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What Made The Kawasaki Z1 Important To Japanese Motorcycle History

What Made The Kawasaki Z1 Important To Japanese Motorcycle History
While it may not rank with the fastest motorcycles ever built anymore, the Kawasaki Z1 was the best in its class when it was first produced back in 1973. Yvon Duhamel pulled off a record-setting 160.288 mph lap at the Daytona Raceway riding a specially tuned Z1 — making it very clear something was special about Kawasaki’s bike. From there, Kawasaki kept upping the ante and improving the formula, but it all started with the Z1. There’s no telling what the current age of motorcycles would look like today, not only in Japan but worldwide, if it weren’t for this famous model.
Being the fastest motorcycle on the market for a brief moment isn’t the only reason the Z1 was so important, but it is a big part. Back in its heyday, the Z1 was called the most modern motorcycle in the world, and it was named Motorcycle News’ Machine of the Year from 1973 all the way to 1976. Even now, more than 50 years later, this is a sought-after bike that can fetch a pretty penny on the used market. Despite debuting more than 50 years ago, touches of Z1 design are still visible in Kawasaki bikes today.
[Featured image by Manju via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC-BY-SA-3.0]

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