Tagged: Z900

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.

-tad

1975 Kawasaki Z1 R Rear Light

 

1974 Kawasaki Z1A 900 for Sale

1974 Kawasaki Z1 R Front

Rumor has it that Honda and Kawasaki were working on their four-cylinder superbikes at the same time, shrouded in secrecy. When Honda beat them to the market, Kawasaki made a bold decision: instead of being an also-ran, they would bide their time and release the bigger, badder machine. So, in 1973, they unleashed their Z1 upon the unsuspecting public.

1974 Kawasaki Z1 L Rear

With 903cc’s and 82hp, the bike may have come late to the market, but it was surely the more powerful machine. It handled reasonably well, a giant step forward from Japanese streetbikes from the 60’s and early 1970’s and “did the business” in a straight line.  Big, brawny, and reliable, the Z1 and it’s competitor the Honda CB750 spelled the end of European big-bike dominance.

Their mass-produced reliability has led to a certain ubiquity. The “UJM” or “Universal Japanese Motorcycle” was defined by these bikes. Four cylinders, five speeds, twin shocks, no fairing. And with that ubiquity came a certain disregard: it’s amazing how many relatively poorly performing or simply poorly selling motorcycles have been lionized in the decades after, as “rarity” has come to equal “value”.

1974 Kawasaki Z1 Clocks

But, while Z1’s may have been manufactured in great quantity, so many Z1’s have been poorly treated and maintained that good ones have become desirable as their classic status is recognized.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Kawasaki Z1Z 900 for Sale

This is a matching numbers bike per Kawasaki specs, Z1F29721 and Z1E29735. The mileage is low at 27,261 miles. This bike is in running condition but it sits for long periods so may need tuning. Here is a list of the work performed in the last year or so;  the carbs were rebuilt with new jets, needles and gaskets less than 100 miles ago, new front and rear tubes/tires,  new air filter assembly, new air filter, brake caliper rebuild kit, master cylinder rebuilt kit, new clutch and brake levers, new sprockets and chain, new throttle cable, new speedo and tach cable, new turn signal lenses, new short signal stems, new side cover emblems, new foot rubbers, new shifter peg rubber, new gas cap, new brake and clutch cable, new shocks, new paint job with paint striping (not decals) and at the time a Kerker exhaust that had less than 150 miles or so on them and taken off back in the day. There are 2 things I would recommend, one is a new gasket/seal at the tach drive in the front of the engine, it leaks a little,  and the other is a float bowl adjustment in the carbs. This bike is very clean and in great condition but it is not perfect. There is some minor pitting on the front forks and the kickstart lever. There are some period correct mods that have been done like the Lester rims (18 inch rear and 19 inch front), Euro style low rise bars and Kerker exhaust. The exhaust is the pre 1983 Kerker exhaust with the small logo and in very nice condition. The correct tool kit and owners manual are included and in great condition. The seat is a new replacement from Z1parts. The oil tank is not on the bike.

1974 Kawasaki Z1 Headers

The Kawasaki Z1’s are definitely attracting collector notice these days, and while this one isn’t perfect, it looks like a great one to ride and enjoy while you’re waiting for values to appreciate to a point where a restoration makes sense.

Just grab that platinum credit card and give Bull Dock or AC Sanctuary a call!

-tad

1974 Kawasaki Z1 R Rear

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Turbo for Sale

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 R Front

Hm, what’s this?  A Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer.  Read that again.  A Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer?

So this one’s pretty wild.  What started out as a pretty garden-variety Kawasaki Z900/1000…  Okay, really there probably was never much that was actually “garden-variety” about this bike.  Rickman was sort of like the British Bimota, a small company that took powerful engines from unruly and wayward-handling Japanese bikes and stuffed them into light, strong frames, wrapped them in new bodywork, and created what the original manufacturers could not: serious sport bikes.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L Rear

This relatively rare bike has been completely transformed, with nearly every component replaced and updated in some way.  The machine sports a nickel-plated Rickman frame and lightweight fairing, which are rare enough to begin with, but the lump was heavily upgraded with a serious bump in displacement to 1400cc and a turbo kit, with water-injection to keep the intake charge nice and cool and prevent pre-detonation.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Turbo

The original eBay ad contains a comprehensive [the entire build stuffed into one, very blue paragraph] listing of the build and the parts that were used, and the photos are very nice as well:

Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer for Sale

The engine was completely rebuilt and the displacement increased to 1400cc by famous drag racing champion and engine builder Dale Walker from “Holeshot Performance” fame in Santa Cruz California. New parts installed during the engine rebuilding process : cam bearings, modified clutch hub, main bearing trust assembly, stainless intake valves, stainless over sized exhaust valves, valve seals, HD cam chain, HD head nuts, APE clutch kit, Dyna S ignition, gasket set, finished big block assembly, 1395cc Wiseco piston kit, HD clutch hub nut, HD set of valve springs, graphite head gasket, cam chain tensioner. Additionally the crankshaft was indexed, trued and welded, connecting rods bushed, the transmission gears were undercut, and the engine cases were powder coated blue. The head was turbo ported. A new SS Super Shorty E carburetor was added, which was jetted, set up and volume mated to a new larger then the original RAJAY turbo by HAHN Racecraft (HRC) from Oswego IL. A Mr. Turbo water injection system was installed to prevent pinging under high load. The exhaust header received a HPC coating which is guaranteed not to turn colour even under the highest exhaust temperatures. A custom flow thru exhaust pipe was fabricated-the sound is to die for.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Cockpit

This lurid green monster even sports an instrument cluster from a Hesketh and some pretty trick gauges set into the fairing infill panels.  The parts list in the ad is extensive, if you can get through what reads like one, heavily-caffeinated fever-dream paragraph.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L Fairing

No real bidding activity on this one so far and only four days left, which is a shame.  This thing seems like it’d be a blast to show or ride.

-tad

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L side

The Holy Grail of classic Sport bikes? First year Kawasaki Z900

I am very excited to see one of these turn up. This year is very hard to come by. I am curious to see what the inconsistencies will do to the price. The bike doesn’t run, isn’t put together completely and the exhaust might not be from the right year. Because the USD is so low right now a lot of these are going overseas. I have heard tales of shipping containers filled with these going to other countries. The seller seems to be honest now that the auction has time under it’s belt. Ask a lot of questions.

1972 Kawasaki Z1 900 for sale on eBay

Here’s what he says.

This is a really nice 1972 Kawasaki Z1 900 Serial # 5XXX. No Title, bill of sale only from previous owner. It’s in great condition and almost ready to ride. Health issues force sale. I just completed a rebuild of entire bike and tried to start it but discovered that there is a fuel leak between the two left carbs on the crossover tube. Has the correct twin disc brake up front and 5/8 master cylinder. Extremely early Z1 that is really hard to find. Rebuilt using mostly NOS parts and some repro parts. 

Several potential bidders have asked about the bike in more detail. I want you to know that if you’re looking for a perfect bike then this one isn’t for you. It’s very nice but not yet complete. I’ve got too much going on to finish it so this is up to you. I bought the carbs because they are the correct ones for this bike and they were supposed to be rebuilt but they are leaking so something is wrong. Because of this the bike has not been made to run but it does have ignition and it did hit on some of the cylinders and was trying to start when I noticed the leak. Additionally, the paint is nice but not perfect. Finally, and I had this in the previous ebay ad, but somehow ommitted it in the relisting. The exhaust pipes are marked 76 so I think they are from a newer bike but I’m not an expert on this. Anyone who wants to withdraw a bid will have my blessing to do so.  Haviing said all of that, I believe its still a one of a kind find and to the right buyer would be even better. Good Luck bidding!!!

I can’t even begin to guess at the price on this bike. They have been gaining popularity and value on almost a daily basis. The USD is down so international buyers are buying. The bike is very clean but missing parts and not completely original. There’s so many variables on this one I can’t put a finger on it. I’m going to be following this auction close. You can too by clicking right here.

~Buck