Goose’s “MFP1000” from Unik Edition…
Mad Max (1979) remains one of the most influential films of the 20th century, as powerful today as it’s ever been — perhaps because a post-apocalyptic future seems a more distinct possibility than it did in the 80s. A baby-faced Mel Gibson was cast in the lead role, starring as a vengeance-driven ex-Main Force Patrol (MFP) officer hunting down the psychotic Toecutter and his gang of murderous bikers.
The film was the directorial debut of George Miller, who actually funded the low-budget film by working as an ER doctor — an experience that would directly contributed to the grisly, realistic action of the entire Mad Max series:
“Only Miller had the upsetting real-life experience in emergency medical treatment to inform [the films’] depiction of high-speed chases and their tragic aftermath.” –Screen Rant
Of course, we love that much of the film takes place on two wheels. A local Kawasaki dealership donated a whole stable of Kawasaki KZ1000 machines (14 in all) for use in the film, and members of a local Victorian motorcycle club, the Vigilantes, played the members of Toecutter’s gang — talk about authenticity!
Melbourne-based workshop La Parisienne (RIP) modified the bikes for the film, including the 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000 “Kwaka” of MFP Pursuit Officer Jim “Goose” Rains — Max’s happy-go-lucky friend and brother in arms, who comes to a fiery and tragic end at the hands of Toecutter and Johnny the Boy.
The KZ1000 would later become the basis for the KZ1000P Police model, which remained in production until 2005! However, Goose’s machine was far cry from the bloated police bikes of CHiPs and other 20th-century police departments.
The Kwaka (aka “MFP1000”) was more of a streamlined high-speed pursuit special, complete with rearsets, megaphone exhaust, and low bars — something of a café racer with lights.
Many of the Kwaka’s parts were hand-built for the film and subsequently destroyed. Until 2002, Japanese workshop Whitehouse made replica kits for the MFP1000, but these are rare in the wild — our friends at Return of the Cafe Racers featured a black one several years ago.
Fortunately, Lisbon-based workshop Unik Edition Custom Motorcycles has taken up the helm with this MFP1000 “Kwaka” replica, built from an ’81 KZ1000 they had sitting in the shop. António “jokingly suggested” they should build a replica of the bike, but the rest of the team jumped on the idea.
“Two weeks later we screened the film in the workshop so the whole team could get into the spirit.”
After more than a year of research, parts hunting, and fabrication, the team at Unik Edition created the highly faithful replica you see here. Best of all, they’ve made it so you can create your own:
“We were left with a kit of fairings and stickers to be able to reproduce this motorcycle in Europe with greater ease. Just contact us!”
Meanwhile, North American buyers can contact Airtech Streamlining for replica kits. Below, Tiago from Unik Edition gives us more details on the build, with photos courtesy of Manuel Portugal (@manuelportugalphoto).
Mad Max MFP1000: In the Builder’s Words…
Obviously we like the whole creative process of building and developing pieces. But above all we like challenges and honoring art. The history of this motorcycle is very peculiar. We had a 1981 Kawasaki KZ1000 in the shop and a passing friend asked if we knew this bike was the same bike from the 1979 movie Mad Max.
Of course we knew and that was one of the reasons why we liked the bike so much. António jokingly suggested that it would be interesting to build a replica of the bike! On our part he received an obvious mega smile.
Two weeks later we screened the film in the workshop so the whole team could get into the spirit.
One year later, and after a lot of research, looking for parts, and despite our 1981 model being slightly different from the 1977 version of the movie, we managed to do our magic here.
Having had the opportunity to build this bike, it was a really fun process. We were left with a kit of fairings and stickers to be able to reproduce this motorcycle in Europe with greater ease. Just contact us!