Posts by tag: Kawasaki

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Kawasaki December 12, 2022 posted by

What’s Old Is New – 1983 Kawasaki GPz550

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:



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!!

MI

What’s Old Is New – 1983 Kawasaki GPz550
Kawasaki November 23, 2022 posted by

Featured Listing – 1975 Kawasaki 900 Z1F

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 (sennaducati79@gmail.com), 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!

Norm

 

 

 

 

Featured Listing – 1975 Kawasaki 900 Z1F
Kawasaki September 28, 2022 posted by

20,000 Reasons – 1990 Kawasaki ZX-R250

Today’s find is an absolute gem that is overlooked and likely relatively unknown in the United States. American riders tend to dismiss smaller capacity motorcycles as starter bikes or scooters. But in many markets the quarter liter sport bike was the real competitive ground zero, and the machinery on offer was as technologically advanced as any other capacity, and in some cases even more so. As proof, I offer you this beautiful 1990 Kawasaki ZX-R250.

1990 Kawasaki ZX-R250 for sale on eBay

Unlike the more recent crop of twin cylinder 250 Ninjas (or even the more recent Yamaha YZF-R3), and far removed from the Honda 300cc thumper fighting for the same class of rider, the ZX-R250R looks like a hypersport 600 that has been shrunk in the laundry. Let’s look at some of the specs that set it apart. For starters, we are talking about a full four cylinders in this bad boy, complete with four valves per cylinder. Redline starts at 19,000 (!) but the party doesn’t stop until well over that. Liquid cooling is an obvious performance boost, and the wrappings are straight up Ninja; fully enclosed plastics with dual headlamps. So, too is the frame – a double beam affair in aluminum, just like it’s racier siblings. Upside down front forks, an adjustable Uni-Trak rear suspension arrangement and triple disk brakes complete the impressive package. Estimate 45 HP pushing 311 pounds (dry), and you get the idea.

From the seller:
1990 Kawasaki ZXR250 R Old School ZX-25R…
Originally from Japan (grey market import) with Japanese VIN. ZX250A001421

Clear title CALIFORNIA Registered Current tags.
(“Miles” Are KM on the ODO)
YES, BIKE HAS A FRONT FENDER.

Judging by the Black and Gold and De-Restricted Motor it’s the R, BUT SHOCK DOES NOT HAVE EXTERNAL RESERVOIR.
Rides Well with adult-sized pilots.

Some Scratches/Cracks in OEM bodywork. Ding in front of fuel tank But no interior rust.

Factory Original. Exceptions:
Purple (painted) Tail Light (Paint Removable)
Polished the sides of the wheels and re-painted head pipes.
Carbon Exhaust. Excellent Condition. Sounds absurdly happy anywhere above 5 K (It’s always above 5k)

The seller has included two different videos for this bike, both showing the idling and quick revving nature of the tiny motor:


These little ZX-R250 models are quite rare in the United States – as they were only ever a gray market import here. To find one alive and well and living in sunny California is pretty incredible. The bike looks to be in pretty serviceable condition, although scouring through the included photos is encouraged as I would not put this one into the “mint” category due to some bodywork blemishes that are pointed out by the seller. But this is a bike that would be worth the effort to put some time into. This could be an awesome track day bike, or interesting weekend canyon screamer just for fun – and you’d be unlikely to ever see another like it on the road. The only real reasons to not look at this magnificent little screamer are those of larger build and stature, or those living in an emissions choked state such as California. BUT WAIT! This rare little overachiever is actually titled in the great State of CA – meaning there are even fewer excuses! The Buy It Now price for this rare little morsel of forbidden fruit is $6,758 USD. That is not as much cash as a 20,000 RPM foreign exotic might suggest. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

20,000 Reasons – 1990 Kawasaki ZX-R250
Kawasaki June 29, 2022 posted by

I Want a Divorce – 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7J

1991 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7

1991 Kawasaki ZX-7 J For Sale on Bring A Trailer

Here at RSBFS, you know we love everything twin. Twin headlights, twin discs, twin exhausts, twin sist… You get the point. This ZX-7J today features a couple of those things but the timeless twin headlight design is certainly a huge selling point for many 90s sport bikes. Just screams classic. Kawasaki iterated on their 750 a couple of times over the years but the sweet spot for many collectors and riders of the generation is the 1991-92 ZX-7J. The 1989-1990 models had many criticism mainly regarding their weight, suspension, and looks which were all somewhat addressed for the 1991 ZX-7J. Most of the criticisms only became an issue when you put the Zx-7 next to some of its more costly competitors. If you isolate it and hop in the seat… an absolute peach of thing.

1991 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7

If you’ve ever seen any 1989-2003 ZX-7 in person, you know how much visual weight these bikes have. That combined with the excess of green can be too much for some but at this point the more green on your classic Kawi the better. 90s 90s 90s. The physical weight was also a common complaint and while the 1991 model lost 2o lbs over the 1989 model, the 1991 K1 model (homologation special) dropped another 10 lbs. With a full 4.8 gallon tank and a wide ergonomics, you’ll feel the weight but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone complaining.

1991 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7

The cockpit POV reveals one of the ZX-7s biggest quirks which are the air hoses that are reminiscent of the air hoses that fighter pilots use. While these can be easily be mistaken for intake tubes, they just provide cool air to the cylinder head.

1991 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7

While the 1991 ZX-7J made improvements over the 1990 model, one of the backwards steps Kawasaki had to take had to do with the motor. Euro regulations that limited bikes to 100hp were looming and that forced Kawi’s hand to drop 5-7 hp off the top end. The unrestricted K model engines of the same year pumped out 121 hp. While the restrictions never came to fruition, 100 hp was and still is more than enough power to hustle the ZX-7 around.

Not much you can do in the aftermarket due to the relatively short production runs and limited part crossover between models. However, an aftermarket slip-on from Viper is out there if you wish to hear a better soundtrack.

From the seller:

“…The bike was acquired by the selling dealer in November 2020, reportedly from its original owner, and subsequent service is said to have included cleaning the carburetors and fuel tank, changing the fluids, and replacing the battery and tires. This ZX750J is now offered with an owner’s manual, original warranty documents, a sales brochure, a period publication, a spare license plate bracket, and a clean California title.”

For collectors and enthusiasts, one of the biggest problems with 90s sportbikes is that they were really cheap at one point. If you search for Zx-7s on Facebook Marketplace, you’ll be met with examples that have been stretched, neglected, or dressed in Ebay fairings so any ZX-7 is not that easy to find anymore. While you shouldn’t expect these to command the premiums that a showroom Honda or Suzuki would bring, you should expect to have a conversation (maybe not a great one) with your wife if you choose to enter the bidding. One of the biggest downfalls of the ZX-7J is parts availability. The short production runs and age leave a lot to be desired in terms of aftermarket support so if you want to leave some rubber on the road, this may not be for you.

Best comp is the 1991 ZX-7J that sold on BAT in March 2022 for $16K. Might have to bump the budget past $16K to include something for the lady though.

-Norm

I Want a Divorce – 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7J
Kawasaki June 15, 2022 posted by

Master of None – 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX600E

Image 4 - 2000 Kawasaki Ninja

2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX600E

If you’re a regular RSBFS reader, you know we love to find 90s sport bikes. It was a decade of innovation and constant fill-in-the-blank measuring contests by the manufacturers. If you weren’t skinny, good-looking, or fast you were shit outta luck and the only reason people occasionally remember you is when they randomly see you pop up on Facebook. Weirdly, that sounds a lot like elementary and middle school for me. Anyways, while only the sportiest of offerings from that era are held in high regard today there are still many remnants of the decade that deserve attention.

**lights dim, enter ZX600E**

Image 01 - 2000 Kawasaki Ninja

With the only 9.1K miles on the clock, this bike is in very good shape. Paint and plastics look great and there is no visible corrosion on any of the metal surfaces.

Image 21 - 2000 Kawasaki Ninja

The side-profile of the ZX6 shows one of it’s best attributes. With higher bars and plenty of legroom the ZX6 could be used by all body types in commuter or canyon settings. Not really something that the collectors value but a desirable trait for those who ride their motorcycles. If the riding position doesn’t make you feel sporty enough, the aftermarket V&H exhaust should do the trick. Seller does not mention if it’s a slip-on or full system.

Image 11 - 2000 Kawasaki Ninja

When the ZX6 debuted in 1990, it had a crazy redline for the middleweight class. It also built power until the end and had plenty of torque to keep you busy throughout the rev range. Different sources list different power specs but you can expect ~100hp and ~45 lb/ft of torque. Not the fastest by any means but most of us still won’t be able to outride this bike on a twisty road.

Image 2 - 2000 Kawasaki Ninja

From the seller:

“Beautiful Candy Persimmon Red 2000 Kawasaki Ninja 600E. Originally purchased in New Jersey when new. Female owned until 2016 when my friend purchased it to learn to ride on. After only riding it twice around my neighborhood he decided he wasn’t really ready so the bike sat until this past year when I brought it back to my house to get it rideable again. Tank was rusted inside so it has been reconditioned and sealed with a clear epoxy liner. New Core Moto brake lines. New tires front and rear. Carburetors have been rebuilt. New battery. New chain. 

Clean Florida title in my name. Mileage will go up as I want to ride it to work a couple days to make sure everything is safe and working properly. But will not go over 10K miles any time soon. Buyer responsible for shipping if desired…”

The ZX6 was a fast bike that stirred the pot when it came out. However, it was quickly surpassed by many of it’s competitors and Kawasaki let it ride out next to the ZX6R until they cut it in 2004. A little heavy, a little slow (by modern standards), and a look that blended in with the rest but that doesn’t tell the whole story. All the specs actually point to this being an excellent street bike that doesn’t excel in any one category but is decent in all of them. While the ZX6 will likely never be a high-value classic, it can still offer a very similar and analog experience to the 90s classics at a fraction of the price.

Auction has 6 bids and is currently at $3,550.

-Norm

Master of None – 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX600E
Kawasaki June 1, 2022 posted by

Horse of a different color: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R

If a clean Eddie Lawson Replica is not rare enough for you, how about the albino, European cousin? Yes, the KZ1000R did indeed come in white, but only in limited countries and NOT in the US. So if a ELR is on your bucket list but green is not the color of your soul, you now know you have options! And if you are a stickler for nomenclature, only the earliest green models were ELRs – or true Eddie Lawson Replicas. Following years the green machines were known as Superbike replicas, although the non-greenies had no outward graphical indication of the AMA Superbike racing heritage.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R for sale on eBay

Starting life out as a regular KZ, the ELR model highlighted the Superbike exploits of Steady Eddie Lawson (who later went on to 500cc GP fame). Known originally as ELRs, then Superbike replicas, the non-US markets received largely the same spec of bike but non green examples were devoid of the Superbike graphics on the tank. Euro requirements resulted in slight changes to the lights and exhaust (no factory Kerker), but otherwise the KZ1000R remained true to form and intent, regardless of color.

From the seller:
Extremely RARE WHITE 1983 KZ1000R, Eddie lawson, original condition. just serviced runs great, only 26K miles. Excellent condition for year. Original german import to Florida USA. Serious collectors & bidders please good luck.

It is possible that we have seen this bike before – check out this RSBFS post last year on a white example with the same mileage. That bike had a 1100cc mill retrofitted due to a problem with the original 1 liter unit. No such indicators from the seller on this particular bike, so it could be the same with the original engine, or it could be a completely different bike (the pictures are different than the previous auction). These are certainly rare enough that we take note when they come along!

Bidding has been non existent on this particular bike at time of writing. The opening ask is $12,500 on this Florida-based machine, which is $2k higher than the pricing on the last one we have seen. No takers yet, and there is a reserve in place – so the seller is obviously expecting more from this one. Do your homework, raid the kids’ college fund, then check out all of the details here. Good Luck!!

MI

Horse of a different color: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R
Honda May 12, 2022 posted by

Instant Collection: Five 400cc sport bikes from the 1990s

The 400cc sport bike set has been a hot topic on the pages of RSBFS, and were in fact part of the early focus of the site when it was entirely dedicated to finding grey market listings for sport bikes not originally imported into the United States. From those humble beginnings RSBFS grew to encompass the best of the rare and exotic, while continuing to harbor a soft spot for imports. Today’s collection of five members the 400cc club – one from each of the Big Four (plus a bonus Honda)- is definitely worth a look, even if some of the details are sparse and the bikes are located far, far away from US shores. The lineup:

Five 400cc sport bikes from the 1990s for sale on eBay

Honda VFR400R

Honda CBR400RR

Kawasaki ZXR400

Yamaha FZR 400SP

Suzuki GSX-R400SP

From the seller:
Collection of all the 90s 400cc sportbikes. All bikes are registered Hungarian bikes, with clean history. Will be sold with all necessary papers to register elswhere!

It is a one time opportunity to buy a collection like this!

These bikes are listed in a package deal on eBay in a Buy It Now (or best offer) format for $19,500 USD. Details are sparse, but as RSBFS writer and collector William notes: “The bikes are appealing, the package is interesting at that price point and the pictures are solid…a deal is always worth exploring.” You must admit that this flock looks great together. And given that the US shores has seen scant appearances of 400cc serious bikes between the 1980s Fizzer 400 and the more recent Ninja/CBR/R3/KTM offerings in 300-400cc sizes, these are undeniably rare in the US of A. You can check out all of the details here. Good Luck!!

MI

Instant Collection: Five 400cc sport bikes from the 1990s
Kawasaki May 9, 2022 posted by

Fastest Production Motorcycle in the World: 1985 Kawasaki 750 Turbo

With the introduction of the Kawasaki 750 Turbo (also known as the ZX750E, and branded as GPz), hired gun Jay Gleason ripped off a 10.7 second quarter mile that proclaimed the Turbo not only the fastest production motorcycle in Kawasaki’s arsenal, but the fastest production motorcycle in the world, by any manufacturer, full stop. Puns intended, this boosted Kawasaki’s performance credibility immeasurably, and forced turbocharging onto the center stage of “next gen” motorcycle technologies.

1985 Kawasaki 750 Turbo for sale on eBay

While Honda started with a 500cc platform and Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki eventually settling in on 650cc designs, Kawasaki went for the jugular with a 750cc inline four configuration. The displacement alone was a significant factor in off-boost rideability, and on-boost the extra capacity provided for a 112 HP push out of the air-cooled, 2-valve mill with EFI fuel injection. This was old school meets high tech, and the confluence was as awesome as could be expected. Often considered “the best” of the factory turbocharged bikes – fastest in the quarter mile, highest top speed, most sporting, best real world power – the Kawasaki 750 Turbo was as rare as the rest of the puffers. Heavy at 500 lbs dry, expensive at nearly $5k in the showroom, and beyond the reach of most Kawasaki buyers in terms of price and performance, the blown GPz languished through a couple of years of mediocre sales. By 1985 all the partying had departed the turbo set, not to reappear for another 30+ years.

From the seller:
Very Rare 1985 Kawasaki 750 fuel injected turbocharged E2 model – Garage kept under cover for 30 years. Runs Excellent!!! 18,697 miles. Looks and Runs Excellent!! Collectors Bike! Serious Buyers Only!!

I’m the second owner of this beauty. No accidents. Title in hand.

It’s been driven every year and runs as it did in 1985.

I have the original exhaust and center stand too. 530 Chain Conversion, Front Fork Brace, Steering Damper.

Also, will include racing center stand, fitted flannel motorcycle cover and an assortment of OEM parts that I purchased as spares.

Today’s Kawasaki Turbo looks to be in fantastic condition with bright paintwork and nice black engine chrome. The condition belies the fact that this boosted beast has over 18,000 miles on the odometer. The factory 4:2 exhaust has been replaced by a 4:1 D&D unit, but the seller notes that the stock exhaust is included in the sale. That is a WIN for anyone looking at this as a collector. There is a 530 chain conversion, which is never a bad thing on something with explosive power. The rear sprocket appears slightly larger than stock as well, which should really wake up low speed launches.

The Turbo era bikes are slowly becoming recognized for the rare technology missiles they are. Since all Turbos were all born inside of a span of 2-3 years, there are not a lot of examples and they have definitely suffered in the “niche” category. But bright lights are starting to shine into this interesting corner of motorcycling history, and we are seeing rising prices as the result. This beauty is being listed in a Buy It Now format for $17,500. That is far more steep than we would have seen a decade ago, but also not too far out of line for where things are going. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Fastest Production Motorcycle in the World: 1985 Kawasaki 750 Turbo