AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Craig Vetter had a dream to create what he called “a streetable road racer.” Here’s how he did it.
1. Take a 1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 frame and remove all the unneeded tabs and brackets.
2. Weld on struts and gusseting to strengthen the frame.
3. Bolt on a box-section swing arm for strength.
4. Install “laid-down” shocks for more travel and progressive action.
5. Go with magnesium Dymag wheels, which were used by anyone serious about lightening their wheels.
6. Create a 6-gallon gas tank. That was the magic number, because it was the maximum allowed in AMA Superbike racing. So it continued the theme of a streetable road racer.
7. Install rear-set foot pegs.
8. Attach a Yoshimura four-into-one pipe. This also shows the bike’s racing heritage.
9. Create unique full bodywork, which is essentially just two pieces: the nose fairing and the body.
10. Sell the Mystery Ship for $9,995 at a time when the stock KZ1000 cost $3,500.
From the beginning, the bike was planned for a limited production run. In the end, only 10 were built, each bearing its production number on the side number plates.