Kawasaki's Z1 summed up the spirit of seventies super biking. It burst into the decade and dominated the era with looks and performance that put it way ahead of the opposition.
Low Number of Owners
Correct Numbers Throughout
Original Tools & Handbook
Very Rare Opportunity
The Z1 remained the fastest and most charismatic motorcycle from 1972 right through to its final evolution, the Z900, in 1976. The charisma never waned and it has only got more appealing as the years have past.
It was called The King, and for years it had no pretenders to its crown. With over 80 bhp and a top speed of over 130 mph it provided some big numbers for its day.
Despite the high power rating the double overhead cam, four cylinder engine was under-stressed and became the definitive 'bullet proof´ power unit. This led to it generating a spectacular racing and record portfolio around the world as tuners and racers squeezed out it’s full potential. In 1973, at Daytona Speedway, Florida, a Z1 set a class world record of 150.8 mph for ten kilometres and went on to average 109.6 mph for 24 Hours, another world record. Drag racers and sprinters, led by Holland´s importer Henk Vink, supercharged the engine to dominate their own sport. British chassis makers like the Rickman Brothers produced frames to tame the power and make it the fastest on straight roads and the curves.
This is the first and most collectable model and it is a truly incredible example. It has never been restored and stands now just how it left the factory over 40 years ago excepting the upper exhaust silencers which have been replaced with genuine Kawasaki items. Inevitably there are signs of age but it is incredibly rare for all the original parts to remain fitted and, if not for those silencers, this would be 100% original and surely unique.
As confirmed by marque expert Dave Orritt, author of the Z1 buyers guide, all the numbers are correct on this unusual example from engine and wheel rims through to swing arm and brake disc. Every part down to the finest detail remains original and correct and it may even be unique that there are no replica parts fitted whatsoever. Most bright and shiny Z1's have naturally been restored at least once by now and had many pattern parts fitted during the course of work. This is sometimes due to original components having been changed or modified over the years or, understandably, parts being in a condition that is too bad to restore. Thanks goodness for the pattern parts that keep these icons on the road but, if it is possible to restore original items - especially if they are off the actual bike being restored, it is a far nicer and better solution and the result is always a lot more special and desirable.
This example doesn't have to be restored however. It can be used and enjoyed exactly how it is, embracing the patina (read chips, scuffs and a puff of smoke here and there!) or can be the very best possible starting point for an easy restoration. Nothing on this machine appears to require anything beyond straightforward refurbishment to make perfect and it would certainly be a joy to turn this machine into one of the very, very best Z1’s in existence - and certainly one of the most original.