Additional photos of this Motoplast Kawasaki are available here for your perusal.
As Jim Scaysbrook explains in last month’s issue of Old Bike Australia, “Motoplast was a short-lived creation from the brothers Virginio. As the name suggests, their company was originally, and primarily involved in the production of ‘plastic’ (including fibreglass) bits and pieces as after-market components for a whole range of motorcycles.” He adds that by the late 70s, Motoplast had grown to a workforce of about 15 and had advanced to making complete frames and swingarms.
A period advertisement from the Australian importer says that Motoplast combined “the finest Italian handling plus famed oriental reliability together in the one package at an affordable price!” Virginio “Pippo” Stanga helped spread the word about his new racing frames by competing with them, and its said that 72 frames were built between 1976-1978 (one source in the Old Bike Australia source gives the same production number through 1983).
This example does not have an identification number, but the seller states that it’s an officially-certified prototype for a factory endurance racer, predating the two factory machines that competed in the 1977 Bol d’Or (one of which was ridden by Raymond Roche). He has a signed letter from Virginio Stanga attesting that this “is a one-off Kawasaki version made for endurance races use.” It weighs 415 pounds with all fluids except fuel.
This bike won the 2003 FIM Europe Alpe Adria Championship (8 European Nation Challenge) in the Classic Open class and took third place the following year whilst ridden by Stefano Ricevuti. The seller is Mr. Ricevuti himself, who has owned it for 18 years after purchasing it directly from Virginio Stanga, who passed away two months ago. Stefano retired from racing in 2005.
The seller has covered roughly 300 miles with this bike – there is no odometer and true mileage is unknown. The “last complete set up” was done in April 2021, and it included new spark plugs, oil/filter change, tuning of the ignition system, fuel tank clean, brake fluid flush, and new Avon AM22-23 tires.
Per the seller, this Motoplast is equipped with:
Kawasaki Z1 engine fitted with Borgo high compression 75mm pistons (actual displacement 1,166 cc)
Intake and exhaust valves diameter increased and equipped with racing springs
Termignoni racing camshafts (same diagram of Yoshimura)
Polished rods – lightened and balanced crankshaft
Yoshimura close-ratio racing gearbox
Racing clutch plates with reinforced springs
Crankcase breather modified to decrease internal pressure
Racing oil cooler with related aeronautic hoses
It makes 125 horsepower (9,500 rpm) and 76 lb-ft of torque (6,500 rpm) at the rear wheel.
Termignoni racing exhaust 4 – 1
Mikuni carburetors with modified venturi in size and shape
Ceriani 38mm racing forks
FAC racing shocks
Campagnolo electron five-spoke racing wheels (2.50 18” front – 3.50 18” rear)
Avon racing compound tires (AM22 110/80 18” front – AM23 130/70 18” rear)
Brembo Serie Oro 280mm racing brakes with light alloy calipers
Carello double front 160mm light set.
Currently located in Soncino, Italy at the headquarters of MP Dynasty Exhaust (the current evolution of what used to be Motoplast), this Motoplast racer is offered on a clean Italian title. Have any questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!