1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 204
1975 Kawasaki Z1B
Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403

Sold for US$ 12,650 inc. premium
1975 Kawasaki Z1B
Frame no. Z1F-69060
Engine no. Z1E 052403
• Often labeled as the world's first superbike
• A quantum performance leap from Honda's CB 750

In the history of any motorcycle manufacturer there are models that are more important than others, that become significant milestones in the history of the company – that, indeed, define the marque. For Kawasaki that motorcycle was the original Z1. Until late in 1972 Kawasaki's model line was anchored by the scorchingly fast, wheelie-happy H1 500 and H2 750 2-stroke triples. That year's introduction of the 4-stroke, 4-cylinder 903cc Z1 caught virtually everyone by surprise, especially arch-rival Honda, who suddenly found its swift-selling CB750 facing some genuine marketplace opposition. Up until then Honda's Four had been the recognized leader in the new superbike arena, but here came the Z1 packing an extra 150cc and fitted with sexy double overhead cams as compared to the CB750's solitary camshaft. With 82hp on tap, top speed was around 130mph, both figures beyond the Honda's grasp.

Advantage Kawasaki, as duly noted by the staff at Cycle magazine. 'The Kawasaki 903 Z1 is the most modern motorcycle in the world,' they wrote in the November 1972 issue. 'It is also the fastest. It is above all the first of a new generation of bikes ... a generation which will come close to being , within reason, all things to all people, capable of nattering down quiet country roads packing double one minute and rotating the Earth with incomprehensible acceleration the next.'

Kawasaki took special care that the Z1's styling was not seen as a copy of the Honda's, an objective which, thanks to a beautifully shaped gas tank, distinctive mufflers and jutting tail section, was clearly achieved. In fact, from Day One the larger Z1 appeared no heavier than Honda's smaller-displacement CB750.

Put to use in everything from AMA Superbike racing to cross-country touring to police work, the Z1 established a strong foundation for all the Kawasaki 4-strokes that would follow, while spawning a number of derivatives – 900 LTD, KZ1000, Z1-R, etc. – remaining in the market, in its various configurations, until 1984 when the air-cooled design was retired. Today, as so often occurs, it is the earlier examples that stand out from the pack. Forty-five years down the road, few would disagree that those first Z1s are truly milestone motorcycles.

The machine offered here is an example of the mildly revised Z1-B model. Introduced in 1975, it featured different gas tank livery and a bare alloy finish for the engine's upper half (first seen on the Z1-A, the Z1's having been black), together with minor mechanical alterations, including the adoption of an O-ring drive chain and deletion of the chain oiler. Subject of an impeccable repaint, replacement exhaust and thorough refurbishment, it is mechanically in great shape. It is just short of complete originality with its drilled front brake rotors.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame number is Z1F-69069.
Contacts
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
1975 Kawasaki Z1B Frame no. Z1F-69060 Engine no. Z1E 052403
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

PLEASE NOTE: THE BUYER'S PREMIUM FOR THIS AUCTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

For MOTORCYCLE property (Lots 101-211) the premium is 15% on the first $100,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the hammer price exceeding $100,000. Buyers are required to pay any applicable import duty, sales or use tax, as the case may be.

For MEMORABILIA property (Lots 1-16) the premium is 27.5% on the first $3,000 of the bid price, 25% on the amount above $3,000 up to and including $400,000, 20% on the amount above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000, and 13.9% of any amount which exceeds $4,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, or (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact: [email protected]