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Posts published in “Kawasaki”

Big Green Monster – 1984 Rickman Kawasaki KZ1000J

Mike 4

Listed as no longer available before we had a chance to post it, this relative bargain of a Rickman beauty went quickly! MI

Another day, another beautiful example of a British Bimota. If you missed out on the Rickman CR900 Kawi last week (or found it a bit too rich for your blood), today finds us with yet another unique Rickman opportunity. This time we are looking at a bare-frame build of a Kawasaki KZ1000, looking every inch the bad-ass Superbike that would have ruled the roost back in the day. This was about as good as internal combustion life got back before the technological arms race started up and left the dinosaurs behind. Until that happened, this 1984 Rickman-framed liter bike must have been near the top of the performance heap.

1984 Rickman Kawasaki KZ1000J for sale on eBay

From the seller:
1984 Rickman Kawasaki 1000. These were built by two brothers in England from the early 60s until the mid 80s.

These are super rare and each one is unique to the buyer. No two are alike. When you bought one you had a choice of different engines, forks, shocks and brakes. A very much one off bike.

The frames were made out of 531 Renolds tubing and then were nickel plated.

Its a little grumpy to start when its cold, because of the Mikuni 33 carbs on it.

Engine was rebuilt with new seals bearings and rings, everything was checked and put back together.

It has all the original racing parts. This is a very fast motorcycle!

Unlike the earlier CR build, this bike is looking downright affordable with a Buy It Now of only $8,000. While the naked bike look might not look as flash as the faired in CR, the performance is certainly there. This bike seems to offer a real hot rod experience with some top shelf components (for the day), and the Kawi lime green offers a slightly softer appearance than the dayglo green of the CR. This is a bike with some serious swagger, and would look at home in any garage, man cave, track day, coffee meet or canyon. It really won’t last long at this price, either. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

4 Responses.

I Was Framed! 1975 Rickman Kawasaki CR900

Mike 5

In the 1970s and 1980s the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers made huge strides in terms of technology, performance and reliability. The engines were more powerful than ever. Gearboxes had evolved from 4 to 5-speed units with crisp action. But somehow the chassis side of the business languished; the frame tech of the Big Four was way behind the power curve – quite literally. Enter smaller boutique builders looking to add substance to the rest of the package by way of wrapping all of the goodness in a custom built frame. One of the earliest players in this space was Rickman. Today’s Rickman CR900 looks great in its original dayglo green paintwork, and is a great example from this period.

1975 Rickman Kawasaki CR900 for sale on eBay

Brothers Derek and Don started their eponymous company back in 1960, originally upgrading scramblers and dirt bikes before turning their attention to racers and road bikes. The frames themselves were pieces of art in a totally functional manner; thicker, more heavily braced and much stiffer than any OEM unit. They were also beautiful, nickel-plated affairs (although the nickname for a Rickman frame is “Metisse” which means mongrel in French). In the case of the CR900, motive power was taken from a donor Z1, and the rest of the bike was fitted with upgraded suspension and braking components before receiving beautiful fiberglass bodywork.

From the seller:
1975 Rickman Kawasaki CR900. Here’s your chance to own a Rickman at a very attractive price-don’t wait 5 years from now when they might be going for $30k! This is 1 of 1,258 Rickman’s produced from 1974-1981. This is also 1 of 299 Rickmans produced in 1975. Rare long tank/short seat version. This Rickman has been restored to as close to original spec as possible after the previous owner converted it to a sport tourer. It is powered by a 1975 Kawasaki Z1 engine with @4,422 miles showing on the donor bike speedo(true mileage unknown). It has a high quality aluminum tank that was supposedly made by the guys that made the frame (per the previous owner-but I have no proof of this). It has a period correct Hooker 4 into 4 exhaust system. A picture of an ad from Cycle World Magazine circa 1975 is included with the pics verifying the system does exist-as I never knew Hooker made such a system. It still has the original Rickman aluminum chain guard-which a lot of Rickmans tend not to have. The forks are also original spec Rickman. The headlight fairing mount seems to be for some other model Rickman as it does not fit perfectly(Rickman CR750 Honda maybe?)-I had to fabricate aluminum(to keep it as light as possible) brackets to mount the fairing. The 2 lower fairing mounts are the correct Rickman ones.

More from the seller:
The bike is 5 VIN’s numbers away from the Rickman Craig Vetter (official Rickman importer) used to ride to a 3rd place finish in the Café Class at Daytona in 1975. The bike was accepted into the prestigious invitation only Boca Raton Concours De Elegance in 2019.

The tach and speedo is a tight fit in the fairing and makes the slightest of rubbing when you make any turns.

More from the seller:
The nickel plating on the frame is bright and shiny. The paint is brand new and concours quality. The windshield is a brand new genuine Gustafsson screen. The battery is 2 years old. It has a battery tender lead connector for charging. I fabricated some silencers for the exhaust system as it was a bit loud for the neighbors-but the fabrication is totally reversible. The bike has a clean and clear Florida title in my name.

Rickman bikes were originally frame kits, requiring owners to source a donor motorcycle and perform the assembly. By the early 1970s they were producing full on motorcycles, usually based on Honda or Kawasaki power. By the mid to late 1970s the Rickman brothers sold the company, which – following a short chain of custodians – continues to this day. These are justifiably rare machines that really show the potential of the 1970s. And while some may think they lack the “motorcycle as art” mentality of say Bimota, one has to only look closely to see that a Rickman has only what it needs to perform, without unnecessary farkles. This mean green 1975 Rickman CR900 is based in Florida, and has a starting bid price tag of $18,000. You can check it out here, including a walk around video. Good Luck!!

5 Responses.

Waltz Across Texas – 1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R

Donn 2

Might be time to turn that fly-in / ride home daydream into a reality – today’s 1986 Ninja 1000R looks up to the task.  99 percent original, it looks excellent with just 10K original miles !

1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R for sale on eBay

Design to succeed the 900 “Top Gun” Ninja, the 1000R was a comprehensive update, with larger 36mm carbs, lightened valve train, more modern piston rings and fresh air ducts.  Top speed was a focus item with taller final gearing, and fairing updates even included the turn signals, which are applied to the aerodynamic strakes.  Variable damping forks and period solutions like 16-inch wheels attempted to help the 550-odd pounder turn in.  Styling updates were light and didn’t mess with success.

Hidden away in south Texas, this Ninja looks super clean and surprisingly original, with a new dark windscreen.  One minor dent and an over-stressed fairing fastener look eminently fixable.  Finishes on the tank and the wide seat fairing are amazing for their age, and though the dash photo is blurry, the owner states just 10K miles in the eBay auction –

True time capsule here!

All original Ninja 1000, only 10,000 miles, runs and rides like a new one. I have documentation to show these are original miles. The only non-original item is the Zero Gravity windscreen. I have the original owners manual and tool kit. Everything on this bike works perfectly. There are two small defects that I have shown in the pics. Let me know if you need additional info.

Check out eBay’s GPZ1000R offerings here !

This owner is almost right about his Ninja being a ZX-10, it’s more often called a GPZ1000RX, which was left to battle the 900 it succeeded in the showrooms until the ZX-10 arrived in 1988.  The liter segment was borderline GT those years, and the 1000R more than held its own against its rivals.  This one would likely be a hit at a bike night, after a comfortable and speedy ride part way across Texas.


2 Responses.

Once A Champion – 1989 Kawasaki ZX-10 “Tomcat”

Norman 3


Picture 2 of 24

1989 Kawasaki ZX-10 “Tomcat” 

With a trophy in the cabinet for the GPZ lineup, Kawasaki was likely feeling very good about their successes in the late 80s. There was no shortage of publicity and it only made sense to try and use the same formula to sell bikes while all the eyes were on them. The ZX10 “Tomcat” was the successor to the GPZ 1000RX, which was the GPZ 900’s bigger brother. While the 900 always overshadowed the 1000 due its role in the cinema, there was no doubt about a growing thirst for faster and faster bikes in the American market.

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The ZX-10 was known mainly for it’s top speed. The motor was largely similar to that of the outgoing GPZ 1000 but one of the main differences included angled intake ports that called for a semi-downdraft carb. Improved aero and a lighter curb weight along with the engine is what ultimately allowed this bike to use all of its 131 hp to propel it to 165 mph. The frame was coined as an “e-box” frame as denoted on the front fairing. The use of aluminum was starting to really take off and was one of the major sources of stiffness and weight-savings in the era.

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Evolution of the motorcycle during the 1980’s was elevated to new heights. Manufactures were taking the leap and pushing the limits of performance, speed and style and Kawasaki was at the forefront of this movement. The ZX10 was hailed as the new flagship performance bike for Kawasaki and took the world by storm in 1988 by building the world’s fastest production motorcycle for the 1988 model year. 135hp, 165mph top speed, quarter mile under 11 seconds, the ZX10 “Tomcat” was the bike everyone wanted to own, but never wanted to line up against. Cycle World Reported in 1988, “A motorcycle visually, mechanically and functionally awash in velocity, it is the new Sultan of Speed, a sportbike insuperable…. Nothing else mass-produced on two wheels even comes close. Now we have entered the Starship Enterprise era: “So radical is the engine’s intake-port angle that the tops of its canted Keihin carbs actually sit higher than the uppermost part of the cylinder head…” That engine’s now confined inside Kawasaki’s first aluminum perimeter frame, proclaimed “e-box” on the fairing because of “its egg-like oval shape when viewed from above.” Radial tires-17 inch front, 18 rear-and twin-piston brakes let the big Ninja stop in 107 feet from 60 mph, the shortest we’d ever recorded.”
This example with under 5k miles is an extremely nice example for any collector, rider or enthusiast. Bang for the buck and appreciating classics like this don’t last long, you won’t want to miss this one.

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The GPZ and ZX-10 led to the battle between Honda, Kawasaki, and eventually Suzuki for the top speed crown. The Blackbird, ZX-11/12/14, and Hayabusa all traded heavy punches throughout the ’90s and early ’00s. While the Blackbird and GPZs have cemented their status, some of the Kawasakis have been lagging slightly but that doesn’t take away from their credibility as actual sport bikes. They were market pioneers and leaders in the segment with this bike. The example today has extremely low miles for a 1986 and seems to be in fantastic condition. The seller mentions there was a repaint done a while back but it is certainly hard to tell from the pictures. A Vance and Hines slip on and upgraded seat are mentioned as well.

The bike is listed at $5.9K but I suspect there would be some room for negotiation if you make an offer. The price is such that you can collect it or ride it without much worry. It’s no secret that bikes we can buy today aren’t the same as the 80s and 90s in terms of feel and emotion. The retro-inspired options offered today are nice to look at but lack some of the character provided by the motors and chassis of the decades past.

Thanks for reading!



3 Responses.

Starting Off with a Bang ! – 1994 Kawasaki ZXR-400R

Donn 10

“Wouldn’t that be neat to try”, is all the response a bike that was never sold here could want of those with the motorbike affliction.  The ZXR-400R has that in buckets, and while the ask might be irrationally exuberant, at least this owner presents an excellent example.

1994 Kawasaki ZXR-400R for sale on eBay

Never seen down at your local Green dealer, the 400R was focused on the home market and a few progressive license countries.  Small bore but high tech, it used four valve heads, 12.0-to-1 compression and 30mm carbs to come up with 59 hp.  The carefully shaped twin spars hold things steady for 41mm USD forks and Uni-Trak monoshock.  300mm brakes are seen on much larger supersports, but 17-inch tires were sized for the 390 lb. full tank weight.

Bargains in the 400cc market are way off in the rear view mirror, but it’s hard to call this buy-it-now from an eBayer with no history anything more than a conversation starter.  The bike itself looks great, with just 3,564 miles, a largely stock appearance, super clean, and even an intact rear mudguard.  One photo shows a license plate, but title status isn’t mentioned in the eBay auction –

Super clean vintage classic Kawasaki.. extremely rare to be found in US for sale.
It’s never been down, it has Kilometers odometer, 
It has a steering dampener. 


The ZXR400R reviewed as fairly roomy for a smaller sport, and handled better than average, but the power was mostly in the upper half of the rev range.  Might be something to find a way to try and see if you’ll enjoy, before spending sports car money on one, even as nice as this.  Hopefully the seller is for real and the make offer button can talk them out of the stratosphere.

– donn

10 Responses.

What’s Old Is New – 1983 Kawasaki GPz550

Mike 4

With apologies to RSBFS readers nearing, at, or possibly over the ripe age of this pristine GPz550 (did I cover everyone?), 40 years old in the sport bike business might as well be 80. And yet in the early 1980s (that’s right – depending on your musical preference it was the same era Ozzy bit the head off of a bat, Michael Jackson released Thriller, and Olivia Newton-John’s Physical hit #1) this mundane Kawasaki was as close to the pinnacle of middleweight performance madness as could be. Today there are few survivors that present this well. And despite Kawasaki’s attempt to produce more of these bikes than the competing examples from the other Big Four, this is a rightfully rare find today.

1983 Kawasaki GPz550 for sale on eBay

With DNA solidly rooted in the KZ550, Kawasaki breathed life into the air-cooled, two-valve mill with bumpier bump sticks and higher compression. New technology in the form of solid state ignition juiced up the spark, and Kawasaki added an oil cooler to help keep rising temps at bay. The net result was a respectable 57 HP. On the chassis side, the new bike was fitted with beefier, adjustable forks, and triple disk brakes were added all around (replacing the KZ’s single front disk and drum rear brake). The ’82 onward bikes enjoyed a new single-shock rear suspension. Signifying the sporting intent of the new model – now known as the GPz – a bikini fairing was fitted. And with that, Kawasaki invented an icon that would live on for generations.

From the seller:
1983 Kawasaki GPZ550. Very rare find in unmolested condition. Only non original parts are tires, battery and o ring chain. Fresh out of 18 year storage from original owner. Will come with original title filled out by original owner but not assigned. Video is available on YouTube under my username theoriginalmungaman. Starts and runs as new. This is a legitimate #2 bike. Could be displayed in a museum. You can text me for specific questions or photos. 774-246-9884. I have a shipper who is cheaper than anyone and will assist.

The seller has noted a start-up video of the bike, which is shown below:

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It is incredible to think that this (by today’s standards) humble bike could spark off such a fierce middleweight arms battle, but that is exactly what occurred. Honda upped the sport bike ante the same year with the VFR (initially a 750, then necked down to 500cc to create the mini-ceptor), and Yamaha and Suzuki followed suit. But lost in the intense battles for mid-sized supremacy were the machines themselves; time has not been kind to hand-me-down motorcycles, anything that was fast and cheap, or miles of black chrome (a key Kawasaki ingredient during this time period). Yet this one survived.

Today’s example is a 1983 model GPz550. It shows a tick over 12,000 miles on the odometer, but otherwise looks clean and original, right down to the dual exhaust pipes, bench seat, stickers and turn signals. Recently brought out of storage, this nicely aged beauty is looking for a new home. Check out all of the details here, and be sure and jump back to the comments and share your experiences with this model. Did you have one? Good Luck!!


4 Responses.

Featured Listing – Restored 1993 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R M1 #141

Norman 0

Update 12.3.2022: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

1993 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R M1 with 13K miles

Someone call Bring a Trailer and put them on notice because this Kawasaki ZX-7R is our 5th Featured Listing for the month! We just need to adopt a bland writing style and we’re there. Helping us on our ascent to the top are many enthusiasts and frequent patrons of the industry. Today, a returning supporter, Andy has allowed us to showcase his rare 1993 ZX-7R M1. The seller is running the auction on Iconic Motorbikes Auctions and you can follow the bidding there.

When I think of the origin story for this icon, I think of a boy picking dandelions in the outfield while the hitter pops one out into left field. In this case, the boy is Kawasaki and the raging tee ball game is the newly minted World Superbike Championship. Other teams like Honda came out of the gate shooting with their RC30 while Kawasaki was dicking around with a steel frame GPX750. Of course this was no regular GPX and Kawasaki did secure one win in the opening season in Hungary but they only managed to reach 4th in the constructor’s championship. They had brought a knife to a gunfight. As we know Kawasaki didn’t become the kid who got bullied on the playground because of the whole dandelion thing. Instead they studied the other manufacturer’s designs and released the ZXR750 in 1989. That bike ultimately helped them clinch the WSBK championship over a Ducati piloted by Carl Fogarty in 1993. This 1993 ZX-7R M1 Homologation is as close as you can get to that.

The 1993 model was the most advanced ZX-7 to ever be released. The first generation bike used a souped up GPX750 engine and actually ended up weighing more than the GPX750 itself which is crazy considering it was made from Aluminum. In a field littered with lightweight Bimotas and Hondas the ZXR never stood a chance. By the time 1993 rolled around. Kawasaki had redesigned the engine, added upside down forks, shortened the wheelbase, installed ram air intakes and cut some weight off the bike.

This M1 Homologation special got two extra bits that the rest of the regular “L” models did not receive: a close ratio gearbox and 39mm Keihin FCR flat slide carbs. It’s a race bike.

The keys to collector quality are low production, race pedigree, and an engaging experience. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention condition and that is really the highlight of this bike. The seller has completed a full restoration over the course of his ownership. Overhauls to the engine, bodywork, suspension, brakes, and pretty much every major assembly were done to this bike. The condition of the bike prior to the resto is unclear but the seller mentions it remained in storage for a number of years. It’s only got 13K mi so it clearly wasn’t ridden much. There’s a picture in the gallery below of the tank and the paint looks so good I’m not sure I would ever be comfortable going into full tuck.

There’s really not much else to say about this bike. It’s great to see these classic machines get revived and enjoyed. Everything that we as enthusiasts and collectors love about the hobby is really embodied by this ZX-7R. It’s analog. It’s racy. It’s got an iconic 90s color scheme. This is the kind of stuff we’re talking about when we say we miss the old days.

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The auction can be found here and has reached $8,100 before the close of day 1 of 6. Good luck on the bids!

Thanks for reading!


Featured Listing – 1975 Kawasaki 900 Z1F

Norman 0

Featured Listing – 1975 Kawasaki 900 Z1F asking $29,500 – RSBFS Exclusive!

I’m no salesman. The craft has always puzzled me but I gather my lack of patience and lack of empathy are two main culprits. However, I have learned a couple things over the years and one of them are that the easiest sales are those when you don’t really have to do any selling. Today’s RSBFS exclusive featured listing fortunately won’t require me to flex any of those muscles because I don’t think it’ll take much else other than the pictures for our readers to visualize themselves at the helm of this stunning machine.

The Kawasaki 900 Z1F is one of the more decorated bikes to come across RSBFS as of late. Admittedly it does’t align perfectly with our niche but many consider it to the be precursor to many of the superbikes that followed in the 80s and 90s. In addition to the superbike lineage that followed, the 900’s seed is responsible for another spectacular, enthusiast-driven, category of motorcycle: Muscle Cruisers. The 900 LTD paved the way for Suzuki’s “L” models and the Honda’s Magnas. Good enough for us.

The 900’s Ghengis Khan-esque history isn’t the only reason it maintains the status it does today. One must understand that Ol’ Ghengis wasn’t just known for his power and expansive genealogy. Some say he was quite good looking as well and that’s yet another trait the he shares with the 900. All UJMs are pretty similar (hence the name Universal Japanese Motorcycle) but the 900’s profile managed to stand apart while still being wildly attractive to buyers. If the Mongol Empire had made it to the the 1980s, it’s undeniable that the Ghengis would have ruled on a 900 Z1.

After spending the better part of the early 70s boosting casket sales with their two stroke machines, Kawasaki had another crackingly fast bike on their hands in the 900 Z1. As innovative as Kawasaki had been in the past they weren’t first to the market with a big bore 4 cyl. Honda landed the first shot with the famed CB750 and Kawasaki merely countered with the 900. A counter that landed squarely on Honda’s chin.

It’s no mystery that the Kawi had another 150cc behind their strike on the CB750 but what is more important to the history books is that the 900’s motor propelled it to 131 mph which, at the time, was the fastest top speed ever recorded for a production motorcycle. It also grabbed a top speed record at Daytona by hitting 160 mph around the 2 mi circuit. That stock + bike had fairings but check out the story here. That banking is no joke and it takes a serious bike to get that record. With the extra displacement and an 8,500k red line, the 900cc needed to breathe. An extra valve made possible by a DOHC setup gave the 900 the lung capacity it needed. That is relatively menial today but it gave Kawi a leg up over the reigning CB750 of the time

At some point during ownership, the 2nd owner must’ve have gotten used to the power as they opted to add a 1,105cc Wiseco big bore kit. The power numbers today are unclear but it is probably safe to assume it’s plenty good. The motor was also completely refreshed in 2010 and the bike has had ~10k mi put on it since then. The 900 was always under braked and this definitely would be the case with the big bore kit. The seller has installed an additional rotor and a steering damper to keep this machine away from any trees, guard rails, or ditches.

The Kawi design and engineering teams knew that if this bike were to succeed at the level they wanted in the American market, they had to think like Americans. There are only a few aspects of life that are easily deciphered and understood by most everyone on the planet. Booze is the first one that comes to mind. A strong second is food. In this case, a New York Steak. The New York Steak was the codename used for this project as that was the top item on the menu at any American restaurant from their perspective.

All this is to say a good motor was not enough to KO Honda. The bike had to be visually pleasing similar to the many well-plated New York Sirloins a few Kawi employees must’vee encountered at multiple points in the 60s and 70s. The teardrop tank and and ducktail fender give the eye a continuous line to track. The narrow, sleek figure also add to the visual length and when combined with the wide set bars result in a profile similar to a flat track bike that invites the rider to move around and sit up on the tank.

However, the design team is only partly responsible for the appearance of a motorcycle. The owners also play a big part and by some miracle this bike has remained in phenomenal shape under 3 owners. All the paint seems to be in great condition. The exhaust tips, fender, and cases all look great as well. On any air-cooled bike, the absence of road grime or oil around the cooling fins is the tell for an OCD owner. Nothing to be seen here! I’m sure that wasn’t ideal for the seller’s mental health but should be great for yours. Want more proof the owner is crazy? The paint was inspected and restored in 2004 along with fresh powder coat for the frame.

There aren’t many companies that can distill a motorcycle from a steak. I doubt many have tried either but the 1975 Kawasaki 900 Z1 was certainly a storied success regardless of its ideological origins. Certainly enough for Kawasaki to tap the 900 Z1’s aesthetic as a starting and ending point for their current neo-cafe offering, the Z900 RS.

With 40k mi this bike is not a low-mile example. However, it was ridden, maintained, and cared for over it’s life. The seller has all the service records and has refreshed the carb gaskets and fluids prior to sale. I think it’s safe to assume the quality of the machinery is top notch here. We’re certainly excited to see the interest in the bike not only because of the condition and pedigree but also due to modifications. Its got a lot of interesting upgrades that move the performance envelope while not hampering reliability.

We’ve covered most of the big items but the seller, Shaun (, can help with all the finer details and any questions. Shaun has the title in hand and is asking $29,500. Worldwide shipping can be arranged as well.


Thanks for reading!