Before legendary road racer Eddie Lawson went on to Grand Prix success, he dominated the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Superbike series. After winning the national title with Kawasaki in 1981 and 1982, Lawson moved over to Yamaha for his first three 500cc Grand Prix championships then secured his final Premier Class crown with Honda.
Despite his ties to Big Red and the bLU cRU, Lawson’s name will forever remain connected to the Kawasaki KZ1000R superbike. In 1982 and 1983, Team Green released the Eddie Lawson Replica KZ1000R to commemorate the rider’s back-to-back AMA championships. While the limited-edition trim shared much with the base model, it also flaunted a Kerker exhaust, adjustable rear suspension, and most importantly, a race-inspired green/white/navy livery.
With only 750 units produced each year, only a few fortunate enthusiasts include a Lawson Replica in their stable. On the other hand, if you can’t buy it, you can both fake it and make it. That’s exactly what one mini-bike aficionado did with a Honda Monkey.
Gallery: Eddie Lawson Replica: Honda Monkey
The old Monkey doesn’t just receive a new wardrobe, however. In addition to the era-accurate bodywork and color-correct paint scheme, the mini benefits from upgraded componentry all around. A big bore kit bumps displacement from 49cc to 100cc, while a robust crank drive, updated oil pump, and new oil cooler fortify the wee thumper. In all, the single whips out 20 horsepower, a respectable number by most mini-bike measurements.
The race replica Monkey also earns new suspension and disc brakes at both ends. A reinforced swingarm pays homage to the build’s superbike influences while the full-sized exhaust silencer yields a formidable presence. The ELR-outfitted Honda Monkey may not win any AMA Superbike titles, but with its raft of upgraded components, it’s bound to do Lawson’s name justice on the kart track.
Sources: Motorrad, Motofomo, Cool Material