Even Better Than the Real Thing? 1982 Kawasaki GPz 1100 Eddie Lawson Replica Replica
At the tail-end of the twin-shock era, bikes like the Kawasaki GPz1100 were king on both road and track, although the writing was on the wall and lightweight, monoshock sportbikes like the GSX-R would soon end their dominance. These dinosaurs were heavy and stable, with ubiquitous air-cooled four-cylinder motors that were nearly unburstable and could be tuned to produce enough straight-line speed to keep even jaded quarter-mile junkies satisfied. On track, riders like Wes Cooley and Eddie Lawson managed to wrestle these thuggish motorcycles around racetracks all over the USA.
Based on the KZ1000J, Kawasaki’s Eddie Lawson Replica was built to celebrate that rider’s success in AMA Superbike racing. Performance enhancements included an oil-cooler, Kerker 4-into-1 exhaust, and higher-spec suspension. Most significantly, a revised frame improved stiffness and sharpened up the handling.
Full disclosure: this is not actually the Eddie Lawson Replica it at first appears to be, and the seller is very clear about that. It’s a replica of that replica, based on a GPz1100, and looks to have been well done, although the genuine article did feature revised frame with different geometry for sharper handling, but for most people this will do the business and be more comfortable. And it’s not like the seller just slapped on some paint and called it a day: a big-bore kit, more aggressive cams, and new carbs should make for a real rocket that will leave stoplights with authority.
From the original eBay listing: 1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 ELR Replica
The previous owner did a frame up restoration of this bike in 2007. It has been driven less than 700 or so miles since that restoration. Everything on the bike was rebuilt and refinished at that time including the fork tubes being re-chromed, new brakes, new tires, new old stock seat, new windscreen, stainless steel fastener kit, etc. The frame and wheels have been powder coated as well as many other parts. New paint was professionally done to a very high standard, no stripe tape was used, all of the stripes were painted on. The paint itself is near flawless and looks fantastic. I would personally rate this bike a 8.75 on a scale of 1-10 as far as cosmetics go and I am more critical than most. If you wanted to take this bike to the next level as far as an Eddie Lawson Clone, I would add the piggy back rear shocks and a deep dish saddle. The April 2015 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine actually has an article on the ELR KZ1000R for anybody who is interested.
The engine was also completely gone through at that time and features an MTC 1185cc big bore kit, Z-2 cams, and Mikuni smooth bore 34mm carbs. The bike has a little under 15,900 original miles. Everything works on the bike as it should with a couple of exceptions. The fuel gauge is not working and probably needs a new sending unit. The rear brake is weak, it should grab more than it does. The carburetor slides are sticking. I thought this issue at first was a sticky throttle cable and ordered a new one but that wasn’t the case, it was the carb slides. Please keep in mind that these are smooth bore racing carbs (great for all out power but can be a bit stubborn around town) and can be a bit cantankerous at times and need to be resynchronized periodically. The new owner could always opt for the stock CV carbs if they want something a bit more mellow.
Starting bid of $4,999 and four days left on the auction with no takers as yet. That seems a very reasonable place to start for a bike like this, considering the low miles and very nice conditon: it’s not as if a GPz1100 isn’t a pretty cool bike on its own. Genuine ELR’s are some of the most collectible 80’s Japanese bikes of the period, but this should perform very much like the real deal, and that engine work should make it a hoot to ride.