Victorian Motorcycle Wreckers
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  1. #1
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    Default Historical Summary

    This is a paraphrasing of information I was able to find.
    The idea being to eventually get a full model release and specs information base together.
    Sources at this time are :
    ZPower(UK)
    Canadian kawasaki motorcycle museum.
    motorcyclespecs.co.za
    and others (apologies for missed acknowledgements)

    1952

    Design of the KE- 1 motorcycle Engine is completed.
    (Kawasaki Machine Industry (the precursor to Kawasaki Aircraft Company), Takatsuki factory).
    "Aircraft engineers" began the development of the KE (Kawasaki Engine) in 1949.
    Mass production starts in 1953.
    The air-cooled, 148cc, OHV, 4-stroke Single has a maximum power of 4 PS at 4,000 rpm.



    1955

    Production of the KB-5 Motorcycle Engine starts.
    (Kawasaki Aircraft Company, Kobe Plant).
    Its responsive torque at low and mid rpm, and outstanding characteristics give it a good reputation among riders.



    For the next 10 years the KB-5 received a number of updates and provided the base for Kawasaki's 125cc motorcycle engine.
    In the same year, the Meihatsu 125-500 was released, equipped with the KB-5 engine.

    1956

    Meihatsu 125 Deluxe debuted.



    1957
    Improved version of the KB-5 engine, the KB-5A.
    The first year the "Kawasaki" logo was stamped into the engine side cover.

    Meihatsu 125 Deluxe was said to be " A Durable Kawasaki Engine"
    The Meihatsu 125 Deluxe (Kawasaki Meihatsu Industries)
    - achieved a top speed of 81.5 km/h, setting a record for its category.
    - In a separate test the Kawasaki engine 50, 000 km without breaking down.


    1960

    Kawasaki completed construction on a factory dedicated exclusively to motorcycle production
    Sales of the Kawasaki '125 New Ace' commenced.


  2. #2
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    1961

    Sales of the Kawasaki brand motorcycles, the Kawasaki Pet and Kawasaki 125B7, commenced.
    Using the most advanced materials of the time
    The curved surface compositions of these motorcycles gave them a high-sense of design.



    1962

    sales of the Kawasaki 125B8 commenced.
    Developed and manufactured exclusively by Kawasaki Aircraft Company



    1966

    Sales of the W1(650cc) in the US gained Kawasaki world-wide recognition as a big bike manufacturer.
    Engine: Air cooled, four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, OHV
    Capacity: 624cc
    Bore x Stroke: 74 ? 72.6mm
    Compression Ratio: 8.7:1
    Induction: Mikuni VM31
    Max Power: 47 hp @ 6500 rpm
    Max Torque: 5.4 kg-m @ 5500 rpm
    Gearbox: 4 Speed
    Front Brakes: Drum
    Rear Brakes: Drum
    Front Tyre: 3.25-18
    Rear Tyre: 4.00-18
    Dry-Weight: 191 kg
    Fuel Capacity: 15 Litres




  3. #3
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    1966

    Sales of the A1 (250cc) commenced.
    It was equipped with an air-cooled, 2-stroke, paralleled twin, rotary disc valve engine.
    The A1 demonstrated phenomenal performance.








    1967
    concept of four-cylinder four-stroke kawasaki established

    1967 A7 Avenger
    Capacity 338 cc
    Engine type:Air cooled, two stroke twin
    Power: 42.00 HP (30.7 kW)) @ 8000 RPM
    Compression: 7.0:1
    Bore x stroke: 62.0 x 56.0 mm (2.4 x 2.2 inches)
    Fuel control: Rotary valves
    Gearbox: 5-speed
    Weight incl. oil, gas, etc: 159.0 kg (350.5 pounds)
    Front tyre: 3.25-18
    Rear tyre: 3.50-18
    Front brakes: Expanding brake
    Rear brakes: Expanding brake
    Top speed: 170.0 km/h (105.6 mph)
    Fuel capacity: 13.50 litres (3.57 gallons)




  4. #4
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    1968

    sales of the H1 (500cc) (500SS Mach-III in Japan) commenced.
    The air-cooled 2-stroke triple cylinder is the fastest machine in its class
    Top speed of 200km/h.
    Engine: Air cooled, two stroke, transverse three cylinder,
    Capacity: 498cc
    Bore x Stroke: 60 ? 58.8 mm
    Compression Ratio: 6.8:1
    Induction: 3x Mikuni VM28SC carbs
    Max Power: 60 hp @ 7500 rpm
    Max Torque: 5.85 kg-m @ 7000 rpm
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Front Suspension: Telescopic Hydraulic forks
    Rear Suspension: Dual shocks, Swing arm
    Front Brakes: 200mm Drum
    Rear Brakes: 180mm Drum
    Front Tyre: 3.25-19
    Rear Tyre: 4.00-18
    Dry-Weight: 174 kg
    Fuel Capacity: 15 Litres








  5. #5
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    T103 Prototype

    - Originally destined to be a 750
    - Decision to develop a high-performance, comfortable, good handling and braking 750cc motorcycle
    - 650W1 was the largest motorcycle in Japan that time.
    - Coordinated by Sam Tanegashima
    - project planning group was established under development code T103.
    - mock up of project T103 completed in October 1968
    - Honda announced a new 750cc single-over-head-cam (SOHC) motorcycle at the Tokyo Motor Show
    - The Kawasaki management staff stopped all development efforts on Kawasaki's 750cc model.



    1970
    - Z1 project team repeated research and experiments to develop an even better bike.
    - Kawasaki resumed U.S. market research in March of 1970
    - Management staff concluded that the market existed for a high-speed motorcycle with enough power to use as a reliable touring model

    Early Prototypes Circa 1971






  6. #6
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    1971 H2 750 Mach IV
    Engine: Air cooled, two stroke, transverse three cylinder,
    Capacity: 748cc
    Bore x Stroke: 71 ? 63 mm
    Compression Ratio: 7.1:1
    Induction: 3x 32mm Mikuni carbs
    Max Power: 74 hp @ 6800 rpm
    Max Torque: 7.9 kg-m @ 6500 rpm
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Front Suspension: Telescopic forks non adjustable
    Rear Suspension: Dual shocks preload adjustable.
    Front Brakes: Single 295mm disc
    Rear Brakes: 203mm drum
    Front Tyre: 8.25-19
    Rear Tyre: 4.00-18
    Dry-Weight: 192 kg
    Fuel Capacity: 17 Litres
    Standing ¼ Mile: 12.5 sec @ 105 mp/h or 168 km/h
    Top Speed: 120 mp/h or 192 km/h








  7. #7
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    1972-1973 Z1-900
    Frame Numbers: Z1F-000001 >
    Engine Numbers: Z1E-000001 >
    Colour: Candy Orange/Brown or Candy Yellow/Green
    Exhaust: 4-4
    Carburettors:4 x 28mm
    Camshaft: Double Overhead
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Cylinders: 4
    Capacity: 903 CC
    Brake Horsepower:82









    1974 Z1-A
    Frame Numbers: Z1F-020001 >
    Engine Numbers: Z1E-020001 >
    Colour: Candytone Brown/Orange OR Candytone Green/Yellow
    Exhaust: 4-4
    Carburettors:4 x 28mm
    Camshaft: Double Overhead
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Cylinders: 4
    Capacity: 903 CC
    Brake Horsepower:82

    Major changes for this model:
    - silver engine finish
    - redesigned tank and tailpiece markings
    - stop lamp failure light in the tachometer
    - idiot light cover changed
    - warning lights placed in a different order







    1975 Z1-B
    Frame Numbers: Z1F-047500 >
    Engine Numbers: Z1E- 047500 >
    COLOUR: Candy Super Blue or Candy Super Red
    Exhaust: 4-4
    Carburettors:4 x 28mm
    Camshaft: Double Overhead
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Cylinders: 4
    Capacity: 903 CC
    Brake Horsepower:82

    Major changes for this model:
    - paintwork and markings
    - larger side panel badges
    - 'O' ring chain
    - chain oiler removed
    - switchgear was cosmetically changed
    - Speedo was now in 10-mph increments
    - fuel tap was changed from black to silver
    - carbs were modified to improve performance.


  8. #8
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    1976 Z900-A4
    Frame Numbers: Z1F-085701 >
    Engine Numbers: Z1E-086001 >
    Colour: Diamond Dark Green or Diamond Brown
    Exhaust: 4-4
    Carburettors:4 x 26mm
    Camshaft: Double Overhead
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Cylinders: 4
    Capacity: 903 CC
    Brake Horsepower:81

    Major changes for this model:
    - colour and marking
    - different side panels and badges
    - airbox
    - twin front brakes
    - locking fuel cap
    - three way fuse system
    - hazard warning lights
    - audible flasher indicator
    - square tail light
    - improved instrument cluster
    - change to 26 mm carburettors
    - American Lincoln production line produced extras in 1977 (KZ900-A5)







    1976 KZ900-B1 LTD
    Frame Numbers: KZ900B-500011 >
    Engine Numbers: Z1E- 108503 >
    Colour: Classic Red
    Exhaust: 4-2
    Carburettors:4 x 26mm
    Camshaft: Double Overhead
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Cylinders: 4
    Capacity: 903 CC
    Brake Horsepower:81

    - This was the first Japanese custom cruiser
    - Assembled in the states in limited numbers
    - sixteen-inch rear wheel


  9. #9
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    1977 Z1000-A1
    Frame Numbers: KZT00A-000001 >
    Engine Numbers: KZT00AE-000001 >
    Colour: Diamond Wine Red or Diamond Sky Blue
    Exhaust: 4-2
    Carburettors:4 x 26mm
    Camshaft: Double Overhead
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Cylinders: 4
    Capacity: 1015 CC
    Brake Horsepower:83
    Major changes for this model:
    - disc brake rear



    This one appears to be missing a front disc




    1978 Z1000-A2
    Frame Numbers: KZT00A-027501 >
    Engine Numbers: KZT00AE-042501 >
    Colour: Luminous Green or Luminous Red
    Exhaust: 4-2
    Carburettors:4 x 26mm
    Camshaft: Double Overhead
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Cylinders: 4
    Capacity: 1015 CC
    Brake Horsepower:83
    Major changes for this model:
    - Paint and decals
    - Repositioning of front brake calipers behind the fork leg
    - Lower handlebars on the UK model.
    - Front brake master cylinder was changed from round to triangular
    - Diaphragm fuel tap
    - US colour option of black/gold
    - US special edition model (A2A) white with fairing and panniers


  10. #10
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    1978 Z1000-D1 Z1R
    FRAME NUMBER: KZT00D-000001 >
    ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00DE-000001 >
    COLOUR: METALLIC STARDUST SILVER.
    The Z1R was the first Japanese custom 'cafe racer'.
    The angular styling was not to everybody's taste.
    Major changes for this model:
    - four into one exhaust
    - a cockpit fairing
    - solid wheels
    - drilled discs
    - self-cancelling indicators
    - front wheel reduced to eighteen inch rim
    - engine painted in black.
    - kick-start pedal was considered redundant and fitted under the seat.
    - 28mm carbs
    Poor sales resulted in Kawasaki producing a larger 20-litre fuel tank and a
    sintered metal brake kit in an effort to increase sales.
    UK dealers were still selling this model four years later!
    Engine: Air cooled, four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 2 Valves per cylinder.
    Capacity: 1015cc
    Bore x Stroke: 69.4 ? 66 mm
    Compression Ratio: 8.7:1
    carburettors: 4x Mikuni VM28SS carbs
    Max Power: 90 hp @ 8000 rpm
    Max Torque: 8.7 kg-m @ 7000 rpm
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Frame: Double tubular steel cradle
    Front Suspension: 36mm Telescopic hydraulics forks
    Rear Suspension: Dual chocks, swinging arm,
    Front Brakes: 2x 296mm discs
    Rear Brakes: Single 290mm disc
    Front Tyre: 3.50-18
    Rear Tyre: 4.00-18
    Dry-Weight: 246 kg
    Fuel Capacity: 13 Litres
    Fuel Consumption: 43 mp/g
    Standing ¼ Mile: 11.9 sec / 176 km/h
    Top Speed: 220 km//h






    1979 Z1000-S Z1-R

    Germany was also struggling to sell the standard Z1-R
    so the German importers fitted a Z900 four into four exhaust system and
    renamed it in an effort to sell more bikes.
    The standard silver blue finish was retained
    and the larger 20 litre fuel tank that Kawasaki had made available was also fitted.
    A very rare bike indeed.





    1979/1980 Z1000-A3/A4 MKII
    FRAME NUMBER: KZT00A-038427 >
    ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00AE-081566 >
    COLOUR: LUMINOUS NAVY BLUE OR LUMINOUS DARK RED
    The MKII was modified greatly from the previous models in all departments.
    Power was up to 93 bhp, helped by the return to 28-mm carbs and
    the use of transistorised ignition.
    Modified exhaust and angular bodywork give the MKII a completely different look.
    The traditional round cam end covers was changed to a square design and the
    motor was once again finished in black.
    A class act but not everybody's favourite.
    Engine: Air cooled, four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 2 valve per cylinder.
    Capacity: 1015 cc
    Bore x Stroke: 69.4 ? 66 mm
    Compression Ratio: 8.7:1
    carburettors: 4x 28mm Mikuni carb
    Max Power: 93 hp @ 8000 rpm
    Max Torque: 8.1 kg-m @ 6500 rpm
    Gearbox: 5 Speed
    Front Suspension: Oil telescopic forks
    Rear Suspension: Swinging arm oil damper 5-way spring preload
    Front Brakes: 2x 240mm discs 1 piston caliper
    Rear Brakes: Single 250mm disc 2 piston caliper
    Front Tyre: 3.25-19
    Rear Tyre: 4.00-18
    Dry-Weight: 245 kg
    Fuel Capacity: 14.8 Litres
    Consumption average: 47.5 mp/g
    Standing ¼ Mile: 12.1 sec
    Top Speed: 130 mp/h

    Last edited by Cletus; 07-02-10 at 11:15 AM.

 

 

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