8-8 Update: Despite 38 bids on eBay up to $61,100, this Kawasaki Z1 900 did not meet reserve. It’s been relisted with an opening bid of $25,000 (and better photos)
Before Honda released the instant classic CB750, Kawasaki was also working on a a four-cylinder, 750cc sportbike – except Kawi thought it was going to be first to market. They were thus shocked when Honda released the CB750, forcing them to go back to the drawing board until they could bump up displacement to 903cc. When Kawi was developing the Z1, the project was known internally by the code name “New York Steak”.
That 903cc engine was the most powerful Japanese 4-cylinder 4-stroke ever built, at the time. 82 horsepower yielded a top speed of 130 miles per hour. For more information on the Z1, your best bet is KawasakiZ1.com.
This specific Kawasaki Z1 (VIN:Z1F-00151) is #151, apparently built on the 1st day of production. It has just shy of 17,000 miles and is complete, though the right side reflector and front turn signals aren’t shown in the picture. The seller used to own #214 earlier, which has since gone to a museum. It’ll be interesting to see if this one goes to a similar future home.
Find this Kawasaki Z1 900 for sale in Franklin, Tennessee with bidding up to $46,600 and the reserve still not met (!)