Ready, St-Ed­die...

GO! If there’s a more ven­er­ated replica out there than the Ed­die Law­son ELR, we’ve yet to see it. Cana­dian CMM reader Steve Will­go­ose just had to build a very spe­cial one in­deed…


Some road-go­ing clas­sics are for­ever linked with the rac­ers that made them fa­mous – and no more so than the Ed­die Law­son Replica. Built by Kawasaki as an homage to its 1981 AMA ti­tle win­ning su­per­bike, the ma­chine it­self was a tes­ti­mony not only to the com­pany' s en­gi­neer­ing prow­ess, but to the great man him­self Steady' Ed­die Law­son. ELRS as they are known are pop­u­lar both sides of the At­lantic. Here at CMM we' ve seen orig­i­nals (yes, Ed­die owns one), ones with some wild and won­der­ful spe­cial parts and even ZRX1100/1200 based ma­chines. We love em all, so we had to in­clude this story from Cana­dian CMM reader Steve Will­go­ose, who now takes up the story. My goal in all this was to build ei­ther a proper and very pe­riod-cor­rect 1982 KZ1000R works race bike or an S1' race bike (see box­out). So set my­self up on a long jour­ney, which took more than a year, to nd the parts and build up not the resto-mod' that you of­ten see out there of an ELR, but a cor­rect 1000R Race Replica' . The frame was taken all the way back, and also had a few frame braces added be­fore the frame was painted. re­ally liked the gold, seven-spoke Mar­vic mag­ne­sium rims of Ed­die Law­son and Wayne Rainey' s works bikes, more than the three-spoke Dy­mags that the S1 had. So af­ter look­ing for used ones, went ahead and spe­cial or­dered a new set from taly since very old mag­ne­sium rims can be dan­ger­ous had heard! But what about the heart of my replica? Well, the en­gine had a 113 6cc high-com­pres­sion big-bore kit in it. This was al­ready in the en­gine when bought it, so sent the head to Ca­vanaugh Racing for some race port­ing and over­size stain­less valves. Then had Penco Motro­sports put in the race cams got from Larry Ca­vanaugh him­self. then port matched the rub­ber in­take boots to Larry' s port­ing on the head. Oh, and used Dyna 2000 elec­tronic ig­ni­tion coils, with rev-lim­iter. We spent days sort­ing out the wiring har­ness then gave up and found a new old stock one on ebay. As this was go­ing to end up be­ing a pretty pow­er­ful en­gine, it needed lots of fuel, so put in a high ow gas tank pet­cock. t also had to look good and get­ting a good en­gine cover­ing paint can be an is­sue. So painted the en­gine with 2000-de­gree ce­ramic in my shop and added the mm CR carbs and racing Kerker ex­haust (with the proper old em­blem!) The ex­haust it­self raised an­other is­sue. had to get all the spring tabs welded onto the head­ers since they don' t make the real one any more. Then Kerker stepped up af­ter hear­ing about my pro­ject and they sent me the real 1000R col­lars for the header. How cool was that? Sus­pen­sion was at the fore­front of my mind next, and the forks them­selves were a mix of brand-new replica low­ers from Ja­pan and new cus­tom made up­per tubes from the SA to get the proper length. All the in­ter­nals are new old stock Kawasaki parts from all over the place. The in­ter­nal dampers them­selves are from South Africa, (thanks Doc), top caps from the S and springs from Ja­pan. Brak­ing and brakes had to be AP Lock­heed calipers and or­dered these from the K and cus­tom-made the caliper mounts my­self, af­ter mak­ing wooded mock-ups. The meaty 40mm solid S1 replica discs are from Ja­pan and as

“I went over the top with this build, but it’s been worth ev­ery bit of time and money. The sound of the ported mo­tor through that Kerker pipe is mu­sic to the ears!”

men­tioned or­dered the cus­tom made 18in x 4.5in and 18in x in Mar­vic rims from taly, to keep the look au­then­tic. At the rear, the works S1 swingarm is from the S along with the huge S1 replica triple clamps (yokes as they' re called in the K). searched for months to nd a set of orig­i­nal Works Per­for­mance rear shocks and had a real 1980s shock tuner/ builder set them up for me so they were per­fect. The nal drive chain switched over to a ual­ity 53 0 chain in­stead of the much heav­ier 63 0 as used in the day. also had cus­tom alu­minium race sprock­ets made with the same pat­tern as the S1 af­ter sort­ing out my new gear­ing ra­tio. While we' re on the sub­ject of speed bought a rare 160mph/3 00kph speedo for this bike (since most only had the 85mph one) and made a cus­tom alu­minium gauge clus­ter bracket too. The steer­ing damper and S1 rear-sets came di­rectly from Ja­pan and even ma­chined some alu­minium pad­dock stand stand-offs to mount onto the swingarm and they hook onto the cus­tom made S1 pad­dock stand. Other lit­tle bits and pieces in­cluded the han­dle­bar clutch and brake perch, which were very rare and found those on ebay then painted them in ce­ramic. also ma­chined up a cus­tom Del­rin Chain Slider for the swingarm pivot to pro­tect it from the chain. By the time you read this, an orig­i­nal S1 race bike han­dle­bar throt­tle should be the lat­est ad­di­tion to the pro­ject and tted. also re­placed al­most ev­ery bolt on the bike with forged and formed grade-5 ti­ta­nium ones made in the S and also added a hol­low ti­ta­nium front axle. The crown­ing glory of any Ed­die Law­son Kawasaki though is the paint and body­work. had the gas tank vent put into the top of the tank much like the real works bike and S1. Then af­ter spend­ing many days with dif­fer­ent pic­tures nally chose the proper colour. The paint­work was done with a polyurethane base/clear at red' s Au­to­body in Sechelt. red there laid the de­cals and Ryan did the paint. Other nish­ing touches in­cluded the seat which was re-cov­ered in the K while the rare side-lou­vered smoke brake lens was from Ja­pan. Nearly nished, had to choose some rub­ber: went for Met­zler Road­tec Z8s, soft com­pound, in a 160/60/18 and a 120/7 0/18 to t the March­esi­nis. The bike in full street trim weighs 498lb (around 226kg) with a gal­lon of race gasº

When you ride it, it re­ally is like an out-and-out race bike on the street, more than it is a street bike. Han­dling is very good and the brakes are su­per strong, but the mon­ster comes out when you twist that throt­tle. Larry Ca­vanaugh and Cana­dian su­per­bike le­gend Rueben Mc­murter helped me jet it to its fullest po­ten­tial, so you re­ally have to hold on when you hit the throt­tle! Rueben also sent me some great orig­i­nal pic­tures from the S1 race bike he raced back in 1982! Re­mem­ber, you had to have a good racing re­sume for Kawasaki to sell you one back then and he was good enough not only to race these mon­sters, but to get an S1 off Kawasaki. He also kindly sent me some orig­i­nal S1 race tools and the proper S1 close-ra­tio racing trans­mis­sion gear set, but have not put it in the bike yet. have re­stored and built a few other bikes but have al­ways wanted to own and ride a KZ1000R Ed­die Law­son race replica. Okay, maybe went a lit­tle over the top on this build, but it' s worth ev­ery bit of the time and money now that it' s done and the sound of the ported mo­tor through that Kerker pipe is mu­sic to the ears!º

Steve’s rightly proud of his cre­ation.

The at­ten­tion to de­tail of an Elr-cum-pukka racer is su­perb.

The bog-stocker: not the look Steve wanted.

1HE 1/ Fork/sus­pen­sion el­e­ments were sourced from all across the globe. 2/ Wiring/elec­tri­cal was NOS: note re­search go­ing on! 3/ Frame taken all the way back and braced. 4/ A pukka Kerker! 5/ En­gine breathed on – paint UHT. There’s no mis­tak­ing what this is go­ing to be­come. Rear shocks were hand-crafted by an ex­pert. Replica discs. 9/ De­tail touches ev­ery­where. 10/ Light assem­bly. 11/ Right colour. 12/ Wooden tem­plate build­ing for Uk­sourced AP caliper. 5 2 9 3 10 11

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