The ‘mystery ship’ is a kawasaki ‘KZ1000’ designed by AMA motorcycle hall of fam’er craig vetter back in 1980. vetter received his induction into the hall of fame in recognition of his work with bike fairings and aerodynamics. during the 1970’s the ‘vetter fairing company’, designed and built fairings before manufacturers had started to factor them into their own designs.
The kawasaki ‘mystery ship’s’ bodywork is its most striking feature, with a somewhat futuristic looking design comprized of a two-piece construction. the front fairing channells air to the oil cooler and provides wind protection to the rider. the ‘mystery ship’s’ seating position is relatively relaxed, making it suitable for longer trips, as well as more spirited riding. its design is believed to have been a major influence during honda’s development of the ‘CX500 turbo’, and vetter’s company influenced other frame and bodywork specialists. the back section features the tail with integrated racing number panels up to the tank section, which protects the bike’s six-gallon fuel cell.
Strictly limited to just ten examples, all of the bikes vetter built wore the same four-into-one yoshimura exhaust system. braking is enhanced simply by installing race-spec ferro pads and a lockhart oil cooler is installed just beneath the headlight for improved circulation. vetter also swapped the factory wheels for lightweight, three-spoke dymag magnesium yellow wheels.
The bike illustrated here is ‘mystery ship’ number five of the ten examples built, and is going under the hammer at mecum auctions in las vegas. as far as exclusivity goes, this collectors item is up there with the elusive unicorn, which means it is likely to be priced outside of what the average rider is willing to part with.