Original 1973 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale
Honda may have stolen Kawasaki’s thunder when they launched the groundbreaking CB750, signalling the beginning of the end for the European manufacturers’ dominance of the large-displacement motorcycle market. Kawasaki was already working on their own 750 four when the CB was released, and had to go back to the drawing board, come up with something to set themselves apart, or forever be stigmatized as the “me too” of the Japanese manufacturers.
And as we all know, bigger is better…
Released in 1973 with a full 903cc’s of displacement the Kawasaki Z1 was far and away the most powerful Japanese four cylinder available, producing 82hp and pushing the bike to a top speed of 130. In addition, the bike even handled relatively well although, like many Japanese machines of the time, it was happiest ripping along in a straight line.
But while it was an excellent machine that did the business with no fuss and sold well, that solidity was also it’s downfall: the Z1 was eminently usable, and owners used them mercilessly on track, street, and strip. Cheap and fast, people converted them, hot-rodded them, and left them to languish in barns and sheds and backyards when newer, flashier machines came along. So now, as prices rise, it’s become pretty hard to find nice, original machines. Like this one.
From the original listing: Original 1973 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale
This bike is being reoffered due to buyer not paying. No out of country bidders please. You are bidding on a 1973 Z1-900 with clear Indiana title. The frame has some acid etching for overactive voltage regulator, mainly on swing arm. I have replaced the voltage regulator with a U.O.S. one. I rode the bike one last time about 10 miles, seems to have fixed the problem, but haven’t taken it on any long haul since. Pipes are very clean, missing two baffles, I had a 4-1 header on it. Put pipes back on to sell. Paint is original, look at pictures, has some imperfections. Bike had large crash bar but was replaced with chrome engine guards. There are two marks on frame where old bars were, see pictures. Chrome on motor parts is pitted in spots but chrome on pipes, fenders, rims, etc. is very nice. Missing seat latch pin on pan, lock works fine. Now the good parts; bike has been pampered by me and the previous owner. Has tank sealed and new petcock, fuel ling, filter. Carbs are smooth bore and have just been cleaned. Fresh tune up. All lights and turn signals work and cluster lights also. I have a 16” rim on back and upgraded shocks, rides nice. I left the motor paint alone to show the original condition of this bike. It starts easily and shifts and stops as nice as it looks. Comes with orinal 1973 owners manual, hard to find. Playboy sticker can be removed with heat gun. E-mail me is you have any question. You can buy Z-1’s redone, but what did they start with. This is your chance to buy a 1973 that is very nice and original. This bike will sell with no reserve, fair starting price.
This is a very solid example and, as the seller suggests: it’s only original once. The Z1 is becoming more popular for restorations and resomods, with a huge following in it’s native Japan, with companies like Bull Dock and Sanctuary turning out gorgeous machines. But collectors prize originality, and this bike has it.