Tagged: UJM

Fully-Restored 1975 Kawasaki Z1B for Sale

1975 Kawasaki Z1 L Front

The Kawasaki Z1 was, along with the Honda CB750, a pair of final nails in the coffin of European big-bike dominance. While the Z1 will always have the stigma of “copycat” because it was released after the Honda, Kawasaki’s 750cc four-cylinder was actually being developed at the same time, unbeknownst to either manufacturer. When Honda released their bike ahead of Kawasaki, it sent their engineers scrambling to come up with something to differentiate their new bike.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 L Rear Low

So of course, they made it bigger. With 903cc’s of smooth, relentless power, it blew the CB into the weeds in terms of outright performance, with 82hp and a top speed of 130mph. Honda may have been first, but the Kawasaki was undeniably faster.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 Cockpit

These two new four-cylinder models were powerful, relatively inexpensive, and far more reliable than anything the Europeans were producing at the time. They may not have handled quite as well, but on straight-line roads all over America, nobody cared.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 R Side

Unfortunately, many of these were used and abused, then discarded: the finicky nature of British and Italian motorcycles makes them a labor of love, and long hours spent keeping your motorcycle in good tune creates a bond born of blood, skinned knuckles, and an empty bank account. But Japanese bikes just worked, and large numbers sold meant that they were hardly rare and collectible. But now, good examples like this one are very much in demand, and prices are on the rise.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 Front

From the original eBay listing: Restored 1975 Kawasaki Z1B for Sale

This 1975 Kawasaki Z1B is in immaculate condition.

I am the third owner, purchasing the bike in early 2011. Prior to my purchase, the bike went through a concours quality restoration. The entire bike was stripped down and rebuilt to original factory specifications. Where necessary new parts were used to restore the bike to an as new condition. The bike received new clocks, the bike’s original documentation shows the prior mileage to have been around 16,000 miles. The new clocks reflect the mileage (1,270) since the rebuild.

The bike has been meticulously maintained. Everything operates as it would have when originally new. It starts, idles, runs, handles, stops, as it did 39 years ago.

I have had the bike mostly on display at my house. It has been riden occasionally on sunny summer afternoons and shown at a few classic motorcycle events, where it always attracts attention.

The original Kawasaki Owners Manual and Warranty Handbook, and Clymer Service/Repair/Maintenance Manual, are included.

This is a museum quality example of this classic 1970’s Japanese superbike.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 Engine R Side

This is a stunning example of the Z1. While it may not be a more desirable 1973 model, it’d be hard to find one much nicer. Take a look at the close ups of the engine: aside from a few nicks, I doubt a Z1 looked any better brand new on the showroom floor!

1975 Kawasaki Z1 Engine Detail

With upright looks, twin shocks, a comfortable riding position, even for two, stable handling, and plenty of power, the Z1 epitomizes the classic Universal Japanese Motorcycle. At $16,500 the price of entry may be fairly high, but you aren’t likely to find one nicer.


1975 Kawasaki Z1 R Rear Light


1979 Suzuki GS1000S “Wes Cooley” for Sale

1979 Suzuki GS1000S R Side

Suzuki’s GS1000S Wes Cooley replica was a sportier version of their big-bore standard, created to evoke the race-winning bikes developed by “Pops” Yoshimura and ridden by Wes to success in AMA Superbike Championships for the 1979 and 1980 seasons. The GS-designation actually describes a diverse range of motorcycles built over almost forty years and powered by a wide variety of engines with different displacements. The GS1000 was powered by Suzuki’s durable air-cooled, 8-valve, dual overhead-cam engine making about 90hp and suspended in a durable, stable, twin-shock frame.

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Engine

If you’re at a point in life where you recognize that you really don’t need the capabilities of any modern sportbike on the road, even to strafe canyons, unless you want to risk life and license beyond what we all accept as motorcyclists on a daily basis, this kind of motorcycle makes plenty of sense.

Less likely to attract the wrong kind of attention from The Man, impossible to mistake for just another “crotch rocket”, fast enough to be fun and see off buzzy little modern 600’s, with enough handling to reward a bit of enthusiastic riding, and comfortable enough to do light touring, it is a do-it-all machine with modern[ish] performance and a retro style.

Unfortunately, this kind of practicality isn’t actually very popular here in America, where motorcycles are more accessories and less about the ride, but that just makes bikes like the GS1000S more affordable for those in the know, and makes owners smile smugly as they wheel their bikes out of the garage.

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Dash

This one is no trailer-queen, but the original listing contains a ton of photos, so you will know pretty much exactly what you’ll be getting into.

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S for Sale

I am very careful about my descriptions having gone on many wild goose chases to see bikes and cars that turned out to be in far less condition than advertised. I am sure many of you have been in the same boat so I will do my utmost to describe this so that there are NO disappointments or surprises.

Fresh from long dry storage since last registered in 1994, 1979 Suzuki Wes Cooley model 1000cc. It has 38680 miles but the engine was completely rebuilt in 1994 by a certified Suzuki tech at about 37500 miles and before the then owner could put many miles on it, he bought an old Harley he had been chasing for years so this was stored until I purchased it. While it appears mostly stock and has the original paint, it has been totally worked over.

Now more good and fun stuff. This bike is a brute and pulls strongly right off the bat. No smoke on startup or after being warmed up. Shifts crisply thru all the gears and handles surprising well. Extra parts included in the sale include the stock exhaust with an extra pipe. One photo shows black goo but that was just baked on road grime and chips off and I have no doubt that it is fine under the goo. An original factory plastic Wes Cooley fairing that has no flaws except someone bought it originally and put it on their GS and painted it to match their bike (I have heard of very high prices being paid for originals so this is a big bonus), original Wes Cooley tail piece and front fender and one extra tail piece off a stock GS. All pieces shown.

He then goes on to provide an extensive accounting of modifications, upgrades, and maintenance that have been done to the bike.

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Fork Brace

It’s not a concourse-ready and has been clearly well-used, but it looks like everything is there to make it perfect. In the mean time, it’s one you can ride the wheels off of until you decide it’s time to restore. At least you can hope following cars won’t miss that huge rear light, and that enormous seat should hold any pillion, regardless of how generously-hindquartered…

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Rear Wheel

In the US, many of these big Zooks have been converted from roadracers and optimized more for straight-line speed. The Vance & Hines four-into-one exhaust is obviously a drag-strip style modification and not factory-correct, but looks pretty cool. Unless you’re into the whole originality-thing, and then it’s an abomination.

The price is currently at $5,500 with four days left. That seems a bit on the high side for a Wes Cooley replica, but is still small potatoes for what amounts to a rolling restoration of a collectable, practical Japanese machine, a bike you can enjoy while you make it perfect. Or don’t: just ride it for now and save all those parts for the next guy to do a full restoration!


1979 Suzuki GS1000S L Side


1980 Suzuki GS1100E for Sale in Denver

1980 Suzuki GS1100E L Side

Machines like the Suzuki GS1100E have been rare in the US of late, where motorcycles are most often owned and flaunted by weekend warriors: lifestyle accessories don’t need to be rideable for more than a few miles at a time, so you’re free to buy shrieking, peaky race-reps or 900 pound feet-in-the-breeze Barcaloungers, whichever fits your personal taste without regard to practicality.

Suzuki’s GS series bikes were do-it-all machines, the epitome of the UJM or “universal Japanese motorcycle”: four cylinders, twin shocks, no fairing. Bikes that were reliable and frugal enough for daily use, handled well enough for weekend scratching, and comfortable enough for distance work.

The GS-designation described a huge range of motorcycles built over almost forty years and powered by singles, twins, and four-cylinder engines of varied displacements. The GS1100 was powered by Suzuki’s durable air-cooled, 8-valve and later 16-valve, dual overhead-cam engine slung into a stable chassis.

It made for a blank canvas that could be turned into just about anything you wanted: the famous “Pops” Yoshimura turned the earlier 1000 version into a successful racebike that spawned the Wes Cooley race replicas that sometimes show up on this site for sale.

This example is the much more basic “E” model and as such would have been nothing much special at the time. But the curse of the ubiquity and reliability of the UJMs was that they were treated like the appliances they resembled: used and often discarded, left to rust and rot by less than sympathetic owners. You couldn’t own a Triumph or Norton unless you were ready to get your hands and garage floor dirty, unless you were invested. But anyone could [and did] buy bikes like the Zook, and they were often used as intended, so nice examples are getting harder and harder to find.

From the original Craigslist listing: 1980 Suzuki GS1100E – $2995

1980 Suzuki GS1100E in very nice condition. Almost bone stock except for “crash bars” and cruise control, both easily removable. 30K miles. Just completed a full going over by former service manager of large local dealership that specializes in working on 70’s/80’s/90’s vintage bikes. Runs PERFECTLY. Starts, idles and everything works.

1980 Suzuki GS1100E R Side

This one’s in the Denver, Colorado area. Nearly $3k is pretty serious cash for an old GS, but makes more sense when you think instead that that’s pretty small price to pay for reliable, do-anything transportation. Not too many cars or trucks that can give you this much entertainment AND reliability and cost so little to run.

Not a glamorous bike, but perhaps the perfect tool for a trip down memory lane for someone who remembers just how good these really were at being motorcycles. Don’t bother shipping it: just show up with your riding gear, bungee your duffle bag onto the tail, and ride it home.



1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX L Front

The big, brawny Honda CBX was a grand “touring” bike from the era when that meant the bike had relaxed ergomics, effortless, arm-stretching power, and room for a passenger.  No GPS, no heated grips, no fairing, no iPod dock, no speakers.  Just a comfortable seat, two wheels, a fuel tank, some instruments to tell you what’s going on, and tons of silky-smooth power from that huge straight-six laid across the frame and a huge cascade of shining exhaust pipes.  Well, it would have a shining cascade of exhaust pipes, if this one wasn’t missing that particular bit…

1979 Honda CBX R Dash

We all ride bikes for the stimulation they provide, the sensory input, and the CBX makes a glorious howl, like an Italian car.

The seller is a person of relatively few words:

up for sale is an original 20,000 mile 1979 cbx 1000 inline 6. has paperwork, been sitting for couple years, will need slight tank cleaning on the inside, and the rear master cylinder, needs an exhaust system, and a shift lever to complete. up close the paint has a couple small paint chips and one or 2 small scratches but no dents, the bike overall is an 8 or 9 out of 10. the paint shines excellent, some slight pitting on engine chrome but it looks great otherwise. Super clean 1979 cbx 1000 it is an eye grabber. was going to get a nice DG pipe and keep it but too many projects needing funds is the reason for sale. Bike will not disappoint being a rare one as well. email any questions, shipping is fine as long as the buyer works out details. please contact me if you are the winning bidder after the auction.

comprises the whole of the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX1000 for Sale.

1979 Honda CBX R Tank Top

Later CBX models were touring bikes in the more contemporary style, sprouting huge Windjammer-style fairings and luggage.  I know I very much prefer the earlier, UJM-on-steroids style of the earlier bikes.  Ratty examples often get rebuilt into snorting, Spondon-framed customs of all stripes, but this one looks a bit too nice to chop up. Find a nice used set of headers, or have a shop bend some up for you.  Or leave them off and terrorize the neighborhood?  This one definitely goes into my fantasy garage.


1979 Honda CBX R Side

1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX R Side

The Honda CBX is a classic example of motorcycle excess, a bike whose reason to exist seems to simply have been “because we could.” A huge, air-cooled inline six slung across the frame is an unusual powerplant, but it certainly looks good.  Few bikes have bothered with this configuration, and only BMW has tried it recently: complexity and packaging issues make them pretty impractical.

The CBX was introduced in 1979 and  was supposedly only slightly wider than Honda’s own 750 four, although you’d never know that by looking at it.  The 1047cc, 24 valve, straight six was meant to evoke the racing heritage of Honda’s six cylinder racebikes, but the machine’s nearly 600 pounds blunted any real sporting aspirations.

1979 Honda CBX Dash

To a casual viewer, a Honda CBX looks like any other 1970’s Japanese machine.  But look closer, and you notice the massively wide engine sticking out on either side and six pipes that cascade from the exhaust side of the cylinder head.  It’s no canyon-carver, more of a luxury, sport-touring GT.  A strong visual statement with plenty of turbine-smooth power and shrieking exhaust note that make for a very addictive ride.

Go here for the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

The bike had sat for sometime, the carbs were pretty well clogged with old ethanol gas (as most of you can imagine).  So we pulled them off and gave them each a thorough cleaning – with the new carbs back on the bike and some fresh gas, she fired right up!  This CBX has an absolutely incredible sound – when you crack open the throttle, she sounds like a V12 Ferrari – clean, crisp, high pitched – take a listen on the YouTube videos we have posted below and hear for yourself (… and yes, she does have the signature/normal clutch basket rattle that all ’79 CBX’s are notorious for – do a google search on CBX Clutch Basket Noise – you will be able to read all about this specific noise).  She really pulls hard/strong through all gears and through the entire RPM  range – she is actually way faster than we had expected (first CBX for us)!  EVERYTHING on this bike works:  all gauges, all lights, all indicator lights.  Her brakes are awesome and she handles really well for a bike of this size.  She recently won a trophy for the “Best Stock Bike” category (as chosen by the spectators) in a local car/bike show.  The motor and bike are super clean – seeing her in person and giving her the once over will confirm why she took that trophy (as these photos and videos really do not do this bike justice)!

1979 Honda CBX L Engine1979 Honda CBX Pipes

This one sports a very cool looking 6-into-1 exhaust which goes a long way towards lightening the looks of the bike and replaces the stock, paired 3-into-1 system.  The new system also sounds, as the cliché goes, like a Ferrari, with an exotic, ripping wail like nothing else on two wheels:

While maintenance can be expensive for these, they’re reliable in typical Honda Fashion.  Take care of this one and it should reward you with years of arm-stretching, stoplight-to-stoplight fun.


1979 Honda CBX L Rear