Restored – 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC

In Japan, Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

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Post Sale Update: This Kawi did not meet reserve despite 26 bids up to $15,855 on eBay in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


The Kawasaki Z1R-TC was the first ‘production’ turbocharged motorcycle, and was an absolute game-changer. Only 500 of these bikes were produced: 250 in the first generation in the usual baby blue color, and 250 in the second generation with the black Molly Design paint scheme and a few mechanical changes. While the second gen had less peak power, I think it’s the way to go thanks to a slight bump in reliability and, of course, the paint. Here’s an example that’s claimed to have been given a “nut & bolt restoration.”

TC2 incorporated a better 4-1 header, improved lubrication, and a milder 6 psi boost setting (still adjustable by the owner for maximum grenade potential, though). Turbo lag was reduced, as was overall power, but reliability was improved. The proper internal reinforcements for any sort of longevity were still optional.

Other changes for the second generation included improvements to the lubrication system and header, but the Z1R-TC was still for maniacs. They were sold without a warranty and were able to get around emissions requirements of the time. Built through a partnership with Turbo Cycle Corporation, the Z1R-TC was sold in limited numbers through Kawasaki dealerships. If you want to learn more about this fascinating bike, Jason Cormier of OddBike has done one of his usual extensive profiles the model here.

This example (VIN: 4054010315) has 8,364 miles on the odometer, but it has not been started since the restoration was done, which means you’re now on the hook to break in the motor and sort out the inevitable niggles that come with a complete tear-down and rebuild. The sale includes the Z1-R owner’s manual and TC supplement, and the seller notes “authenticity verified with warranty purhaser [sic] certificate documenting VIN & Motor number.”

Find this turbo Kawi for sale in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with bidding up to $10,099 and the reserve not yet met

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