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Kawasaki posted by

Commemorative Replica – 2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 Custom


This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

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…



  • So trick. Love this. Great detail and super sano.

  • I find that strangely tempting. In to hear those with Kawasaki knowledge comment on the bike and build

  • The basic bike looks great but he lost me with the turn signal/mirrors and the anodized red stuff just looks wrong to me…but to each their own I guess

  • It is a great looking bike, but with all these changes only having had 40 miles of riding, that means unless those 40 miles where made up of 20 dyno pulls and 35 miles of race track lapping, this bike is not sorted at all.

    I cannot see how any of the major handling, braking and engine mods can be debugged with only 40 miles under the belt.

    If buying by looks alone and you don’t want to possibly be faced with debugging and will tootle to the local Coney Island and trailer it to shows, the bike is an instant buy at what ever reserve the seller has set.

    If I was planning on riding it I would try allow for that debugging time in the form of a decent discount as I would be the one finishing the build 🙂

  • I’d be nervous running open pods like that. Always liked these, and prefer the original squared headlight with fairing, plus the throwback graphics.

    Definitely some nice upgrades, but it’s deviated too far off the original bike’s charm for me. That, and wanting $10k for it when all the others are going for sub $5k makes me think this one won’t sell anytime soon.

  • I agree on the red anodize but really – those are small details that are easy to change. Very rare to find a personalized and or customized bike that ticks all the boxes 100%. Between the trick Yosh carbs, Over Racing swingarm, bitchin wheels, billet triple clamps, etc. etc.. this thing will be going for way less than the builder has in it in parts and labor.

    Ramair Foam Filters are also Included for Daily Riding in Dusty Conditions. Spare Jets (Unused). 😉

    Don’t know how much sorting it would need. The eBay posting states 140 test miles. I suspect the suspension mods did not deviate that far off stock or well known valving/spring rates and chassis geometry. Just higher quality / more exotic components. Guy states he is a veteran race mechanic and the quality of the build seems to reflect that experience / passion for the roadracing bikes of his era. You don’t spend the time and money on a project like this making it look flawless to have it fall flat in execution.

    But hey – I clearly want this bike. So it is easy to find things to love about it.

  • These are some very common aftermarket upgrades among the Japanese market (webikeJapan) They can be extremely pricey, forks(2300$), triple clamps(1200$), brembo calipers(700$), rims(marchesini? 2500$), over racing swingarm(1200$), rear shocks(1500$), carbs(1668$), exhaust (1500-2000).
    That’s 12,500$ in those parts alone. I’d also believe its fairly we’ll set up and ready to ride considering these builds have been done before and the build is copying places such as AC Sanctuary and BULLDOCK.

  • eBay says 140 miles pre mod.. Then 40 test miles. Whoops.. 🙂

    Still stand behind what I said regarding the road worthiness of this green monster.

  • I’m the owner of the bike: I have done 140 miles on the bike in total since I bought it. Only 40 of those miles since all the mods were done. The last mod I did was to swap out the Bitubo shocks on it which I bought new and were fine but I had the chance of the WP shocks so put them on it. The sag is set for my weight (230lbs kitted). I have not tracked the bike and not run it on a dyno. I would tweak the damping more with some track time but its certainly close enough to handle very well at any speed you could realistically drive on pubic roads. If I were going to track it I would go heavier on the fork springs (for my weight) but I never had any intention to track it. That wasn’t my point in building this. I could probably lap Laguna Seca at 1min 47sec or so on tis bike with some DOT tires. You can buy a new ZX-10R for $14K these days, and I could lap 10sec faster on a ZX-10R than this bike at Laguna Seca. And have $6K left over. As for the engine mods – thats only carbs. I bought the carbs new and after tweaking the float heights, fitted them and balanced them. Stock jetting as they come from Yoshi. No flat spots in the midrange and the increase in response and mid range is excellent. James Compton pretty much just installs flat slides as they come I was told. No doubt you could smooth out the power curve a little with some dyno time but for the street this engine performs excellently. It will get you to the grocery store only 0.05sec slower than a dynoed, track suspension sorted bike.

  • Next thing you know, we’ll be reviewing (and dissing) RD 400’s… WTF happened to this site??????????????????

  • Don,

    The build is flat out awesome. I love this little hot rod.

  • Hey Big Bang, easy on the RD jabs…If this was a pristine, low mile Daytona Special, I would say it qualifies…but how does RSBFS go from a vintage NCR Ducati racebike to this big pimped-out Kwacker the very next day??

    • Just a little variety to keep the comments section interesting 😉


  • Don, nice bike and looks to be very well done. I have always been a big Honda fan, but always liked these Kawis, cool bikes with really awesome engines.

  • It’s a super cool bike and I welcome this along with the usual awesome bikes this site lists.

  • As lovely as this bike is, I’m uneasy about it’s inclusion here. My vision for RSBFS.com is rare sportbikes, not custom millennial projects, regardless of how nice they may be. There are plenty of rare sportbikes out there to fill the pages here. Perhaps we should adhere to the mission statement of showcasing raresport bikes rather than becoming a free advertising facility for custom builds and bikes with no association with the term “sportbikes”. Perhaps my vision is myopic, because I don’t think a Ducati Monster qualifies either.

    • JR if you have a different vision you’re free to start your own website. Personally I like the variety

    • I appreciate everyone taking the time to share their perspectives and passion. No doubt we are lucky to have so much variety to choose from.


    • Just trying to understand what exactly it is that makes it rare.

  • one of the greatest all around motorcycles ever made beyond doubt, i should know as i’ve owned two of them (along with most other modern classic japanese icons.) they do it all, from sports touring to date nite with your chick to commuting to work to level one trackdays…

    but i’m not necessarily sold here. imo builder has gone too far away from the style of both the og elr and the zrx itself. bling bling bling. wouldn’t worry about whether the bike is “sorted” or not, anyone with a brain, a few yrs experience, and a c spanner could get the brakes/ suspension perfect. carbs shouldn’t be too tough either.

    guys who do zrx’s seem to have way too much money! i’m always baffled when someone spends 3500$ on a bike then twice that on upgrades. but oh well…two wheels good!

  • i like the bike and love the mods,not for everyone and for the ones who don’t think belongs in here pls look the other way,good luck with the sale ,i know this bike will hold it’s own against superbikes,

  • O.K. Colin, I concede… A zero km Daytona would rule the roost! But sigh, they don’t exist… That I know of… At least for now… I think… Maybe…

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