- Black Beauty in blue
- High compression not a problem when starting
- Can be put down without much effort
- A good 100 hp on the rear wheel
- Seating position absolutely superbike-like
- Portrait Eddie Lawson
- The owner Frank Bach
- Technical specifications
The owner Frank Bach about his Kawasaki Z 1000 MK II: It has become a beautiful bike that can be moved around without any problems in everyday life.
… how the AP-Racing brake calipers delay the heavy load if necessary.
An Egli Racing fork with a 36 millimeter stanchion diameter guides the front wheel so confidently, …
… The filigree PMC sports footrest system saves weight.
Typical for racing: screws secured with wire and cotter pin …
… The classic round instruments remained untouched.
… the dungeon exhaust system is practically mandatory for a Kawasaki superbike …
The black painted aluminum swing arm comes from the 1100 katana, …
… The CR carburettors from Keihin not only look great, they also prove themselves as performance-enhancing mixture conditioners.
Modern Ohlins gas pressure struts fit well into the overall picture …
Black Beauty is back. But now in blue.
Kawasaki Z 1000 MK II Eddie Lawson Superbike replica
Black Beauty in blue
Black Beauty is back. But now in blue. Z specialist Frank Bach pays homage to Eddie Lawson’s first factory superbike with a self-made construction based on the Kawasaki Z 1000 MK II. And a flattering nickname.
B.ack in black – Australian hard rockers from AC / DC once sang their rock anthem on their return to the limelight following the death of lead singer Bon Scott. Back in blue you could tune in when you stand in front of the posh, beautiful Superbike replica that Frank Bach put on the wheels. Nobody has died before, even if the former AMA Superbike based on MK II only experienced one real season in the US Superbike Championship before it was replaced in the 1981 season.
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Kawasaki Z 1000 MK II Eddie Lawson Superbike replica
Black Beauty in blue
Z 1000 MK II equipped with racing components and a classically tuned engine. That means: the displacement grew to 1075 cm³, Wiseco pistons were installed, Yoshimura camshafts (stage 1) were used, a higher compression was achieved, the ducts polished, larger intake valves installed.
High compression not a problem when starting
31 series Keihin CR carburettors take care of the mixture preparation. Not that easy to vote, but beautiful, with the open funnels. Oh yes, the four-cylinder naturally has to exhale through a four-in-one exhaust system from Kerker, just like the original. The freshly made engine already has a few kilometers more under its belt than the speedometer indicates, so it has already retracted and, according to Bach, has “already covered short full-throttle stages”. Now let’s hear it. “As long as the battery is fit, even the high compression when starting is not a problem.”
The starter beats, the appropriate choke setting selected – the engine is already grumbling with a typical bassy, snotty Kawa sound, but quite discreetly. Even with short bursts of throttle, it doesn’t get really brutal. I would have expected louder. But the bike is TÜV-compatible.
Can be put down without much effort
Enough looked and listened – let’s go. A few narrow corners and roundabout passages give a first impression of the driving behavior. The handling proves to be pleasantly light-footed, thanks to the sensibly chosen tire sizes. A 110 in the front and a 160 in the back, on Campagnolo-style wheels (front 2.75-18, rear 4.75-18), work well together, and Profi Bach has done without a fat, image-rich 180 or even 190.
Sure, the weight, despite some lighter add-on parts somewhere in the range of five hundredweight, cannot be disputed. But turning in takes place without great effort, the 1000 does not really resist sloping positions, it can be turned over without great effort. Logical, after all, the racing spirit hovers over this motorcycle, which (something like that) was once driven by Eddie Lawson.
The clutch and transmission are surprisingly uncomplicated and suitable for everyday use: one is easy to operate and dose, the latter is precisely in the detent. What is particularly striking is the unusually smooth, low-vibration run for an air-cooled Kawa four-cylinder. The quad works silky smooth between 2000 and 4500 rpm, only then can the finest, never disturbing vibrations be felt.
A good 100 hp on the rear wheel
“Well-balanced crankshaft”, Bach replies with a grin to my question. Aha. A real gentleman, this engine, but at least it roars clearly audible intake noises from the airbox when accelerating, and behaves much more pithy for the driver in the saddle than passers-by perceive. So it makes all the more fun to give the powerful foursome the spurs.
Strolling at 2000 rpm and pulling up cleanly at the exit? No problem. From 2500 rpm there is noticeable wind, from 4000 rpm the engine seems to want to get really serious and pushes hard. Switching at 6000 tours is always enough for more than brisk progress. If you want to know, you still have reserves and a top performance that endangers your driving license on public roads. The Z specialist speaks of a good 100 hp on the rear wheel – very credible, given the performance offered. With the also available FCR flat slide carburetors from Keihin, a little more would be possible. Maybe a project for the future.
Seating position absolutely superbike-like
The seating position on the wide, high-mounted bench behind the pleasantly shaped, not-too-wide superbike handlebar is absolutely superbike-like. The PMC sports footrests force the feet a little further back and up – discreetly sportier than with the standard system and absolutely consistent. Just like the brake system with AP racing saddles that grapple with EBC disks, perfectly “controlled” by the Nissin radial brake pump: good controllability and a crisp, not overly biting effect – fits. The suspension setup also fits – for the racetrack.
The Egli Racing fork and the Ohlins shock absorber work with the necessary firmness with which you can be on the road like a race. On the partly bumpy streets of the Eifel, in the required setting, they are sometimes quite bony and not willing to compromise. Fine response – yes, swallowing coarse patches and waves cleanly – rather no. But it’s not a bike for softies looking for comfort either, Eddie Lawson would only smile wearily at me for this disagreeable assessment.
Speaking of Eddie: with his Black Beauty, he narrowly missed victory in the Superbike championship in 1980. Lawson had moved the bike of team mate David Aldana in one run – Suzuki successfully protested, the lost points were missing in the end, Suzuki driver Wes Cooley won the championship. But Kawasaki struck back. The black beauty was followed by the poisonous green, based on Z 1000 J.
Eddie Lawson then won the AMA Superbike Championship in 1981 and 1982 with the legendary Superbike Z 1000 S1. Kawasaki celebrated this triumph with a new model, a series offshoot of the factory racer – the Z 1000 R. Not in black, but in green, but also a beauty,
in their very own way.
Portrait Eddie Lawson
The Californian Eddie Lawson, born on March 11, 1958, began – like many other American racing drivers – very early on with two-wheeling (at the age of seven on an 80 cm³ Yamaha) and started his racing career as a dirt track at the age of twelve -Racer. The latter had a lasting impact on his driving style, including when driving street racers. Controlled drifting was already part of it back then and looked spectacular to the audience. Eddie soon got a taste of road racing, especially since his grandfather (also a racing driver) bought him a 1950s Italjet. The upgrade to a Yamaha RD 350 followed.
In 1978 Eddie obtained the AMA racing license. In 1979 his field of activity increasingly shifted to street sports, and by that year Lawson finished second in the 250cc AMA championship behind Freddie Spencer. Lawson got the chance to race for Kawasaki in the Superbike class, winning his first Superbike race back in April 1980. During that season, he fought some legendary fights with rivals Freddie Spencer (Honda) and Wes Cooley (Suzuki). In 1980 he narrowly missed the championship, in 1981 and 1982 he won the title. At the same time, he also drove in the 250cc class, where he won the AMA title in 1980 and 1982. 1983 Lawson moved to Yamaha and rose to the 500 World Cup. He used his first season in the premier class as an apprenticeship year, but in 1984 he became 500 World Champion. He subsequently won this title in 1986 and 1988 (with Yamaha) and 1989 (with Honda). At the end of 1992 Lawson retired from GP racing, but started a few more times at the Daytona 200 and even on four wheels at the Indy Cars.
The owner Frank Bach
Frank Bach on his Kawasaki Z 1000 MK II
The bike wasn’t meant to be a real replica. So not a true-to-original replica and not a racing motorcycle, but a modern interpretation of Eddie Lawson’s first superbike with modern add-on parts. I found the idea appealing because everyone knows the green master bike from which the Z 1000 R was derived, but hardly anyone knows the 1980s factory racer based on MK II. It has become a wonderful bike that can be moved easily in everyday life. To sell? Barely. Hardly anyone would pay the price I would have to charge for it after the extensive renovation.
Engine: Air-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke engine, bore x stroke 72 x 66 mm, displacement 1075 cm³, approx. 110 hp, higher compression, 31 mm Keihin CR racing carburetor, multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, chain.
Landing gear: Double loop tubular frame, Egli fork, Ø 36 mm, two-arm aluminum swing arm, Ohlins struts, tires 110 / 80-18 at the front, 160 / 60-18 at the rear, double disc brakes at the front with AP racing saddles and EBC discs, disc brakes at the rear.
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