In 1984 if you wanted to go faster, you needed more cylinders. Honda’s CBX1000 and Kawasaki’s Z1300 are 12 pistons of sheer muscle.
At the time of writing, and to the very best of my knowledge, the world has yet to come to an end and doesn’t seem likely to over the next few days either. So the prophets of doom will soon have to cease their bleating and start picking on next year. Neither have we succumbed to life in a bleak dystopian nightmare monitored closely by a big brother totalitarian government, though some may argue that we’re heading in the right direction.
The only Armageddon approaching my direction is in the form of two very large motorcycles, at war with one another for some time, and both desperate to settle this row once and for all. Honda’s CBX1000 and Kawasaki’s Z1300 - what a lot of metal.
The two contenders are representatives of sparring Japanese giants, both too pig-headed to let the other win what is perhaps increasingly becoming an exercise in futility, and both proud enough to continue with their technological flag-waving that fewer people happen to notice each year. It’s true to say that since their respective launches neither manufacturer has sold the level of units that they had envisaged. (Even the gas-happy Yanks voted with their wallets for the more nimble alternative, and globally, the winner of this war is already Suzuki’s ultra-capable GS1000, so we’re almost fighting for a second place here). Nor have they changed forever the direction of top-end performance motorcycling. What they have done is unleash two of the most wonderfully potent, inspired, ingenious and insane muscle-bound masterpieces that motorcycling will be eternally grateful for. We can’t afford to buy them and we certainly can’t afford to run them, but God, how we want them.
Brave Benelli have limped off to lick their wounds, but these determined manufacturers have stuck to their respective guns and stubbornly moved forward in their own directions to inevitably meet up in this head-to-head with new, improved armoury. The sportier CBX has, admittedly one year ago, shed its brutal naked appearance in favour of a sleek, super-modern aerodynamic set of bodywork. It also boasts their Pro-Link mono-shock suspension system. Is it still the howling beast of old or are we witnessing the arrival of fancy plastics and a more touring-focused swan song?
Kawasaki, in a show of huge confidence, has left the Z1300 pretty much alone, sticking to what it knows best – making big muscle. This year’s model flaunts the future, digital fuel injection, and not a lot more save for slight modifications to the engine cases. Will it make the difference to keep the performance advantage over the aggressive Honda, while their owners are left trying to set up their bank of carburettors?
Continue the Classic Scrap: Honda CBX1000 vs. Kawasaki Z1300 - 2/3
Posted: 28/12/2008 at 17:43
I have also ridden both, the CBX before it's pro-link and 'softer' engine incarnation. In my view the CBX was definitely the better bike. The Z1300 always seemed to show its size and weight more than the CBX. But then as now it always comes down to personal preference.
Posted: 29/12/2008 at 22:26
Posted: 29/12/2008 at 22:43
Posted: 21/01/2011 at 05:12
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Posted: 31/07/2012 at 21:00
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