Posts by tag: cr900

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Kawasaki April 14, 2022 posted by

Built, Not Bought: 1976 Kawasaki Powered Rickman CR900

Many of us are spoiled by the overwhelming availability of top tier performance motorcycles.  It is a simple stop into your local dealer and one can purchase a bike remarkably similar to ones actively being raced by the Factory.  These bikes come with much of the needed hardware to be competitive already installed.  Sure there is a price tag associated with them, but speed has never been a cheap hobby.  The 70s were a very different time for performance motorcycles.  The Japanese four were producing engines that produced unheard of power, but the frame technology was lagging behind.  In order to extract the most from these engines, upgraded frames were needed.  In stepped the Rickman brothers.

Offered mainly in kit form, Rickman would sell all of the needed components to build a very special machine.  A machine that was lighter, faster and to many, much better looking.  These must have been a sight to see on the road in period as it was not something that someone would casually own.  The bar was higher because the owner needed to be passionate about performance and have the knowledge of how to get all the part to work together.  On top of that they needed the funds to build the bike because none of this was referred to as “affordable” at the time.  That process has helped to cement these into the collector space.

The example today is a beautiful shade of red and the nickel plated frame is sure to pop in the sunlight.  The seller lists a fair amount of recent freshening.  It appears to be a bike that the new owner can throw a leg over and start enjoying out on the road day one.  Listing makes mention of a period correct exhaust system, but leaves out the upgraded smoothbore carburetors.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

Rickman chassis kits were the go-to for all street and track racing motorcycles. Powered by the revered Kawasaki KZ900 motor — this frame, fairing, and engine combination is the pinnacle of any Kawasaki machine of the era.

This build has utilized the original wiring, gauges, tail light, battery box, etc. that would have been swapped over by the original donor bike in 1976.

This is a fresh and full cosmetic restoration. The body work, decals, wheels, trim, windscreen, and seat cover have all been refinished. The original ‘76 nickel plated frame shines nice and bright. We have installed a period correct Yoshimura exhaust system. The rear master brake cylinder, both of the front calipers, and the rear caliper have been rebuilt with fresh seals and fluid. We’ve also installed stainless steel brake lines. The clutch cable has been replaced. The motor now breathes through K&N pod filters. The tires are brand new Avon Roadriders. We’ve installed new handlebar switches for full functionality.

This bike would look great in any collection, and is a blast to ride.

Video prior to being put on display: https://youtu.be/G9GAgLRgPlw

Odometer: 7,965 miles

VIN: Z1F06458

The Buy It Now price of just under $16,000 is very attractive in the current market.  Interest is still strong in this era and specials like this rise to the top of the must have list of many collectors.  Service parts are inexpensive and available.  Both Rickman and Kawasaki have strong owners communities to lean on should there ever be an issue.  If you have any in period stories of these bikes, please feel free to share them in the comments section.

Built, Not Bought:  1976 Kawasaki Powered Rickman CR900
Rickman March 7, 2022 posted by

Totally Tubular: 1977 Rickman Kawasaki CR900

Brothers Don and Derek were definitely on to something. Starting in the 1960s with off road pursuits, their chassis building exploits brought them into the realm of road racers. By the early 1970s they were offering frame kits for British bikes (Triumph & BSA primarily), but it was the Kawasaki and Honda powered models that really put them on the map. Today’s example is a wonderful nickel-plated Metisse tube frame housing a Kawasaki Z1 engine and transmission, which was sold through a dealer in the United States.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki CR900 for sale on eBay

In the 1970s the Japanese firms had a pretty good handle on powerplant design and manufacturing. Bigger was better. More cylinders were even better yet. And the British twin – and English motorcycling industry as a whole – was unable to compete. But what they Japanese had in engine technology they lacked in frame design. Relatively little was understood regarding the importance of rigidity, packaging and balance – which opened the door for a number of boutique kit bike builders by the names of Harris, Spondon, Bimota and Rickman, to name a few. Using parts from a donor bike, a “new” motorcycle could be built that utilized the same engine and transmission and electrical components, but had vast performance improvements in the way of frame geometry, suspension, brakes and aerodynamics. The Rickman CR900 was such a kit, and by numbers the most successful of the Rickman models.

From the seller:
Very rare Rickman CR900! This motorcycle was ordered new through Yamaha of Cleveland in 1977 and has had 1 owner its whole life. Originally it was fitted with a Turbo engine but that engine didn’t even last 1,000 miles and a new engine was installed. I do have a set of uncut side covers that I will include in the sale, they are a slightly lighter red though. The whole bike has 4,895 miles and was only ridden a few time a year up until 1994 when it was parked in the garage. Recently I have put in a new battery, changed the oil, cleaned the carburetors and flushed the brakes. The bike does run and ride but will need some more love before its roadworthy, the tires are from the 80’s. Buyer is ultimately responsible for shipping but I will assist in anyway I can. I do have a commercial location and normally that makes it a little cheaper. If you’re local and would like to come see the bike in person that can be arranged. Please feel free to reach out with any questions. Motorcycle is located in Felton California

Interestingly enough, today’s bike started life out as a Turbo. When that failed to survive (not surprising as this was before much was known about forced-induction motorcycle engines), a normally aspirated unit was fit in its place. Since these were kit bikes from the start, the concept of “numbers matching” is irrelevant. Each of these bikes were built by different shops, different owners, and with a different concept of what the finished product should be. They are a far cry from the identically mass-produced Japanese models that donated their guts to build these one-offs. Today’s bike looks to be a clean find, relatively unmolested after all of these years. A limited number of owners definitely helps here, as overall the bike looks quite well preserved. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Totally Tubular: 1977 Rickman Kawasaki CR900
Rickman May 18, 2015 posted by

Rickman, Round 2: 1978 Kawasaki Rickman CR900

CR900_3

If you wanted to get yourself a Rickman, but the last one we posted was either A) too ugly, or B) too far away (Italy), then here is another chance. Rather than a Predator CRE, this particular Rickman was the bread and butter of their street bike lineup. Powered by a 900cc Kawasaki drive train, the CR900 series is pure 70s vintage cool. We have seen several of these CR models in the past, and they are always striking machines. Sporting a nickle-plated frame (known as the Metisse) and bold, red fiberglass bodywork (most CR models seem to be finished in extraordinarily bright, fishing-lure type of colors), this bike looks to be finished to a very high standard. It is also readily accessible in California. A collectible that you can ride today, prices on the CR900s I have seen are all headed to the clouds. Is this your time to get in?

CR900_2

1978 Rickman CR900 for sale on eBay

CR900_8

From the seller:
You maybe looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet. This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The bike is titled as a 1978. The I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.

Almost all of the Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. The 900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman. Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use. The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value.

CR900_5

With only a handful of days left on this one, there have been *plenty* of watchers, but no takers (yet). That might be because the BIN for this beauty sits at $25,000, or best offer. That is pretty steep, but far from the high water mark we have seen for a clean and well-presented CR900. Check it out here and let the Rickman fantasies begin!

MI

Rickman, Round 2: 1978 Kawasaki Rickman CR900
Rickman June 23, 2011 posted by

Restored And Wanted: 1974 Rickman CR900

 Restored And Wanted: 1974 Rickman CR900

It looks like there are some anxious bidders out there in cyberspace waiting for this auction to end.  This beautifully restored 1974 Rickman has generated quite a bit of  interest and why shouldn’t it? Just look at the pics.

I’m generally a latest and greatest sort of guy but I think I’m in love.  I know it’s the details that make a good restoration but the photos point in the right direction.  That is a good shot of the Rickman nickel plated frame.

We’ve listed a couple Rickman CR’s in the not too distant past (here and here) but neither were, shall we say, as bright as this one.   Lets get a little history:

1974 Rickman with Kawasaki Z1 motor.  What is the hottest trend in Motorcycling today?  Cafe Racers!  This beauty is the Mother of all Cafe Racers.  It just does not get any cooler!

This bike has ben completely restored.  Every single nut, bolt and other items are like new.  The gauges have been rebuilt by Z-Resto.  The engine (Z1E –2447) has a fresh top end.  Switch gear is NOS.  NOS cables.  New Progressive Shocks.  New K & N filter pods.  NOS Kawasaki exhaust system. 

Rickmans were hand built in England.  They were much lighter and better handling than factory bikes.  They kicked ass in road racing.  All body work is perfect and painted the correct green as it left the factory.  All Rickman bikes have chrome moly frames with bronze welds.  All Rickman bikes have nickel plated frames.  This frame is freshly nickel plated.  New windshield.  Very rare Borrani hubs and wheels.  New Pirelli Sport Demon tires.  Bike has only been run to insure no flaws or problems. 

There is not a single flaw on this bike.  It is not often you can say perfect but this bike is perfect!  10 plus condition.  Very rare and beautiful.  Draw a big crowd where ever you ride it or put it in the middle of your collection.  Includes many magazine articles from the era, Rickman assembly instructions and parts catalogue.  Also includes a complete and new set of chain adjuster discs.

Extra style points for the seller matching the color of his text to the bike.  Since the bike is obviously in mint condition, the only conern for a buyer is if the restoration if up to snuff.  When you get into high dollar bikes people will get picky and rightfully so.  Sometimes “restoration” means different things to different people.  My guess is some $$$ was spent on this one.

 

Pretty from front to back, top to bottom. 

 

Of course chicks dig Rickmans!  Check out this link for some nice pics of Rickmans from a thread on the Kawasaki Forum.  They are  quite a few lovingly cared for Rickmans out there.  This example is quickly approaching $10,000 with a few days remaining in the auction.   If the pictures won you over you can place a bid for this one here

Ian