This is a minichamps scale model of the all time classic 1973 Kawasaki Z1 900. It is authentically made down to the last nut and bolt and painted up in the original candy red and solid orange as seen on the original machine from 1973 onwards.
Before 1972-73 Japanese motorcycle manufacturers had a mutual agreement not to make a bike bigger than a 750cc but in the closing months of 1972 Kawasaki broke away from this "agreement" and presented a 900cc machine that hit the world in 1973.
The Engine in the Z1 900 was a powerful 4 stroke that delivered 82 Horse Power @8500RPM. It was a powerful and very smooth running engine due to the utilization of a double overhead camshaft and four carburettors.
The Kawasaki Z1 900 could reach 130 mph which was a phenomenal speed for a production motorbike back in the early 70's.
Four in line pistons each having their own tailpipes gave the bike an awesome look and a personal stance that the world was soon to know as the one and only Z1 900, an instant classic when it first appeared and from the word "go" a much sought after bike.
The Z1 900 weighed in at 246Kg and along with the rider the weight increased to give a real heavyweight machine that would grip the roads like glue and ride like it was on rails. Safe, smooth and comfortable for even the biggest of bikers.
This machine was the true start of the real super bike and of course the other three main Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki soon followed suit, coming out with their own super bikes. For now though we will just concentrate on the Scale Model Z1 900.
On the side panel, ' Minichamps ' have faithfully recreated the badge that reads:
900 DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAMSHAFT
DOHC in big letters on the side of the engine.
So there is no mistake about the bikes engine configuration even for the scale model bike collector. This model is superb, Minichamps have made what I think is one of their best ever scale model bikes. All the detail the cables, wiring and nuts and bolts are finished in great detail. The front forks and rear springs suspension look and work exactly like the original too.
The Z1 900 was only equipped with a single disc brake on the front and ( by disc brake efficiency) a meagre drum brake on the rear. Non the less it was enough to pull the bike to a stop, although you had to brake early and gradually from higher speeds.
It wasn't until the 1980's that Japanese bikes started to appear with disc brakes front and rear. If you look at some of today's super bikes, you will see twin discs on the front and a big disc on the rear. With engine capacities now as big as 1100, 1300, 1400, 1500,1600,1800 and 2000cc not forgetting Triumphs 2.3 litre Rocket III...its not surprising that brake efficiency has advanced.
A modern super bike, big heavy and fast, that is easily capable of reaching 160mph+ needs to be able to stop in the shortest and indeed safest possible distance when requested to do so. On a bike you are fragile when compared to all the other vehicles around you, sort of bottom of the food chain if you like and your life will often depend on a good set of brakes.
Despite the just adequate brakes, the Z1 900 still became an instant best seller, mainly due to its amazing performance, ultra reliability and fantastic looks. Another deciding factor was its retail price of US $1,900 which was very competitive for such an awesome 1973 super bike.
Apparently, in the USA the Kawasaki Z1 900 was affectionately given a title, it was known as The New York Steak as Americans love their steaks as much as the bikes they ride. 1,500 Kawasaki Z1 900's were exported and sold every month in 1973 and the bike became the biggest, baddest, new kid on the block.
The Z1 900 became the most desired
super bike of all time in the 1973 onwards and I am glad that
Minichamps.com decided to produce a scale model of it as finding a mint
edition one would probably be a very expensive affair and basically...I
can't afford it ! So a super scale model of one is better than nothing
at all. Well you must be 'bike savvy' if you've got a Z1 900 in
your miniature showcase!
Page created September 30th 2008. Updated July 31st 2012.