Bike of the Month March 2012.
1982 GPz750, Paul Baldwin, AKA (baldy), California, United States
Hi guys, I am Paul Baldwin from California, united states.
I have owned numerous Kawasaki's and just finished up a dream of mine, 1982 ELR clone.
Been working on this one for about 15 years.
Started out collecting parts back in the early 90's and finally after collecting enough parts
and crashing the red KZ650, that left me without a bike so I started to do some serious work to the ELR.
At that moment I knew I wanted one.
Well at 19 I could not afford one and as life went on I saw the prices get higher and higher.
I knew I would never be able to afford a KZ1000R. In the early 90’s I found and bought an original Kerker KR pipe off an ELR.
I decided I would start collecting parts to build an ELR clone.
I kept buying small pieces and over time I collected a large inventory of Gpz1100 and GPz750 parts.
In 2011 I crashed and totaled my KZ650 and was without a bike so I decided I would get serious and start my ELR build.
I had looked for years for a complete KZ1000J or GPz1100 but could not find one so I used a frame and body work from a 1982 GPz750.
I used the engine from an 82 GPz1100 that I had found with a wrecked GPz1100 under a tree in 1998.
I tore the engine apart and while it was empty I used it as a mockup.
I used the original rear engine mount of the 750 frame and fabricated up the front engine mounts.
I had to cut the lower front section of the frame to get the engine low enough to be able to take off the valve cover for maintenance.
I welded the lower front engine mounts into the frame and added a top girdle for strength.
The cut section came out very clean and strong.
I used a set of rearsets from a Yamaha FZR1000 and
fabricated up a set of aluminum adapters to get them to fit the 750 frame.
While I finished welding up the frame and painting it I sent the engine out to Pit Stop performance in Florida.
Front and rear suspension:
Since I wanted the look of the original 82 ELR I did not want to use a modern fork set.
I installed the front end of an 81 GPz1100.
The 81 GPz1100 did not use clip on’s like the 82 did so I could use standard handlebars and the
steering stem bearings are the same as the 750’s so the swap was pretty easy.
I also noticed the fork tubes are a little bigger on the 1100 than the 750.
The front wheels and brakes from the 750 are the same as the 1100 so they fit without modification.
I then added a period correct “Telefix” fork brace.
For the rear I wanted the period look so I swapped in a 2000 ZRX swingarm and shocks.
The swingarm required some modification to the pivot section.
It was about 1” to wide so I removed the required amount off the right side.
The swingarm pivot bolt was way too big and would not fit the 750 frame so I made bushings
to allow me to use the stock 750 swingarm pivot bolt to be used with the ZRX swingarm.
I designed and made my own seals for the swingarm pivot tube sealing the bearings.
The ZRX swingarm was little too wide to get the ZRX shocks to line up with the 750 frame.
I spaced the upper shocks out on the upper mounts,
gusseted the upper mounts and made a custom nut to get the shocks lined up correctly.
The original Kerker pipe would not fit due to hitting the ZRX swingarm.
I had to cut the pipe at the collector and re-bend the pipe by welding several curved pieces from
other old Kerker pipes I had.
I sent the Kerker off to get ceramic coated.
It came out really nice considering the amount of pitting and rust it had.
Joe at Pit Stop bored and honed the cylinders for the MTC 1135cc piston kit.
He also did the head work which included bronze valve guides, 3 angle valve job and a stage 1 porting.
He painted the cases, cylinder and head to the original black finish.
He sent the cases back to me and I reassembled the engine.
After installing the engine for the last time I discovered
the chain would hit the lower rear bracing tube on the frame.
This is one of many things I had not taken into account during mockup.
I used a chain roller installed on the foot peg bolt on the inside of the original
lower foot peg holes to keep the chain off the frame, came out really clean.
I also discovered I was unable to get the engine centered in the frame due to the engine
hitting the lower frame on the left side.
I spaced the engine to the right by about 1/8” to clear the frame.
The exhaust still fits in nice between the front down tubes.
The engine sits nice and low in the frame so I can remove the valve cover
and cylinders if I have to later without removing the engine.
I did the 630 to 530 chain swap and had to space out the rear sprocket to get the chain aligned correctly.
The stock 630 rear sprocket was the correct width of the spacer I needed so I cut it up,
centered the 530 sprocket onto it and welded the two together.
Ignition and electrical:
I used the original Kawasaki electronic ignition for the 1100 engine and used the
750 IC igniter box and wiring harness. Most of the electrical connections were interchangeable.
I used a Koso RX1 gauge so I did have to do some modification of the harness but it came out clean.
I had to use a tach filter to get the tach to work right, too much of a dirty signal.
I soldered in some diodes on the rear tail lamp so I could the stock two bulb tail lamp as turn signals,
tail light and brake light. I used LED bar end turn signals as front blinkers.
For horns I fabricated up brackets to mount them on each side of the Koso gauge
so they would look clean not be out in the open.
For the ignition switch I used the 750 switch and fabricated up a bracket to
place it in the middle of the upper tree.
Like I mentioned earlier I used the bodywork for the GPz750 except for the front bikini fairing.
I did not like the look of the larger 750/1100 faring so I used the smaller one from an 82 GPz550.
I fabricated up the brackets using a combination of the lower bracket s off the 550 and 1100.
The petcock on the 750 gas tank would hit the top of the carbs I used so I cut up a stock petcock
making a low profile base and tapped it to install a hose to relocate a 5/16 aftermarket on/off valve.
I sent my seat off to a local upholster to reshape the seat. It didn’t come out a well as I hoped I might redo it later.
I originally used a nice set of Mikuni BS34’s.
After much frustration on trying to tune these to the engine I realized I would not be able to tune
them correctly due to the porting I had done.
After much research I called Wired George carburetors and ordered up a set of his “VM30” performance carbs.
I am still waiting for these so right now the bike sits in my garage.
I was able to ride and break in the engine with the BS34 carbs.
The bike tracks nice and straight, handles fantastic, brakes really well.
It basically handles like a GPz750 but with a LOT more power.
I am really pleased on how this came out and looking forward to showing it off.
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