Tagged: GPz1100

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

1978 Kawasaki Z1/R TC Turbo for Sale

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo R Front

Look, safety is great, and technology is amazing: it keeps us from flying ass-over-helmet into a ditch when our ambitions overreach our skill, and modern bikes pushing 200bhp surely need some kind of rider-assistance. But we’re obsessed today by basically pointless numbers: with performance of modern bikes so far beyond the average or even skilled rider’s ability, abstractions like quarter miles, Nürburgring lap times, and horsepower numbers become our only yardsticks.

But unless you really are competitive in some form of club racing, it’s really all just bragging rights. What I think we’re all really looking for is the sensation of speed, the thrill of motorcycling, and sometimes the best way to feel that is through something not so perfect.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Dash

That’s the reason bikes like the Kawasaki Z1R TC are sorely missed.

Wild and wooly, unrefined and possibly even dangerous, the Kawi is from an experimental time in motorcycling, where some slightly unfinished ideas got unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Originally, the bike was a bit of an improvised stopgap, a way to shift slow-selling Z1R’s, a bike at the end of its production life. The whole package would give Kawasaki’s attorneys nightmares in today’s litigious culture: the turbo kit was simply bolted on to an otherwise stock engine, along with a boost gauge, “TC” badges, a liability waiver, and instructions not to tamper with the wastegate and increase boost.

Right, because no one would ever do that….

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Engine

This particular example looks to be in good shape, but the owner doesn’t seem to know all that much about the bike’s history.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1/R TC Turbo for Sale

I am not an expert but I would say that this bike has oiginal paint and has never had anything done to it other than a tune-up.

*** Had a call from a guy in Florida aho says that the exhausts are not original *** He sounded like he knew what he was talking about, so just passing it along.

I bought in about 8 years ago from a dealer in St. Louis .  If these miles are not correct, the bike certainly has very low miles.  I rode it one time for about 3 miles, and yes it’s very fast! I have a 2012 VMAX, this bike is very fast! Different, but comparible.

I am listing it today and I will clean the carbs and put a new battery in her this weekend – It will be sold in running condition even if i have to re-list it to get it right.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Headers

In its day, the bike was a handful: the power easily exceeded the chassis’ handling limits and the rev limiter-less engine was basically an explosive device disguised as a powerplant… So it was expensive, dangerous, and fragile, but it did the job and gave Kawasaki some performance credibility while they developed the all-new GPz1100.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Side Panel

Bidding is very active and already up to $11,000 with the reserve not yet met. Look, for a day-in, day-out ride, maybe something this raw and finicky isn’t your best bet. I’m hoping my next daily rider has ABS, TCS, and a whole bunch of other acronyms on the spec sheet. But for pure giggles, this kind of point-and-squirt motorcycle really can’t be beat.


1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo R Rear