Kawasaki Z OwnersVictoria  

"The following content is from www.kawasakiz1.com and is reproduced with the permission of Paul Mercer. All photographs are subject to copyright of the respective owners who are mentioned on Paul's website."

Kawasaki Z1000 

As Kawasaki was starting to gain competition in the form of larger capacity motorcycles, they had no option but to increase the capacity of the Z900, and thus the Z1000 was born.

The engine design remained basically the same as the Z900, however the bore of the cylinders was increased from 66mm to 70mm bringing the new capacity to 1015cc.

UK and European models were designated Z1000 whereas the American model was known as the KZ1000.


The first Z1000, the Z1000-A1, introduced in 1977, was available in Diamond Wine Red or Diamond Sky Blue, both with Gold pinstriping.

The most obvious design change from the 903cc machines was the new four into two exhaust system. This was obviously cheaper for Kawasaki to produce than the four into four system used on the Z1-Z900 series. Many enthusiasts mourned the passing of the original four into four exhaust system.

The Z1000-A1 retained the 26mm Mikuni carburettors, however, the increase in capacity enabled the engine to produce 85 bhp at 8000 rpm.

As on the Z900, the Z1000 had twin front disc brakes.

The U.S. KZ1000 only had a single front disc as standard with a factory option of twin discs.

The Z1000 had a rear disc brake in place of the drum brake that had been fitted to all of the 903cc variants. This was not always the better option. In the wet, the older style drum brake offered more confidence to the rider.

The wiring from both handlebar switch units was now routed through the handlebars. The hazard warning light switch was redesigned and incorporated into the left handlebar switch unit.

The instruments on the Z1000-A1 were the same as those on the Z900.


The Z1000-A2, introduced in 1978, had the front brake calipers mounted behind the fork legs.

The A2 was available in Luminous Green or Luminous Red, both with Gold stripes.

U.S. models were also available in Black with Gold stripes.

The A2 had a diaphragm type fuel tap that automatically cut off the fuel supply when the engine stopped.

The handlebars of the A2 were lower than on previous models.

The instruments on the Z1000-A2 were the same as those on the A1, except that the tachometer was now calibrated to a maximum of 11000rpm with the redline starting at 8500rpm.

In the USA, a limited edition Z1000-A2A Spirit of America model was available. Only 200 of the A2As were produced. Each one was fitted with a Vetter fairing and panniers. They were painted White with Red and Blue stripes.

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