1970's Superbike Restoration by Proper Bikes

PROPER BIKES RESTORATION

Proper Bikes maintain very high standards and all the motorcycles offered fall into one of two categories. They are either unrestored originals in outstanding condition or they are fully restored to an exceptionally high standard.

During 34 years of restoring cars and motorcycles, the emphasis has always been on getting as close to perfection as possible. This has been demonstrated in the reputation achieved by Eagle E-Types and the extraordinary acclaim given to the Eagle Speedster and Low Drag GT. That experience and attention to detail goes into each Proper Bikes restoration.

The  Kawasaki Z1A restoration and modification

  • Kawasaki Z1A Special

    The Proper Bikes Kawasaki Z1A special is seen in this gallery at various stages throughout the restoration and upgrading process.

    The same philosophy is used to create this high performing classic motorcycle that Paul Brace used to create the Eagle Speedster - Jeremy Clarksons favourite car of all time.


  • The Frame

    Unnecessary brackets and clutter were removed from the frame and all the areas vulnerable to the notorious Kawasaki frame flex were braced and gusseted before powder coating.

    The result is a clean, tidy rigid frame that is a major contribution to the faultless handing of this machine.


  • Frame Assembly

    The rear dampers were from a modern Kawasaki Zephyr when first modified but have recently been replaced by the ultimate units available - Ohlins. 

    The top mounting lugs have been repositioned to rake them forwards and the old damper mounts have been utilised as indicator stubs.

     


  • Line Masking

    It is absolutely critical that the stripes on Z1A's are precisely positioned for the finished effect to look pleasing and correct.

    The famous Kawasaki Z1 tail piece has been repositioned on this project making a full mock up even more essential than normal for laying the masking lines.


  • Painting

    The tail piece has been modified and subtly re-shaped to enable mounting it slightly kicked up at the rear. This accentuates the original Kawasaki Z1 styling cue. 

    Andy Sharp is painting the gold stripe over the black base before lacquer coats in this frame.


  • Striping

    The paint finish consists of a black base with gold pearl before lacquer and, in the sunshine, the effect is very special.

    The stripes are painted onto the base black before lacquering. The paint was applied to perfection by Andy Sharp of Moto Legends Paintwork. Andy also painted the Eagle Speedster.


  • Custom Wheels

    The wheels on even the biggest Superbikes from the '70's look narrow today. These are a set of custom built aluminium rimmed wheels that are wide as you can fit between standard forks and the period box section swinging arm. 

    They look just right and also enable the use of wider modern tyres which improve the handling remarkably.


  • Instruments

    With the new hand made redline applied and some careful cleaning the result is crisp and fresh. 

    The instrument cases were originally painted black but these chrome covers were a popular period alteration and still look good today.


  • Chrome

    The headlamp bowl has been chromed to match the instrument covers.

    The entire instrument cluster has been raised and raked back towards the rider to exaggerate the original Z1 style which was avante garde and distinctive in 1973.


  • Mock Up

    Shown here in a loosely mocked up state the Kawasaki is in very good company in front of a very special all aluminium special bodied Jaguar E-Type coupe - Eagle E-Types latest special project.

    It is important that parts are fitted accurately in position before final finishes are applied in case further adjustments are required first.


  • Engine Porting

    The engine has more recently been re-bored to 1045cc using Wiseco pistons. 

    The inlet ports have been opened out to match the new larger 34mm Mikuni RS carburettors and the engine now pulls incredibly hard from very low revs and continues to pull hard through to the redline. Idle and pick up is greatly improved over standard as well.


  • Exhaust Baffle

    The exhaust system was especially imported from Japan and is beautifully made. 

    Despite the road race baffle being specified when ordered the diameter was modest and restrictive. The custom made baffle now fitted allows a lot more flow and the sound is fabulous without being offensively loud.  


  • Custom Components

    Many parts are handmade especially for the project such as the polished aluminium chain guard. Custom additions include the cast aluminium passenger footpeg hangers.  

    Billet aluminium components have been anodized to a gold colour and some parts, such as the period Raask rearsets have been custom modified to suit the style of this particular Z1A.