Kawasaki Z900 Z1 1973 AUCTION FINISHED

Kawasaki made an indelible mark on the world motorcycle scene back in 1972 with the unveiling of its 1973 Z1 model. The Z1 broke new ground as the first Japanese bike with a transverse-mount four-banger, and it’s widely recognised as the island nation’s first literbike with a 903 cc engine and thrilling performance for everyday riders.

The motorcycle field at the time had been shaped, first by Honda’s1968 CB750, then by Kawasaki's own two-cycle triple – the re-knowned Mach III – in 1969. Those two bikes set the stage for the emergence of the Z1. This heralded the age of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle and also marked the potential competition that the Japanese motorcycle market would pose to the status quo.

American and European manufacturers were all very well established, but the Z1 would represent a very real threat from the East, mainly due to its 900 Super Four engine and affordable price tag. Originally, the engine was slated to be smaller, but Honda’s “Dream” pressured upstart manufacturer Kawasaki to punch out the engine and up the displacement and performance.

While the public release of the Z1 was a momentous occasion, the bike had spent the previous racing season proving itself with a pair of world records at the Daytona track for endurance. It has long been said that if you want to sell bikes, you have to win races, and that certainly held true for Kawasaki’s Z1 back in the early Seventies.

Folks, the Z1 is the quintessential cruiser with a full-cradle frame and transverse, four-stroke, four-banger engine. Chrome and polished aluminium feature prominently across the design, starting with the bright steel in the laced rims and chrome front fender that rides between polished fork sliders and chrome inner fork tubes.

The hard-and-shiny finish continues into the tripletree and cyclops headlight housing with a chrome handlebar to finish out the front end. The round mirrors, along with their standoffs, provide a bit of contrast with a blackout paintjob.

A four-gallon teardrop tank establishes a gentle drop in the pattern-stitched bench seat. Stock passenger footpegs and a grab strap join with a chrome J.C. rail to complete the pillion’s accommodations.

A straight rear mud guard carries the rear light and plateholder underneath, and the latter doubles as a mudguard extension to contain the spray from the rear hoop. Mid-mount foot controls and mid-rise handlebars put the pilot in a comfortable upright riding position.

At 59-inches long, the wheelbase places the Z1 in the full-size cruiser sub-category. Laced wheels round out the rolling chassis and while the stock machine rolled with a 290 mm hydraulic disc brake up front and a 200 mm drum out back, a second disc-and-caliper combo was available as an accessory item

Originally, the Z1 was to have a 750cc mill, but Honda’s CB 750 forced Kawasaki to make some adjustments. In the end, the air-cooled engine wound up with both a 66 mm bore and stroke for a square layout and a 903cc total displacement. It rolled with both a kicker and push-button starter.

A bank of four carburettors controlled the induction, which made it more difficult to tune than the American and British twins, but that’s the trade off for the power that the inline-four brought to the table.

The Z1 produced 81 horsepower at 8,500 rpm backed up by 54.2 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission and chain-type final drive turned out a top speed in the 130-to-132 mph range. This made it faster than its occidental counterparts, which is yet another factor that endeared the Z1 to the masses and helped to catapult Japan into the frontrunners of worldwide motorcycle performance – a position it still enjoys to this day. The modern-day tribute is understandably more modern with a 948 cc engine, slipper-style clutch and traction control.

This particular example is a 1973 Kawasaki Z900 Z1, and let tell you this bike is the real deal. The Iconic Z1 Z900 motorcycle is a real blast from the past. If I describe this bike as out of the box, it still does not do it justice. It’s as if the bolts were tightened using cotton wool, is just that pristine.

Date of first registration in the UK was on the 01.11.2010 and is coloured in Candy Orange / Brown. It has covered on 27,230 miles from new and it looks like its covered 2,000 miles

Correct genuine Kawasaki Ignition switch with genuine Kawasaki Lion key, original seat with original perfect pan, correct Stanley marked indicator lens and correct Kaito Japan tail light lens. Everything is original from the tank, side panels, badges, airboxes, hose clips etc

All original Kawasaki numbered nuts bolts and hex fasteners fitted,Original 100% genuine hard to find owners manual still under the seat. Original Kawasaki Z1 toolkit complete with feeler gauges and correct embossed Kawasaki tool bag with the two stud fasteners.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Zoo Auctions completes all of the details about the lot from the seller, and we perform a level of due diligence through HPI checks and MOT history where available. However, it is the bidder’s responsibility to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description and complete any checks they feel is necessary before bidding on an auction. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All vehicles are checked through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft and has no finance owing