1982 Kawasaki KZ 1300 A-4 (1,286 cc water-cooled transverse six)
120 bhp, 654 lbs, 140 mph
The Z1300 was revealed at the Cologne show in September 1978. At the time it dwarfed all competitors with its massive 1300cc transverse six DOHC engine - which was water-cooled to, inter alia, reduce width. The six cylinders are served by three 32mm two barrel CV Mikuni carburettors. It has a shaft drive and a very comfortable riding position - so making it a great high speed tourer. Its sheer physical bulk means that it has REAL presence. The Z1300 was produced from 1978 to 1989, with fuel injection as from 1983. Some 20,000 Z1300s were produced during this period - plus 4,500 Voyagers - a full dress tourer version.
As from the 1983 A-3 model, the US market bikes were assembled in Kawasaki's Lincoln, Nebraska factory. Also from this model year gas rear shocks were fitted.
This bike is a US market 1982 A-4 model (with period speedometer which tops out at 85 mph - given the then fuel restrictions in the US - but still pretty strange for a bike that could do 140 mph - so, much of the time, the speedo is maxed out!). It was bought in 2012 and was restored by Portman Motorcycles with the paint done by Dream Machine. It is standard apart from the colours, polished engine covers and braided brake hoses - to assist with braking given that this was inadequate on the ex-factory bikes. It also has an electric fuel pump fitted to facilitate starting. It is a great and comfortable ride - vibration free and pretty fast. With a wet weight of over 700 lbs it is a challenge to get it on its centre stand!