40 years ago The first Kawasaki Superbike was born!

It was 41 years ago and Honda was kicking every other motorcycle in the butt.  Kawasaki decided it had enough of losing sales and races to their rivals Honda. They wanted to build a motorcycle that would leave the competition in the dust. Kawasaki new that there was no way another 750cc inline four was going to take over the bike world. So in secret they started developing a new bike that would be able to outrun the competition. The first thing they did was up the cc up to the unheard of 900cc.   They code named the bike New York Steak! The kawasaki z-1 was born!

Kawasaki debuted the new bike at the cologne motorcycle show in September of 1972.  They gave birth to a iconic motorcycle that even to this day will turn heads on any street corner.  The new 900 cc motor put out a astounding 84 hp and flew past the competition on every street corner in the united states.  This was the first shot in the horsepower wars between the big 4 makers (Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki) that is still going on to this day. Every year working to beat last years and the competition output. The machine had a 5 speed gear box and single disk front brake to stop the monster when she gets going to fast.

The z-1 motorcycle could be bought for the very reasonable sum of 1895$  For that price you could have the fastest motorcycle on the block.  Now days if you can find someone who is willing to part with their z-1  you can pay 10 times that much.   The 1972 Kawasaki z-1 established the manufacturer as one of the leading motorcycle producers in the world.  These reliable and well engineered machines were the future of motorcycles. They helped to build the status of Japanese manufactures as the best built motorcycles on the planet.   Having rode a z-1 many times over the years I can say it is one of the wildest rides out there.  Tell us about your z-1 experiences in the comment sections.

 

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