Tagged: Eddie Lawson

Mean, Green, and Canadian: 1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R ELR for Sale

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R R Front

Big, brash, and charismatic, big superbike replicas like the KZ1100R put paid to the stereotype that a UJM is doomed to be some sort of boring appliance. Sure, the “Universal Japanese Motorcycle” does sound a bit familiar and unexciting, but the formula flat works. Based on the garden-variety KZ1000J, the original KZ1000R displaced less than that bike’s 105cc, down to 998cc to make it eligible for racing and it featured general updates to the already venerable air-cooled inline four aimed at increasing power and keeping the bike’s reliable reputation intact. But engine updates alone don’t a sportbike make and, although the R was heavy, revised frame geometry gave the bike the agility needed. The K1100R was an update to the original bike, with a bigger 1089cc engine.

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R L Rear

So what about this whole “ELR” thing? Well this lurid green monster was a race replica meant to celebrate the successes for Eddie Lawson, rider for Kawasaki and successful AMA Superbike competitor. The original K1000R was the real-deal Eddie Lawson Replica and, although the K1100R certainly looks the part, purists often seem to consider it less desirable.

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1100R for Sale

Second owner, 1984 Kawasaki Eddie Lawson superbike replica KZ1100R with 20,000km (13,000 miles). Canadian model. Bike starts, runs, and drives excellent. Needs nothing except a new home. original bike color changed from Stardust Blue to Green last year. Top quality paint work with 6 coats of clear and a new decal kit from England. Inside of tank was professionally recoated and guaranteed for life. Every other part on this bike was powdercoated other than the frame and engine. Engine is completely stock and has not been worked on or modified (other than valve cover gasket). Updated brake lines front and back. These beautiful bikes are getting more rare every day. Original owners manual and tool kit included as well as spare keys. Kerker purchased last year. Clean and clear title in hand. All original parts included with sale (I have spent years collecting hard to find parts). See list below for all extras included with sale. 

Extras included:

  • New front tire
  • Set of working carbs
  • OEM front fender (new paint as well)
  • Shop manual
  • Gasket kit
  • Fuel petcock complete
  • OEM crash guards
  • OEM airbox and filter
  • OEM intake boots
  • Spare chain guard
  • OEM decals
  • Decals, cables, and hardware

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R L Tank

The starting bid is $10,000 with no takers yet and very little time left on the auction. This second generation machine represents and evolution of the original KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica but was built in greater numbers and is generally considered less desirable. The price is on the high side, but I wonder if the color change is affecting the bidding as well: even a really good paint job isn’t likely to be as desirable as the original paint in good condition and, no matter how high the quality, a change of color definitely has an impact on values. I prefer the green as well but, if the seller was concerned about maintaining the bike’s long-term value, I’d have suggested he keep it original.

Also, the bike’s in Calgary, Canada so that may be turning folks off buyers here in the US as well.


1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R R Rear

Even Better Than the Real Thing? 1982 Kawasaki GPz 1100 Eddie Lawson Replica Replica

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 R Side

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.

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 Tank

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.1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Seat

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.

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Engine

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.

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Front Wheel

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.


1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Rear

From Cutting Edge to Mainstream: 1986 Yamaha FZ750

For Sale: 1986 Yamaha FZ750

When Yamaha launched the FZ750 in the latter half of the 1980s, they released a bike that was as cutting edge and risky as it was fast. Let’s start with the cutting edge part: A very narrow in-line four cylinder format was laid down at a radical angle to put more weight on the front tire. The alternator was moved above the 6-speed transmission. The cylinder head held an amazing 20 valves, or five valves per cylinder (three intake, two exhaust). Named Genesis, the motor made record levels of horsepower in the day (110 at over 10,000 RPM).

From the seller:
1986 Yamaha FZ750 in very nice original condition with just over 20k miles. The bike starts runs and rides very well and has been adult owned.

This spring the bike had a full tune-up including, spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, oil & filter and carb sync. There is less than 200 miles on the Bridgestone BT45 tires and new brake pads front and rear.

Last fall the clutch master and slave cylinders were rebuilt and new fork seals installed.

Includes original front turn signals, tank bag pictured, original owner’s manual and factory service manual.

In 1986 Eddie Lawson won the Daytona 200 on a FZ750 at over 160 mph so it’s a fast bike for its day and still has plenty of power to run with modern bikes in the canyons while being comfortable enough for touring. The bike draws much attention and comments but it’s not getting ridden due to other commitments.

This has become a very rare bike and was the beginning of Yamaha’s race focused models.

The FZ was a revelation when it was released, and was an effective weapon on the racetrack. Testers of the day found it to be a bit high-strung, and more suited to the track than the street. Ironically, yesterday’s missle has become today’s sport touring bike – as evidenced by the current owner. Longevity is good on these models, and the design has held up well; this concept grew into the awesome 5-valve FZR1000 literbike.

While I agree with the seller that this bike won some races in its day, one has to wonder about the rarity and value of the bike. These were, after all, mass produced motorcycles from Japan. They are not limited in numbers, and there is no “special” FZ750 model that is worth more than the others. What is special is the bike itself – what it stood for then (and today) – and the fact that it is still a very capable sportbike.

This particular model is availalbe now via auction. From the pictures it appears to be very presentable, and the color-matched lowers are a nice addition. Prices are pretty low by collectable standards, making this a nice addition to any collection. With an opening ask of $2k, this is your chance to check out a milestone bike from Yamaha and have some riding fun while doing so. To learn more, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good Luck!


Let the Good Times Roll: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR

For Sale: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

Back in the early 1980s, there was nothing more trick than an air-cooled, two valve inline four from one of the big Japanese manufacturers. During this era a young hot shoe by the name of Eddie Lawson made his meteoric rise to fame by winning the Superbike championship. The ELR, or Eddie Lawson Replica, was introduced by Kawasaki shortly thereafter to commemorate the championship and make some noise. Painted Kawasaki green and sporting a GPz bikini fairing, the modified KZ1000R was fast and surprisingly civilized. Today these make for fine collector bikes that can still be ridden and enjoyed.

This particular example is in extraordinary condition given it is approaching 30 years of age. And despite the surgically clean exterior, this bike has more than 30k miles on the clock. Amazing! To be sure, the twin rear piggy-back shocks and wide air-cooled motor don’t exactly scream “modern” here, but back in the day this was the cutting edge technology that was needed to win races. And win Eddie did, in convincing fashion. And who wouldn’t want to be able to ride like “Steady Eddie” Lawson?

From the seller:
Genuine KZ1000R. 1 of 1200 built in 1983 by Kawasaki, came stock with 4 in 1 Kerker exhaust. Already a collector’s item in 1983, today, very rare and unique. Probably one of the nicest in Canada with 52000 km (31200 miles). This Eddie Lawson Replica won first place in its category at the 2011 Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group rally in Montreal in July. This bike is a great collectors item.

Engine head has been overhauled at 40000 km with new timing chain and valve seal. Engine is 4 mm oversized, very strong and carbs great, no smoke. From A to Z motorcycle is in excellent condition, from the owner’s manual to the tool pouch. Beside the wheels, engine and front mud guard, its’ all on original paint and seat.

Hot period correct parts are installed
•Earl’s oil cooler hoses et oil take-off 700$
•Metmachex swing arm 600$
•Vintage Works performance fork springs and rear shocks (redone by Works en 2006) 1000$
These hot “period correct” parts are fitted and installed correctly.
Exhaust system is ceramic coated for durability.
Original parts are still in hand and will be included in the sale.

1983 Canadian model KZ1000R serial number: JKAKZCR13DA002198, 1 of 1200 built in North America. The Canadian model differs from the US as it does not have the anti-pollution clean air suction device on valve cover and cluster is in metric.

If you scan through the pictures, you can tell that the current owner has taken a great deal of pride in preserving the ELR. It is rare to find a mass-produced Japanese motorcycle – even a rare model such as the ELR – pampered in such a fashion. And remember folks, this bike is a rider, not a garage queen. Making use of all the multi-media tools available, the seller as also included a video of the bike in question. Sit back and enjoy:

So let’s get down to brass tacks. What is an ELR worth these days? That is a loaded question, as we have seen them all over the map, in every sort of condition imaginable. Often times, the condition of the bike dictates the sale price. Most bikes fall into the $9,000 – $12,000 range; exceptional bikes might sell above that mark, and ratted machines will fall below. This buyer is looking for $15,000 or best offer for the machine above. That price is not out of line the ask from sellers with similar condition bikes – but it is getting into rarefied air.

There is no doubt that this bike is in exception condition – the curb appeal cannot be denied. The question is if the origin of the bike (Canada, in this case) will affect the ultimate sale price. ELRs were imported into the US legally, so a grey-market ELR is a wildcard. Why don’t you check it out and let us know what you think? Click the link to jump over to the auction. Check out the specs, the pictures and the videos. And then make sure you come back here and leave some comments. Good luck to both the buyer and seller, because this is still one fine looking bike!


Yamaha RZ500 with California Title!

For Sale: Yamaha RZ500 with California Title

From a sharp reader over on RSBFS (thanks Matt) comes this CA-based Craigslist advertisement for a Yamaha RZ500. Our readership shows a particular affinity for this model of smoker, and it’s not hard to see why. When originally released in 1984, the RZ500 (known as the RD500LC outside of Canada and Australia) was an instant hit. EPA regulations in the US prevented the bike from hitting our shores – but that did not stop a few enterprising folks from legally importing them from up North.

The motive power behind the big RZ is a twin crank 500cc V4 two stroke. Induction is via reed valves, and the Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS) is present in the exhaust port to ensure the broadest power band possible. Expect a stock RZ to put out in the order of 85 HP in stock trim, and significantly more in modified form. The chassis is fairly conventional mild steel (except for the Japanese market RZV500R which sports an trick aluminum frame), although the RZ does have a 16 inch front wheel – which was GP-spec stuff back in the day.

From the seller:
COSMETICS: * Upper fairing in great shape w/ Zero gravity windscreen,
• Mid fairing and belly pan are brand new
• Gas tank in good shape w/ 3 pencil size chips
• Rear side panels are in good shape,
• Frame has been powder coated,
• Rims been repainted gold.

ENGINE: * Built by Rick Lance from www.lancegamma.com
• 1-GE CDI/ ignition
• 520 series o-ring chain,
• Petcock replaced,
• Uni-pod air filter,
• Replace fiber glass insulation for GP Carbon fiber Jolly motto pipes,

SUSPENSION/ BRAKES: * Rear RZV adjustable shocks,
• rebuilt fork & springs w/ seals
• rebuilt front and back calipers
• replace master cylinder w/ Nissin,
• Galfer steel brake lines.


Ask for $9000 o.b.o.
Kal @ 415 272 0957

Designed to evoke the Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson victories in Gran Prix racing, the RZ500 was a GP replica that really worked. They are highly sought after in today’s market, and continue to bring good money. This bike, found on a San Francisco area Craigslist, is a relative bargain at $9,000 – especially when you consider the California title (Golden State residents probably don’t have to be told how draconian the DMV can be on imported hardware), the recent work done, the Jolly Moto pipes and the Rick Lance powerplant (Rick is *very* well respected in smoker circles).

CL pictures are not the best, so as always, we recommend that you do your homework carefully and ask questions. If all turns out as advertised, this looks to be a pretty good deal on a pretty great bike. Good luck, and tell ’em you saw it on CSBFS!