Here’s one of the all time greats, the bike they called the king of the Superbikes, way back in the 70s.
Originally designed to be a 750cc four stroke, four cylinder machine, Kawasaki Heavy Industries went back to their drawing boards after Honda shook up the world of motorcycling in 1969 with their CB750. Kawasaki just went one better, by creating a 903cc sized road-burner, with handlebars wider than Status Quo’s flares and a top speed approaching 130mph.
High speed handling which could be diplomatically described as interesting only added to the appeal of the Z1 for many bikers back in 1973. The Z1s durable 83bhp motor became the power unit for endurance racers, world record speed attempts, and was even turbo charged – by Kawasaki themselves.
It was called The King, and for years Kawasaki’s Z1 had no pretenders to its crown. With an electronically tested top speed of 134 mph in 1973, Kawasaki’s entry into the big four-cylinder bike market had an impact few have ever matched.