Needs Paint – 1978 Kawasaki Z1R

In Japan, Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

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Post Sale Update: This Z1R sold for $8,100 after 8 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.

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: KZT00D007556) shows 47,375 miles on the odometer and while it looks OK in some photos, a close look confirms the seller’s assessment that “the paint has many flaws from age and looks better in some of the photos than it really is”. Thankfully, the rest of the bike seems to be in good shape. The seller is the second owner, and he/she notes that the tires should be replaced and there may be some “minor sorting” required if it’s ridden on more than “short jaunts”. There’s a couple of period mods – individual air filters and a Bassani exhaust. The sale includes the original California blue plate, though the bike is actually registered on a new white plate. The reserve has already been met, and while I think this bike needs some cosmetic work to truly stand out, the current bid may seem reasonable seeing as I’ve recently seen repainted examples go for $11,099 and $11,500. You can find one for cheaper, but it’s not like there are hundreds of these in the used market at any given time…

Find this Z1R for sale in Costa Mesa, California with bidding up to $7,490

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