Back in Black – 1980 Kawasaki Z1R

In Japan, Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

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1-26-21 Update: 3+ years later, this Z1R is back up for sale and the new owner has bravely gone with a no reserve listing. He purchased it on eBay the last time it was featured here, and has since covered approximately 600 miles with it, though he notes that it “has been stored the past 3 years, it will need some attention mainly servicing the carb in order to get the bike to run properly, however I have ridden the motorcycle in my neighborhood this past weekend before posting this auction. The bike starts, runs, shifts, etc. and there are no mechanical issues that I’m aware of besides requiring routine service before you can take it out on the road.” Find this Z1R for sale in Buford, Georgia with bidding up to $12,000 here on eBay.


Post Sale Update: This Z1R sold for $16,000 after 38 bids on eBay.


The Kawasaki Z1R was the brainchild of Wayne Moulton, known as the “Father of the Japanese Cruiser.” His belief was that a solid motorcycle could be moderately tweaked to form four versions, one of which is a sport-tourer. So he took the KZ1000 and turned it into this! The first year of production was 1978, and all the bikes were adorned in Starlight Blue. Kawi actually skipped the 1979 model year for the Z1R and brought it back in 1980, this time in black. The black bikes are much more rare – 3,309 units versus over 17k of the blue.

The sport-tourer concept that Moulton introduced to this bike included a smaller front wheel, and the cockpit fairing – a first for a Japanese production bike. For 1980, Kawasaki made several changes: increased trail, a new frame, bigger fuel tank, higher ground clearance, and more. Weight increased to 552 pounds dry but a change in gearing meant it accelerated quicker. For more on the Z1-R, check out this article on Motorcycle Classics.

This example (VIN: KZT00D018838) has 3,288 miles and it’s in excellent shape thanks to a cosmetic restoration by the seller. The only flaw seems to be a small dent in the left muffler but everything else is said to work and “she purrs like a Kawasaki should”, whatever that means. The seller says he’s been a motorcycle mechanic for over 35 years. Find this Z1R for sale in Miami, Florida with bidding up to $5,000 and the reserve not yet met

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