Posts by tag: Z1-R

Kawasaki February 15, 2018 posted by

Boosted: 1978 Kawasaki KZ 1000 Z1-R TC Turbo for Sale

Turbochargers are pretty ubiquitous these days, allowing for insane levels of reliable performance and fuel economy, especially when coupled with modern electronics permitting compression ratios that early adopters of boost could only dream of. Modern cars offer flat torque curves and seamless power, but older turbocharged set ups were notorious for lag that felt like you were towing a piano, right up until the turbo finally spooled up and launched you at the horizon. For a brief, glorious period in the 1980s, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, all flush with cash from their domination of the world motorcycle market and caught up in the rush towards an exciting, digital future, introduced turbocharging to the motorcycling world. Slapping TURBO badges onto cars was already the cool new thing, so why not bikes? Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple, and the trend died out after a few short years. But it all started here, with Kawasaki's Z1-R TC.

When the Z1-R TC was introduced, turbocharging was considered pretty exotic technology for the most part, and only rarely seen even on production cars. At the time, the Z1-R was at the end of its life cycle, and newer, better, faster things were being offered by other manufacturers, so Kawasaki needed to drum up some interest in their lame-duck model before the introduction of the GPz. What better way to do that than by creating something that would likely kill inexperienced riders? Hey, it worked for their famously lethal two-stroke triples... The new turbocharged version of the bike quickly developed a widowmaker reputation like its predecessors, and for similar reasons: an on/off powerband coupled with primitive handling and marginal brakes. Even passing slower cars and trucks required a bit of precognition, and riders learned to build boost while waiting for a gap in traffic, dragging the rear brake to control speed while holding the throttle open to keep the turbo spooled...

Ultimately, the bike was a hoot, but if TCs didn't kill their riders with their unpredictable power delivery and sketchy handling, they had a tendency to blow up: the Z1-R TC Turbo was basically a stock bike with the addition of an aftermarket turbo package from the Turbo Cycle Company that included a log-style or 4-into-1 header and a boost gauge. Oh sure, you could specify a fully built engine to handle the boost if you wanted to, but how many buyers do you think opted for that when the bike was new? Not too many. And how many new owners do you think ignored the safety sticker instructing them to not, under any circumstances, adjust the wastegate to allow more boost and sweet, sweet performance, basically for free? The answer again? Not too many.

Luckily, this example avoids the whole "four-cylinder grenade between your legs" issue with a built motor that should provide years of trouble-free, if not lag-free, hooliganism. Which just means you're that much more likely to wheelie into a hedge, but at least you'll have a better idea which of the bike's lethal characteristics will most likely kill you.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for Sale

Here we have a beautiful '78 Z1R-TC Turbo. It has been completely rebuilt and gone through. Engine has a welded crank, fresh MTC turbo piston set with Teflon buttons, valves have been reseated with new seals, all engine seals have been replaced, new clutch, cam chain and guides are new as well, copper head gasket, carb rebuilt, as well as petcock, new o-ring chain and sprockets all brakes rebuilt, new pads, turbo spins freely, opened and inspected, new gaskets, you get the point. tires are Dunlops, tank replaced with a rust free one, no bondo fresh paint with lots of clear, one defect on decal on left front, (if it really bothers you, my painter will fix it, I just wanted to get the bike up for sale now rather than waiting for that, original bike had about 18k on speedo, was growling so it got replaced, boost gauge was cracked, so it got replaced with a Mr. Turbo new old stock.

I did my best to keep it as original as possible, tail pipe is dent free and freshly triple chrome plated. all chrome on engine is brand new triple chromed, (if you hate the chrome, I have a very clean non turbo '78 Z1R that I will swap out the chrome for stock) but it looks incredible with the black engine, exhaust head pipes were badly blued so I chose to paint them with header paint (no sanding, just painted) new owner can choose to rechrome head pipes, but they will blue again. I built this bike to be ridden (welded crank and forged turbo pistons). Without those mods these bikes twisted cranks and melted pistons.

That being said, still has original Bendix/Zenith carb, and stock ignition and advancer for originality, but Nice coils were added. I put some break-in miles on bike, waste gate is set to just seat as for break in I didn't want to boost it, but the sweet sound of the turbo is evident while riding, hoping to put some miles on it before end of auction as well as a little more fine tuning. I was a certified motorcycle mechanic and worked on the big 4 Jap brands through the eighties and nineties, have changed careers since then, so now I truly enjoy working on these old bikes for a hobby, but can't keep them all. I'm sure I forgot something, but be assured, engine is built correctly and bike is really nice. 

I was assured by previous owner it is the real deal, My buddy had it at his shop for a while getting title sorted out and gathering parts for me. He also contacted a Z1R turbo Guru who claimed he could tell you if it was a true Z1R turbo, and he was unable to tell us it wasn't. For what that is worth, wish I had original bill of sale etc. but I don't. Bike does have the correct ATP stuff that only came on true TC Z1-R's, Nice bike, contact me with questions, I have a slight reserve on bike which I may lift if we get close, good luck... Thanks for looking, will try to add more pics,  and update listing as needed, also new battery, and Amsoil, engine cranked over with plugs out to ensure full prime with oil, and oil return from turbo verified before initial fire up of course.

If you're concerned about the bike's authenticity, I know it can be a challenge with TC: if you can source a nice, clean Z1-R and the original parts for the turbo kit, you can build one of your own, since that's pretty much what Kawasaki did with the original. It's nice to see that kind of transparency from a seller, and the fact that the engine has been fully built to survive actual use should go a long way towards helping the bike find a buyer. So a bit of a question mark surrounding the bike's originality might keep the value down slightly, but you can't argue with the build quality so maybe this one will actually get ridden, instead of tucked away in a corner somewhere. Ultimately, the same things that made the TC a lousy motorcycle are the qualities that endear them to collectors today: they're wild, wooly, and savage, a rite of passage more than a practical mode of transportation.

-tad

Boosted: 1978 Kawasaki KZ 1000 Z1-R TC Turbo for Sale
Kawasaki December 6, 2017 posted by

Featured listing: Rare black 1980 Kawasaki Z1R

Update 12.12.2017: Seller confirms this bike has sold. Congratulation to the new owner! -dc

Kawasaki pushed out more than 17,000 Z1-Rs over the model's three-year life, but the majority were built in '78 and '79, and the vast majority of those wore Stardust Silver paintjobs. Today's featured bike bucks both those trends: It is a black 1980 Kawasaki Z1-R, which makes it a scarce example of an already scare machine.

1980 Kawasaki Z1-R for sale on eBay

The Z1-R was the top of the Japanese superbike pile during its production run, sharing magazine ink with the likes of the Suzuki GS1000 and the Honda CBX. Kawasaki's air-cooled inline four, some version of which powered all the KZ series bikes, was punched out to 1,016ccs, which helped make it good for 90 horsepower at 8,000 RPM.

The squared-off bodywork and aggressive half fairing were the initial clues that the Z1-R was not something to be trifled with and cross-drilled brakes, bigger carbs and a 4-1 exhaust reinforced the point once the bike got underway.

The featured bike has been meticulously well looked after over its 37 years, and the seller says the engine has never left the frame and the suspension is all original. It recently had a repaint in its factory colors, a process which apparently took 80 man hours and $5,000 to complete. Needless to say, the paintwork is impeccable. The cosmetic work is backed up with a recent tuneup, including carburetor service and syncing and all new fluids.

From the eBay listing:

THIS PRISTINE 1980 KAWASAKI KZ1000 Z1R IS COMING OUT OF MY PRIVATE COLLECTION ONLY BECAUSE I HAVE 2 OF THE 3309 UNITS EVER BUILT. YES ONLY 3309 1980 Z1R'S EVER BUILT SO DON'T MISS OUT. KAWASAKI BUILT OVER 17,000 1978 STARLIGHT BLUE BIKES SO MANY THAT EVER ON HAS AT LEAST 1 IN THE GARAGE.

THIS IS AN ALL ORIGINAL NEVER MOLESTED AMAZING EXAMPLE OF THE VERY RARE 1980 BLACK Z1R. SHE HAS 3278 MILES AND SHOWS VERY LITTLE WEAR.

SINCE THE ORIGINAL PAINT WORK SHOWED ITS AGE, I HAVE METICULOUSLY REFINISHED THE BODY WORK TO MATCH THE ORIGINAL KAWASAKI FINISH, USING ONLY THE BEST DUPONT/PPG PRODUCTS AND NOS STRIPES. THIS IS A "GLOBE MOTORCYCLES LIMITED" "OCD" PAINT JOB, WITH RICKMANS, VINCENTS, MATCHLESS, ASTON MARTINS AND BENTLEYS AS PREVIOUS EXAMPLES OF GLOBES WORK THIS IS A SHOW WINNING FINISH. THERE ARE OVER 80 HOURS (OVER $5000) OF PAINSTAKING LABOR TO GET THE MIRROR BLACK FINISH THAT YOU SEE. TRUST ME THE PICTURES DO NOT DO IT JUSTICE.

THE SEAT COVER APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN REPLACED, THE REST OF THE BIKE IS UNTOUCHED AND CLEARLY HAS BEEN IN CLIMATE CONTROLLED COLLECTIONS MOST OF ITS LIFE.

THE WIND SCREEN IS ORIGINAL, THE FUEL TANK HAS NO RUST, IT HAS THE ORIGINAL ENGINE THAT HAS NEVER BEEN REMOVED, ORIGINAL SHOCKS, ALL THE BODY WORK WAS ORIGINALNO DENTS OR BROKEN TABS, THE EMBLEMS ARE ORIGINAL, ALL THE GUAGES, LIGHTS AND CONTROLS WORK PROPERLY AND ARE ALL ORIGINAL. THE LEFT MUFFLER HAS A VERY SMALL DING BUT I DONT SEE ANY SIGNS THAT THE BIKE WAS EVER DROPPED OR LAYED DOWN.

I JUST OVERHAULED AND SYNCHRONIZED THE CARBURETORS, SERVICED THE AIR FILTER, SERVICED THE BRAKES, NEW MOTUL OIL, OEM OIL FILTER, NGK PLUGS AND PLUG BOOTS. I RODE IT TODAY ABOUT 20 MILES AND SHE PURRS LIKE A KAWASAKI SHOULD.

I HAVE BEEN A MOTORCYCLE MECHANIC SINCE GRADUATING FROM AMI IN DAYTONA BEACH IN 1980 AND HAVE BEEN COLLECTING AND RESTORING RARE BIKES FOR MANY YEARS.

THIS IS A MUST HAVE FOR ANY COLLECTION.

TELL THE WIFE CHRISTMAS IS HERE AND THIS BIKE WILL APPRECIATE BETTER THEN YOUR HOUSE, JUST ASK JAY LENO OR HAVE HER WATCH HIS SHOW.

CALL ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS 954-816-0806 $1000 DEPOSIT DUE VIA PAY PAL. THE BALANCE WITHIN 3 DAYS CASH OR BANK TRANSFER.

DONT MISS OUT HAPPY BIDDING

On Dec-02-17 at 07:54:38 PST, seller added the following information:

WHEN I PLACED THE LISTING I MADE A TYPO THAT COULD NOT BE CORRECTED SINCE THE BIDDING STARTED WITHIN 2 MINS OF POSTING (EBAY WONT LET YOU EDIT ONCE THE BIDDING STARTS). THE BIKE IT IS A "D3" NOT A "D2" THE D2 WAS THE 1979 MKII. SO BE REASSURED THS IS AN ORIGINAL 1980 KAWASAKI Z 1000 Z1R D3 ONE OF ONLY 3309 EVER BUILT AND IT IS THE NICEST I HAVE SEEN!!!! NICER THEN MY OTHER ONE. YES I AM SELLING THE BETTER LOOKING OF THE 2 D3's THAT I HAVE.

Values for nice Z1-Rs have been on the up and up recently, and one as rare and as nice as this should command a premium. With just a few days left in the auction, bidding has been active but reserve has yet to be met.

Featured listing: Rare black 1980 Kawasaki Z1R
Kawasaki March 3, 2017 posted by

Superbike Daddy: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R

I know that for many of our readers, RSBFS is all about the import smokers. And while we do love our grey-market popcorn poppers, variety is - as they say - the spice of life. Two-strokes did not always dominate the sport bike scene, as evidenced by today's example of what ruled the streets in 1978. Our younger readers will be forgiven if this simply looks like a Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM) from the period, but two-wheeled transport circa pre-1980 was a relatively simple affair. Air cooled, carburetor-fed Japanese multis were the hot ticket, and cubic centimeters made the world go 'round. Throughout the 1970s, the Big Four traded blows with big bikes, and the Kawasaki Z1-R (1978-1980) could go toe to toe with the best on the road.

1978 Kawasaki Z1-R for sale on eBay

Owing more to the KZ lineup than the original Z1 design, the Z1-R is pretty typical of this era: big motor (1,015cc over square inline four), tubular steel frame, simple un-adjustable front forks and twin shocks. Novelty items include the bikini fairing (variations to make a reappearance on the ELR model as well as early GPzs), four-into-one exhaust, low maintenance cast wheels, and triple disk brakes. Expect about 90 HP off the showroom floor, in a package tipping the scales at over 540 lbs. With a top speed in the 130s, the Z1-R was a powerhouse with subtle intent. In all, this was an evolutionary move by Kawasaki; the revolution would have to wait until 1984 and the introduction of the 900 Ninja.

From the seller:
OWNED THIS BIKE SINCE 1992 (SECOND OWNER),HAVE ALL THE SERVICE WORK RECORDS I HAVE DONE TO BIKE.VERY CLEAN & RUN STRONG. IT IS A TURN KEY BIKE. GARAGE KEPT. 33284 ACTUAL MILES.

There is nothing *particularly* special or rare about the Z1-R line, save for the fact that they didn't speed off the showroom floors at a sufficient rate. Not even bolting on a turbo and creating the first of the factory blower bikes could help move these models. As a result, staring down the barrel of a 40th birthday, not many of these exist in great condition. Laws of supply and demand govern all, and I would expect to see good examples fetching more over the coming years. This will not likely appreciate in the same manner of a RC30 or truly rare and iconic model, but it should fare respectably given the lower price of entry.

This well-loved Z1-R is located in Oklahoma. The seller claims to be the second owner, which helps explain the condition. There have been some minor, non-destructive mods which should lower maintenance and improve the riding experience, and the seller will include the original parts. This bike is listed with a BIN of $12,500 - a number that some may scoff at. It does appear a bit high for the model. But the challenge would be to find another in this level of condition. I'm sure there is some emotional equity included in that number by the seller - but can you blame him? Check it out here, and share your thoughts. Would you take this, or hold out for an ELR or early model GPz? Let us know!

MI

Superbike Daddy: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R