Kawasaki VIN Information

z1 / z900 / Kz1000 / z1r Information

 


Z1 Prototype
THE KAWASAKI 900 Z1 SUPER FOUR. Originally destined to be a 750, the Z1 was beaten to the market place by the HONDA CB750 in 1968. Kawasaki engineers, horrified at this well kept secret launch, returned to the drawing board and redesigned the bike to be bigger and better. In late 1972 the Z1 was introduced to the world and instantly became a best seller.
The 750 Z2 followed a few months later mainly sold in the Japanese home market, due to their agreed 750cc limit. The Z1 went on to become the basis of most of Kawasaki’s models for many more years, changing the face of motorcycling forever. Never before had the average man had the chance to own the fastest, biggest, most technically advanced motorcycle in the world for so little money. The true age of affordable SUPERBIKES had arrived
.

1972-1973 Z1-900 
FRAME NUMBER: Z1F-000001 >
ENGINE NUMBER: Z1E-000001 >

COLOUR: CANDY ORANGE/BROWN OR CANDY YELLOW/GREEN FOUR CYLINDER, FOUR STROKE, FOUR EXHAUSTS, FOUR CARBS, DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAMSHAFT, FIVE SPEED GEARBOX, 903 CC PRODUCING 82 BHP
This was the first of the Z-range, the first true SUPERBIKE of the seventies. The biggest and best ever motorcycle that the Japanese had produced. THE KING OF THE ROAD.

1974 Z1-A
FRAME NUMBER: Z1F-020001 >
ENGINE NUMBER: Z1E-020001 >

COLOUR: CANDYTONE BROWN/ORANGE OR CANDYTONE GREEN/YELLOW
Major changes for this model were the silver engine finish, redesigned tank and tailpiece markings and a stop lamp failure light in the tachometer. The idiot light cover was also changed, the warning lights were now placed in a different order. The best gets better.

1975 Z1-B
FRAME NUMBER: Z1F-047500 >
ENGINE NUMBER: Z1E- 047500 >

COLOUR: CANDY SUPER BLUE OR CANDY SUPER RED
Major changes for this model were paintwork and markings, larger side panel badges and the adoption of an ‘O’ ring chain instead of the previous built in chain oiler. The switchgear was slightly cosmetically changed and the Speedo was now in 20-mph increments. The fuel tap was changed from black to silver and the carbs were modified to improve performance.

1976 Z900-A4
FRAME NUMBER: Z1F-085701 >
ENGINE NUMBER: Z1E-086001 >

COLOUR: DIAMOND DARK GREEN OR DIAMOND BROWN
Major changes for this model included 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 and a change to smaller 26 mm carbs. Power was down to 81 bhp but the Z900 was a much better bike to ride. A few extra models
rolled off the American production line in Lincoln in 1977 known as the KZ900-A5.
1976 KZ900-B1 LTD
FRAME NUMBER: Z1F-500011 >
ENGINE NUMBER: Z1E- 108503 >

COLOUR: CLASSIC RED
This was the first Japanese custom cruiser. Assembled in the states in limited numbers for the disconcerting motorcyclist. An abundance of chrome and bolt on goodies made this Kawasaki a ‘RICE BURNER WITH ATTITUDE’. The rear wheel was a fat sixteen-inch item.
1977 Z1000-A1
FRAME NUMBER: KZT00A-000001 >
ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00AE-000001 >

COLOUR: DIAMOND WINE RED OR DIAMOND SKY BLUE
This was the natural successor to the 900 range. Bored out to 1015 cc and producing 83 bhp, the biggest difference to the Z1 was the four into two exhaust system and the use of a disc brake at the rear instead of the previous drum brake.
1978 Z1000-A2
FRAME NUMBER: KZT00A-027501 >
ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00AE-042501 >

COLOUR: LUMINOUS GREEN OR LUMINOUS RED
Major changes to the A2 were paint and decals, the repositioning of the front brake calipers to behind the fork leg and the use of lower handlebars on the UK model. The front brake master cylinder was changed from round to triangular and a diaphragm fuel tap was used for the first time on a Z. The United States got another colour option of black/gold and a special edition model, in white and fitted out with a fairing and panniers called the A2A to commemorate the Americanisation of Kawasaki.
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 were the four into one exhaust, a cockpit fairing, solid wheels, drilled discs and self-cancelling indicators. The front wheel was reduced to an eighteen inch one and the engine was once again painted in black. The kick-start pedal was considered redundant and fitted as an emergency measure under the seat. A move back to 28-mm carbs increased the power to 90 bhp making this the most powerful Z yet. 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!
1979 Z1000-D2 Z1R
FRAME NUMBER: KZT00D-017501 >
ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00DE-017501 >

COLOUR: EBONY OR LUMINOUS DARK RED
For 1979 the Z1R was fitted with the MK11 engine and all it’s improvements. A four into two exhaust system was fitted and there was a move back to a nineteen inch front wheel. It was known as the Z1R-II but was not sold in the UK due to poor sales of the D1. Power was up to 94 bhp.
1980 Z1000-D3 Z1R
FRAME NUMBER: KZT00D-017801 >
ENGINE NUMBER: KZTOODE-017616 >

COLOUR: EBONY
The only changes worth while mentioning on this model was the graphics and side panel badges. The UK still went without this bike.
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.
1979/1980 Z1000-E1/E2 ST
FRAME NUMBER:KZT00E-000101 >
ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00EE-000101 >

COLOUR: LUMINOUS DARK RED OR LUMINOUS GREEN
The E-models or ST (SHAFT TRANSMISSION) was Kawasaki’s first shaftie. It was basically a MKII with minor modifications including tubeless tyres, a fuel gauge, thicker leading axle forks and a larger fuel tank. Basically maintenance free Kawasaki. It should have sold well, unfortunately it didn’t. The United States got an extra colour option, black pearl.
The E2 enjoyed the same differences as the A4 MKII. Remote rear brake reservoir and quartz-halogen headlamp. The United States got another colour option, luminous dark red. Kawasaki produced a full touring kit for this model, courtesy of the American VETTER Company.
1977-1980 KZ1000-B1-B4 LTD
FRAME NUMBERS: KZT00B-500015 >
ENGINE NUMBERS: KZT00AE-010006 >

The KZ1000 LTD was available in the states from ’77-’80 in various colours including black, blue and red. Sharing much of the same modifications as the original KZ900 LTD did. The B3 and B4 models were fitted with the MKII engines but finished in silver instead of black. Imports into the UK have made this once rare bike a popular sight.

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.
 

1978/1979 Z1-R TC
The relative poor sales of the standard Z1-R prompted Kawasaki America to team up with the AMERICAN TURBO-PAK Company to produce the Z1-R TURBO. Basically a standard bike with a turbo kit bolted on. No warranty was offered and a few hundred were sold in 1978 in the original silver blue colour. In 1979 a couple of hundred more were produced but this time the bike was painted in black with red, yellow and orange stripes. Very tacky and very seventies. Power output was quoted at anything between 100 and 145 bhp, depending on how much boost the rider dialed in. 160mph was available, on a bike which struggled handling the standard engine output. Performance was exciting, for all the wrong reasons!

1980 Z1000-H1 EFI
FRAME NUMBER: KZT00H-000001 >
ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00HE- 000001 >
OR
ENGINE NUMBER: KZT00GE- 000001
COLOUR: EBONY
The H1 was basically an A4 MKII with electronic fuel injection or EFI for short. This was another first for Kawasaki. The black and gold bodywork was finished off with gold wheels and for the first time the front fender was painted. Some models had the Kawasaki logo printed on the side of the seat in white lettering. Power was up to 96 bhp due to the injection system. America did not get this model, instead they got the KZ1000-GI Z1 CLASSIC, which was basically a customised version not unlike the KZ1000- LTD.

Z1/Z900 Model guide

 

1973 Z1 or 900 super four Frame Number:
Z1F-00001 – 19999
Engine Number:
Z1E-00001 – 19999
 
 

 

 

1974 Z1A Frame Number:
Z1F-20001 – 47499
Engine Number:
Z1E-20001 – 47497
 
 
Changes
to Z1
engine color metal
brake-light in speedo
 

 

 

1975 Z1B Frame Number:
Z1F-47500 – 85648
Engine Number:
Z1E-47500 – 85847
 
 
Changes
to Z1A
3/4 ” * 3/8″ O-ring-chain
oil pump for chain left out
seal for cylinder head now two parts
new “square” logo on side-covers
 

 

 

1976 Z900A4 Frame Number:
US: Z1F-500001 – 510340
JP: Z1F-085701 -117060
Engine Number:
US: Z1E-086001 – 138846
JP: Z1E-086001 – 138846
 
 
Changes
to Z1B
28 mikuni carburetors replaced with 26s
carburetor action inside housing
new air filter system
power rises from 79 to 81 PS
thickness of frame from 18 to 23mm
two disk brakes on front wheel
new front fork
tank from 15.5 to 16.5 l
new seat covering
hazard warning lights
better electrics
new flat side covers
new wider duck-tail
tail light now rectangular
control-lights between instruments
side-reflectors left out

 

 

Z900LTD Frame Number:
KZ900B 500011 – 502011
ltd_1ba.jpg (6643 bytes)ltd_1si.jpg (3134 bytes)ltd_1ta.jpg (7386 bytes) brake-saddles behind fork
disk brake on rear wheel
cast-iron rims
gas tank only 13.5l
head light and instruments in chrome
new chopper-seat
smaller mudguards
side-stand only

Z1 & Z1000 Serial Numbers

 

Year Model Frame Nr.    
1972
1973
Z1 Z1F00.001-Z1F20.000    
1974 Z1A Z1F20.001-Z1F47.500    
1975 Z1B Z1F47.501-Z1F85.700    
1976 Z900A4 Z1F85.701-Z1F114.790    
1977 Z1000A1 KZT00A00.001-KZT00A27.500    
1978 Z1000A2 KZT00A27.501-KZT00A38.427    
1977
1978
Z1-R KZT00A27.501-KZT00A38.427    
         
         

 


Color Schemes

 

Year Model Main colors Striping
1972  Z1 orange root beer
1973  Z1 orange
green
yellow
root beer
brown
brown
1974 Z1A brown
green
red/white
yellow/white
1975 Z1B brown
blue
gold/white/black
1976 Z900A4 brown
dark green
red/gold
green/gold
1977 Z1000A1 wine red
dark blue
gold
1978 Z1000A2 red
green
gold
1978 Z1-R metallic blue
1979 Z1-R black
red
gold
1979 MK-II red
black
gold
1980 Z1-R black gold
1980 MK-II black gold
1981 Z1000J red
silver
black
black/red
1982 Z1000J blue
silver
black
black/red
1983 Z1000J black orange

 


Changes by Year

 

Year Model Changes
1973 Z1 mikuni 28mm carburetor
1974 Z1A aluminum colored block from here on
brake light in speedometer
1975 Z1B 3/8″ O-ring chain, no oil-slinger
two part head seal
rear cowling stripes nearly touch
last year for pressed tank
new squarish side emblems
1976 Z900A4 name change to Z900
new exhaust pipe part number
new air filter system
new fuel tank
mikuni 26mm carburetor
wider tail section
rectangular brake light
flat side covers
new seat covering
updated shock absorbers
new fork
frame thickness to 23mm from 18mm
optional dual front disc brakes
16.5 L tank
tank keylock
idiot lights between speed/tachometer
3-position ignition key
35 tooth final gear (up from 33)
1977 Z1000A1 engine up to 1015cc
4 into 2 exhaust
rear disc brake
new tank / side covers
1978 Z1000A2 new calipers / master cylinder
different carb settings
1978 Z1-R Z1000A2 based engine
4 into 1 exhaust
22 L tank
28 mm carburetor
drilled discs
cast 19″ wheels
1979 Z1-R Mk-II based engine
cast 18″ wheels
1980 Z1-R 4 into 2 exhaust

 


Z1

1973


This bike was introduced to the press in ’72 and took honors as the fastest production bike in the world. This was the meanest bike around and was “King of the Road” for several years. It originally came in rootbeer and orange (as shown) and is the most “collectable” color scheme. The engine is easily distinguishable, as this and the ’74 model are the only years with the black engine block. This engine lived on in various forms until the ’85 GPZ1100. This bike created the stereotype of Kawis having too much horsepower for too little chassis. Kawasaki frames would be willowy until the late 80s, and my Z1-B would flex about a half inch (my guess) when going around corners in spirited riding.

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
903cc
82PS/8500 rpm
7.5kg-m/7000 rpm
506 lbs.

1974

Block is aluminum colored and trim has a new paint scheme (JPEG is b/w).

1975

Tail section stripes now wrap around and nearly touch at the rear

(instead of being straight;) new color schemes added. Emblem changes,

and last year for the pressed tank (if you look at the bottom of the tank

you will see the seam is more than 2″ inside of the outer lip;

newer gas tank seams are closer to the edge.) 

1976

Changes: name to Z900, triple clamps, fuel tank, tail section, rear light, smaller

26mm carbs, exhaust baffles, optional dual front discs for North America. Idiot

light cluster now between gauges. Locking gas cap mandated by US government.

KZ1000

1977

Enlarged 903cc engine to 1015 and went to 4-2 pipes. Rear disc brake,

starter lockout switch, and new paint scheme. Europe got triple discs,

US made do with only one at the front and rear and called it the KZ1000.

 

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
1015cc
83PS/8000 rpm
8.1kg-m/6500 rpm
528 lbs.

1978

Graphics, front brake caliper, master cylinder, carb settings,

other small changes.

Z1-R

 1978

The Z1000 engine went into three bikes: the Z1-R, the  Mk II, and heavily modified into the Z1000J. New square styling and

4-1 pipe along with cafe style fairing differentiates this bike. The front wheel is now cast and goes from 19 to 18 inches, making

rubber choice much easier. Kawis start getting a bit porky—then again it’s a lightweight compared to the KZ1300.

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
1015cc
83PS/8000 rpm
8.1kg-m/6500 rpm
580 lbs.

1979

Different engine—from the Mk II (see below) gives a boost in power to 93 hp.

Look at the crankshaft cover/heads/transmission area to see difference.

Red and black only available colors.

1980

Now the choice of colors would make Henry Ford proud: Black.

Also called the Z1-RII. A 4-2 exhaust is now standard.

KZ1000 Mk II

1979

Pointy styling (check out the side covers) and a tank very different from the

Z1000. Enthusiasts enthused when this bike came out with transisterized points,

Mikuni VM28SS carbs, and a horsepower hike to 93 PS. Cast wheels, metallic

brake pads, and a slightly altered rear suspension give it better handling.

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
1015cc
93PS/8000 rpm
9.1kg-m/6500 rpm
540 lbs.

1980


Second and last year for the Mk II. Nifty gold cast spokes give it the

cooler-than-thou look.

KZ1000J

1981

First major overhaul for the Z1 engine and frame. The crank was reshaped,

clutch area was vastly increased, and new inner shims help this bike produce

100 Hp.

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
998cc
102PS/8500 rpm
9.3kg-m/7000 rpm
506 lbs.

1982


This is the bike Eddie Lawson took (well, with just a BIT of modification) to win

the Super Bike Championship. Coloring is different from ’81.

1983


Goofy decals and a new integrated instrument panel. Many countries got the

dumb looking tear drop tank (including the US,) and that’s about it for changes.

The graphics might look cool if you still think the Bricklin is in style.

KZ1000R (ELR)

1982


Eddie Lawson won the AMA Super Bike Championship in ’81, so Kawasaki made this bike to commemorate the victory. It is based on the Z1000J2, but with a KR Kerker 4-1 pipe, rear shocks with separate resorvoirs, an oil cooler (from the GPZ1100), a different head angle (from 27.5 to 29.0 degrees, adding 0.6 inched of trail), 34mm CV Mikunis, rear wheel up from 2.15 to 2.50 inches, and modified brakes and head. Sticker on tank commemorates ’82 AMA victory and has Eddie Lawson signature. Unique to the ELR is the tank filler cap, which on some very rare models has a black colored tumbler in addition to the black cap. Black aluminum footrest mounts and a black grab bar for a surprisingly good passenger comfort. A white Kerker sticker was included which dealers or owners typically put on the tank or fork bottoms. The racing version is referred to as the S-1 and has twin-plug heads, an aluminum fuel tank, different brakes, triangulated braced swingarm, and a host of other modifications (no Champion stickers). Go to specs about the S1 racer.

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
998cc
79 Bhp @ 8500 rpm (102PS)
54.06 ft/lbs @ 7000 rpm
488 lbs. (Hmmm… How’d they do that?)

1983

Tank stripe and badge locations are different. Sticker on 5.7 gallon tank says ’82-’83 AMA champion

and has in addition the white script “Superbike Champion”. Instruments are integrated into a single

display. Swingarm 10mm longer with slightly different bracing and very minor head changes in the

engine. A white base color was added for world consumption and the world other than North America

got the non-melodious 4-2 pipes.

 

1983 – 1985

Not the “Real Thing”. Same graphics but 1089cc engine with 114PS. More horsepower and weight—

this is the goofy European coloring and the dopey 4-2 pipes. Marketing idiots. Thank the lord the

North American market got Lime Green and the KR 4-1 pipe which would make Thor in Valhalla

proud. Compared to the REAL thing, these are quite plentiful, though I don’t have production

numbers on any of these bikes

 

KZ1300

1979

Oops, getting a little out of chronological order here. Anyway, this is a big fat bike (if you own this bike—no offense intended!) I think the engineers all actually INHALED before they designed this baby. It doesn’t have anything on the CBX in the looks or handling department, but it does claim more power, by at least 15 HP, depending on the source. Kawasaki takes a stab at water cooling and pushes the bike up to leviathan size. Them crazy Europeans got the 27L tank while we only got the “dinky” 21.4L one.

Water-cooled 6 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
1286cc
120PS/8000 rpm
11.8kg-m/6500 rpm
660 lbs.

1980


New colors and revised throttle wire routing. All the engineers were

working on the KZ1000J and couldn’t be bothered to do anything to this

porcine wonder.

1984


Fuel injection makes it a smoother highway cruiser (?) Up to 130 PS—

remained this way until its death

KZ1000GP

1981


This is the bike which came from the 1000J, but now with 1089ccs of romping stomping fun. KEFI fuel injection their attempt at getting stoichiometric mixture, but is now difficult to tune. We got the 108 horsepower (down a couple from the 1100ELR) while those of you on the Continent got the strangled 100 horsie model. First half of the year was injection into the head and everything afterwards was through the induction system.

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
1089cc
108PS/8500 rpm
9.8kg-m/7000 rpm
520 lbs.

1982


Gee, where have I seen this bikini cowl before? Stripe position (silver and blue) switched for those of you with magnifying glasses. What’s the deal here with Kawasaki? Their bikes have the Kawasaki emblem directly on the base color paint in the model’s first year, then they switch vertical position of the stripes and put the emblem on the top stripe. Is it a conspiracy? Shocks and wheels are red (shocking!)

GPZ1000

1983


Completely revamped; different image, wouldn’t you say? Styling like the 750 Turbo, but the engine from the Z1100GP was massaged to 120 horsepower. Stronger frame (like the previous bikes didn’t need it—HA!) and went to monoshock rear suspension.

 

Air-cooled 4 cylinder DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
1089cc
120PS/8750 rpm
10.2kg-m/8000 rpm
540 lbs.

1984


Stripe position switched again (can’t they put the stripes in the right spot

the first time around!) Maintains throne as top bike the year the GPZ900R

Ninja is released. Dies in ’85

 

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