Litre Legend

In 1977 Kawasaki released the Z1000 (or KZ1000 in the US) to replace the Z900 Z1, arguably the World’s first true ‘Super bike’.
The Z1000 maintained the classic good looks of the Z1, but with 85hp it was able to compete with new machinery from suzuki with their GS1000 and Honda with their new generation of DOHC model like the CB900F and CBX1000 Six.

The Z1000 Kawasaki had just one disc brake up front in the US (with a second available as an additional extra), whereas in Europe the bike came standard with twin-discs. Both versions however, received disc brakes on the rear as opposed to the rear drum that graced the earlier Z1.

The Z1 had 4 exhaust pipes, however for the new Z1000 Kawasaki decided a 4-into-2 Jardine exhaust was more fitting and more cost-effective. The rear end was made up of a swing arm with two coil-over shocks and it weighed in at over 255kg wet.

The Kawasaki Z1000 set the bar for the litre capacity bikes that would follow and was one of the fastest production motorcycles of its time. It was only until their own GPZ900 that followed years later, that the Kawasaki Z1000 or variants thereof were knocked off the top spot of Japanese Superbikes.

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issued: Friday, October 29, 2021
updated: Friday, October 29, 2021

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