Giappone Vintage Racer

Even if you are not into Japanese motorcycles, you may be familiar with the Kawasaki KZ 1000. The two main reasons are that they were ridden by California Highway Patrol officers Ponch and Jon of the 1977–1984 TV show CHiPs and 14 of them were used in the 1979 Mad Max movie. With the Giappone (Italian for Japanese)  signs his first Japanese creation, a project commissioned by very young San Francisco-based angel investor & entrepreneur Brett Seyler.

Client’s briefing was simple. Only 7 words were given to Stefano, build from this 1984 Kawasaki KZ 1000 LTD “a street legal vintage looking race motorcycle.” For such a makeover, Venier Motorcycles’s fabricator Erik Green modified the back frame in order to fit the new hand-made fender and seat support. Under the leather seat, a small lithium battery and a digital M-Unit control device from Moto gadget.

To find the correct bike stance and to improve comfort, a set of Progressive Suspension shocks were installed. Factory gas tank was modified in order to accommodate the new bike lines and to accept knee recesses for better grip. For rear sets the shop called Italian Tarozzi offering a foot peg system allowing the adjustment of the connecting arm to the shifter linkage and brake in 42 different positions. Front end was taken from a Honda CBR 1000RR.

Handlebars are fitted with MotoGadget grips, grip end L.E.D. turn signals and mini rear view mirrors. Exhaust is a modified system from Kerker, a company that has won 3 AMA Superbike Championships. Color scheme by Lou Niziri is “racer chic”: white tank and rear fender with gold logo/lettering, matte black frame, fairing and wheels.  (photos courtesy of Nick & Alex Logaiski)

18 Responses to “Giappone Vintage Racer”

  1. 1 Dan May 14th, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Well done, I like it, it is as clean as the 7 words of instruction for the build.

    Take care Cyril, we will all miss you, maybe see you around some day.

  2. 2 garagedog May 14th, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    This is the stuff we’ll miss the most. Bringing artists to light that otherwise we would never hear of.
    Looking forward to hearing from you again soon. Trusting for prayers to bring blessings of health!

  3. 3 Felix May 14th, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    I looked forward to the Cyril report every day. The best of all motorcycle news. Thank you very much. If you ever come back again, we will be here.

  4. 4 Chris May 15th, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Dont go Cyril

  5. 5 Nine May 15th, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Hasta la vista amigo , take care of yourself and via con dios .

  6. 6 brymob May 15th, 2018 at 10:32 am

    NIce time in life to take it easy , hope that you are healthy,I’ve enjoyed you work and hope to meet you someday, in all the years that I’ve been riding I have seen a lot of changes in all aspects of motorcycling and that is why you provide a great service to everyone who reads your work, I have been riding since I was 16 and I do wish that your writings had been available to the motorcycle crowd in those years as it would have encouraged many of the fringe crowd to become real motorcyclists.This is just a n opinion from a 78 yr old who get up in the morning and looks forward to your work.Keep riding and be happy ! !

    ……………………..Bryan Roberton from Canada.

  7. 7 David Alari May 15th, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for keeping us informed. Always enjoyed the content and colorful reactions.

    We wish you all of the best and good health.

  8. 8 Grumpy May 15th, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Best wishes, Cyril, thanks.

  9. 9 Iron Horse May 15th, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for all you’ve done for us over the years Cyril.

    Here’s wishing you health and happiness in the future.

  10. 10 SoCalPhun May 15th, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    I will also miss seeing content like this everyday. this site has been a daily morning stop for me with my cup of coffee before starting my day.

    Take care and thank for your providing a great forum for builders, viewers and riders.

  11. 11 John E Adams May 15th, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks you for 11 years of awesome insights Cyril!


  12. 12 Chris G May 16th, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for everything Cyril, hope your health improves

  13. 13 Boots May 18th, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Your already missed, Cyril !
    Thanks for everything.

  14. 14 domino May 25th, 2018 at 3:59 pm


  15. 15 Seymour May 27th, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Rest In Peace Cyril, and thanks for everything

  16. 16 Carl May 28th, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Uwielbiam tego bloga !

  17. 17 Jun 14th, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Stefano is a local to us when he is in NY and I love stopping by and starring at his beautiful builds. A true artist.

  18. 18 Jul 6th, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    This vintage motorcycle just stole my heart. I am a huge fan of vintage motorcycles. Thank you for posting such lovely pictures.

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