Kawasaki ZXR 750 L3 Itoham Suzuka Replica

A new ZXR joins the fold…

By now you’ll know I’m an avid ZXR fan! With a lovely M1 750R in the garage already, it’s not that one isn’t enough, rather; I’d love to have a go at track days and I can’t think of a better bike for me, the R is too special and valuable to chance on track for a bike track day novice…but a lower value version of what is essentially the same bike, with familiarity and a transferable skill set as well as an inherent passion for it in the first place, will surely make lavishing time and money on it so much easier…. thus began the hunt for a suitable track steed.

Good old ebay turned up a 1995 L3 ZXR750. These were the last of the ZXR’s although this one is a little different; The colour scheme was not a factory offered colour however it should have been since these were the colours of the Suzuka FIM 8 hour Endurance race winner of the Team France Itoham sponsored bike from 1993 ridden by Scott Russell and Aaron Slight, a vintage year for Kawasaki and one that inspired the colours on my M1, although Kawasaki substituted the blue for Green on that model in keeping with their corporate ID and in recognition of Scott Russell’s efforts in the FIM Superbike championship campaign also that year (which he won, gifting Kawasaki their first world title), no substitution on this bike though, which has been replicated true to the original Suzuka colour scheme as per the plaque below…

This particular one had also been featured in Practical Sportsbikes’ March 2017 issue and had been subject to a total restoration to its current condition by the seller, who happens to be an engineer by trade.

The advert listed many new parts including; new front discs and pads all around, Goodrich brake hoses all around, new Dunlop Qualifier tyres, fresh paint to bodywork and frame, full exhaust, chain etc, there was also a new Hagon rear shock and fork springs.

It was on sale with a 28 day advert and was also being sold with a spare engine. While putting this on watch, I ordered the issue of the magazine where it appeared, unfortunately I bought one from Northern Ireland so it was going to take some time to come as it transpired.

I worried that someone else might snap this up so contacted the owner after a few days who kindly sent me photos of the magazine issue. In the intervening time, someone was after the spare motor and so this was going to be excluded from the sale, but given its intended use, I was keen for this to come with it, he kindly agreed to let me have first refusal of the motor, all the MOT history online checked out and so I quickly arranged to view it at the weekend, enlisting the help of a friend who conveniently also owns a van and is a fellow motorcycle enthusiast.

2 cups of tea and a few hours later…the bike is in the van and we’re homebound!!

I’m really pleased with this purchase, I have a huge folder of invoices and history and over 400 images on a USB as well as 2 issues of the bike mag, a spare engine complete with carbs and gearbox, a spare gear set and many other spare parts, including the original exhaust system. The seller was clearly a competent engineer, he had another couple of bike projects on the go and these were clearly a labour of love as opposed to money spinners. The reason for the sale was that the riding position exacerbated a hip injury when ridden any distance. I’m surprised this didn’t sell quicker, with it having been rebuilt it probably put some people off as the standard of any restoration can be questionable. Being a fellow owner who works on my own bikes, I had confidence that if the owner checked out, the bike would be a good one. I’m pleased to say, my faith was rewarded and I’m a proud owner of this individual ZXR 750 🙂

Finally, safely home and tucked up next to its homologation sibling…

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