See an unloved 1986 Kawasaki GPZ1000RX take its first drive in decades
In the world of vintage and outdated motorcycles, machines generally fall into one of two broad categories. If you’re lucky (and willing to pay for that luck, usually), you can find a machine that’s been well-maintained throughout its life. You know, where the paint isn’t sun-faded, the clear windshield isn’t all scuffed and yellowed, the seat foam isn’t disintegrating, and any bodywork present isn’t about to fall apart if you look at her badly.
Then, of course, there’s the second category, which is filled with all the bright but moody baskets you’ve ever seen in your life. These are the bikes where you have convinced yourself that you can see their potential, if only you can fix or patch up all the gaping, rusty holes that stand between you and your completed project goals.
Money no objection, older bikes are obviously going to give you the least amount of headaches. Unfortunately for most of us, money is usually at least a kind of object. In the world of motorcycling, what we lack in money is usually made up for in passion – and for many of us, the attitude that if we don’t go into a project with certain skills already, we’re brave enough to understand them (or learn from someone else) along the way.
That said, if you’re the latter type of person and haven’t yet watched Fingerprints Workshop videos on YouTube, then you’re in for a treat. It’s the trials and tribulations of a guy named Ronald Finger, who sometimes gets his friends and loved ones to help him out, but mostly takes on massive work vehicle projects on his own. If you’re a Pontiac Fieros fan, this is probably the series it’s best known for on the internet. However, he also works on bikes—and has, in fact, been bringing a 1986 Kawasaki GPZ1000RX back to life for over a year now.
If you’re the type of person who gains some level of viewer satisfaction by seeing someone rescue a truly trashed piece of classic machinery, then you’ll want to watch this series from start to finish. Finger’s sense of humor, editing skills, problem-solving ways, and general attitude are both extremely relevant and satisfying to watch. It’s also fun to watch him tackle a vintage bike like this using new tools that a 1986-era mechanic couldn’t even have dreamed of, like 3D printing a tank support missing and hard to find.
This particular video features Finger’s first ride on his mechanically finished 1986 Kawasaki GPZ1000RX, although as he repeatedly points out, it’s far from aesthetically pleasing. Throughout the series, he mentioned that his intention was simply to make it usable and enjoy driving it, not to do a thorough and thorough cosmetic restoration.
However, at the end of this video, he seems to hint at possibly getting it ready for at least some basic painting. Right now he’s riding around with a primer gray tank on a mostly factory red bike. To be honest, I quite like the priming tank and how it contrasts with the red. It’s a decent bike, and while it’s not objectively beautiful to look at, the fact that it wouldn’t be roadworthy today without the work of a dedicated bike nut is significant and admirable. in itself.
Will we see more GPZ1000RX in the future? It certainly looks like we could do it, although since Finger has a life outside of YouTube, it might take a while. Still, we’ll be looking forward to him and any other bike projects he wants to share with the world.