Thursday, October 8, 2009
The Z1 Kawasaki was a motorcycle introduced in 1972 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. It has been described as the world's first superbike, but that term is probably better applied to Honda's CB750, which introduced the four-cylinder, across the frame, disc-braked layout.
The Z1 Kawasaki was developed in strict secrecy under the project name "New York Steak". Some years previously, Kawasaki, already an established manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycles, decided to make a 750cc 4-cylinder 4-stroke sports motorcycle; they were beaten to the market place by the Honda CB750. Apparently, the bosses at Kawasaki were horrified and ordered their designers to come up with something overwhelmingly better. The subsequent design was a 903cc bike with styling details that took the motorcycling world by storm and set a benchmark against which all future motorcycles would be judged. Since then it has been surpassed many times in terms of advances in technology but the timeless beauty of the original remains as fresh to this day as it did in 1972.This iconic motorcycle has a huge and dedicated worldwide following.