This Featured Listing is part of the The Bob Benyo Collection. Thank you for supporting the site, Bob! -dc
Kawasaki won the AMA Superbike championship in 1981 and again in 1982, thanks in part to a young rider known as Eddie Lawson. To celebrate the championship and build better brand awareness, Kawasaki built a lime green replica race rocket in 1982 commonly known as the Eddie Lawson Replica (ELR). The official name for the bike was the KZ1000R, which was based on the “J” model KZ1000. Kawasaki modified the top end with parts from the GPz1100 to create a hybrid 1 liter super bike good for 102 HP and 130+ MPH. Besides, it simply looked screaming fast even when on its side stand (no center stand included). Today’s ELR is a 1983 model – which, technically, was called the Superbike Replica since in that year Lawson jumped to 500cc GP racing under the Yamaha banner. But to fans, these models will always be ELR – missing only the number 21 on the number plates. And speaking of 21, this particular bike probably scores a 21 on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to condition. Originally owned (and raced) by Terry Vance from Vance & Hines Racing, this KZ1000R has been reborn as a perfect-as-you-can-get example of the breed, with no part passed over. Read on from the seller, and dive deep into this glorious restoration.
From the seller:
1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson replica museum quality concours d’ elegance award winning “OCD” restoration with all “NOS” body parts coming out of my private collection.
Multiple award winner just won “Best in class” in the Boca Raton concours d’ elegance for best restoration. The judges from the Pebble Beach event really thought it just came out of the crate! They were blown away at how perfect the restoration was.
This bike underwent a massive full nut and bolt “OCD” restoration at my shop Globe Motorcycles Limited. With over 500 man hours this was by far my most extensive restoration Gaston, Phil and myself have ever done. I used a full set of “Nos” body work so very hard to find I only have 2 full sets left. Digging in deep into my large inventory of “NOS” and spare ELR parts I use a massive amount of parts that are now impossible to find. There is over $15,000 worth of “NOS” parts on this bike.I will try to list them all but I am sure I will leave out so many that the new caretaker will see when he or she is staring at it for hours and hours.
The bike came to me from a collector that bought it from Terry Vance yes that Terry Vance. Terry had used it in late 1983 and into 1984 as his Kawasaki Pro Stocker winning the NMRA portion of the NHRA Winston World Finals (see the article in Cycle World 1983). Byron Hines was out to prove he could build any of the 4 Japanese brand engines into world class winners. After winning Terry used it as a display at the track but Suzuki was less then happy with that idea it ended up in the back of a shipping container for over 25 years. Missing many OEM parts and with the frame raked for drag racing (the original engine came with it as Byron built up a GPz1100 for the track) it was in need of some serious help. With only 1500 on the engine that was easy part of this project. I sent the frame to the best frame Dr. in the US GMD motorcycle frame shop outside Atlanta GA. Using the latest technology Kent brought the frame right back to OEM specs (not a fast or inexpensive process). Then the magic began.
More from the seller:
Serial number kzt00je042085 the engine is believed to be the original that came with the bike. The ELR engine numbers are never close or similar to the frame numbers but have a specific range they fall into for 1982 and 1983. This is the engine that came with my purchase and is in the correct serial number range for an early 1983 ELR.
With only 1500 original miles it was disassembled inspected and reassembled with a new HD clutch and all new OEM seals and gaskets. The engine was painted with the correct low sheen while it was disassembled as the factory did so no paint whent where it does not belong. The engine side covers were refinished in the correct gloss black and the engraved covers highlighted with the correct gold paint.
The carburetors were completely disassembled ultrasonically cleaned, and painted just as the factory did, resembled and synchronized.
More from the seller:
The frame and swing arm were sandblasted and treated for rust prevention primed and painted in the correct sheen using the best PPG products. All the bearings and seals replaced with OEM parts. All the cables replaced with OEM/NOS parts. The brake system was disassembled completely rebuilt with NOS/OEM parts boasting NOS/OEM front and rear rotors (can’t find them again $1400). The shocks were disassembled painted the correct gold and finished with original decals. The front forks were disassembled rebuilt with OEM parts and painted back to the original sheen and finished with the correct decal. The front and rear wheels were sand blasted primed and painted in the correct gold finish and the outer lip polished to the correct shine. The center spokes of the wheels still show the original small cuts from the machining when the wheel was manufactured (most restorers polish that away not good). NOS/OEM bearings/seals were installed(over 65 hrs just on restoring the wheels). The rear wheel hub/sprocket and chain assembly is NOS. Dunlop K400 series tires installed (K300’s not available). The grips, levers, mirrors, switches, end caps, foot pegs, turn signals, and all the hardware are NOS $$$$$. The seat cover and pading is NOS $$$$ it was the only NOS seat cover I have ever seen (priceless). The rear fender and chain guard are NOS. The Kerker KR exhaust, the side emblem, the hanger bracket assembly and the baffle are all NOS ($3000). The fuel tank, petcock, fuel gauge sender, fuel cap, side covers, front cowl, rear cowl, front fender, tail light, wind shield and rubber seal, emblems, and associated hardware are all “NOS” over $7000 worth of unobtainium. A ridiculous amount of NOS/OEM hardware was used, and the original hardware used was painstakingly individually prepped and re-stained in the correct dark green finish (not easy to do).
More from the seller:
Tell your wife this is a great investment that will only go up in value :). So here is the only chance you will probably ever have to own the best example of 1 of the 750ish 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson replica’s ever built for north america. It is like it came out of the crate with the exception of the Dunlop K400 tires. I will for sure cry when it sells but I blessed to have a few more ELRs they just wont be as perfect.
The original tool kit, owners manual, and 2 keys come with the bike. I have owned more then 20 ELRs in the 5 years and have the largest inventory of ELR parts so bid with confidence this bike will not disappoint. Please feel free to contact me with any questions 954-816-0806. Hit the Buy It Now and I will throw in my autographed custom painted 1983 Bell helmet.
The Kawasaki KZ1000R is a hot commodity in the market these days. And with the original bike nearing forty years of age, time, use and the lack of spares has taken its toll on the available pool. With lower volume and high demand, prices follow. Bikes that you remember “back in the day” that you could buy used for lunch money have suddenly jumped to stratospheric levels. ELR models definitely apply here, as even rough examples are selling strong. And restoring one is no picnic – for many original parts are no longer available. To rebuild a bike that has the history that this one does, to the level that this bike has been painstakingly recreated, would take time and resources beyond the imagination. Likely the best example of the rare breed known as the ELR we have ever seen on these pages (and we have seen some pretty good ones that now pale in comparison) this particular bike is available right now on eBay. Check out the auction here and be astounded by the workmanship. You might be shocked by the values as well, but perfection does not come easy or cheaply. Ding the Buy It Now bell and score a matching helmet complete with Steady Eddie’s gold signature. Destined for museum duty, this 1983 Kawasaki ELR reminds us of the high water mark of old school Superbikes. Good Luck!!