Posts by tag: GPZ

Kawasaki April 27, 2018 posted by

Explosive [Acceleration] Device: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo for Sale

UPDATE: This bike sold before I could post it, but I'd thought I'd share it with you all anyway, since it is so darn nice. -Tad

The dream of the 1980s was to turbo all the things. Cars, hairdryers, sneakers... If you could buy it, someone was trying to slap a TURBO badge on it during the 1980s to help move units. Actual turbochargers started showing up on commonly-available vehicles during the 80s to inspire that trend, but people were experimenting with turbocharged passenger cars as far back as the Oldsmobile Jetfire, Chevy Corvair Corsa, and Saab 99 Turbo. It took a bit longer for turbocharging to find its way into the production motorcycling world, due to a few challenges associated with the relatively primitive turbo technology of the time. Of course, the term "production" might be stretching things a bit when you're talking about the Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo.

By 1978, the Kawasaki Z1R KZ1000 was decidedly old-fashioned, with honking big air-cooled four cylinder engine, a twin-shock rear suspension, spindly forks up front, and a frame that was less than cutting-edge. The package was generally competent and well-regarded, just a bit long-in-the-tooth. With the development of the much more modern GPz underway, Kawasaki needed to move some remaining stock and generate a bit of excitement for the brand. The TC Turbo, which took the already reasonably quick Z1R and added a RaJay turbo package that increased power by 50%, may have generated a little too much excitement.

TURBO was a word associated with power and speed and modern and cool, even if most people really didn't know what it meant, or exactly how a turbocharger added power to an engine. A high school buddy of mine drove his mom's Mitsubishi Tredia L equipped with some sort of POWER button on the automatic shifter, and he was convinced that it activated "turbo boost," since he'd watched lots of Knight Rider and thought that's how things worked... What it probably did was lock out overdrive in the transmission, but you couldn't convince him it didn't actually release additional power. And likely a great many enthusiasts' understanding of the technology didn't extend much beyond that.

Turbos can make big power, but with that great power comes great responsibility and it was laughably easy to adjust the wastegate on the Z1R TC to allow boost far beyond what the stock internals could handle, leading to a sudden, explosive reversal of the normal interior/exterior engine component relationship. Sure, you could always opt to have your new Kawasaki's engine fully built to withstand the additional pressures, something that was actually recommended by the company, but how many people do you think bothered to do that?

Turbochargers originally came into widespread use during World War II, and the advantages of forced-induction were exploited to allow combat aircraft to perform more efficiently at high altitudes, where reduced oxygen density significantly reduced power. The move towards turbocharging in automobiles was also driven by necessity in the 80s, when the manufacturers were hit by significantly increased fuel-economy and emissions standards. A turbocharger allowed smaller, more efficient engines to perform like larger engines on demand.

Unfortunately, while that Jekyl/Hyde personality of early turbocharged cars generally made them entertaining, it made motorcycles, especially ones already pushing the limits of frame and suspension technology, pretty terrifying: the Z1R probably would have killed more people than Cholera, but luckily very few were actually built. Even fewer still survive today, and most of those aren't in the hands of their original owners, who likely died horrible, firey deaths...

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

Created through an arrangement between Kawasaki and Turbo Cycle Corporation (which was founded by ex-Kawasaki Marketing Director, Alan Masek) brand new Z1R's were sent to TCC, who then modified them with a RaJay turbo and badging. These modified bikes were then sold through select Kawasaki dealers- without a warranty. THERE WERE ONLY 500 BUILT. 

The gas tank side covers, header panels, and tail section have been repainted and color matched to an original Z1R TC. It has all new decals from reproductiondecals.com. So much work has been done to this bike. There are approximately 40 miles on the top half of the rebuilt engine. the cylinder was removed, sand blasted, honed, and painted. New piston rings have been installed. I purchased a like new cylinder head that has all new component parts. The original head had two hairline cracks. The forks were removed, cleaned, and polished with new dust covers. It has a new battery. It has a rebuilt,older style Keihn carburetor. I have the original Bendix carburetor, but as most people know, it runs smoother with the Keihn carborator.

The Rajay turbo 370 F 40 was rebuilt by Mr. Turbo.  The seat has no rips or cuts. The seat pan was removed, sanded, primed, and painted with stock stickers installed from reproductiondecals.com. The bike starts, sounds, and runs great. I have all of the receipts from the mechanical work. Only if i feel you are very serious, I will provide you with the name of the motorcycle service center who performed the work on my bike and send you copies of the sales and receipts. Before the engine was rebuilt, I replaced the tires which are Pirelli Sport Demon. The sprockets and the brake pads were replaced. Those items have about 200 miles on them. The only item i know of that is not an original item is the Pingel fuel valve. Passed down from the original owner are the owners manual, turbo supplement manual, and black vinyl Kawasaki pouch, which was provided for Z1R TC conversions. Both manuals have all the pages intact, and are not oily or greasy. By the way, I know on Ebay, there are reproduction turbo supplement manuals, but this one is original. You can tell by the yellowing pages and semi brittle paper. All three items are 40 years old. 

This actual bike, and not one just like it, is pictured in a hard cover book written by Tony Sculpher title, "Kawasaki (K) Z1000 Z1-R." I have the book. I bought the bike from a collector of Z1R TCs. I wont divulge the info of the collector on ebay, due to privacy and legalities. I made a copy of the title while it was in his name, before I sent it to be transferred to my name. His name is in the book with a picture of my actual motorcycle above the description. All of the instrumentation works. The bike starts, sounds, and runs great. 

This bike's VIN is listed in the official Kawasaki registration for TCC bikes. I am posting a few photos, however, if you want more, please state the area of the bike that you want more detailed photos of. The frame VIN is KZT00D006472. The engine number is from the state police of California as it looks like there must have been an engine case issue which required a factory replacement. Replacement cases from Kawasaki do not carry an engine number and come blank. 

I will assist with your shipping, but will not be responsible for the shipping.

If you're in the market for a Z1R TC [and who isn't?] this looks like a good one. Unfortunately, as mentioned at the start, the listing has been pulled, so I'm assuming it "sold locally." It's clearly been owned by a knowledgeable enthusiast and, although it isn't sporting original paint, it appears to have been painstakingly restored. This is about as nice a machine as you're likely to find, with history, appropriate mechanical updates, and even a very comprehensive video with lots of commentary.

-tad

Explosive [Acceleration] Device: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo for Sale
Kawasaki August 1, 2017 posted by

Godfather: 1982 Kawasaki GPz1100

Here is a bike that should need no introduction. The last of the "He-Man" bikes and the best of the rest as the motorcycling world teetered on the verge of technology overload, the Kawasaki GPz1100 was THE bad boy on the block in the early 1980s. This bike is very far from rare in terms of production numbers - the only limit was the number that could be shuffled through the showroom floor. Tack 35 years onto that memory, however, and what you have is something that is a bona fide collector in the kind of condition that we see here (nostalgia only helps). Being sold by a dealer out of Connecticut, this GPz1100 is a survivor that looks tremendous and sports only 12,261 miles on the clock. Interested? You should be. Read on!

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 for sale on eBay

Young Padawan learners take note: Long before the days of liquid cooling, four valve heads, fuel injection, rising-rate single shock rear suspension, upside down forks, big brakes, ECUs or radial tires, motorcycles still existed. They were just a bit more basic than what you know today. The quest for speed still existed, but the answer to most questions was displacement. Want to create a legacy? Build a bigger bike. Want to sell more bikes? Bore out whatever you have to something larger. Dousing the resulting product in "arrest me - now!" red paint never hurts. Backing it up with the most decent chassis of the day, adding triple disks (a novelty) and capping it with a bikini fairing (oooh, racy!) pretty much made this THE big bore bike to have back when Magnum PI was the hot ticket on TV.

From the seller:
1982 GPZ1100 KAWASAKI
Absolutely Stunning, an Original Paint, Antique Kawasaki, A Rare Museum Quality Piece!

A member of the “Red Revolution” as it is beautifully painted in Kawasaki’s “firecracker red”. The color just seems to hover above this bikes remaining parts (frame, engine, exhaust, mufflers, forks, handlebars, mirrors, etc.) as they are blacked out chrome. Creating a seriously aggressive look! It’s the second year Kawasaki produced an 1100cc and they were serious about having the best superbike! The B2 is similar to the B1 however it is unique due to its cockpit fairing, clip on style handlebars, LCD fuel gauge display, 4 digital fuel injectors mounted directly into the cylinder head, digital microprocessor to measure airflow, throttle position sensor (to eliminate throttle lag and lower emissions), reflectors on both sides of the tail light, stiffer fork springs, compression and rebound damping for a better handling on either track or street.

The GPz was indeed a revolution for Kawasaki; an evolution of the Z1 and the KZ series, the GPz was the most sporting of the Big K lineup, and became the legend behind the forthcoming Ninja. It didn't hurt that the Kawasaki was very successful against the onslaught of Honda went it came to Superbike racing; while they eventually succumbed to the V-4 Interceptors, the GPz reigned supreme in their final years of competition. Not bad for caveman technology. But then again, a simple club wielded effectively can be a formidable weapon. Today, simply finding one of these archaic rocks can be a chore. Finding one with relatively few miles and looking like this is a dream.

Bidding is currently below $4k USD with no reserve. There is a fair amount of interest in this machine; I'm not surprised given that the last GPz we posted (a lowly 550 model) garnered a good deal of attention from our readers. I cringe when I hear this referred to as an antique, but maybe that is just my age-related pride. This particular example looks to be fetching a far greater sum than the aforementioned 550, but even then it is still quite reasonable by collector standards. Check it out here, and feel free to jump back to our Comments section and share your thoughts on this era of the GPz. Good Luck!!

MI

Godfather: 1982 Kawasaki GPz1100
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 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 May 12, 2015 posted by

Bay Ridge Barn ( well, storage unit ) Find – 1984 Kawasaki GPz-750

Hard as they are to find, unmolested early sportbikes pop up occasionally.  This pre-Ninja 750 appeared on the New York Craigslist recently.

20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 left

1984 Kawasaki GPz-750 for sale on Craigslist

20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 left front

Developed from the KZ-750, the GPz-750 had 92 hp, new frame with Uni-Trak rear suspension, and generally more sport-oriented.  The sweet bikini fairing foreshadows the full fairing to come later.  For 1984, mostly color changes but slightly raising the clip-on handlebars made the bike friendlier.  Rubber front engine mounts helped, too.  The smallish 280mm brakes nonetheless performed well.  Overall a speedy, stable rider.

20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 left rear  20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 right front wheel

20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 right rear wheel  20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 left engine

From the Craigslist ad:

This bike has been very well maintained it's entire life by a mature older gentleman who kept it in clean, dry, and temperate storage. Pictures do not do this bike justice. The paint is in absolutely stunning original condition. This bike has no mechanical or electrical issues at all and can be ridden anywhere. The carburetors have been jetted and air box has been replaced with air filter pods. Vance and Hines full exhaust looks and runs great with the properly tuned carbs. This bike's motor pulls strong and has no issues. Chain and sprockets were replaced with new ones last year. Tires are in great condition with no dry rot and lots of tread left. This bike has to be seen in person to truly appreciate how clean it is.

20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 cockpit  20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 tank

20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 seat  20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 nose

CL ads can be hyperbolic and poorly documented, but this common-sense ad has great pictures.  The GPz-750 was the fastest bike in its day and still has a lot to offer.  The silver paint and red/blue stripes look great, and the bike seems very clean overall.  Sensible asking price for such a pretty historic.  Certainly have to do your homework on a purchase like this but a GPz in such fine shape is worth a look.

20150507 1984 kawasaki gpz-750 left rear

-donn

Bay Ridge Barn ( well, storage unit ) Find – 1984 Kawasaki GPz-750
Kawasaki April 30, 2015 posted by

Bodyman’s Baby – 1985 Kawasaki GPZ900

The revolutionary early Ninja's combined many improvements with the result being the first street cycle capable of 150mph.  Not the first inline 4, or with 4 valves per cylinder, or water cooled, but the first to combine these in a production engine.  Great attention was given to lightening and narrowing the drivetrain, the alternator and starter are behind rather than beside, and the camshaft drive chain is at the left end of the crank, rather than between cylinders 2 and 3.  The primary and secondary shafts in the transmission are stacked, allowing a somewhat shorter wheelbase.

20150429 1985 kawasaki gpz900 right

1985 Kawasaki GPZ900 for sale on eBay

20150429 1985 kawasaki gpz900 left

Tests from the time show that the GPZ900 was a neutral-handling rocket, with a smooth-shifting 6-speed transmission and excellent triple-disk brakes.  Never a lightweight at around 550 lbs, the Ninja was smooth thanks to an engine counter-balancer and comfortable to ride.  The GPZ900's combination of power, handling, and brakes won many multi-bike shootouts and a generation of riders.

20150429 1985 kawasaki gpz900 tank  20150429 1985 kawasaki gpz900 left detail

Looking like it just rolled off the set of Top Gun, this early Ninja is a young 30.  A previous owner contributed a K&N filter and Yoshimura exhaust.  Re-painted in factory colors with graphics stenciled and wet-sanded, some extraneous reflectors and logos have been removed, and some of the aluminum has been polished.  With the multiple clear coats it looks ready for a show or a cruise.

20150429 1985 kawasaki gpz900 right rear  20150429 1985 kawasaki gpz900 radiator

From the eBay auction:

Here's my first gen 900. An avid fan of the original Gpz, I think the first gen 900 was the last and best of them. The bike has a short list of mods that I think make the bike much better overall. First the paint. I have painted the bike in original colors but instead of using decals for the stripes and 'Kawasaki' and 'Ninja' they have been hand stenciled with 5 coats of clear over them. There is no bump as you run your hands over them. They've been wet sanded completely flush. The 'liquid cooled' emblem I made of super thin 'water slide' material. I put a drop of pearl metallic in the clear coat which is very subtle and only visible when the bike is under full sun. The bike has been completely wet sanded and buffed. The fairing amber side reflectors have been eliminated as has the front headlight 'Kawasaki' emblem. I feel they both take something away from the bike. The rear fender was trimmed. The wheels were done in red base coat clear coat keeping more in line with the original Gpz's. I have polished the peg mounts and the swingarm. The bike came with the Yosh pipe and K&N filters, thus the bike doesn't use the stock airbox. I think this is also a big plus. When I bought the bike it had a Corbin Gunfighter but I've always disliked them so I bought a stock seat. I'm the third owner and the bike has 26,000 miles on it. It's in perfect mechanical condition and I believe it's the prettiest first gen 900 you will find anywhere.

The auction for this first generation Ninja has already generated 14 bids and there are still 4 days left.  If you're one of the many fans, take a look.

-donn

Bodyman’s Baby – 1985 Kawasaki GPZ900