Clymer Manuals Kawasaki Z1R Vintage SportBike Motorcycle Video

Clymer Manuals Kawasaki Z1R Vintage SportBike Motorcycle Video This 1980 Kawasaki Z1R motorcycle was on display at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Rally. The event is one of the Midwest’s largest vintage classic motorcycle meets. Kawasaki motorcycles are manufactured by the Motorcycle & Engine division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries at plants in Japan, USA, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.

Kawasaki Aircraft initially manufactured motorcycles under the Meguro name, having bought out an ailing motorcycle manufacturer called Meguro Manufacturing Co. Ltd with whom they had been in partnership earlier, but later formed Kawasaki Motor Sales. Some early motorcycles display an emblem with “Kawasaki Aircraft” on the fuel tank.

During the merger in 1962, Kawasaki engineers were engaged in the development of a four-stroke engine for small cars which ended in 1962 with some of the engineers transferred to the Meguro Works to work on the Meguro K1 and the SG, a single cylinder 250 cc OHV. In 1963, Kawasaki and Meguro merged to form Kawasaki Motorcycle Co., Ltd. Kawasaki motorcycles from 1962 through 1967 used an emblem which can be described as a flag within a wing.

Work continued on the Meguro K1, a copying of the BSA A7 500 cc vertical twin and on the Kawasaki W1. The K2 was exported to the U.S. for a test in response to the expanding American market for four-stroke motorcycles in which case it was rejected for a lack of power but by the mid-1960s, Kawasaki was finally exporting a moderate number of motorcycles. The Kawasaki H1 Mach III in 1968, along with several enduro-styled motorcycles to compete with Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda, increased sales of Kawasaki units. The Z1R was the first Japanese custom ‘cafe racer’. The angular styling was not to everybody’s taste. Major changes were the four into one exhaust, a cockpit fairing, solid wheels, drilled discs and self-cancelling indicators. The front wheel was reduced to an eighteen inch one and the engine was once again painted in black. The kick-start pedal was considered redundant and fitted as an emergency measure under the seat. A move back to 28-mm carbs increased the power to 90 bhp making this the most powerful Z yet. Poor sales resulted in Kawasaki producing a larger 20-litre fuel tank and a sintered metal brake kit in an effort to increase sales. UK dealers were still selling this model four years later!

In 1977-1978 Kawasaki had to leave its reputation as a manufacturer of outstanding big bikes in the care of the current Z1000 four, pending introduction of new models. These finally appeared in 1981, but Kawasaki had reckoned without the other Big Three, who got on with their own 1-litre superbikes, and spurred Kawasaki into action. The outcome was the Z1-R, which was little more than a facelift job. But backed by a persuasive PR campaign, it managed a reasonable holding action for a year or so, being fully a match in looks for any of the newer designs and only disappointing when compared with them on the road.

Clymer on the lift and Clymer Girl are lucky to have the largest show of vintage classic and antique motorcycles in our very own back yard. Clymer Manuals didn’t have to go far to attend the Heart Of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts club 22 nd Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show. Classic vintage antique motorcycles motorcycle bikes British, German, Japanese, Italian, European, American motorcycles were all on display. Manufacturers on display included Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Jay Leno, Leno has nothing on us, we love you Jay, Leno’s Garage, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, bike ridden in, and a trailer queens, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, trials bikes, dirt bikes, road racers…any type or style motorcycle you could image.

The show was held at the Kansas City Airline History Museum at the Kansas City Downtown Airport. Also displayed were two classic vintage antique passenger airplanes planes: a Douglas DC-3 and a Martin 404. Right outside the hangar was a 1958 Super Constellation, or Super Connie.

Clymer Manuals Kawasaki Z and KZ 900-1000cc Chain and Shaft Drive 1973-1981 (Includes C Series Police Models) M359
Z1 (1973-1974)
KZ900 (1975-1976)
KZ1000 (1977-1978)
KZ1000 Standard (1979-1980)
KZ1000 Classic (1980)
KZ1000 Limited (1977-1980)
Z1R (1978-1980)
Z1000 C Series Police (1978-1981)

3 thoughts on “Clymer Manuals Kawasaki Z1R Vintage SportBike Motorcycle Video

  1. Mad Max would ride this…granted…it would be flat black…but even in green it looks tough and fast.

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