#198 of 200 – 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Spirit of America

In Cruiser, Japan by AbhiLeave a Comment

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Post Sale Update: This “Spirit of America” sold for $8,200 after 23 bids on eBay.


In 1978, Kawasaki was the only Japanese manufacturer with a facility in the US. Kawi’s president (Dave Mehney) and Marketing Vice President (Dick Terrell) decided to highlight that with an “All-American Ride-away” – a program where Kawi customized 200 of their KZ1000s with an American paint job and then had dealers fly in to ride the bikes between the Kawi plant in Lincoln, Nebraska to St. Louis, Missouri. Then they got to take the bikes back to their respective dealerships. This is example #196 of 200.

These KZ1000s were built in conjunction with Craig Vetter, who designed the front fairing. The bikes also got saddlebags, a luggage rack, engine guards, highway pegs, and the seat from a LTD model. For more information on these limited run, check out these series of pages from a magazine article scanned by a seller of a previous example I featured – if you’re looking for relative values, that other bike sold for a BIN of $11,111.

This example (VIN: KZT00A516296) has 3,394 miles on the odometer and it’s being offered by the second owner. He calls it “probably the most original complete” of these special editions that you’ll find as it comes with a complete history and all of the original paperwork. The seller serviced the bike so that it runs well, and there are very few flaws – rust holes on the underside of the exhaust and a scuff on the sidecover. Lastly, if you want to put miles on this bike you’ll want to replace the original tires.

Find this rare Kawi for sale in Laingsburg, Michigan with bidding up to $7,100 and the reserve not yet met

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