1973 Kawasaki Z1 900 – $AU30,000


SELLER SAYS: Collector quality, fully operational and in mint condition. Professionally maintained and stored in custom-built garage. The bike is in New Caledonia and will be professionally crated and shipped to Australia for purchaser. You can make your own shipping and importing arrangements, or I can recommend Brent Thomas at Bikes Abroad in Victoria who can oversee the process to any port in Australia (or elsewhere). Brent has handled the importation of two previous bikes sold into Australia from New Caledonia through The Bike Shed Times.  I am happy to organise a video call so you can inspect the bike from your location. I can also put you in contact with a Sydney-based collector who has recently bought a motorcycle from this collection in New Caledonia. Contact Lionel in Sydney on 0404 690 888 or by email at Lionel_roby@yahoo.com.

EDITOR TERLICK SAYS: Code-named New York Steak because Kawasaki wanted it to be the biggest and best thing on the menu, the Z1 was originally scheduled to hit the market in 1969 as a 750. It was meant to announce Kawasaki’s transition away from two stroke engines, without sacrificing straight-line performance. But when Honda unveiled its 750 Four at the 1968 Tokyo Motor Show, Kawasaki bosses knew they had been beaten to the punch and decided they needed to do better than match the Honda — they needed to upstage it. And, in 1972, the Z1 landed. With an 82-horsepower, double overhead cam 903cc engine capable of pushing the bike to 125mph, the new Kawasaki knocked the Honda Four off the top step and started a horsepower war that has been running pretty much ever since. That Z1 vs CB750 battle has never faded, and early examples of both bikes are now highly sought-after by collectors around the world. Both bikes sold in huge numbers, meaning even today — more than 50 years later — it’s not too hard to find good examples from the first few years of production. The market differentiator has become engine numbers — and the lower the number, the higher the collector value! This bike is being sold from a private collection in New Caledonia and the seller has experience selling into Australia. (The Bike Shed Times has found Australian homes for two of the collector’s previous machines; a CB750K2 and an MV Agusta 750S.) It’s engine and frame numbers verify it as an early bike indeed, and the photos show it’s in outstanding condition. Definitely one for a collector. We found an excellent article from back in the day that captures the excitement of the Z1’s arrival on the Australian motorcycle scene — you can read it here. (NOTE: This seller has sold bikes through The Bike Shed Times previously, using Bikes Abroad. They both get a thumbs-up from me.)