Bike of the Month Oct 2009.

Martin Stevens z1000r (83)

So I bought this bike off eBay in June 1997.

I used to have a Z1B when I was young which I always regretted selling

and my mate had a Z1000J which he painted green to try and look like a Lawson.

I also used to own a GPz1100B so big Kawasaki are in the blood.

I bought it unseen which I know is always a mistake but it looked ok in the flesh and I think the price

we agreed on was ok.

Problems started with it on the way home with the clutch slipping and obviously running lean as it got so hot.

With some tinkering I got it to run ok but then starter packed up.

I thought it was starter clutch issues.

By this time I had bought another total wreck of Z1000R which I intended to use for spares

so I transplanted the engine from this in to the other bike just to keep me on the road.

The rolling chassis from this I sold to Robw which is also on your forum.

More issues with leaking forks and generally poor build quality prompted me to take it off the road in

September 07

and commence a nut and bolt rebuild.

My objective was to streetfighter the bike but I wanted to retain the original period look and did have

thoughts of

Classic Racing or at least parading.

Most parts were sourced from eBay or the Z1OC in the UK who are really helpful bunch of people.

I also work for an American company so regular trips to the US have allowed me shopping at historically


exchange rates to raid Works Performance and APE for goodies.

I also used US eBay a couple of times and had parts shipped to a mate in San Francisco which

I collect and transport home when I go over.

Biggest investment has been in the engine.

I did not need to strip down the engine it came with as it literally fell apart.

The starter issue was because the rotor and starter clutch had literally fallen off the end of the crank.

The engine cases were cracked and most bolts were held in place with Loctite.

The only positive was that it was a GPz Unitrack engine so a great head and cams to go for real


I’ve used two engines to make one good one with all casings etc powder coated in satin black which

gives a lovely and durable finish.

Cylinder head was dispatched to Tim Blakemore racing to be gas flowed, 3 angle valve seats cut and

generally over hauled.

The rebuild has taken longer than expected as I get little free time with job and family pressures

but it all came back together

last month.

I fitted a new battery and much to my joy it started first time.

My neighbours were not too impressed with my Kerker’s race baffle at 10pm at night but I was!

I still had to sort the brakes and

a gear lever for the custom rearsets I have but with this done I took it out for a first ride a couple

of weeks ago.

What an awesome bike! Amazing torque and brick wrinkling noise! Smile was slightly dented with

an oil leak around the cam cover

but a happy guy so MOT booked and back on the road me thought……



Quick trip to local petrol station resulted in an issue on not running on all 4 cylinders (now found to be a screw missing in the carb

on number 4 cylinder)

but bigger problem is a massive oil leak between head and block so engine is back in bits again.

I have a few ideas of what the issue is so hopefully not too much of an issue but we will be back on the

road next spring.

Here is the full spec on the bike: Frame/chassis Standard Z1000R frame but ZRX1100 swinging arm.

Front forks from Yamaha FZR600 with upgraded springs.

Rear wheel ZXR400,

front GPz1100 Unitrak Front discs Yamaha R1 floating with AP Racing twin piston calipers.

Custom fabricated mountings Rear shocks by Works Performance made to my weight and riding style

Renthall bars and grips ZXR750

front mudguard Custom made adjustable rear-sets.


GPz1100 Unitrak bored to 1170cc with Wiseco pistons Casings rebuilt with windage tray,

heavy duty bearings and heavy duty clutch all from Debben Performance in the UK

APE studs, nuts and cometic gaskets. APE manual cam chain tensioner Oil cooler,

take offer and lines by Earls sourced from Kipkawa in the UK Gas flowed and 3 angle valve seats.

APE valves and springs Mikuni RS36 flatslide carbs fed via Pingel dual outlet tap.

Kerker exhaust with race baffle APE K435 cams Hope you like it and I’ll keep you posted on progress

with 2nd rebuild.

I won’t be able to touch it until October as I’m travelling again soon and need to re-finance!

Martin Stevens.

We will be featuring a different bike each month on
that we feel is deserving of the title "Bike of The Month."

Check back often to see what our pick is.

To nominate or submit your own bike for "Bike of The Month."
Send some info on yourself your bike and loads of pic's bigger the better.


I really want to bring THIS Registry up to date so accurate number's left in circulation can be made available,

this will intern help us get a true market value for insurance purposes.

Please include the chassis number and the month of production printed on the headstock of your bike.

Your name and location. and most importantly a picture's of your bike.

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