Kawasaki Z900 (1972 - 1975)

Manufacturer
Available from
1972 to 1975

User Reviews

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Overall Review

Ive owned 8-10 bikes over the last 25 years (KZ's,GPz's,Suzuki Katana's, Honda Interceptors, Yamaha Viragos,Harley Heritage's)and even discussed trading the ol Z1 in on a ZX14 Concours- but just like always before- even after a day long test ride on a 2008 Connie, I opted for my 40 yr old Zed- that probably says more for the bike than anything. The Z1's brute power, great looks, comfortable ride, dependability and cost of operation just cant be matched. The Z1's distentive exhaust note always grabs the attention of the faithful and the sheer thill of a twist of the thottle sending the front wheel skyward is beyond compare. There is a reason why people from around the world still seek out these 40 year old masterpieces- and only a single ride on the legend will bring a smile to even the most jaded rider

Strengths

The Z1 is one of those rare moments in history where everything comes together and the end result is years ahead of it's time. Not only was the Z1's technology exceptional but so was it's engineering. In the last 25 years I've had the honor of owning a legend. A bump of the starter brings the legend to life. Settle in and hang on, ready to go whenever the mood strikes. 36 mpg, 12.7 sec 1/4 mile et @ 117 mph(190+ kph)Very minimal maintance. Extremely dependable. One of the best looking bikes ever made-( mine Candy Brown/Orange)starts conversations everywhere we go.

Weaknesses

Although the Z1's engineering was years ahead of everyone elses, the saddle is very poor (I have the original seat on a shelf-where it belongs)and have replaced it with a Corbin. Another drawback to the Z1 is it's swingarm design. The rubber bushings deflect under heavy load (high speed cornering)and coupled with the twin shocks, causes a wobble that will demand the attention of even the most hardcore rider.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

'Last word' looks left Honda K1 looking dull. Great presence and respect flowed to the lucky rider. Total reliability. Easy maintenance and great riding pleasure. Fierce acceleration. Easy high speed cruiser with 5 gears. 40 mpg. Above all it was SENIOR CRED. on any pub car park or on the highway. Much improved by Piper 4 into 1 exhaust; saving weight and gaining proper exhaust note. Sadly suspension design and near death experiences led to many sensible folk heading to Italy for the next thrill.

Strengths

At California prelaunch the motoring press and pundits went ape for this. Demand pushed K's owners into doubling factory size before the launch! Mags full of pics and praise. Roadtests dripped the essence of desire to bikers reared on oil leaking, unreliable, bad handling, smelly old iron. Looks to kill with electric start, twin o'head, cam 4 carb, 4 exhaust and 0-100 time to slay even a Porsche 3.5 turbo. The same price as yer rather 'old' looking Norton 850 Interstate. Leg over,lift choke, thumb starter and 'HANG ON'. Silky gearbox and brakes better than rivals. Rode to Monaco over the Alps

Weaknesses

Compared to today the brakes needed 2 discs up front . Seat comfort lacking on long trips. 'Tank Slapper' caused by rear swinging arm bush so alarming i sold the bike but i had been trying a mad speed into a tightening bend .... Exhaust note rather hushed.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
Click for more details
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