Sportbike Rider Picture Website


Kawasaki KZ Models - Added by on 31-Aug-2020

Right side shot of a Kawasaki KZ1000.
Total Views:
Vote for this picture:
Average Vote: 4.18 from 146 Votes
Please log in to leave comments, keep a favorites list,
and get e-mail alerts on pictures.
Kawasaki KZ Models - ID: 1231
     Click on photo to view full size     
Similar Photos: (Click for full size images)

More Information on the Kawasaki KZ Models

The Kawasaki Kz1000 or Z1000 is a motorcycle made in Japan by Kawasaki, released in September 1976 as a 1977 model to replace the 1976 KZ900, which in turn replaced the Z1 launched in 1972 in the Z series. It has an inline-four cylinder engine and a 5-speed transmission, in a 'one down and four up' configuration. Producing about 90 hp, it was one of the fastest production motorcycles of the era.

In 1979 Kawasaki introduced the Z 1300 liquid-cooled, 6-cylinder engine, which became the engine for the Voyager touring series. Both models were available for several years. The police model continued in production until 2005.

Model differences

Some of the significant differences between the Kz900 and the Kz1000 include that the latter of the two has a heavier crankshaft for less engine vibration, smoother acceleration and a larger displacement. There were various configurations of specifications and assembly, such as having the choice between chain-drive and shaft-drive. The more cruiser-like version was called the KZ1000 LTD in the United States.

Kawasaki swapped the traditional 4-4 exhaust (available on Z1 and Kz900) for the cheaper 4-2 exhaust. The Kz1000 came with either a chain or shaft drive after 1979. The frame on the Kz1000 was a conventional featherbed design, but was not significantly changed in over 30 years of production.

The 1980 Kawasaki Z1000H was Kawasaki's first fuel injected motorcycle. There were only 1000 examples of the Z1000H made for the global market - these models were manufactured during the months of March and April 1980. In the US market, the Z1000G "Z-1 Classic" also featured the same fuel injection system used on the Z1000H.

The 1981 Kawasaki Z1000J debuted with Kawasaki's new "J" motor with displacement down to 998 cc (60.9 cu in).

For the 1982 model year, Kawasaki introduced the KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica (ELR); it was based on the KZ1000J. The 1983 model was designated KZ1000R2 with cams and a cylinder head from the GPz1100’s, with a boosted power increase of 5-7hp. The bike had a limited run of 750 produced, the special edition bike was named after the Eddie Lawson 1981-1982 Superbike. It had a claimed 59 kW (79 hp) @ 8,500rpm and 246.5 kg (543.5 lb) dry.

Aside from the 1982-2005 Kz1000P Police motorcycle the model was discontinued in 1984, in favor of Kawasaki's first liquid-cooled bike, the Ninja GPZ900R.

Wheels and Tyres

The Kz1000P (police) has 18 inch wheels with Dunlop run-flat tires. The front tire is size MN90-18, and the back tire is size MR90-18. They came with either cast magnesium or chrome-plated wire wheels.


The Kz1000 came optional with a Windjammer brand fairing, saddle bags, a sissy bar and highway bars, all of which were removable without any interference with performance or function. The fairing and saddle bags were molded fiber-glass resin made by Vetter, while the sissy bar and highway bar were chrome plated. Highway bars were also used for comfort on long trips that did not require constant shifting or braking and usually held additional lighting, in combination with the single 7 in (180 mm) halogen head lamp.

Z1000 Z1-R

The 'Kawasaki Z1000 Z1-R' is a Japanese motorcycle model of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. A remarkable characteristic of the Kawasaki Z1000 Z1-R is the 4-in-1 exhaust system on the right side and cast wheels.


Following the success of the Z 1000, Kawasaki developed the "Z1-R" as a new top model motorcycle that would set standards in design and performance. This emphasizes motorcycle with a fixed half-shell lining was only available with a metallic silver-blue paint. Although the design was well received from the potential buyers, sales remained unsatisfactory after tests in motorcycle magazines. They criticized among other things such as the poor engine performance and the small fuel tank.

The readers of the Motorrad (magazine) selected at the end of the year 1977 the Z 1 R to Motorcycle of the Year .


The Z1R was introduced in 1978, the same year as the Yamaha XS11, the Suzuki GS1000, and the Honda CBX. Magazine tests showed all three competing bikes to be quicker in the quarter mile. In response, the company quickly introduced the semi-production, turbocharged, Z1R-TC.

Police use

The KZ1000C/Kz1000P were police sub-models. The KZ1000C is based on the 1977-1980 Z1000 while the KZ1000P is based on the "J" model. They had a number of technical problems, including electromagnetic interference between some radios that caused problems for the ignition system. In addition, the combined set of equipment mounted at the rear (and particularly the placement of the radio on the rear rack) caused high-speed handling difficulties.. That said, with a relatively light weight, comfortable seat, good cornering clearance and powerful engine, it remained so popular for the police market that it remained in production until 2005.


The Z1000 was successfully raced in European, Australian, American and British Superbike racing. A Z1000 ridden by Reg Pridmore won the AMA Superbike Championship in 1977 and 1978. Pops Yoshimura first began to make his reputation in the mid-1970s by fielding fast, reliable Kawasaki Z1000s in the AMA Superbike championships. Kawasaki Z1000s tuned by Mamoru Moriwaki were successfully raced in the Australian Superbike championships in the late 1970s by New Zealander Graeme Crosby. John Cowie riding a Z1000 for the Pecket & McNab team, won the 1978 British ACU Formula One championship for production bikes. Freddie Spencer rode a Z1000 during the 1979 AMA Superbike Championship, winning two races and finishing third in the final championship points standings. Wayne Gardner and co-rider John Pace qualified their Moriwaki-Kawasaki Z1000 on pole position at the prestigious 1981 Suzuka 8 Hours, ahead of all the major factory racing teams. Also in 1981, Eddie Lawson won the AMA Superbike Championship for Kawasaki on a factory-backed Z1000S.

Film and TV appearances

The Kz1000C was ridden by California Highway Patrol officers Ponch and Jon of the 1977–1984 TV show CHiPs. It was also in the anime television series Great Teacher Onizuka, and ridden by Keanu Reeves in the film Chain Reaction. Fourteen of the motorcycles in Mad Max (1979) were KZ1000s. The bikes were donated by a local Kawasaki dealer and modified in appearance by Melbourne business La Parisienne; one as a police bike ridden by 'The Goose', and thirteen for members of the Toecutter's gang, played by a real motorcycle club called the Vigilantiesin.. The Kz1000P appeared in the 1991 movie Terminator 2 Judgement Day.



Copyright by Sportbike Rider Picture Website 2022
The photo Kawasaki-KZ-Models-1231-GP.jpg (Kawasaki KZ Models - Right side shot of a Kawasaki KZ1000.) was uploaded by:
Please note, we do not have accessories, motorbikes, motor cycles, motorcycles, or motorcycle gear for sale. This site is dedicated to displaying bike images of Aprilia, Bimota, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph, Yamaha, and other sportbikes.