tips the scales when it comes to laws of supply and demand. This bike is being offered in a Buy It Now auction format for $10,800, with the seller open to offers. That is a premium price for a 400, but 25 years on it is getting harder and harder to find an unmolested example. Check this one out here, and join the large number of people watching what will happen. Good Luck!!

MI

Green and Clean:  1993 Kawasaki ZXR400R
Kawasaki December 16, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R for Sale

There are no points for second place. Unbeknownst to Kawasaki and Honda, both manufacturers were developing the Next Big Thing in the 1970s, an affordable, reliable, inline four-cylinder motorcycle displacing 750cc's. Unfortunately, Honda's CB750 was first to market by several months, leaving Kawasaki with the unenviable choice: be the also-ran, or delay their machine to come up with something special. The Z1 that followed may not have been first, but the 903cc engine meant its performance blew the CB750 into the weeds, and the Kawasaki Z1R seen here was an evolution of that muscular 70s machine.

Of course, by the time the Z1R was introduced, the overall package was pretty long-in-the-tooth, with a dual-shock rear suspension and spindly front forks. Most of the updates were cosmetic, with more modern, angular styling and cast wheels. Frame reinforcements and triple disc brakes improved handling and stopping, and a displacement bump to 1015cc took care of the straight-line performance enhancements. The 550lb wet weight and long wheelbase mean that it won't exactly carve corners, but that same long wheelbase should make it easy to blast away from stoplights in a howling cloud of tire and exhaust smoke.

While the Z1R may not have been cutting-edge when it was new, time has been kind to it and the crisp styling and classy silver-blue color look very sharp today. Like all 70s muscle bikes, the Z1R has definitely been increasing in value, perhaps as a result of its association with its even wilder sibling, the turbocharged Z1R TC. The seller refers to this as a "nut and bolt, frame-off restoration" and it certainly looks the part.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R for Sale

Coming out of my private collection (only because I just restored another 1978 Z1R) is my matching numbers 1978 Kawasaki Z1R with 9,300 original miles in pristine restored condition. This was a full nut and bolt, frame-off restoration with no expense spared, with over $20,000 in parts, labor, and paint refinishing.

The engine was completely disassembled and bead-blasted, then rebuilt to factory specifications with new: pistons, rings, camshafts, cam chain and adjuster, transmission undercut, multi-angle valve job, bearings, seals, carburetors were rebuilt and synchronized, all the hardware new old stock "NOS" or re-plated/zinced/re-chromed.

The frame was bead-blasted, treated, and powder-coated in a matching "OEM" black finish. The forks and brake calipers/master cylinders were completely rebuilt. The wheels were bead-blasted and powder-coated back to "OEM" standards with new tires, "NOS" cables, and wiring harness.

The bodywork was meticulously refinished using the "OEM" paint code and looks like it did when it sat on the Kawasaki showroom floor. The tank and side cover emblems are new old stock "NOS." The original Kawasaki 4-into-1 Z1R exhaust has been replaced with a very similar late 70s triple-chromed 4-into-1 exhaust that looks stock but sounds better. 

Every single part, nut, and bolt has either been replaced with new, rebuilt, or refinished to the highest "OCD" restoration standard. She looks, starts, and runs just like she did in 1978. Please don't hesitate to call or text me with any questions or concerns: 954-816-0806 Bob.

This immaculate, show-winning Z1R is worthy of any motorcycle museum, and will be your pride and joy, sitting in your private collection.

Don't miss out. Tell your wife these bikes are appreciating 15% or more each year and you can get it in time for Christmas.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Honestly, I haven't crunched the numbers, but I'd bet he's right about that rate of appreciation: the values of 1970s superbikes have been steadily climbing for years now, and with plenty of folks who owned these when they were new looking to relive a lost youth, I don't see that changing anytime soon. Plus, if you do need to sell the significant other on your intended purchase, keep in mind that long, flat 1970s seat should make it a viable date-night ride, compared to a more modern sportbike!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R for Sale




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