Tagged: Z1000

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Turbo for Sale

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 R Front

Hm, what’s this?  A Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer.  Read that again.  A Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer?

So this one’s pretty wild.  What started out as a pretty garden-variety Kawasaki Z900/1000…  Okay, really there probably was never much that was actually “garden-variety” about this bike.  Rickman was sort of like the British Bimota, a small company that took powerful engines from unruly and wayward-handling Japanese bikes and stuffed them into light, strong frames, wrapped them in new bodywork, and created what the original manufacturers could not: serious sport bikes.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L Rear

This relatively rare bike has been completely transformed, with nearly every component replaced and updated in some way.  The machine sports a nickel-plated Rickman frame and lightweight fairing, which are rare enough to begin with, but the lump was heavily upgraded with a serious bump in displacement to 1400cc and a turbo kit, with water-injection to keep the intake charge nice and cool and prevent pre-detonation.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Turbo

The original eBay ad contains a comprehensive [the entire build stuffed into one, very blue paragraph] listing of the build and the parts that were used, and the photos are very nice as well:

Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer for Sale

The engine was completely rebuilt and the displacement increased to 1400cc by famous drag racing champion and engine builder Dale Walker from “Holeshot Performance” fame in Santa Cruz California. New parts installed during the engine rebuilding process : cam bearings, modified clutch hub, main bearing trust assembly, stainless intake valves, stainless over sized exhaust valves, valve seals, HD cam chain, HD head nuts, APE clutch kit, Dyna S ignition, gasket set, finished big block assembly, 1395cc Wiseco piston kit, HD clutch hub nut, HD set of valve springs, graphite head gasket, cam chain tensioner. Additionally the crankshaft was indexed, trued and welded, connecting rods bushed, the transmission gears were undercut, and the engine cases were powder coated blue. The head was turbo ported. A new SS Super Shorty E carburetor was added, which was jetted, set up and volume mated to a new larger then the original RAJAY turbo by HAHN Racecraft (HRC) from Oswego IL. A Mr. Turbo water injection system was installed to prevent pinging under high load. The exhaust header received a HPC coating which is guaranteed not to turn colour even under the highest exhaust temperatures. A custom flow thru exhaust pipe was fabricated-the sound is to die for.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Cockpit

This lurid green monster even sports an instrument cluster from a Hesketh and some pretty trick gauges set into the fairing infill panels.  The parts list in the ad is extensive, if you can get through what reads like one, heavily-caffeinated fever-dream paragraph.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L Fairing

No real bidding activity on this one so far and only four days left, which is a shame.  This thing seems like it’d be a blast to show or ride.


1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L side

1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 for Sale

Up for sale, we have a reader’s ride, a lovingly built race-replica that features some seriously trick bits.  If only there were more photos of said trick bits!  Just take a look at that swingarm…

The Kawasaki KZ1000 was an evolution of the earlier Z900, sporting  an air-cooled mill punched out to 1015cc that produced 90hp.  The KZ1000 was the basis for the famous “CHiP’s” police bikes and also featured in the iconic “Mad Max”: most of The Toecutter’s gang members ride them, as Kawasaki donated 14 bikes to the production, including the “MFP” police bike ridden by Jim Goose.

The featured bike is built to mimic the Racecrafters Kawasaki Superbike. From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 for Sale

The list is so long its crazy but here is some of what it has; gusseted frame w/alloy mounts, caged swing arm, Racetech fork springs w/gold emulator valves (adjustable),  Black Tracker Works shocks custom valved canted forward, Superbike bars, Keihin CR Special carbs, Kerker black megaphone exhaust (modified), rearsets, fork brace, steering damper, custom seat, 18″ Morris alloy wheels w/Avon AM22/23 tires, iconic to this bike is the tail mounted Lockhart oil cooler, fiberglass front fender and of course the beautiful Racecrafters paint theme.

The Superbike series has been run, in one form or another, between 1973 and the present day but the bikes of the late 1970’s hold a special place in fans’ hearts.  Unlike Moto GP, whose bikes have always been pure prototypes, the Superbike series rides were based on big-bore production motorcycles, and competition between the Big Three Japanese was fierce for the win on Sunday, sell on Monday dollars the series generated.  Race teams struggled with the limited suspension technology of the day and riders wrestled the big, hairy bikes around the tracks.

Four-pot Hondas have been a favorite choice for a while now in the café scene, but big Kawasakis and Suzukis are beginning to rise in popularity and pop up from time to time on bikeexif.com and at local bike-nights.  This looks like a very cool, usable ride that should be able to do more than just keep up with modern machinery.