Magazine Cover Feature – 1977 Kawasaki Z1000 A1 Restomod

In Japan, Sport by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

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First introduced towards the end of ‘76, the Kawasaki Z1000 — or KZ1000 as it was known in some markets — was a 1,015cc bored out version of its predecessor’s air-cooled, 903cc, DOHC, four-cylinder engine. The Z1000’s 83hp (at 8,000rpm) went through a five-speed transmission with a wet multi-disc clutch. The bike also got improved suspension, and new braking hardware with dual discs out front and a single disc in back.

Despite its larger displacement, the Z1K’s top-speed was just shy of 125mph, placing it on par with the three-quarter liter four banger superbikes from Team Green’s fellow Japanese competitors. The 1,015cc Kawa did accelerate quickly though, with decent 0-60, 0-100, and 1/4 mile standing-start run times. The model was made tamer via (smaller) 26mm Mikuni VM26SS carbs, and a new four-into-two exhaust setup. The Z1000 was touted for its all-around smooth and easygoing nature that allowed for comfortable commuting as well as a good time in the canyons. With a little tuning, the Z1000’s race prowess could be unlocked too — a feat famously demonstrated by Hideo “Pops” Yoshimira.

The first generation Z1000 was known as the A1, which was replaced by the A2 in ‘78, followed by the A3 (or MKII) for ‘79 and ‘80. Kawasaki also released a shaft driven version of the bike known as the Z1000ST, as well as a sportier, more powerful (+ 7hp) cafe’d version of the model dubbed the Z1R — supposedly introduced to take aim at BMW’s R90S.

This particular 1977 A1 specimen has undergone an extremely thorough and professional restoration from the UK’s Motorcycle Restoration Company — a five-man operation specializing in bringing classic two-wheelers back to their former glory. Like much of the shop’s work — including a stunning Egli Vincent cafe build and a world-record-breaking, Peel Dolphin fairing’d, MLG-tuned 1961 BMW R69S racer — this refreshed Z1000 was featured on the cover of a magazine, (in this case the July 2017 issue of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Magazine):

Every inch of this build has been painstakingly gone over, bringing this ‘77 example back to its factory self from over 40 years-ago. The bike remains largely stock, with the exception of a few tasteful mods such as an aftermarket aluminum swing-arm paired with dual Ohlins shocks. Additionally, the stock respiratory equipment has been replaced with Keihin CR carbs, and a full four-into-one chrome Harris “Works Collection” exhaust. Other minor details include a fender eliminator kit, steel-braided lines, a more modern front fender, and hidden beneath the hinges seat is a neat little engraved golden plaque from the shop denoting model, VIN, etc.

According to the ad, approximately £20,000 ($25K) went into this “spare-no-expense” restoration. On top of project progress photos, professional studio photos of the completed bike, and a full build list, the owner also has all the invoices and paperwork adding up to the aforementioned £20k figure — which doesn’t include the cost of the original donor bike itself. The seller claims this example — which is currently in the possession of its fifth owner — was previously insured for £24K.

Since the overhaul’s completion, a little under 2,500-miles (4,000km) have been put on the bike, though it’s said to remain in pristine condition.

You can find this 1977 Kawasaki Z1000 A1 restomod for sale here on Car and Classic (UK) in Saffron, Walden, England with a price of £15,500 (or $19,600), or find it posted more recently here on TheBikeShed with a £500 ($650) discount at £15,000 (or $18,950).

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