Posts by tag: turbo

Featured Listing August 1, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC

Update 8.1.2019: Joe has renewed his Featured Listings. Check out all of Joe’s bikes for sale on RSBFS! Many thanks for choosing us to help move your collection! -dc

In the wonderful world of Turbo motorcycles, there are the “make your own” types, and the factory turbo offerings. But this special model, the mighty Kawasaki Z1R TC, not only blurs the lines between the two camps, it is also the very first in the factory turbo column. You see, the Z1R TC was sold through Kawasaki dealerships as a new model. However it was not (technically) a factory effort. The offspring of a mixed marriage, ex-Kawi exec Alan Masek convinced the Big K brass to ship bikes to his Turbo Cycle Company (TCC). Given the sluggish sales of the warmed over Z1R, this was no big feat. TCC applied an American Turbo Pak kit to the stock machines, and shipped the resultant mutants to select dealerships with a $1,400 premium tacked on to the sticker price. Appearing to be a factory effort – but devoid of the factory warranty – the Z1R TC went on to gain an incredible reputation for speed, on/off switch turbo boost behavior (Jeckyl & Hyde anyone?), and questionable longevity. For Kawasaki it was a huge win with very little risk. Today, these rare bikes are coveted by collectors world wide.

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC!

The original Z1R TC bikes went out the door in stock Kawasaki colors; they were literally converted by TCC and kicked out of the shop. As the operation matured, several changes occurred. The first was a change to the exhaust plumbing and collector – in an effort to tame the boost. The next change was a new wastegate that limited boost to 6 PSI (the Gen I bikes had a fully adjustable wastegate). And finally the classic 1970s paint scheme emerged. These are all Gen II bikes, and can be identified by the “Molly Designs” logo on the tail section. With the new graphics the Z1R TC finally had the appearance to show off the induction upgrades. Today these Molly graphic bikes are the most desired of the Z1R TC set.

From the seller:
You should know that I am a serious collector, with a large motorcycle collection. I decided to sell some of the most valuable motorcycles in the collection. These motorcycles represent some of the most iconic motorcycles 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Those motorcycles are now being offered up for sale one by one. Many years ago when the best of the best was available, and that is what I was buying, these motorcycles were targeted for my collection by me.

In general, I do believe super rare Italian motorcycle of the 1970s and 1980s are the future Ferrari of motorcycle collecting. We all know what has happened with the Ferrari market.

An exception is the Kawasaki Z1RTC.

More from the seller:
The rare bike in this ad is the 1978 Kawasaki Z1RTC. To me it is one of the greatest and rare motorcycle you can collect. It is a very limited production motorcycle especially in the Molly Graphics configuration. It is unbelievably fast and has an exhaust that is a thrill to listen to as it winds up through the gears. I purchased this Z1RTC from the original owner and it has not been taken apart or restored or manipulated. The original owner explained to me that this ZR1TC turbo is a Stage 3 which is the best of the best for Z1RTC turbos. The original owner told me he took the bike to a drag strip only once and turned 9.9 seconds in the quarter mile and described the feeling by saying, “it felt like his eyeballs were pinned to the back of his head”

The Z1RTC is all original except for the upgraded pressure gauge. Always kept on a trickle charger and ready to fly down the road.

They are only original once.

I would suggest that you check out the other rare cycles that I am offering for sale.

Prefer phone calls 847-774-4857

Thanks for looking at one of the best!

While the Z1R TC put Kawasaki on the map, not all was tea and roses. This was a serious motorcycle that demanded the best riders. Boost was not easily manipulated and the remainder of the stock Z1R pieces were not engineered for the upgrade. The complete lack of engine controls that we take for granted (computer controlled fuel injection, programmable ignition modules, rev limiters) made for a very fragile existence. There was actually recommendations in the manual that new owners upgrade to stronger valve springs, weld the crank and upgrade the clutch if the bike were to be used aggressively. When was the last time your owners manual made those types of modification suggestions? But given that there was no factory warranty, there was apparently little to lose.

These are mean, aggressive yet beautiful motorcycles. They chronicle an era where experimentation and entrepreneurship could coexist with a larger factory effort. And the epic bikes that resulted from these strange bedfellows strike awe and wonder in the hearts and minds of viewers – and riders. To find a totally stock Z1-R TC is an amazingly rare sight. This bike is very, very close to perfectly original, and has a very limited list of owners. It looks absolutely pristine and clean enough to eat off of – should you dare to commit such sacrilege. For those in the market for something unique and special, few bikes can compete with this beautiful 1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC. Interested readers should give Joe a call ASAP. If previous listings of this model are any example, this one will go quickly. Boost on, and good luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC
Kawasaki July 27, 2019 posted by

Peer Pressure: 1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo

The 1980s were wild time of experimentation. There was a technology explosion as liquid cooling, computerized fuel injection and other performance enhancers hit the scene. The sport bike battleground became a dizzying array of different configurations, each manufacturer vying for top honors on the racetrack and the showroom. Nowhere was this more evident than the brief window of the Turbo craze; the promise of liter bike power in a mid-sized sport bike never materialized, but the Big Four made seemingly every effort to make it so. Today what remains are the carcasses of the aftermath; an antiquated reminder of how quickly technology moves forward.

1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo for sale on eBay

Honda Turbos followed the route of the 500 & 650 cc CX twins, Suzuki went with a 650cc Katana rip-off that originated the air-oil cooling later made famous by the GSX-R series, Yamaha phoned in a warmed over Seca with a unique blow-through, carbureted 650 cc configuration, and Kawasaki built the Top Dog of the bunch with the GPz750 Turbo. Rated by motorcycle magazines as the fasted bike in 1985, the Kawi Turbo did deliver on the 1/4 mile promise of turbocharging. However the drawbacks of forced induction – weight, cost, complexity, turbo lag, lack of power predictability, etc – quickly sunk the ship. Buyers weren’t interested in paying the premium for the Turbo, and riders preferred the real world performance of the less expensive liter bikes. The year of the Turbo was over.

From the seller:
1985 KAWASAKI GPz750 TURBO (ZX750E), RARE and ORIGINAL
Manufacture Date – 08/84. One of 1,500 1985 GPz750 Turbos produced!!

An ALL ORIGINAL example of the fastest production motorcycle made in 1985, per Kawasaki. OEM motor, bars, seat, pipes, turbo, levers, mirrors, signals, brakes, fairing, wheels, etc. The ONE exception is an after-market uni-shock (single shock) the previous owner installed. I have the OEM uni-shock for it too and it still works great.

CLEAN and CLEAR TITLE!

Runs great! Looks great! Collector quality! This rare bike has already surpassed collector and vintage status. And, dependent on who you ask or where you look, has reached Antique status at 35 years old. Does NOT run like an old, decrepit bike….no way. ONLY 10,846 original miles on the odometer (see pic). There may be a few more miles on it when it sells. A RARE TURBO ANTIQUE YOU CAN RIDE! And ride fast…if you’re into that sort of thing. How cool is that? Fresh gas. Fresh battery. Newer front and rear brakes. Turbo works like it should. All electrics work like they should. Good compression. Good tires. All those little OEM Kawa stickers and decals are still in place; see RPM gauge, chain guard, base of tank, etc. Dual helmet locks! Original, original, original. If you are tired of looking at GPz 750 Turbo’s that are not original and in great condition, you can now stop looking. You have found The One.

This Turbo was last ridden in 2012 – see pic of temp tag – with annual fuel and oil changes. Basically long-term storage. New battery installed and starts right up. Currently has 92 octane in it (premium). There is very, very light surface rust around the base of the tank neck filler hole – see pic. Tank is very, very clean.

This bike isn’t new (obviously) but in very, very, very excellent condition with SUPER LOW miles on it and the starting bid reflects that condition.

More from the seller:
Many OEM Kawi parts and accessories go with this antique GPz750 TURBO motorcycle. Items such as (see pics):
OEM Kawa Uni-shock absorber
OEM Kawa GPz750 Turbo tool kit!
OEM Kawa Ignition keys, 2 each
OEM Kawa SERVICE MANUAL (1984)
OEM Kawa WORKSHOP MANUAL; SERVICE MANUAL SUPPLEMENT (1985), TWO EACH
OEM Kawa GPz750 TECHNICAL TRAINING MANUAL, TWO EACH
OEM Kawa 20-page “PRESS KIT”. This is cool. An OEM (copy) of a 1985 Press Kit, authored and published in Japan but written in English. Used for the roll-out introduction of the 1985 GPz750 Turbo for the Press
OEM Kawa “750 Turbo” sticker (bumper sticker)
OEM Kawa Fuel filter, NEW, 1 each
OEM Kawa Air filter, NEW, 1 each
OEM Kawa Clutch Cable, NEW, 1 each
OEM Kawa Horns, dual set, 1 each

Kawasaki-branded key fob; color matched to bike
Mini-turbo key ring ornaments, color matched to bike, 2 each – Super Cool!
Bike cover with custom Kawasaki patch
Master Lock wheel disc lock; color matched to bike, 2 keys
OEM equivalent NEW battery, 14L-A2 (replaces 12N14-3A); just installed
Deltran “Battery Tender Automatic” (full size) WITH pigtail connection already installed on bike
K & N oil filters, NEW, 2 each
Canyon Carver handlebar tie-down set, 1 each
Custom aluminum license plate bracket
Some extra high-pressure fuel line hose

As stated previously on these pages, Factory Turbos are rare. But they are rare for some of the wrong reasons; nobody wanted them. The big Four quickly realized the poor ROI this direction was offering, and pivoted back to more mainstream sport bikes. Nearly 35 years later the song remains the same. Yes, prime examples of the XN, CX, XJ and ZX have slowly gained in value in recent years, but certainly not any faster than a super-clean example of any other 80’s era sport bike. It seems completely unfair, given the rarity, uniqueness and performance of these puffer bikes – but the public votes by wallet share, and these machines have proven to have a narrow focus of interested buyers. This particular GPz750 Turbo looks awesome and has some cool stuff that comes with it. But is it worth the opening ask of $9,999? Historic values would say probably not, but the market is constantly changing and conspires to make fools of us all. Check it out here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Peer Pressure: 1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo
Yamaha May 11, 2019 posted by

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo

Someone bought-it-now Friday afternoon – a reader ?   -donn

It was a short bandwagon but early 1980’s was the time for early turbo systems, and Yamaha developed the XJ-650 Turbo but resisted the urge to break the bank.  This Phoenix example is quite clean with just a couple of foibles and barely 10,000 miles.

1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo for sale on eBay

Using a relatively low-tech two valve four as a base, the blown 650 used carburetors instead of injection and was rated for 90 hp and 60 ft-lbs. torque.  The YICS intake control system capitalized on the speed of the charge air to improve combustion.  Air cooling limited boost to 7.7 lbs., adding a gentler push than some of the competition.  Exhaust is simplified with one muffler dedicated to the wastegate, emissions kept quieter in the other single muffler.  Despite the higher speeds and weight of the turbo bike, brakes weren’t upgraded from the normally aspirated model.  Styling was one area where the Seca Turbo excelled, with and integrated fairing with a sport touring windscreen and locking glove boxes.

Averaging nearly 20 years for each of its two owners, this XJ650 Turbo has been only occasionally ridden, and looks very good.  The undamaged fairings, pipes, and cases far outweigh the worn stitching and tired trim shown in the owner’s video – here –.  Comments from the eBay auction:

I’m selling my 1982 Yamaha XJ650LJ Seca Turbo.  Low Miles, 10,100  Miles.  Excellent Condition.  2nd owner.  This is the same type used in the James Bond Movie never say never.  Recently serviced.  Runs great!  I also created a video of it running and  a walk around.

James Bond’s stunt double shredded a Turbo in a chase scene early in 1983’s – Never Say Never Again – but the real Seca had a less sporty rep.  The turbo era fizzled shortly afterward, along with a drop in fuel prices.  But each solution had their good points – Yamaha’s showed how 25% more power could be achieved with relative simplicity.  As presented, it’s a lot of bike for the fan, and for the buy-it-now.

-donn

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo
Kawasaki May 1, 2019 posted by

Beast of Boost: 1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo

During the wild years of the decade known as the 1980s, there was a lot going on. Legwarmers were hot. The brat pack were hot. And most importantly, Turbos were hot. Every major Japanese manufacturer played with the puffer configuration at least once (Honda tried it twice) before giving up on induction-enhanced motorcycles. Honda built a pair of large, heavy sport touring bikes. Yamaha built a lazy Seca with futuristic fairing in a “me too” effort. Suzuki took the bonkers approach and built a no-apologies sport bike like a Katana on turbo steroids. And Kawasaki watched, learned, and eventually dipped their toes into the water with an updated GPz.

1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo for sale on eBay

The largest of the turbo bikes by displacement, the Kawasaki GPz was also the fastest. The only factory turbo bike to break into the 10s in the quarter mile, the GPz 750 Turbo was not only faster than all its forced-induction peers, it was the fastest street bike tested in 1984. With an estimated 112 HP on tap thanks to the Hitachi turbo unit sitting low down and in front of the inline four. With ideal turbo placement for short exhaust primaries, Kawasaki’s approach minimized lag and maximized horsepower. Even then, power windup changes suddenly as the engine builds boost – making for a fun ride, but a less than predictable mount for tight canyons. Like all but the Yamaha, the Kawasaki Turbo introduced fuel injection in an effort to better control engine operations and promote rideability and longevity.

From the seller:
1985 KAWASAKI GPZ750 TURBO

Here’s a real nice Kawasaki 750 Turbo for sale. Bike is in near perfect original condition except for 1 flaw/crack on right lower side of faring. Always stored inside and covered. Runs and rides excellent with fresh oil and filter change. It is all original with factory owners manual and tool kit and has 530 chain conversion to get rid of the factory heavy 630 chain, see last 2 pics. Newer tires and battery.

While the Kawasaki Turbo takes after the GPz models, it differs in many ways. Engine internals, chassis geometry and suspension, and custom factory lowers were all bespoke to the Turbo, although Kawasaki did raid the GPz750 and GPz1100 parts bins to keep costs down. The resultant looks made it familiar to the GPz, yet officially it was known as the ZX750E and referred to simply as the Kawasaki 750 Turbo. Lasting only a couple of years with no significant changes, the Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo shared a similar life cycle with the rest of the Turbo packing offerings. Expensive, complicated and generally unloved, they all failed to sell well in the showrooms – despite the flash and the speed.

Today’s Turbo example is a 1985 model, and it looks like a true survivor. It does not appear to be scuffed, dropped, hot rodded or significantly modified. The seller states that the chain was downsized; the 530 chain is pretty stout, and the factory 630 size was incorporated no doubt due to concerns over longevity. Other than that, this appears to be an honest machine presented to us by a turbo collector (notice the XN85 in the background). The opening ask is a fair $6,999 – but there do not appear to be many bidders as of yet. Not terrifically valuable when compared to more elite machinery (RC30s, OW01, MHe, etc), Turbo bikes are slowly gaining ground as well as the respect of riders and buyers. If you are in the market for one of these unique time pieces, this 10,000 mile machine might be your opportunity. Check it out here, and then jump to the Comments to share your Turbo thoughts. Good Luck!!

MI

Beast of Boost: 1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo
Kawasaki March 15, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC

Update 3.15.2019: Now relisted on eBay with a buy-it-now of $37,900. Good luck to buyers and seller! Links updated. -dc

Before Honda and Suzuki engineered machines with turbocharged engines in the early part of the 1980s, Kawasaki pioneered the idea by using forced induction to make their musclebound Z1R a truly brawny street machine. By 1978, the thing was looking a little long in the tooth, and Kawi saw turbocharging as an effective shot in the arm. It was, but in true Kawasaki fashion, it was about as crude and brutal an execution as you could imagine. Instead of designing the engine in-house, and building a bike around it, they farmed out the modifications and made the TC a dealer-installed option.

1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for sale on eBay

That meant the turbo blew compressed air into a stock bottom end and the stock chassis, suspension and brakes were expected to make do. The Z1-R TC pushed out something like 130 horsepower in an era when air-cooled 1000s were usually content with somewhere around 90. The black and orange Molly graphic-sporting TC went on to become an icon, though only about 220 left showrooms. All things considered, that was likely for the best.

This 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC has had a nut-and-bolt restoration to better-than-new condition. The pictures speak louder than I can, but it has apparently been made perfect and original down to the grips. We’re not sure how many TCs are left, but we’d stake money that this is one of the nicest.

From the eBay listing:

1 OF ONLY 220 1978 KAWASAKI KZ1000 Z1R-TC/TC2 TURBO’s EVER PRODUCED. THIS ONE IS COMING OUT OF MY PRIVATE COLLECTION. IT IS A DOCUMENTED LOW MILEAGE ORIGINAL BLACK MOLLY TC-2. MYSELF AND 2 INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNING RESTORATION EXPERTS SPENT OVER A YEAR RESTORING HER TO ABSOLUTE ORIGINAL MUSEUM QUALITY (THE CORRECT GRIPS WERE INSTALLED AFTER PHOTOS). NO EXPENSE WAS $PARED! THANK GOD MY WIFE DID’NT SEE THE EXPENSE LIST. EVERY NUT, BOLT, WASHER, BUSHING, AND COMPONENT WAS REPLACED WITH OEM OR NOS PARTS, OR RE-PLATED TO EXACT OEM STANDARDS/SPECIFICATIONS. MOST OF THE BOLTS, SCREWS, NUTS AND WASHERS ARE NEW OLD STOCK AS I HAVE A VERY EXTENSIVE “NOS” INVENTORY), ALONG WITH COUNTLESS OTHER PARTS.

THIS BIKE WAS OWNED AND RIDDEN IN THE SOUTH FLORIDA AREA THRU THE LATE 1980’s. I ACTUALLY WORKED ON THIS BIKE AT KAWASAKI SUZUKI OF FT. LAUDERDALE IN 1987 ( I WAS THE CHIEF MECHANIC). THEN IT MADE ITS WAY TO ANOTHER COLLECTOR THAT KEPT IT IN A COOL CLIMATE ENVIRONMENT UNTIL I ACQUIRED IT A FEW YEARS YEARS AGO.

IF YOU ARE UNAWARE OF THE HISTORY OF THE Z1R TURBO, IN 1978 KAWASAKI PARTNERED WITH WITH ONE OF THERE FORMER EXECUTIVES WHO HAD FORMED TURBO CYCLE CORPORATION TO CREATE THE WORLDS FIRST FACTORY TURBO MOTORCYCLE. KAWASAKI’s MISSION WAS TO BOOST SALES OF THE Z1R BY MAKING IT THE FASTEST BIKE OF THE TIME. IN 1979 TO FURTHER DRIVE SALES, KAWASAKI CONTRACTED WITH ROLLIN “MOLLY” SANDERS TO COME UP WITH THE SINISTER BLACK PAINT SCHEME. ONLY 220 1978/1979’s (some of the 1978 line came out as 1979 on the mso/tittle) WERE PRODUCED IN THE SECOND AND FINAL YEAR.

ENGINE: #006435 IS THE BIKES ORIGINAL LOW MILAGE ENGINE THAT WAS UPGRADED WITH ALL THE NEEDED MODS BACK IN THE EARLY 80s. I COMPLETELY WENT THRU THE ENGINE TO VERIFY, INSPECT/REPLACE AS NEEDED. IT HAD A WELDED, BALANCED CRANKSHAFT, UNDERCUT TRANSMISSION, UPGRADED OIL PAN, HEAVY DUTY CLUTCH ASSY, FORGED PISTONS, NEW RINGS, PERFORMANCE VALVE JOB, SHIMS UNDER BUCKETS, AND APE HARDWARE. THE BENDIX CARB AND TURBO CHARGER/WASTE GATE OVERHAULED. ALL NEW SEALS AND GASKETS. NEW DYNA S IGNITION AND NEW COILS. THE EXHAUST WAS STRIPED AND RE-CHROMED TO BETTER THEN NEW SPECS. THE ENGINE RUNS LIKE IT DID IN 1979.

FRAME: HAS BEEN STRIPED AND REPAINTED TO OEM SPECS. THE FRONT FORKS REBUILT WITH THE LOWER LEGS PROPERLY REFINISHED TO OEM STANDARDS. THE REAR SHOCKS WERE NOS. THE MOLLY CONCEPTS BLACK MOLLY PAINT IS THE ORIGINAL THAT HAS BEEN
RE-CLEARED TO BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL DEEP LUSTER. THE WHEELS WERE DISASSEMBLED AND REPAINTED/POLISHED TO OEM SPECS. SHE IS FITTED WITH NEW METZLER TIRES “SEMI PERIOD-CORRECT”. THE BRAKES WERE COMPLETELY OVERHAULED. THE SEAT IS THE ORIGINAL SEAT FROM THE BIKE AND IS IN AMAZING CONDITION. THE WINDSCREEN AND SEAL ARE NOS AS ARE THE LEVERS AND MIRRORS AND MORE COMPONENTS THEN I CAN LIST. I WILL BE INSTALLING THE CORRECT VERY HARD TO FIND NOS GRIPS. NOTE THE VERY EXPENSSIVE AND IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND “NOS” ATP BOOST GUAGE THE ORIGINAL HAD THE USUAL CRACKED GLASS.

I HAVE BEEN COLLECTING, RESTORING, FIXING, RIDING, AND RACING MOTORCYCLES SINCE GRADUATING FROM AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE INSTITUTE “AMI” IN DAYTONA FL. IN 1980. I OWN 3 BLACK MOLLY TC-2’s AND 2 BLUE TC’s BUT THIS IS BY FAR THE NICEST IN MY COLLECTION, WORTHY OF BEING IN THE BARBER MUSEUM. ONLY SELLING IT TO MOTIVATE ME TO RESTORE THE NEXT ONE. THE LAST NICELY RESTORED BLACK MOLLY SOLD FOR OVER $38,000 ON E-BAY A YEAR OR 2 AGO. I BELIEVE MY BIKE IS A NICER MORE OEM RESTORATION.

BID WITH CONFIDENCE DON’T MISS OUT ON A MUSEUM QUALITY “OCD” NUT AND BOLT FRAME OFF RESTORED PART OF HISTORY. THESE LIMITED PRODUCTION MODELS APPRECIATE OVER 15% PER YEAR. TELL YOUR WIFE ITS A BETTER INVESTMENT THEN HER JEWELRY, SHOE AND HANDBAG COLLECTION. 🙂 THE BIKE CAN BE VIEWED DURING THE AUCTION IN PERSON OR VIA FACE-TIME OR SKYPE.

BIDDERS MUST HAVE A GOOD RATING. NO 0 RATED BIDDERS WITHOUT CONTACTING ME FIRST 954-816-0806 BOB. I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO END THE AUCTION EARLY, IT’S FOR SALE LOCALLY. A $500 DEPOSIT IS DUE AT THE END OF THE AUCTION. THE BALANCE IS DUE VIA BANK WIRE, OR CASH WITHIN 3 DAYS. I CAN STORE THE BIKE UP TO 90 DAYS AND WORK WITH YOUR SHIPPER OR RECOMMEND ONE.

PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS I AM SURE I LEFT OUT SOMETHING ELSE WE DID SINCE WE DID SOOOOOO MUCH.

If the stories of this machine’s power and handling are to be believed, the scant mileage isn’t much of a surprise. Given its rarity, lunacy and historical significance, there’s a lot of value in this bike. The auction has active bidding and a few days left, so act quickly if this Z1-R TC is going to be yours.

-AR

While you’re checking out Bob’s Kawasaki, take a look at his custom Yamaha YZF750R as well! -dc

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC
Kawasaki February 12, 2019 posted by

Puffed Up: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC

In the 1970s the Kawasaki Z1 was the big dog of the sporting world. Long in the tooth as the decade neared to a close (the Z1 platform was introduced way back in 1972), Kawasaki introduced an updated model – the Z1-R. Largely a warmed-over refresh rather than an all new design, the R model had the looks to help it along in the showroom, but lacked the technology, refinement and performance that competitors were offering. Enter a unique partnership between Alan Masek and his newly formed Turbo Cycle Company and Kawasaki. Masek was a former Kawasaki executive – and knew that the Z1-R was faltering in the showroom. That meant there was a stockpile of bikes that Kawasaki couldn’t sell. By marrying these unsold units to an American Turbo Pak kit and selling the bikes through the dealership network, Kawasaki was able to put itself back into the horsepower game with relatively low risk. Thus the Z1-R TC was born.

1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for sale on eBay

Beneath the sticker kit, the TC model was all Z1-R. Same brakes, suspension, controls, engine and trans. Outside of the bolt-on turbo and boost gauge, wastegate and associated piping, there wasn’t much else. Your $1,400 premium to the already expensive Z1-R bought you graphics and outrageous horsepower. And voided your warranty. And while the Z1 platform was robust for its time, the lack of any engine controls (no fuel injection, no rev limiter, etc) meant that you were only one missed shift away from mechanical catastrophe. Keep in mind that all other engine internals were shared with the standard Z1-R. Therefore it was suggested that new owners upgrade to stronger valve springs, weld the crank and upgrade the clutch if the bike were to be used aggressively. Did I mention it also voided the warranty?

From the seller:
This 1978 kawasaki Z1RTC bike is one of 220 made and sold through kawasaki dealers. This bike is in good original condition and has had several new oem parts. Bike has been stored in climate control house garage. Lights and turn signals horn and other electronics work including the fuel and amp gauge. This bike has not been repainted. Worse thing on it is the fuel tank does have some light few chips in the paint by the neck. The engine cases are the original ones for the bike. It does have brand new correct size tires on it. New battery also. It is ready to ride. The motor has been rebuilt with new gaskets, seals and new paint on the cases. They are the only thing that has been painted. Has correct gas valve and wind screen. The seat is in excellent shape and comes with the hard to find kicker, the rubber is there for it but I do not have the bracket to hold it. Brakes have been all rebuilt front and back with hard to find parts.the turbo is in excellent shape also.

The wild paint scheme you see here was introduced on the second generation of TC bikes. These are identified by the “Molly Designs” logo on the tail section. Numerous small upgrades were incorporated on the Gen II bikes, including an upgraded collector and exhaust system, and a factory-limited wastegate (now set at 6 PSI, rather than adjustable). This was all in the name of making the bike more rider friendly, and to aid in the ultimate longevity of the mechanicals. And while the TC was certainly fast, it was by no means a showroom winner. Sure, it gave Kawasaki street creds and horsepower bragging rights – but it was a “for experts only” motorcycle that commanded a serious premium. Many were pressed into service as drag bikes – and endured a difficult life full of breakages and modifications. Today finding a totally clean and stock Z1-R TC is a rare sight.

This particular 1978 Z1-R TC looks to be in pretty nice shape. Wearing original paint and still holding onto the stock boost gauge, decals and info plates, the bike looks very close to original. The engine has been gone through (not surprising given the age and the history of the model), but no information as to any potential internal upgrades (i.e. welded crank, etc). With fewer than 10,000 miles, this forty-something year old wonder is looking for a new home. This is an iconic motorcycle in the annals of turbo charging, as it was the first TC bike that was officially offered by a major manufacturer (even if it was a partnership and not a full fledged in-house model). Prices for these bikes continue to rise, given the rarity and importance of the model. This particular one jumped quickly above $12k – with more to come and reserve still in place. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments and share your thoughts on turbos. Good Luck!!

MI

Puffed Up: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC
Suzuki January 12, 2019 posted by

Use Your Boost to Get Through – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Vying for additional power without displacement, the 1980’s saw major cycle makers attempt to tailor the excess heat and complexity of turbocharging to sport bikes.  Suzuki’s entry is the rarest and this one has ultra-low mileage, and just one tangle with the mischievous elves that tip stuff onto parked motorcycles.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Suzuki based their turbo on a 673cc inline four, and used electronic fuel injection to tailor the fuel delivery through the variable throttle / boost map.  85 hp are claimed, leading to the model designation.  An early adopter of innovations like Full-Floater rear suspension, air-oil cooling system ( with piston squirters ), and 16-inch front wheel, the XN85 was a bit of a tech showcase.  Kayaba provided the suspension, with anti-dive forks.  Triple disks are big but not oversize considering the 550 lb. ready-to-ride weight.  Angular fairing and sculpted tank owe royalties to the then-recent Katana.

Detailed photos should be part of an auction with a high falutin’ buy-it-now, which this eBay bike parts dealer probably knows.  Nothing a pre-purchase inspection can’t remedy, however.  Some history and service record(s) would be a help, even for a bike with so many years and so few miles.  Short and sweet from the eBay listing:

483 miles – all original except petcock, last ran in December 2018. Also, have Service Manual, and original title.
Right rear tail section has scratches that can be fixed.

Suzuki’s turbo was the sportiest of the big four’s litter, though even at that it’s more of a GT.  None were real showroom success stories, but maybe their role was more of leading edge glitterati for the dealer.  Under just the right conditions, the XN85 could woosh through the traps first, or just look great on the sidestand.  Either way the XN85 can provide liter-size performance from a boosted mid-size, and maybe the make offer button will let us know whether this is a survivor or museum piece.

-donn

 

Use Your Boost to Get Through – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Honda November 18, 2018 posted by

Power Play: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

The 1980s represented a wild period for motorcycle manufacturers. Everyone was throwing technology at the performance problem, and all Big Four vendors went full speed down the Turbo road. Little did they know it would be a dead end street. But while it lasted, the glorious promise of liter-bike power in a mid-sized motorcycle ruled the day. The mighty technological giant know as Honda was both the first – and the last – reveler at the boosted party, and built what many consider the most complete factory Turbo bike offered. Enter today’s rarity, the mighty 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo. Long since known as the roll-on king, the CX650T produced real-world, usable power in a whooshing rush that was unmatched by contemporaries. Offered for one scant year at a princely price, the 650 Turbo (just like the CX500 Turbo) failed to capture much wallet share of the riding public, and was discontinued. With it, the Turbo era was over.

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for sale on eBay

Externally the CX650T resembles a futuristic Silver Wing, and the apple didn’t fall too far from that tree. Utilizing a slightly beefed up bottom end, the Turbo model makes due with many of the CX infrastructure elements – which should tell you how over built the CX lineup was in the first place. A single turbo blows through the four valve heads. Fueling is provided courtesy of computerized injection (hot and heavy stuff back then). Optimizing for torque rather than peak HP, the 650 is good for about 100 HP. But this is no drag racer. With shaft drive, air suspension, a heavy chassis, a beefy motor, nearly a of ton of electronics and the large fairing, the CX650 Turbo tips the scales significantly on the wrong side of 550 lbs. Honda wisely chose the “sport touring” theme with their Turbo bikes, partly due to necessity of packaging everything up.

From the seller:
17 mile cx650 turbo tiltle is in my name. This bike will need serviced..it does run and drive .i tested it and put 10 miles on it my self Oem stock tools ,air gauge ,owners manual,stock Oem tires with nubs
Front rear,only thing on this bike not Oem it the glove box cover,other then that .this bike is as it was sold new.

Turbo bikes are rare. With only 1,700 and change of the 650s ever made (and a reported mere 1,000 or 1,200 imported to the US), these beasts are not common. This particular bike sports only 17 miles… total! Low mile Turbo bikes are more the norm than the exception, but this is an extreme example. The only specimens that have fewer miles are those machines donated by Honda to technical schools for training and learning (those were never intended to be titled or ridden). But miles are not to be feared on a CX650 Turbo. These are robust motorcycles with few real issues. The key gremlins on the bike are electrical related. Stators are no longer available and the cause of many a charging system’s demise. Removable connectors under the seat can get corroded, run hot under load and can burn out. Other than those items, regular use will keep items such as the turbo waste gate operational and happy.

Turbo bikes have always been expensive relative to their same brand, non-boosted counterparts. That is part of the reason why they are rare; they simply were too expensive for the level of performance offered. And while they have been slow to appreciate (financial turbo lag?) they have been slowly climbing in price. Top condition, low mileage bikes are on the sharp end of the field – as is to be expected with any collectible. The seller is looking for an opening ask of $8,900, which thus far has scared away bidders. Nearly nine grand is a big ask for a CX650 Turbo in today’s market, especially as this is the opening ask of an auction. These are wonderful and unique bikes that deserve a good look if you are searching for a rider/collector machine. This one is priced a little high when compared to others we have seen, but is certainly not in absurd territory. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments and share your Turbo stories. Turbos need love too! Good Luck.

MI

Power Play: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo