The Kawasaki Z1 is a four-cylinder, air-cooled, double-overhead camshaft, carbureted, chain-drive, two passenger motorcycle introduced in 1972 by Kawasaki. Following the introduction of Honda’s CB750 in 1968, the Z1 helped popularize the in-line, cross-frame four-cylinder, a format that became well known as the Universal Japanese Motorcycle or UJM.
The Z1 was noted for being the first large-capacity Japanese four-cylinder motorcycle to use the double-overhead-camshaft system on a production motorcycle. When it was introduced, only the MV Agusta 750 featured this system, and was a limited-production, very expensive machine, as opposed to the Kawasaki, which was less than half the price.
This Z1 Cafe Racer was built by a retired marine engineer who took great care in developing the Z1 into the bike you see here. The frame was strengthened, braced and a JMC swingarm fitted. The motor was upgraded with a 1045cc Wiseco Big Bore kit, the head was gas flowed, 34mm carburettors were fitted, as was an oil cooler, carbon cans, Dymag 18” wheels, Pretec 6 pot calipers, Hyper Pro fork springs, SPA multi-function speedo/tacho, Harris Harrier Fairing, Cibie headlights, renthal sprockets, and Ohlins rear shock absorbers.
As featured in Motorcycle News, Motorcycle Mechanics and Classic Bike, this is a stunning creation and a true testament to its talented builder.