Posts by Category: Kawasaki

Kawasaki October 18, 2018 posted by

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV

Like Chevy's Z28 Camaro, the H2 is a model that creeps back into Kawasaki's line-up occasionally, but here we have the pre-historic beast that made the name.  The fire-breathing two stroke triple lasted only a few years before being regulated out of existence, but memorable enough that H2 is only applied to the most extreme green offerings.  The Florida example has somehow escaped the overcooked wheelies and tank slappers that claimed so many of its siblings.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for sale on eBay

 

Coming hot on the heels of the 500cc H1, the Mach IV used the same successful formula - acceleration above all.  The 74 hp available were jammed into the upper reaches of the powerband, and weight was kept to a minimum at just 450 lbs. topped off.  Period single front disk and rear drum were adequate, as was the double cradle chassis, unless they were hopelessly out-gunned by the right wrist.  With a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel, straight line stability was favored in the handling compromise.

 

This H2 is returning to the road at a ripe old age, and looks very good for its 30K miles.  Though not mentioned, the paint might be a little too nice and spell an older restoration.  The owner has gone over it carefully maintenance-wise, and provides this list in the eBay auction:

installed air filter box with a new (genuine) 3 way rubber manifold,
and a new (unknown manufacturer) upper snorkel.
needs internal filter element as I have none left.
drained and put new brake fluid in front cylinder, shoes and pads look good and all cleaned.
reset timing, cleaned and re-gapped pickups.
pistons are very recently installed (you can still see the cylinder honing marks) virtually no carbon build up.
cylinders are still at factory standard bore of 71mm - great compression.
complete new carb internals and set to factory standard.
crank seals and gearbox were inspected, all sweet.
3 x new NGK B9HS Japanese plugs.
new battery.
gas tank cleaned and new complete fuel tap seal kit installed.
no center stand installed but I can (if interested) supply one with bike that needs minor work,
a clean and a return spring.
clutch stripped/inspected and rebuilt, working great with no slippage.
as new bridgestone spitfire tires fitted and rims balanced.
all new fuel/vacuum lines installed.
the seat cover is perfect, the pan has no rust but the original foam will soon start making the dust particles.
exhaust is totally solid with very minor scuffs/dents but the chrome is starting to get tiny blistering on the lower middle pipe and would need to be re chromed to be show quality but is great as a daily driver.
new cylinder exhaust gaskets were fitted, center seals were checked and good,
all baffles are present and the only place you see two stroke fumes are coming out of the back end 🙂
I left the engine casings with the original patina on them as I know some people think polishing reduces value, so I have left that choice to the new owner.

 

Kawasaki had their eyes on the new Formula 750 race series and went racing in 1973 with the likes of Yvon DuHamel and Gary Nixon, but had more success rubbing Honda's nose in it on the road.  The quickness and low price of the H2 glossed over a lot of irrational rider exuberance, and though subsequent model years smoothed out the power delivery and handling a bit, the early models are legend.    The 900cc Z1 was introduced in 1972 and though the two models existed side by side for a couple of years, time marched on and showed the H2 the exit...

-donn

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV
Kawasaki September 25, 2018 posted by

Superbike gold: 1983 Kawasaki KZ-1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

Before he ripped his way to four 500cc Grand Prix World Championships, Eddie Lawson had become a hero to legions of American kids on the back of his lime green and electric blue AMA Superbike Kawasaki KZ1000Rs. The series was huge at the time, with riders pulling down proper pro athlete salaries, and the street replicas of Eddie's bike were the top of the street bike heap in their heyday.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR for sale on eBay

This 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica is an unrestored original, which is insane given how nice it is. Sure, it carries some patina here and there, but it's an honest, well-cared-for rider, and the all-important green-white-blue paint scheme looks flawless. It also comes with the original owner's manual and tool kit, and an extra set of original wheels, which are, as you might imagine, nigh on impossible to get.

Remarkably, the bike has just over 10,000 miles on it, which means it spent most of its time waiting for the right moment to rip. According to the seller, everything, from the electronics to the drivetrain to the brakes, works as it should. We'd expect nothing less given the condition of the rest of the bike, but the assurance is a nice bonus.

From the eBay listing:

Really nice example of a 1983 Kawasaki Eddie Lawson replica. ELR. This bike has spent most of it's life in storage. Only 10,974 original miles in 35 years. The extra set of wheels was picked up years ago, and are included with the bike. The owners manual and tool kit are also included. This is a rare bike. It has a clean Indiana title. The bike starts, runs, shifts, and rides great. The gas tank is clean. The brakes and all the electrical work fine. The Dunlop tires only have a few miles on them. This motorcycle sounds incredible. This bike is ready to ride right now. They are only original once. You can restore it or have one of the few originals left. Local pickup only. We will assist in loading it on your truck. Buyer will be responsible for all shipping arrangements. Thank you for looking.

Given this bike's rarity, originality,  condition and position among the elites of AMA Superbike lore, the $18,500 buy-it-now isn't half bad. There are fewer of these around every year, and they won't get any less desirable.

Superbike gold: 1983 Kawasaki KZ-1000R Eddie Lawson Replica
Kawasaki August 21, 2018 posted by

See Other – 2003 Kawasaki KRR150

Without much sporting history or intention, and no exports to the western hemisphere, Kawasaki's Ninja KRR150 was last seen on RSBFS in 2011.  But the two-stroke single could still be a great lightweight racer, pit bike, or just a fun-around-town machine.

2003 Kawasaki KRR150 for sale on eBay

Kawasaki designed the KRR150 with the south Asian markets in mind, and the bottom line in the crosshairs.  The light steel perimeter frame and swingarm might not be advanced, but shares relevant geometries with the company's other offerings.  30hp are available toward the top of the 10,500 rpm rev range and the engine has oil injection.  Riding 17-inch wheels, the single brakes are at least decently sized and the front has four pistons.  The impossibly skinny fairing is more to funnel air to the radiator and support the windshield than protect the rider.

The owner bought this KRR new and appears to have taken good care of it, though the pictures are almost criminal.  There probably isn't huge money at stake, but an inspection might be a good idea since any parts will be coming from offshore.  Not seeing a license plate, title and registration issues will have to be explored.  The owner's comments from the eBay auction:

This is a 2003 Kawasaki 150cc two stroke sport bike. This bike is not sold in the U.S. It was only available in Asia. It was manufactured in Thailand. I bought it brand new in the Philippines in 2003 and shipped it to the U.S. in 2005. It has 8,883 km on the speedo. It is in very good to excellent condition. Runs very good but haven't started it this year. It has an expansion chamber, kick start and 17" Enkai rims with 90/90-17 tires. Tires could use replacement due to age. Bike has a new chain and includes a new spare chain. Bike runs well and top speed is about 80 mph. If the bike sits long periods it is hard to start. It has always been this way since new. Maybe a 2 stroke expert could help with that. Bike has oil injection.

Kawasaki offered the KRR150 for quite a few years and improved the model later with their KIPS power valve, updated fairings and underslung bracing on the swingarm.  The model has a great fan base, though some website translating will be required, and parts appear to be readily available.  A fan of the brand or small-bore smokers might find this Kwak just the right project - light and simple, and can likely whip up on four-stroke 250's...

-donn

See Other – 2003 Kawasaki KRR150
Kawasaki July 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 “Goose” Tribute

Update 8.24.2018: The Goose has been SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Rather than the bloated KZ1000P CHiPs workhorse, Mad Max's not-so-distant future police bike was more of a café racer with lights.  And a siren.  This owner gave a down-on-its-luck Z1000 LTD a makeover right up Goose's alley.

1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 "Goose" Tribute

The LTD turns out to be a nice choice for the Main Force Patrol build, with its slightly smaller and more responsive Mikuni carburetors with accelerator pump.  The 1015 cc's on the stock machine made 86 hp and 61 ft.-lbs. torque, though the PMC exhaust fitted here may release a few extra ponies.  Most of the LTD's other attributes are cosmetic, except for the 16-inch rear wheel which has been corrected to an 18.  Elsewhere it's standard Z1000 - endless torque, three big stainless disk brakes, and just a hint of secondary vibration.

Owner / builder Dave kept an eye on usability during the work, though it is the spitting image of the movie machine.  Airtech's decision to manufacture the bodywork was a key motivator.  The chassis and drivetrain were gone over, and only altered in terms of the imported PMC exhaust.  Execution is sanitary and graphics are spot on.  Bespoke rearsets led to rear brake updates and handlebar controls were modernized.  Dave says  this about the work:

Many components have been upgraded in the process and in and effort to make the bike as close to the film version as possible.

First off the 16” LTD rear wheel was tossed in favor of the correct 18” variety. This was sourced from a 1984 GPz 750 and completely refurbished with new bearings, spacers, paint, polish and clear coat.

The existing rear brakes were worn out and not worth saving, so the rear caliper is now a 1985 KZ1000P,  connected to a rear master cylinder from a 1996 ZX600, as required by the custom, billet rear sets from PDM Fabrication.  

The exhaust is a very rare, PMC 4-2 crossover system from Japan, that is a flawless recreation of the system that was on the movie bike. It also sounds brilliant. The carbs have been completely gone through, cleaned thoroughly and jetted properly for the exhaust and airbox combo.

Front wheel is the correct 19” factory mag, completely refurbished as well and sporting new bearings and spacers.

As stated, all the body work came from Airtech and was painted locally by Anthony at Bridge City Cycles

The matching Airtech seat pan was covered by Shelby Schafer and is a perfect fit over the tail section.

All the handle bar controls are 1996 ZX600 parts.  This isn’t screen accurate, but the quality is so far ahead of the vintage stuff, it’s worth it to have a slight inaccuracy. Also with a nod towards modern technology, the front master cylinder is from a 06 Yamaha R6 and the clutch perch is from the same ZX600.

The "Max" movies launched a fan cult that continues almost forty years on, and there are kits of MFP bodywork to fit 1/12 scale models of the Z1000, as well as Jim "Goose" action figures.  But this one you can actually ride.  Restoration and upgrades have resulted in a much safer and better-running Z1000.  It's sure to be the hit of any show, though younger riders might have to google MFP.  Dave asks $12,000 for the Goose tribute.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 “Goose” Tribute
Kawasaki June 29, 2018 posted by

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III

Prehistorically speaking, Kawasaki came just behind the Honda CB750 in the nascent superbike sweepstakes, but just ahead in the 1/4 mile.  The lighter weight two stroke triple had a wheelie addiction, and a substantial power-to-weight advantage, if not being a dream to handle.  This H1 is an older restoration and comes to you with a few foibles but excellent cosmetics.

1974 Kawasaki H1F for sale on eBay

The H1 had a classic twin downtube frame but innovative two-stroke triple.  Three 28mm Mikunis fueled the engine and oil injection was automatic.  For a 500, a 12.5-second quarter was a revelation, but period single front disk and rear drum at least kept exuberance rational.  Improvements over the six years of production improved the Capacitive Discharge Ignition system and standardized the unusual N-1-2-3-4-5 shift pattern.

This late Mach III looks better than excellent with most metals looking almost new, and there's very little plastic aboard.  The Ohio owner divulges that the odometer is hopelessly optimistic, and colors are from an H2, but beside the K&N air filters it appears complete, stock, and un-muddled.  A steering damper is installed which appears stock but from an earlier year.  From the eBay auction:

Mostly stock bike with air intake pods, dual piston front brake caliper and aftermarket exhaust. Older restoration with paint and chrome in above average condition. Starts up on 2nd or 3rd kick and shifts through gears smoothly. No dents in tank, scratches or cracks in plastic. Tank has been lined. Oil injection system is complete. Gauges, lights and turn signals all in good working order. Seat and seat pan in excellent condition. Recently replaced drive chain. Mileage on speedo is not correct. Paint scheme is the H2 color, black/purple.

Reviews showed the chassis to be un-cooperative with mid-corner direction changes and rough roads in general, but once the inadequate brakes were planned for, the power slowed the passage of time.  In the better part of valor, a friend of mine in the late '70s sold his shortly after lifting the front wheel with his fiancé on the back.  Neither designed or built for longevity, few have survived in this condition, the restoration here done on a nicer example.  Bidders are off to find the reserve but the auction still has five days to run...

-donn

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III
Kawasaki May 25, 2018 posted by

Unloved Zed sled: 1995 Kawasaki ZX9R with 6,813 miles

Kawasaki's ZX-9R has always been a bit of mongrel bike; situated between the legendary ZX7 and ZX11 series, the 899cc bike was initially developed as a response to the Honda CBR900 but never achieved top status in the segment.  Although the configuration lasted for nearly 10 years, sales were never huge for Kawasaki and it isn't considered to be a historically or technologically significant bike by collectors. Still today's offering is an ultra clean model with less than 7000 miles in its over 23 years, is in the rare for the model candleberry-wine-red color scheme and appears to have all OEM bits available so it seemed worth of a post.

1995 Kawasaki ZX9R on ebay

The ZX9R was somewhat hastily developed by Kawasaki as a segment response to the CBR900 Fireblade.  The problem for Kawasaki was that as a smaller manufacturer they didn't have the resources to launch an all out assault against the class leading Honda (it would take a few more years until Yamaha's R1 did that).    Kawasaki instead tried to stake out a middle ground, offering a 900cc bike that wasn't an ultra-light-weight repli-racer fit only for the track but was also not a large capacity "sportbike" touring machine.  To do this Kawasaki essentially took their legendary but now outclassed ZX7/ZXR750 and incorporated a number of ZX11/ZZR-1100 design features.  Suspension was an upgrade over the 750 with fully adjustable 43 mm upside-down KYB front forks and a fully adjustable remote-reservoir KYB mono-shock while the brakes were Tokico front and rear.  The most obvious  change came in the engine but even there parts were shared with the majority of the engine pieces (crankcases, clutch and gearbox) coming from the 750cc while the cylinder head was from the ZX11/ZZR-11100 with different valve actuation.  The result was more grunt and a red line of 12,000 rpm (the Fireblade stopped at 10,500 rpm).  Put it all together and you got exactly what Kawasaki intended - a mid sized bike that existed between the ends of the segment.

While the ZX9R delivered on its intended purpose, it never really developed a strong following like the Fireblade, GSXR or the soon to follow Yamaha R1.  In retrospect is seems Kawasaki  misjudged the long term impact of the "less is more" movement begun by the Fireblade.  Also the first models of the ZX9R were heavier compared to the competition and had the typical-of-the-time Kawasaki build quality issues, especially with the paint.

As for this particular ZX9R, the bike looks to almost completely OEM but the pictures aren't the best...I mean seriously, how hard would it have been to move the truck?  The seller doesn't give any service info other than "newish tires" so I would expect there to be a need for fresh fluids with particular attention paid to the brake system (a known issue for Kawasaki bikes of this period if left standing for long periods).  On the plus side the bike looks clean with no evidence of indicator or rear tail modifications common of the era and even the exhaust looks OEM and pristine.  The only non-stock item appears to be the windscreen and the seller indicates the OEM unit will be included in the sale.

So let's jump to the question - is this low mileage and apparently almost completely OEM ZX9R worth the current Buy-It-Now price of of $3999 USD?  Well a quick search through sites like Cycletrader show that price to be a bit more than expected but not out of range given the mileage of this bike.   As for value, I don't think this one will appeal to collectors and will probably never appreciate significantly but it isn't something you are going to see at your local bike night and might also be a good fit for people who always liked the bigger ZX11/ZZR1100 in this color scheme but found that bike too big to handle easily.  Based on the pics and the mileage the current owner is not a major Kawasaki fan so they might be motivated to move off the asking price, especially if you can offer something Suzuki-related in trade?

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Unloved Zed sled:  1995 Kawasaki ZX9R with 6,813 miles