Posts by Category: Kawasaki

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!
Kawasaki February 7, 2017 posted by

More from Japan: 1989 Kawasaki ZXR250R

Looking like its bigger brothers of the ZX7 family, you would be forgiven to mistake the ZXR250 for a larger displacement motorcycle. But as we all know, small bikes rule in Japan, and when it comes to small sport bikes, Japan really does rule. Built to work around restrictive licensing rules in the home market - as well as conform to standards in other Asian markets such as Malaysia - the Big Four poured significant resources into the quarter-liter category. From two strokes to four, model lines for larger displacement bikes were often ported to the lower classes, resulting in families of models from 50cc up to 1100cc, depending upon the market. This ZXR250 was the result of that effort, and is available directly from Japan.

1989 Kawasaki ZXR250R for sale on eBay

The similarity of looks between the ZXR250 and its larger siblings is not just cosmetics - Kawasaki packed this bike with some significant go-fast tech as well. The liquid-cooled inline four banger offers 45 HP and will rev up to 19,000 RPM thanks to a brace of four Keihin carbs feeding the four valve per cylinder heads via forced air induction. Power is delivered via a 6-speed tranny, and the whole package is wrapped in an aluminum perimeter box frame. Triple disks all around provide braking duties, an upside down fork holds up the front, and a Uni-Track mono shock rear end completes the picture. All in all, your standard, screaming, hyper-sensitive small bike perfect for the hooligan in you.

From the seller:
KAWASAKI ZXR250R
VIN:ZX250A-300532
Year: 1989
Mileage: 14,835km
Condition: Running very well. Very good condition. Body work has tiny scratches and repair mark for tiny crack. Front forks has No rusts on the chrome, No oil leaks. No rust inside of the gas tank.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface. We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself.
The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

We have seen a few other bikes being offered by this seller. They all suffer (to some degree) of life in the salty, ocean air of crowded Japan. Scuffs and minor cosmetic issues are par for the course when daily parking areas contain hundreds - if not thousands - of bikes at any given time. Some corrosion is to be expected due to the proximity of the sea. Still, for those outside of the home market, this 250 is a rare bird and a pretty neat piece of tech. Nothing in the pictures looks too terrible to me, but then the issue of registration for the road raises its ugly head. This bike will be sold with a bill of sale and importation paperwork, but it's up to you to get it registered. That may not be a problem depending upon your locale, but realize that home market bikes do not carry 17-digit VIN numbers which are often required in the US.

This is your chance to own a rare (in the US, at least), home market bike from Japan. This 250 will beat the snot out of any of the similar era 250s that meekly putted up to our shores, and is likely still competitive against the newer crop of small bike madness that is going on. The uniqueness in the US is undeniable; there is no point in having fun if you can't look cool doing it at the same time. This bike ticks a lot of boxes on the wish list, and deserves a good home in someone's garage. Check it out here, and then let us know what you think. Are you down with a 250 sport bike, and if so which is your favorite?

MI

More from Japan: 1989 Kawasaki ZXR250R
Kawasaki January 25, 2017 posted by

Bantamweight Sportbike: 1990 Kawasaki ZXR400 for Sale

While we see the occasional CBR400RR here on the site, and FZR400s aren't too hard to find if you go looking, it's been quite a while since we've been able to feature one of Kawasaki's bantamweight superbikes, the ZXR400. With a liquid-cooled 398cc inline four and a six-speed gearbox to make the most of the high-strung powerband, the ZXR packs serious sportbike credentials into a very compact package. It was introduced in 1989 and produced through 1999. Claimed power for the earlier "H" bikes was slightly higher at 64hp versus the later "L" version at 61hp, and they made that peak figure further up the rev-range by a few hundred rpm. But torque was a bit lower, as you might expect, since the engine is mechanically nearly identical in both versions. The earlier model was also naturally a bit lighter, with a claimed dry weight of just 350lbs, which meant the bike was good for a top speed of over 140mph.

As has been stated in the past, there's a reason that all this sophisticated technology was included in a bike with such limited displacement. Simply: it wasn't aimed at new motorcyclists. Here in the USA, bikes under 600cc are generally cheap commuters with decades-old technology, and new riders are often steered towards 600cc sportbikes since there are no limitations for newer riders, insurance is cheap, and the market is saturated with 1000 sportbikes and 2300cc cruisers. But overseas, tiered licenses mean limited access to bigger bikes for many riders, and international racing series didn't really have a 600cc class at the time, so these 400s were really just a step down from World Superbike displacement 750s.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki ZXR400 for Sale

This is the full power Japanese home market version not the usual detuned US market model.
The bike has just been imported in December 2016 and registered on a Florida Title in my name.
These superb looking bikes with ram air induction are now at classic status
This beauty has only covered 35,871 miles in 27 years
Tires are brand new front and rear.
The bike does stert up and run fine and clutch gears and brakes are all good the Carb's could do with tuning and possibly rejetting for the low grade US fuel.

The bike looks good in the photos, but that's not saying much, considering their low quality...  Certainly, the price is right: the Buy It Now is listed as just $3,000 which, although the mileage is on the high side, seems to make this a pretty good deal if you're looking for something sporty, unusual, and are working with a limited budget. The seller mentions "the usual detuned US market model" although I'm not sure these were ever officially imported to the States. Either way, if you're interested in picking this up, be sure to verify that you can legally register it in your home state and request some better images to verify the bike's condition.

-tad

Bantamweight Sportbike: 1990 Kawasaki ZXR400 for Sale
Kawasaki January 20, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

Update 2.2.2017: Seller has confirmed the eBay sale of $17,665. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Eddie Lawson rode the factory's Z1000R to the AMA Superbike Championships in 1981 and 1982. And though he got a better offer from Yamaha in 1983, Kawasaki continued for another year with the replica KZ1000R. With total production under 2000 units, the Eddie Lawson Replica is quite rare and a big, brash time machine of a ride. This example from the northeast looks like an easy return to ride or show status.

Starting as an idea from over in marketing to improve KZ1000 sales, the -R had slightly quicker steering geometry and a few more ponies courtesy of the dealer-installed Kerker exhaust.  The venerable air-cooled two-valve four made just over 100 hp per liter at 102.  An oil cooler was added to help ensure reliability, as was a wider rear rim and tire.  Damping rates in the Showa remote-reserve shocks and forks were adjusted just for the -R.  A two level seat helped the rider stay in position and Eddie Lawson contributed his own superbike bend for the handlebars.  Replica colors are as attractive now as they were then.

  

Almost every bike of a certain age has been with a few owners, and this KZ1000R looks to have escaped any abuse.  The 21,753 are about middle of the road for a rider, and it looks quite stock, with a nice Telefix fork brace and newer seat upholstery.  From the owner's eBay auction:

ORIGINAL OTHER THAN THE TIRES AND YELLOW IGNITION WIRES

IN EXCELLENT SHAPE, WILL NEED A CARB CLEANING AND TUNE UP

INSIDE OF TANK HAS ZERO RUST, I HAVE THE ORIGINAL KAWASAKI MIRROR (not on the bike in the pictures)
TWO SMALL COSMETIC AREAS:
1) SMALL CRACK ON THE UPPER RIGHT SIDE OF THE FAIRING BY THE WINDSCREEN (EASILY SEEN IN THE PICTURES) CAN BE FIXED EASILY
2) SCUFFS ON THE TAIL SECTION
THE BIKE HAS BEEN SPRAYED WITH SC1 PROTECTANT (SOME AREAS WET IN THE PHOTOS)

  

With water-cooling and V-4's being introduced, the winds of change were howling in the early 1980's, and KZ1000R's had to suffer a few years of benign neglect before the interest in retro or just-plain-superbikes took off.  Since then they have been raced, collected, and exported, with the net result of fewer of these special machines available.  The -R reviewed as a stiffly-sprung, torquey ball to ride - up until that last tenth, when the size and weight required an expert rider to push.  With a little elbow grease this Eddie Lawson Replica could be a great rider or with more attention, a powerhouse of a collector.  See the eBay auction - here - and the owner, Mike requests inquiries on  (774) 836-8507...

-donn

  

Featured Listing – 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica
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