Posts by tag: KZ

Kawasaki October 2, 2013 posted by

Kawgasm! 1982 Kawasaki KZ1000S1

Update 10.2.2013: Current bid is over $71k reserve met! With 7 hours to go, where do you think this one will finish? Leave a comment below! -dc

kz right

I didn’t think it could get much better than the Yoshimura/Honda CB750 from two weeks ago. Once again I’m proven wrong.  Before you is the Holy Grail to Kawasaki collectors, a KZ1000S1.  Basically the homologation special of the day with the 30 or so made not being made available to the general public.

1982 Kawasaki KZ1000S1 for sale on eBay

kz headerskz engine 2

Straight to the engine porn! Here is the story:

If you’re one of the Chosen Few, you can now obtain the unobtainable; from the May 1982 Cycle magazine S1 review article. 29 of these motorcycles were imported for AMA superbike racing in 1982, dealer cost was $10,999.00. No retail price was listed. Several ended up being shipped out of the country. It is also my understanding that some were disassembled by Kawasaki to sell as parts. How many I do not know. So here is your chance to own a very rare motorcycle that is in excellent condition and that has a history, even if it is short. This particular bike was purchased by Grayboy Kawasaki in Peoria Heights, IL. The owner of the dealership at that time had a team running the Grand National circuit in dirt track. This bike was purchased by the owner to go roadracing with national expert rider (33) Dave Hebb of Canton,IL. His roadracing number was 93. This bike has one sprint race and two practices from one weekend of racing at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, IN. I’m not sure what happened after that, because the bike was put in storage at the dealerships warehouse until I purchased it in October of 1985. The bike was nevered titled until I purchased it from the dealership. So by the title, I’m the original owner. I have had the bike in a climate controlled storage (my house) since 1985. The cylinders were oiled and the engine was rotated over ever so often when in storage. It still has the original Dunlop Racing KR133 slicks mounted on the Dymag magnesium wheels. Also included is the factory spares kit. I also purchased some extra parts back in the mid eighties that are included. When I purchased the bike, my intentions were to license it and ride it on the street. But instead, I kept riding my 1984 900 Ninja because it was such a great bike. So I never got around to making the S1 street legal using Eddie Lawson replica parts. Spares kit includes left and right front brake rotors, rear brake rotor, three sets of front brake pads, two sets of rear brake pads, front axle, two pistons and rings, gearing, chain, staking master links , special tools, two sets of different rate fork springs, sprocket cush drive, assorted jetting, shorter velocity stacks, throttle cables, clutch cable, o’rings, oil seals, fork seals, etc. and two parts catalogs. I tried to show the condition of the vehicle with the photos. I changed oil and filter, put in 3 gallons of fresh Phillips 66 (111 octane) race fuel and started the bike before listing it here. The engine sounds as good as the day I purchased it

kz naked claims the only documented sale of a KZ1000S1 was back in 1997 for $40,000.

kz left rear

It has the look of just put a number plate on and race but it is far from stock: braced swing arm, extra frame bracing, Mikuni flatsides, Lockheed brakes, magnesium wheels etc, etc.  I saw someone on a message board mention they used an ignition or CDI off a KX80; interesting.

kz tank

Does anyone really pay attention to these stickers?  I doubt this one will ever see any pavement or tarmac again.

kz spareskz spares 3

kz spares 2

I would imagine some of those items are as rare as the bike.

kz left

Well,  the Yosh/Honda CB went for $30,100. Apparently the last known KZ1000S1 went for $40,000 back in 1997. What is the take it price home for this one?

Check the back account before placing a bid here.


Kawgasm! 1982 Kawasaki KZ1000S1
Kawasaki August 13, 2012 posted by

It’s A Mystery All Right: 1980 Vetter Mystery Ship Turbo (Kawasaki KZ1000)

It’s A Mystery All Right:  1980 Vetter Mystery Ship Turbo (Kawasaki KZ1000)

Yeah, I giggled a bit when I saw this bike but then I started to do a little research on it and realized it is a very interesting machine.  Craig Vetter (yes, that Vetter) wanted to produce his version of a racing motorcycle.  The Mystery Ship was the result.  200 were planned but 0nly 10 were built due to Vetter being involved in a hang gliding accident.  Yoshimura was even involved.  They offered 4 different stages of engine mods.  If that wasn’t enough a turbo charging option was offered.  It sounds like several of the 10 are already tucked away in museums around the country.

What we have here is one with that turbo charging option.  20 percent (or 2) were built with the turbo option.


Remember when you were a kid playing with Matchbox cars?  Everyone wanted the car with “turbo” on it.  As an adult you got a rash if you owned something with a turbo on it.  I think you could call turbo charging motorcycles a fad at best.  I have no idea how it works on the Mystery Ship, I’m just spouting off in general.


This baby wasn’t cheap back in 1980.  A Mystery Ship could easily run $10,000 while a standard KZ was less than $4,000 at the time.  I’m trying to think of a bike with a more “unique” styling and I’m drawing a blank.  I’m not sure where the dual purpose tires came from.


Here is the info on ship 6:

Musuem quality 1980 Kawasaki KZ 1000 Turbo Mystery Ship designed and built by Craig Vetter. Craig, known for his farring designs was to build 200 of these race prepped motorcycles but after everything was said and done, only 10 were built. This is #6 of ten with only 2 original miles. The bike has been stored in a climate controled facility for it’s whole life. This is one of two Turbo verisons that was custom built for a customer in Arlington, VA. The Mystery Ship was designed as a limited production streetbike or what Vetters referred to as “a streetable road racer, with all the right parts.”

The wheels were magnesium Dymags, the gas tank held 6 gallons. Rearset pegs and a Yoshimura four into one pipe also showed the bikes racing Heritage. The original order and all documented paperwork comes with this very rare bike

The following info comes from and provides good details on exactly what you got.

Standard KZ1000 MKII frames were used, however, they had several modifications.
They were taken to Kosman’s where a frame jig was used to ensure accuracy, as the geometry of the Mystery Ship frames was to be the same as the Kawasaki KZ1000 racing motorcycle sponsored by the Vetter Corporation in the 1978 AMA Superbike Series.

The steering headstock was removed completely. It was replaced at 26° by a machined headstock fitted with 62mm tapered bearings.

The frames were strengthened, and all brackets that were not needed were removed. Rearset footpegs and a gear change linkage system were fitted. A shortened rear brake lever was used.

The mounting points for the Mulholland Force 1 rear shock absorbers were relocated further down the frame.

A box section swing arm was fitted.

3 spoke magnesium Dymag wheels were fitted with Michelin tyres, M45 front and M48 rear.

Standard Kawasaki brake discs and calipers were used with Ferodo pads.

A four into one Yoshimura exhaust system was fitted.

The bodywork was a two piece unit that covered a 6 US gallon fuel tank.

A Lockhart oil cooler was fitted into the nose of the fairing just below the headlight.

The Vetter Mystery Ship came supplied with a standard KZ1000 MKII engine, which, according to Yoshimura, produced around 75 BHP at 9,000rpm, however, for those with a deeper wallet, several Yoshimura tuning options were offered.

Stage I. $799. 1105cc with 10,000rpm cam. (101 HP)

Stage II. $1134. As above but with 10,500rpm cam with ported and polished head. (108 HP)

Stage III. $1348. As Stage II but with larger valves. (116 HP)

Stage IV. Superbike specification. Prices were available on application.

For those wanting a Turbo Charged option, for around $1,700, Vetter would work with Russ Collins of R.C. Engineering.



Nothing to see here.  You’d think it was an ordinary looking bike from the front.



I’m not even pretending I know what one of these bikes is worth.  It’s a rare version of a rare bike that has never been ridden and was designed by someone who is now in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  On the other hand, how strong is the demand for the bike?  I simply don’t know.  At least 5 people want one as the bidding goes on but it has not yet reached the reserve price. What do the RSBFS faithful think?

Check out the auction.



Kawasaki May 4, 2011 posted by

Framed: Harris Magnum 2 Kawasaki KZ

Framed:  Harris Magnum 2 Kawasaki KZ

What a unique bike!  As a fan of RG500’s I was aware of Harris framed RG’s and the fact that they ran Suzuki’s WSB effort in the mid 90’s.  Once again though,  I’m learning there is much more to be learned.  Harris made (and still makes) a lot more than frames for RG’s.  Here is a link to the frame kits  they currently offer.

Since I was kickin it on a Schwinn in 1973 here is a nice history of the Magnum line of bikes  from

The Harris Magnum was Harris’s reaction to owners of the F1 frame kits and the endurance kits putting them on the road. The Magnum 1 was basically the endurance kit with bodywork and lights and called a magnum.

the Magnum 2 was the same bike with bodywork designed by “Target” who also designed the Suzuki Katana. Later mk2 kits had proper subframes with the battery box mounted in the frame instead of in the fiberglass seat.

The Magnum 3 was Harris’s first attempt at a real road bike. Many thought it a little understated in the styling department and they sold less than 50 worldwide.

In answer to this the Magnum 4 was produced with styling borrowed from the successfull Mk2 and suspension borrowed from the superior handling Mk3.

Last in line was the Mk5, but by the time the Mk5 was produced the Japs had such fine handling machines that their was really no reason apart from styling to produce such a kit. Harris have not produced a frame kit for some time.

If you were curious they still make Magnum frames but only for some Suzuki engines.  So if you are a Kawi guy then it’s time to bid.

Read on for the details:

Up for bid is a very,very rare original Harris Magnum 2, This bike was manufactures in 1973, but was built using Z1 and KZ parts. Engine vin# is Z1E 122487. This is a true street legal endurance race bike. While I have owned this bike I inspected the cams changed the oil and filter. I also installed a new Dyna ignition including 3.0 ohm Dyna coils. unique items on this bike includes a single shock rear suspension, I believe a rear Fox shock, morris magnesium rims, harris rear sets, full set of undamged harris fiberglass fairings, 36mm mikuni carbs, new Avon super venum tires, lockhart oil cooler, manual cam chain adjuster, A very rare twin plug head, this might be a “pappy yoshimura” head?, after market race cylinder-bore size unknown, clip-ons, street legal, kerker header, The miles on speedo are unknown. I’m sure there are items not listed above, and some I might have forgot and others I just don’t know about. Here is a chance to own something you will probably never see again. Ride to bike night,park it in your living room and drink a beer while sitting on it, our vintage race.


Now that is a seller with some smarts. He  gives you options: ride it or have a beer sitting on it in your living room.  In all honesty it looks like it would be a fun project to restore to its’ former glory.

What do you guys think is a reasonable price?  I frankly have no clue.  I would think it would sell easily if the seller hasn’t set the reserve unreasonably high.  It is rare, no doubt about that but how much will you pay for that rarity.  Time will tell. .