Clymer Manuals Kawasaki Z900 Z1 Vintage Restoration Motorcycle Video

Clymer Manuals Kawasaki Z900 Z1 Vintage Restoration Motorcycle Video Clymer Manuals presented the Best 70’s Superbike Award to this 1974 Kawasaki Z900 at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Show. Dale Keesecker owns this Z900. The Kawasaki Z1 was a motorcycle introduced in 1972 by Kawasaki. The Z1, along with Honda’s CB750 from 1969, introduced the four-cylinder, across the frame, disc-braked layout to a wider public. The Z1 was groundbreaking in that it combined many different elements which previous motorcycles had used into one performance package. The names differed in some countries as Z900, 900 Z1 or 900 S4 (“Super Four”). It was the first of a long and still ongoing series of Kawasaki Z models.

The Kawasaki Z1 was developed in strict secrecy under the project name “New York Steak”. In the late 1960s Kawasaki, already an established manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycles, decided to make a 750 cc four-cylinder four-stroke sports motorcycle (they even had an appearance prototype designed by McFarlane Design in 1969), but they were beaten to the marketplace by the Honda CB750. This postponed the Z1’s release until its displacement could be upped to 903 cc.

Production began in 1973; at the time it was the most powerful Japanese 4-cylinder 4-stroke ever built. The Z1 had full instrumentation and an electric start, produced 82 bhp and had a maximum speed of 130 mph (210 km/hr). It met with very positive reviews from the motorcycle press, who praised its smoothness, damped vibration, easy-starting (kick-start and electric were both available), straight-line stability and linear acceleration. Steering was accurate and the bike handled well, but testers said the rear tire, chain and rear shocks all wore out quickly.

The Z1 was awarded the MCN ‘Machine of the Year’ accolade for four years running between 1973 to 1976 (an award resulting from a readers’ opinion-poll run by UK weekly publication Motorcycle News

Engine: 903 cc air-cooled 4-cylinder, 82 bhp @ 8,500 rpm
Bore x Stroke: 66 mm x 66 mm
Weight (wet): 246 kg (542 lbs)
Production: 85,000 (est.) between 1973-75
Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive
Carburetion: 28 mm Mikuni
Tires: 19-inch front, 18-inch back
Brakes: 11.5-inch disc front, 7.9-inch drum rear
Top Speed: 130 mph

Z1 (1973-1974)
KZ900 (1975-1976)
KZ1000 (1977-1978)
KZ1000 Standard (1979-1980)
KZ1000 Classic (1980)
KZ1000 Limited (1977-1980)
Z1R (1978-1980)
KZ1000 C Series Police (1978-1981)

Clymer on the lift and Clymer Girl didn’t have to go far to attend the Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts club 22nd 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, a few 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 on display were vintage antique passenger airplanes planes: a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404 and a 1958 Super Constellation, or Super Connie.

6 thoughts on “Clymer Manuals Kawasaki Z900 Z1 Vintage Restoration Motorcycle Video

  1. You just don’t see metal flake brown used anymore. I think it needs to make a comeback.

  2. A beautiful example of one of my all time favourite motorcycles. I remember when this
    machine first came out way back in the early 1970’s. I was in my mid teens, and stood
    in awe whenever I saw one. I loved the overall design of the bike, with that big shiney
    double overhead cam engine, and what was arguably the most stylish four pipe
    exhaust system ever made. For me, the only other bike that came close to it was
    Suzuki’s GT750. Another of my all time favourite Classic Japanese motorcycles

  3. Simply superb, no other manufacturer has come anywhere close to such an ageless iconic style of the Z1.

  4. There were some superb motorcycles made in the 1970s and 1980s. Japanese manufacturers have lost their way since then and almost every Jap bike looks the same or tries to be too modern. I love the two big clocks on Kawasakis and Hondas of that era – they were readable and made you feel like you were riding something special unlike today where legibility has taken a tumble and easy-to-read dials have been replaced by LCD panels that take you attention from the road just a little bit longer. Those were the days…

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