Tagged: Z1

Nickel-Plated Rarity: 1978 Rickman CR900 for Sale

1975 Rickman CR900 R Front

Today’s Kawasaki-powered Rickman CR900’s most distinguishing feature, aside from its overall impressive condition, is that stunning paint. Colors like this can be difficult to photograph, but I think the seller has done an excellent job with this unusual paint.

1975 Rickman CR900 L Rear

The “900” obviously indicates the displacement, as the bike was powered by Kawasaki’s powerful 903cc Z1 engine, but stuffed into a gorgeous, stiff nickel-plated frame that significantly improved on the original machine’s merely adequate handling. Which makes sense, since handling improvements were Rickman’s stock in trade. 1975 Rickman CR900 L Front

Started by Don and Derek Rickman, the company began by building off-road racing bikes designed around existing engines and transmissions. By the 1960’s, they’d started building roadcourse and streetbikes, at first based around British twins but later using the new Japanese multis. This was a perfect marriage, since the Honda CB and Kawasaki Z1 were powerful and reliable, but didn’t really have the frames or suspension to make them competitive on track.

1975 Rickman CR900 L Fairing

It’s not really clear how many CR900’s were actually built: Rickman sold these as kits, sans engine, transmission, and electricals. And while you could buy them complete through various shops, many were built at home in the proverbial shed, making the exact numbers built difficult to discern.

1975 Rickman CR900 Cockpit

Regardless, Rickmans of any stripe are hard to find in this condition, regardless of powerplant choice.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

You maybe  looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet.  This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The  bike is titled as a 1978. The  I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.  

Almost all of the  Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. 

The  900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. 

The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman.  Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use.  The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and  have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value.

1975 Rickman CR900 Engine

Bidding is up north of $15,000 with four days left on the auction and plenty of interest. Rickman’s show up fairly regularly for sale, but this is the nicest I’ve ever seen. I’m not in the market for a vintage bike at the moment, but I bike like this would definitely be in the running if I had the cash…

-tad

1975 Rickman CR900 R Rear

Pristine Japanese Superbike: 1974 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale

1974 Kawasaki Z1 R Side Rear2 The muscular Kawasaki Z1 almost started its life as an “also ran.” It must be frustrating to spend years working on a new motorcycle [Codename: “New York Steak”] in secret, only to have your rivals beat you to the market by the narrowest of margins. But that’s exactly what happened to Kawasaki when the revolutionary Honda CB750 was introduced just ahead of their own 750.

1974 Kawasaki Z1 L Side Rear

So what to do, now that Honda had stolen their thunder? They knew that to continue on-course and introduce their own 750cc four-cylinder right after Honda would have their range-topping motorcycle looking decidedly less exciting. So they bided their time and introduced the Z1 in 1973 figuring if they couldn’t be first to market, they’d be the fastest bike on the block. 1974 Kawasaki Z1 Clocks

Thinking that “bigger is better,” their 903cc four made 82hp and could push the bike to a top speed of 130mph. The new Z1 was king of street and strip and, if you wanted to go fast this was the bike to have. Handling was decent as well, although that was never really the point with this bike.

1974 Kawasaki Z1 L Side Tank

Nice examples are very rare today and steadily increasing in value, because so many were raced, crashed, abandoned, blown up, and turned into post-apocalyptic biker gang machines… Bit of film trivia: almost all of the motorcycles used in the original “Mad Max” were Z1’s donated to the production by Kawasaki.

This one, however, combines original paint with an otherwise thorough mechanical restoration and looks to be one of the nicest, useable examples I’ve seen in a while.

1974 Kawasaki Z1 R Frame DetailFrom the original eBay listing: 1974 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale

Here is an absolutely stunning 1974 model Z1 with a very low VIN. It is number 325 off of the assembly line for the 1974 model. This bike is such an early model that in fact it was actually manufactured in July, 1973. The VIN on the frame, engine, and title match as they should and it has a clear South Carolina title. I have owned this bike for several years now and it has just had a recent restoration. Everything on this bike works as it did when brand new. The engine runs perfectly from idle to redline. The engine does not smoke and there is no abnormal noise. This bike handles great and accelerates quickly with lots of power. The frame is straight and never altered. Without a doubt the successful bidder will enjoy owning this beautiful motorcycle!

This bike comes with a very rare period correct Pops Yoshimura 4 – 1 header. This header was on this bike when I bought it. This highly sought after header is in exceptionally good condition. It is one of the early Pops Yoshimura headers with brazed on collars on the head pipes, indicative of when he first got started. Beautiful header! Awesome sound! I can install a new stock reproduction exhaust if your country requires a stock exhaust system due to import regulations, (for an additional fee of course).

The Kawasaki Z1 came new from the factory with Dunlop Gold Seal tires, F6 front and K87 rear. I was fortunate enough, (and with enough cash) to obtain a set of Dunlop Gold Seal tires from a 1973 model bike that was salvaged in 1973 with less than 500 miles on it. These tires have been stored in climate control all these years and they are still soft and pliable with no cracks and no defects! These tires are unobtainable today. This bike comes with original Dunlop Gold Seal Tires as it did when it was brand new!

This bike received a thorough restoration and meticulous attention went into every detail. Nothing was rushed and nothing was overlooked. This bike was in good condition before the restoration, (not rusty abused junk). Every effort was made not to over-restore this bike. The tank and body set are original paint with light patina. Most parts on this bike are original including all of the correct date codes.  I have hundreds of photos that document every detail of the restoration. In fact I will include a nice PowerPoint slide show of the restoration.

I’m a sucker for good-quality videos like the one included here, although the “Hawaii 5-0” music might be a bit much. You can hear the screaming exhaust perfectly well over the music so you know the seller has their priorities straight! There’s quite a bit more information over at the original listing, along with additional high-quality images, so take a look if 70’s superbikes get you revving.

-tad

1974 Kawasaki Z1 R Side

Brains and Brawn: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

1978 Rickman Kawasaki L Side Front

Vintage bikes often appeal to riders of “a certain age” who grew up with these bikes and have a nostalgic soft-spot for them: vintage bikers naturally relate to vintage bikes. Some are just riders who love to tinker, while others just love the quirky looks and accessible performance of the machines from a simpler times and want the feel of a vintage motorcycle without all the “leaking oil on the floor” and “having to adjust the carburetors while idling at a stoplight” malarkey that sometimes goes along with vintage Triumphs and Nortons, making something like this Kawasaki-powered Rickman the perfect solution.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side Fairing

Don and Derek Rickman created a line of dirt-racing motorcycles in the 1950’s and 1960’s, packaging bespoke frames and suspension packages around engines and transmissions from other manufacturers. Their line eventually expanded to include roadcourse and street machines, and they’re most famous these days for their line of big-displacement four cylinder bikes built around engines from Honda and Kawasaki.

In the 60’s and 70’s, suspension tuning was something of a “black art”, and while Japanese motorcycles were famous for their refined engineering, their handling was generally not on par with the European brands. So companies like Rickman used took that existing engineering and improved it by creating a chassis that could handle the power effectively.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Front

Bikes were generally sold in kit form: Rickman supplied a new, lightweight nickel-plated frame and aerodynamic bodywork, the buyer supplied engine, electricals, and other assorted bits to put the whole thing together. The results speak for themselves and combine the best of old-world British craftsmanship and racing expertise with powerful, reliable engines from Japan.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

You maybe  looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet.  This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The  bike is titled as a 1978. The  I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.  

Almost all of the  Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. 

The  900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. 

The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman.  Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use.  The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and  have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value. I have the clear title in hand and can assist with shipping.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Controls

Although I’d take issue with the seller’s statements that this is “one of the rarest bikes on the planet” and “this bike performs as good as any modern bike today” it is an unusual machine in superlative condition and will definitely handle better than the Z1 from which it borrows its powerplant. I’m not really sure exactly how many Rickman Kawasakis were actually produced: in many cases, these were sold as kits, not complete bikes, and a whole menu of upgrades were available, making history a bit hard to verify. These are very cool and desirable bikes, but I think the seller may be aiming a bit high with this one: there is plenty of time left on the listing with a Buy it Now price of $25,000.

-tad

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side

Evolution: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R for Sale

1978 Kawasaki Z1R R Side

Overshadowed by the obviously more exotic and suicidal turbocharged Z1R-TC, the Kawasaki Z1R was an evolution of Kawasaki’s Z1, a bike that is often overshadowed by the CB750 that was introduced first and stole all the “everyman’s multi” thunder.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R R Side Front

In fact, Kawasaki’s own 750 four was only a couple months behind the CB. But Kawasaki figured, that, if they couldn’t be first to market, they’d be first everywhere else, so they waited a couple years to introduce their own four-cylinder monster. With 903cc’s of  air/oil-cooled power, the Z1 blew the CB into the weeds in terms of outright performance. Along with the H1 and H2 two-strokes, the Z1 ensured that Kawasaki showrooms were fully of truly lethal machinery to kill the weak or foolish among the motorcycling fraternity…

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Dash

By the time the Z1R was introduced, Kawasaki’s basic platform was pretty outdated, with dual-shock rear suspension and heavy construction. The ice-blue paint compliments the angular, cafe-racer inspired styling and even extends to the rectangular fuel-filler cap. But although it was primarily a cosmetic update of the Z1, the Z1R’s evolutionary design featured meaningful mechanical changes as well. Cast wheels and a reinforced frame helped firm up the handling, and triple-disc brakes brought the heavy package to a stop consistently, even if performance is lacking by today’s standards. Power was largely left alone, aside from a displacement-bump to 1015cc. Which was just fine, considering Kawasaki’s place as the sand-kicking bully of the era.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R for Sale

Offered today is a great example of a original first year production KAWASAKI Z1R It is a original bike with all its original parts included notice the low production number , please watch you tube video of this rare and collectable machine !! 

This rare first year Kawasaki Z1R numbers matching original motorcycle ,its only original once !!!  a  vintage  collectable is a must for that kawasaki collector she runs and shifts  FANTASTIC  !!great  for those local jaunts, long rides or the infamous bike shows, a real winner.!!.

These bikes are hard to find ,expensive to get them correct ,  this bike is turn key and ready to go !!!! This condition is highly sought after great for the beginner and experienced collectors. A must have for anyone’s collection .GET ON AND RIDE turnkey bike .

As you can see from the photos this bike exudes quality and performance with that  70’s vintage look.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R L Side Front

There’s also a very nice, clearly narrated walk-around and startup video available here.

Interestingly, you can see the seller’s other Z1R in the background of his photos, which he states is a big reason behind the sale. I’ve never really understood the idea of collecting multiples of the same car or motorcycle. And to me, one of the coolest things about motorcycles is how relatively small they are, how little space they take up, at least compared to cars. So you can have more of them! There are so many cool modern and vintage machines out there, it’s hard to imagine why someone would want two of the exact same bike… But to each his or her own, and this one certainly looks like it’s in very nice condition, considering it’s supposedly original. Not flawless, but about as perfect as you’re likely to find this side of an expensive restoration.

While period reviews were positive about the changes made to the bike’s handling compared to the older versions, this is still pretty far from a canyon-carver. At almost 550lbs with a full tank of fuel they’re very heavy for sportbikes, but that powerhouse engine gives it straight-line performance and the weight might just help you keep the front end down as you blast away from stoplights…

-tad

1978 Kawasaki Z1R L Side

Muscular Survivor: 1975 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale

1975 Kawasaki Z1 L Front

Café racer-style conversions often result in bikes with more style than actual function: below-the-triple clamp clip on bars look really cool but they’re murder on the rider. Rearsets can be cramped, and those thin seats don’t have very much padding… So, if you’re looking for a classic ride that’s more accommodating for your, uh… classic joints, then maybe a “musclebike” like Kawasaki’s Z1 is really more your speed. And with the return of bikes like Yamaha’s XJR1300 to the US, your choice could even be considered “trendy…”

1975 Kawasaki Z1 L Side

With an upright riding position, wide bars, and a smooth, torquey inline-four, hot-rods like the Z1 set the standard for performance in the 1970’s. While the owners of European motorcycles had to make do with abstract qualities like “handling” and “brakes”, the big four-cylinder bikes from Japan had it where it really counted on the straight-line streets of America. Something you could easily measure with a stopwatch, or in tire-smoke as you pulled away from every stoplight on a Friday night.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 Gauges

Introduced in 1973, the Z1 might seem like a belated response to Honda’s CB750, but it was in fact developed concurrently. But when Honda’s bike was first to market, Kawasaki went back to the drawing board, and took a page from the Hot Rod Handbook, deciding that there was no replacement for displacement: the Z1’s 750 was punched out to 903cc’s, made 82hp, and could reach a top speed of 130mph.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 R Side

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale

This Z1 has low original miles of 18,381 and is in superb running condition.  Lights, turn signals etc., are in good functioning order.
This is a remarkable original factory numbers matching bike, with some light restoration to round it out.  The original factory paint is nice and glossy and has only minor stone chips in the left underside of the tank. Much of the rear wheel was restored with fresh chroming of tire rim and correct new brass nippled spokes.

New sprocket tire and chain were added as well.
The exhaust has factory stamping but the left upper exhaust pipe is a DOREMI.
The valve cover has been polished not chromed the rear fender and front fender were disassembled and re-chromed as new!
The seat is a new reproduction seat and pretty much that and the one pipe are the only reproduction parts on this Z1
No surprises here just and honest original survivor nothing has been repainted!

Unfortunately, the Kawi’s appliance-like reliability meant that riders didn’t need to cherish them, and they didn’t inspire the kind of devoted care that the more idiosyncratic European brands enjoyed. With no need to join the Cult of Desmo or learn the Mysteries of the Isolastic, riders were free to use and abuse their bikes to their heart’s content, stopping only to top off with gas and replace rear tires. Eventually, many of them ended up with an accidental Mad Max aesthetic before they were parked up and discarded.

1975 Kawasaki Z1 R Pipes

Now, as interest in bikes of this era increases, nice examples are very rapidly escalating in value. Not long ago, you could pick up decent Z1’s for a song, but those days are gone and even basket-cases are commanding real money. This bike certainly isn’t perfect, but represents what many buyers want to see: a bit of period patina with a light refresh.

So buy it and ride it, or park it up and fire up GoogleTranslate and head over to the Sanctuary website for some exotic resto-mod parts! Bidding is very active with very little time left, so jump in quick!

-tad

1975 Kawasaki Z1 Front Detail

 

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

Original 1973 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale

1973 Kawasaki Z1 L Side

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…

1973 Kawasaki Z1 L Engine

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.

1973 Kawasaki Z1 R Engine

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.

1973 Kawasaki Z1 R Hub

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.

-tad

1973 Kawasaki Z1 R Side

1978 Kawasaki Z1RTC 1000 Original Turbo Bike

1978 Kawasaki Z1RTC L Side

With all of the weird and quirky turbo bikes that were running around in the early 80’s, it’s easy to forget the bike that started the craze: Kawasaki’s Z1RTC.  Basically a way for Kawasaki to stimulate sales of the moribund Z1 while waiting for the GPz1100 to be developed, the bike was really a kit, a collaboration between Kawasaki and the Turbo Cycle Company, who took complete Z1’s and bolted on a primitive turbocharger system.

Upgrades to the engine internals that would today be considered mandatory were optional extras in 1978, and buyers had to sign liability and powertrain waivers [with witnesses!] and before riding off astride their whistling, explode-y death machines.

1978 Kawasaki Z1RTC Dash

By all accounts, it was an exciting bike to ride: the Z1’s suspension was primitive and the frame was flexible, leading to wobble-prone handling in the stock bike, so the addition of 50% more power hardly improved stability.

The crude turbocharging provided laggy power delivery below 7,000 rpm and then a wild rush of power before the 8,500 rpm redline, with no limiter to stop the insanity.  Riders of the period would actually wait for passing opportunities with the throttle open, dragging the brakes to keep the boost up.

All very entertaining, but not exactly a refined experience.  Sort of like a big, heavy H1, but without the angry, two-stroke buzz and an even greater likelihood of catastrophic engine failure.  Later turbo bikes from Honda and Yamaha utilized fuel injection to help make the experience less explosive, and the Kawasaki drifted into history.

1978 Kawasaki Z1RTC L Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1RTC for Sale

You are bidding on a 1978 Kawasaki Z1RTc Turbo Original bike.  Matching numbers KZT00D-006267 and KZT00DE-006240.  Showing 3329 miles but see that the speedo cable is not hooked up.  Bike Starts up and runs good. Bike is in Nice original Shape for it age.  Could use some cosmetics.  Bottom of the gas tank has some chips in paint.  Left side of fairing has been repaired as well as the Dash.    Left Fork ear is also broke.  Left rear peg has got into exhaust see pictures.  Seat cover has some tears.    Look like original tires but has age cracks.  Has a small dent in right side of tank looks like from a knee.  Turbo #’s are 370  F 40 A  10081159  TC 274 99.  This would make an excellent rider or a great piece to any collection.  Only around 500 originals built. 

This particular example is no concourse-ready trailer queen.  It’s got a few blemishes and cracks in the bodywork, but looks complete, original, and is claimed to “run good”.

So ride this weird and potentially lethal classic and terrify GSX-R1000 owners while rocketing away from them at stoplights or restore it to its former glory and store it in a heated garage.

-tad

1978 Kawasaki Z1RTC R 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