Tagged: Eddie Lawson Replica

Fast and Green: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR R Side

As long as there’s been motorcycle racing, there have been riders wanting their street bikes to look like the ones they’ve seen tearing around racetracks: from café racers to modern Rossi-replica paint jobs, street riders ape the style of their heroes, although the very best examples combine a helping of both form and function.

And while more modern race-replicas are often based on track-bred, fundamentally uncomfortable sportbike ergonomics, bikes like this classic Kawasaki KZ1000R “Eddie Lawson Replica” actually work pretty well on the road. That’s really a function of the bike being based on the road-racing AMA Superbike mount of rider Eddie Lawson, which was based on the plain-Jane KZ1000J, Kawasaki’s standard 1015cc air-cooled four cylinder machine.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR Tank

De-stroked to 998cc’s to make it eligible for various racing classes, the R also featured an oil-cooler, 4-into-1 Kerker exhaust, upgraded suspension components, and adjustments to the steering-head angle to sharpen up steering. These relatively simple changes led to a bike that felt very different than the machine on which it was based. And although their more humble roots make them far more comfortable than modern race-replicas, bikes like the ELR pay the price in terms of handling: a 544lb dry weight makes them a real workout to hustle through the corners.

Of course, the bike’s actual performance is overshadowed a bit by a liberal application of Kawasaki’s lurid green paint and racing stripes!

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR Dash

While the description suggests this bike needs some work, looking at the pictures that have been included, I get the feeling the seller is a bit of a perfectionist, since this looks very clean and complete.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica for Sale

32,034 original miles. Last registered in July 1992. I purchased this bike with the intent of doing a total restoration. Having sat for 22 years I cleaned the carbs and changed the oil and filter.

Engine runs strong with no strange noises. All electrics work, lights, signals, horns, and gauges. I replaced the fork seals and fork oil and installed a new rear tire. I have cleaned and painted the wheels, foot peg mounts, battery box, forks, and other little parts. Besides needing a total restoration it is missing the chain guard, air box and needs a battery. I just don’t have the time needed to tackle a project of this size. It’s not perfect by a long shot but the basics are there to restore it to what it once was.

I encourage you to contact me directly with any specific questions that you may have about this bike or for additional pictures. Bike is available for viewing during the auction and is located in Northern California. Call and we can arrange a time. Bike is registered in California and title is clear and in my name.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR L Side Rear

This isn’t a low-mileage garage queen, but the seller’s assertion that it “needs a total restoration” might be a bit of an overstatement: he mentions that everything works and the engine runs well. From the photos, it looks to be in great shape, and the missing bits shouldn’t be any problem: chain guard? Who needs that? And the airbox can simply be replaced with cool-looking, if somewhat controversial individual filters. These are already pretty collectable, with only 750 original examples built,  and are quickly becoming valuable, especially in such decent, original condition.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR Fairing

I’m not obsessive about “patina” and I can appreciate restored and even-over-restored motorcycles with the best of them, but there is something cool about a bike that looks lived-in, one that looks like it’s been used as intended, but well cared-for. Has a few battle scars to show for its 32,000 miles. This bike sounds it just needs a couple weekends of work to make it roadworthy and provide plenty of miles and smiles before that “total restoration” is really necessary.

-tad

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR L Side

 

Signed by the Artist: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR R Side

Prior to bikes like the Suzuki GSX-R750, production-based racers from Japan were big, burly brutes. Engines were large four-cylinders and plenty powerful, fitted to stiff frames that provided stability at the cost of agility. Clip ons? What are those? Superbike racing in the early 1980’s must have been amazing to watch, with pilots wrestling huge, unfaired machines around: in photos, the riders often look like small birds clinging desperately to the backs of charging rhinos…

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR R Side Rear

This bike is one of the classic road-going race-replicas of the era, a Kawasaki KZ1000R, also known as the “ELR” or “Eddie Lawson Replica.” Eddie Lawson was spectacularly successful on his bright-green KZ in AMA Superbike championship racing during the early 1980’s and the ELR was built to celebrate that success.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Dash

The KZ1000R was based on the more common KZ1000J that was, in essence, and evolution of the original Z1. That engine had grown from 903cc to 1015 but was stepped down to 998cc for the KZ1000 to make it eligible for various racing classes that were limited to 1000cc.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Fairing

Typical hot-rod tricks were used for the KZ1000R to improve performance and the package included an oil-cooler, a slick Kerker 4-into-1 exhaust, and uprated suspension. A slight difference in frame geometry that increased the steering-head angle led to a pretty significant change in feel, and the “R” felt much sharper than its more pedestrian “J” cousin.

But, as stated, the bike was no lightweight at 544lbs dry…

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR for Sale

I am selling for a friend a 1983 Super Bike Replica with low miles in which I have no reason to doubt. This is a new restoration due to the bike being outside for a few years. It has new tires and brake pads. The calipers and master cylinder have been rebuilt and bled with Dot 5 Synthetic brake fluid. Engine side covers have been re powder coated. Valve clearance has been checked and did not require shims. No engine oil leaks. New chain and sprockets.  I ran this on a shop I.V. bottle. The original petcock does not work and may need rebuilding. This will be shipped without fuel and battery. It has NOS hand grips and bar sliders. Complete tool kit and owners manual. The paint is high quality two stage urethane, the decal kit was NOS. Tail piece signed by the man himself. This would be a nice addition to anyone’s collection

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Signature

With just 5,000 miles on the clock and only 750 examples built, it’s no surprise that the reserve has not been met at $7,400, especially since it’s been signed by Eddie Lawson himself! The repaint detracts from originality, but that should be balanced out nicely by that signature.

ELR’s are obviously not for shrinking-violets: the vivid green paint and all-around hooligan temperament make it an extrovert of a bike. These are very useable, so it’s a shame that this one will probably go into a collection and simply look cool, instead of being used to terrorize young punks on modern sportbikes in the canyons…

-tad

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR L Side

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R for Sale

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R R Side

The king of 70’s superbikes was surely “Steady” Eddie Lawson, and Kawasaki was justifiably proud of their rider.  What better way to immortalize their successes than with a special-edition musclebike?  The ELR was basically a hot-rod KZ with a bikini fairing and a revised suspension that actually worked pretty well.

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R FrontMore plentiful that the KZ1000R ELR that it strongly resembles, the KZ1100R was a superbike replica, a streetable homage to the hulking bikes that Eddie Lawson wrestled around to victory.  The 1100R has undeniable presence and obvious visual and mechanical links to the original ELR, but is sometimes not thought of as “the real thing” as the larger motor stretches the link to the original Eddie Lawson bikes.

But this was the last gasp for the model before heading off into the sunset.

From the original listing: 1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R for Sale

Here’s a rarity a 84 Kawasaki Kz 1100R    not to many of the’s in U.S.  they were sold in Canada  & Europe only ! … this one has 1 previous , low miles 7700km  runs strong , every thing works as it should , it has new tires , nice clean body work , a barrsani  exhaust & its original factory exhaust system , also has its tool kit and hand book & original bill of sale when sold new ! stock mirrors come with it, … only bad it has a repair on the seat cover and the factory exhaust has a couple dings in the R/hand muffler check photos , This is a great chance to own the Last of the ELR’s  with a low vin 000171

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R Dash

This one may be the slightly less desirable paint scheme, but is a handsome beast.  At $8,800 with three days left and the reserve not yet met, the seller is clearly hoping that the more subtle colors won’t be counted against it.  70’s superbikes are definitely seeing an upswing in popularity, so maybe now’s the time to cash in?

-tad

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R L Side