Bike of the Month June 2009.
Jack (It's Team Green) Zabawa
The Bike of the Month for June 2009 belongs to 1982 #397 and original owner Jack Zabawa of San Diego,
California. You might already know Jack. He maintained the Original Jason Van Slyke ELR Registry from
There are not a lot of details about my ELR, after 27 years it’s clean and all stock.
Some of the black paint needs a bit of detailing. The rear shocks are old,
the brakes are weak but hey, fresh fluids, tires, clean carbs, it’s good to go with approximately 27k miles.
It's ready for another easy San Diego summer.
In 1982 I was junior enlisted aircrewman in the US Navy. I was routinely speeding around the canyons and
hills east of San Diego on my 1981 GPZ550. While getting a new tire and hanging out at Sea Weed Kawasaki
in Imperial Beach, I browsed the marketing brochure for the 1982 Eddie Lawson Replica. I had read about
Eddie in Cycle magazines, I have never actually met him. I just knew Kawasaki was winning races. I asked
Earl Roloff Sr. about the 1000R. They wouldn’t be selling one, they already had a plan to race theirs.
Although the Roloffs were good friends I wanted an Eddie Lawson Replica. I put down $800 dollars of
Navy Bonus money at the Chula Vista Kawasaki shop.
Four weeks later it arrived at the dealer. I paid $4500 dollars total tax and license fees. I was out the door
and riding home on April 1st 1982.
Later in April I took a couple weeks off to ride home to Omaha, Nebraska. It was a great trip, and fun to
be riding around my home town with my old High School buddies. On Memorial week end I headed back
to San Diego. I got a $113.00 speeding ticket in Plattsmouth Nebraska and another just a bit later in Colorado.
I made it home just fine. Stored the Green Machine bike and went to sea with the US Navy.
While out at sea I collected all the magazines. Later that year, once home, I enjoyed my free time cruising
with my girl friend on back and zooming around with my Navy friends, proud on my Green Machine.
Things were changing, I got married, I knew this bike would be a keeper. I put a cover on the Green Machine
and I purchased a 1983 GPz1100 (I don’t think that went over so well with the wife and in-laws).
A year or so later I finally bought a Suzuki Samari, I sold the GPz but hung on to the Green Machine.
Everybody knows Eddie Lawson is a part of motorcycle racing history and I’m sure he has his own memories
of racing and his time with Kawasaki. This green machine is part of my history, my memories of riding around
San Diego, a great cross country ride and cruising Omaha Nebraska.
Since then… divorced, retired, re-married.
The Green Machine has been stored, garaged and under a cover most of every year.
Every summer I like to roll it out , shine it up and cruise around in the warm San Diego sunshine.
There are always a few bikers who give a quick wave.
This is the one I kept!
1982 KZ-ELR #397
We will be featuring a different bike each month on kz1000r.com
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.
PLEASE SEND IN YOUR INFO IF YOU ARE LUCKY ENOUGH TO OWN ONE OF THESE BIKES!
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.