The Kawasaki Z1 900 Fought the Honda CB750 With Sheer Speed | MotorBiscuit

Much like the original Acura NSX rocked the supercar world, the Honda CB750 moved the whole motorcycle industry. It drove BMW to develop the R90S and sounded a death knell for many British bike brands. But soon, the CB750 had some competition of its own from other Japanese companies. And where speed and power were concerned, the Honda couldn’t keep up with the Kawasaki Z1 900.

The 1972-1976 Kawasaki Z1 900 “was a revolution in…what a motorcycle could be,” Cycle World says

A low-angle front 3/4 view of an orange-and-brown 1973 Kawasaki Z1 900 on a desert road
1973 Kawasaki Z1 900 low front 3/4 | Mike Brenner/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images

By the mid-to-late ‘60s, Kawasaki’s powerful two-stroke models had established the Japanese company’s international reputation. But tightening emission standards meant it needed a four-stroke model, which was initially designed as a 750cc model codenamed ‘New York Steak,’ Motorcycle Classics reports. Why that code name? Because Kawasaki wanted it to be “bigger and better than anything in America,” Iron & Air explains.

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