1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD Frame no. KZ900B-503488 Engine no. Z1E118011

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Lot 308
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD

Frame no. KZ900B-503488
Engine no. Z1E118011

Sold for US$ 6,325 inc. premium
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD

Frame no. KZ900B-503488
Engine no. Z1E118011

It will go down in history as the first-ever Japanese cruiser, and this virtually stock example, having covered less than 2,000 miles since new, has to be one of the finest remaining. The 900 LTD was a "factory custom" version of the mighty Z1, introduced three years earlier, powered by the largest, most powerful motorcycle engine Japan had til then produced. It followed the Harley-Davidson Super Glide, Norton Hi-Rider and Triumph Hurricane into a styling arena heavily influenced by America's chopper builders. It would be another two years before Yamaha joined the fray with their XS650 Special, and a full decade before all the Japanese manufacturers were fully onboard with V-twin cruisers that came to top the sales charts.

To arrive at the 900 LTD, Kawasaki started with their standard Z-bike and called on the American aftermarket. Jardine supplied the 4-into-2 bell-mouth mufflers; Morris provided the cast wheels, quite a novelty at the time on streetbikes; Goodyear was tapped for its raised-white-letter Eagle A/Ts, the rear tire a meaty 16-incher, again following chopper practice; Mulholland fitted a pair of its shocks, ironically of higher spec than those on the Z1 roadster. More custom touches included the two-tiered "king & queen" saddle, bobbed front fender, teardrop fuel tank and buckhorn handlebars.

Labeling the bike a "Kalifornia Kustom" and a "crypto-chopper," Cycle magazine nonetheless came away impressed by the LTD's handling and above all by its mega-motor, capable of knocking off 12sec. runs at the dragstrip. "It won't merely yank the headlights out of a good Corvette – it's going to take the windshield wipers and door handles as well!" the editors enthused.

Originally a production run of 2,000 LTDs was planned but reaction to the bike was so strong that perhaps double that number was eventually produced, all assembled in Kawasaki's Lincoln, Nebraska plant. Four decades later very few of this important model have survived intact. This particular LTD, with 1,800 miles on the odometer, is all-stock with the exception of a modern replacement front tire.

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  • Please note that the title for this motorcycle is in transit.
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1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD Frame no. KZ900B-503488 Engine no. Z1E118011
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD Frame no. KZ900B-503488 Engine no. Z1E118011
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD Frame no. KZ900B-503488 Engine no. Z1E118011
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD Frame no. KZ900B-503488 Engine no. Z1E118011
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD Frame no. KZ900B-503488 Engine no. Z1E118011
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD Frame no. KZ900B-503488 Engine no. Z1E118011
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