Kawasaki Z1-R from AC Sanctuary…
As everybody is aware of, the arrival of the Honda CB750 in 1969 kicked off the superbike period. Over the subsequent decade, a two-wheeled arms race between the massive 4 Japanese producers would produce an entire new breed of multi-cylinder superbikes that boasted engines of almost 100 horsepower per liter, together with alloy wheels, triple disc brakes, and high speeds in extra of 130 mph.
Although the Kawasaki Z1 didn’t arrive till 1972, it made almost as massive an influence on the trade because the CB750. That’s as a result of the 903cc DOHC “King of the Street” produced 15 extra ponies than the SOHC Honda, permitting it to simply outpace the “Unique Superbike” each on the drag strip and in high velocity. There’s little alternative for displacement, because the saying goes.
Quick ahead one other 5 years, nevertheless, and the Z-bike was rising lengthy within the tooth. Though the engine had been punched out to 1016cc for the KZ1000, it nonetheless made the identical 82 horsepower. In the meantime, Honda had launched the six-cylinder CBX1000 — a little bit of pig within the corners, however the sound of these six pistons at full chat might stir the guts of the lifeless — and Yamaha and Suzuki now had their very own air-cooled literbikes, the XS1100 and GS1000.
It was onto this battleground that the Kawasaki Z1-R emerged, wholly distinct from something the competitors supplied.
“The R has what most bikes of its sort don’t — a styling theme, a standard design theme which runs from one finish of the bike to the opposite. The R’s theme is straight sides and sharp corners, and the execution is with swish, angular traces that stream so naturally from one space to the subsequent that the bodywork generally seems to be all one piece.” –Cycle Information
The design of the Z1-R stays placing to today — a type of radical departures from the established order that’s stood the check of time. It was the primary mass-market Japanese bike to function a handlebar-mounted entrance fairing, and the coffin-tank and ice-blue paint presaged the squared-off fashion and wilder shade palette of the 80s. Bigger carbs and a special exhaust pushed output as much as 90 hp, whereas a smaller 18-inch entrance wheel was purported to sharpen dealing with.
Sadly, the Z1-R didn’t fairly reside as much as its appears when it comes to journey and efficiency.
“You had a motorcycle that was lower than elegant on the transfer. ‘It doesn’t roll over bumps,’ wrote Cycle Information, ‘it bounces from crest to crest.’ When it got here to dealing with, the esteemed editors opined, the Z1-R’s ‘quite a few rubbery body tubes’ and flawed suspension setup allowed the Kawasaki to ‘journey harshly on the flat and … wobble in quick turns.’” –Bike Classics
Happily, one of many world’s nice Superbike whisperers, Japanese grasp Hiroyuki Nakamura of AC Sanctuary, is aware of precise fashionable efficiency from these air-cooled Z-bikes…whereas accentuating their old-school fashion.
The bike you see right here is RCM 608 — sure, the 608th construct to come back out of AC Sanctuary’s Radical Customized Manufacture sequence. And what a good-looking brute it’s. Says Nakamura-san:
“This RCM-608, which is predicated on the Z1-R, was ordered from a faraway tropical land. The proprietor’s thought was to not ‘let an outdated bike be an outdated bike’ however to ‘make modifications as a result of it’s an outdated bike.’”
He says this Z1-R was produced “in pursuit of the qualities of a sports activities bike.” To that finish, the body acquired RCM’s stage II reinforcement, a wider swingarm, and 17-inch Italian OZ Racing GASS RS-A cast wheels.
The bike rides on Öhlins suspension and stops through Brembo brakes — a far cry from the OEM objects of the late 70s. The engine was totally reconditioned and outfitted with Mikuni TMR-MJN carbs, Yoshimura cams, and a Nitro Racing titanium exhaust.
“Even when it isn’t a big displacement energy package deal, it offers a satisfying feeling round city, on winding roads, and when driving at excessive speeds. Engine traits and the connection between the engine, chassis, and dealing with — that is the aspect that determines the character of the bike and impacts the whole stability. On this regard, it may be mentioned that it is a superb machine.”
Nakamura says the Z1-R’s small bikini cowl is a privilege not out there to bare bikes, permitting the workshop to create a bespoke three-gauge instrumental panel that mixes gasoline, oil temp, and a mixed tachometer / speedometer.
The result’s probably the most lusty-worthy Z1-R we’ve ever seen — a motorcycle that preserves and accentuates the Z1-R’s authentic fashion whereas bringing the efficiency and dealing with effectively into the twenty first century.
“The RCM-608 maintains the Z1-R’s distinctive traits whereas including a delicate originality. It is a custom-made machine that the proprietor has longed for.”
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