2022 Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction

1973 Kawasaki Z900 Motorcycle





Engine 0.9-litre four-cylinder
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Body Work Motorcycle
Colour Green/Yellow
Trim Black
Wheels Chrome Wire
Brakes Disc/Drum


This lot is no longer available

Kawasaki’s product planners were determined to eclipse the Honda 750 Four. During the Z1 900’s rapid development program, it was codenamed New York Steak: it was to be bigger, brasher and tastier than any other motorcycle. The Z1 900 is regarded as the first mass-produced factory superbike and was uniquely powered by a DOHC four-cylinder engine which was transversely mounted and air-cooled. Reputedly, the decision to go with a 903cc engine was made almost immediately after the debut of Honda’s 750 Four in late 1968. Until that time, the Kawasaki product planners were intent on a capacity of 750cc for the next model. Not only was the Z1 900 the fastest production motorcycle of its era, but it was also rugged, reliable and durable. But riders had to be very careful with Kawasaki’s acknowledgement that its outgoing Mach IV demanded the ‘razor-sharp reactions of an experienced rider’. The Mach IV made an impressive 74 brake horsepower but the Z1 900 offered 82. To put this figure in context, the awesome Triumph Trident of the day had 58! The Z1 chalked up a string of race victories and was crucial in the development of Kawasaki’s reputation as a producer of some of the world’s fastest motorcycles and as a byword for engineering excellence.