According to lore, when Kawasaki Japan sent over the list of bikes to be destroyed after it dropped out of racing in 1983, Eddie Lawson’s KR500 F1 racer was somehow not on the manifest. Following orders, Kawasaki’s Norm Bigelow quietly rolled it behind the dyno and threw a tarp over it, and there it sat for many years before being “rediscovered.”

The square-four monocoque KR raced in 500 GP, most notably with Kork Ballington, who rode it to two podiums in 1981, at Assen and Finland. Eddie Lawson rode this one in AMA Formula 1 in 1982, leading the Daytona 200 for a good many laps before dropping out with a gearbox issue. Lawson’s best finish was a second at Road America that season.

Everything on it is wacky and adjustable, including its steering head and front axle, Lockheed brakes, etc…

Everything on it is wacky and adjustable, including its steering head and front axle, Lockheed brakes, etc…

081816-top-10-kawasaki-usa-hq-eddie-lawson-kr500-f1-exhaust
  • Starmag

    For anyone who’s done much of it, move is a four letter word.

    Cook an early influence. Old Blue, getting the Japanese to allow comparos, getting thrown off an H2 on Mulholland to demonstrate it’s handling “issues” to Kawasaki, Sportster dragster, etc.

    That Z-1 is still beautiful.

    Revenge for never getting a GPZ1100 was buying a red ZRX.

    I never saw an eccentric front axle before. Admirable experimentation.

    As for those calipers, before there were mono-blocks, there were just blocks.

  • Jon Jones

    Great stuff!

  • gunny 2shoes

    thanks for that, i saw 3 of mine in there. time to buy another.

  • Tony Nicosia

    I WAS ABLE WITH HELP OF K. M. C . & THE # ONE P. R MAN FOR KAWASAKI K M C , MR.PAUL COLLINS I SET 70 WORLD & NATIONAL & 6 BONNEVILLE WORLD LAND SPEED RECORDS ON THE KAWASAKI H – 1 500 MACH 111 . PLUS 48 WORLD & NATIONAL RECORDS ON THE H -2 750 MACH IV & 1 BONNEVILLE WORLD LAND SPEED RECORD .FROM 1969 – 1972 .NO MOTORCYLCE COMPANY OR BIKE HAS MATCH THESE
    RECORD IN THE LAST 47 YEARS .OH YES I WON A FEW 100’S OF RACE IN THEM 3 YEARS

    • john burns

      very cool Mr. N!