Classic Kawasaki Motorcycles

Steve Willgoose’s KZ1000R-S1 Replica

Steve Wilgoose’s 1982 Kawasaki KZ1000R-S1 replica is an evolutionary tale if ever there was one.

The First Ninja — Bike #0001

Check out this profile on the classic 1983 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle.

Buzzy Betty: 2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe

John L. Stein rides Kawi’s latest retro motorcycle, the Kawasaki W800 Cafe twin, and gives his impressions.

Three is Not a Crowd: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R

Trace St. Germain revives a Kawasaki Z1-R, his third, which was literally found in a barn.

Remembering a 1973 Kawasaki Z-1

A reader shares the 1973 Kawasaki Z-1 he bought while on leave from the Army and regrets letting go.

Richard Snyder’s Kawasaki Mailbox

A reader shares his latest project, a Kawasaki mailbox and memories of a Z-1 from his younger days in the Army.

Super Four: 1973 Kawasaki Z-1

Americans would’ve settled for a burger; Kawasaki gave them steak. The Z-1 roared off the block in 1973 breaking records, hailed as “Terribly fast. Two words every motorcyclist loves to hear.”

Forty-Inch Flyer: 1977-1980 Kawasaki KZ650

Comparing the Kawasaki KZ650 to its primary 650cc 4-cylinder competitors, the Honda CB650 and the Suzuki GS650E.

The Widowmaker and the Idiot

Anders Carlson restores a 1975 Kawasaki H1 with little back story and takes it racing. Yes, it’s a bad idea.

Dream Machine: 1981-1984 Kawasaki GPz1100

Comparing the Kawasaki GPz1100 with its primary rivals, the Suzuki GS1100E and Honda CB1100F.

Ben Schenk's 1966 Kawasaki 85 J1TR

A reader shares his Kawasaki 85 J1TR, which he is restoring.

More Than a Pet Project: 1964 Kawasaki M5 Pet

This humble little 49cc Kawasaki Pet is one of the earliest all-Kawasaki motorcycles in the U.S.

Little Brother: 1976 Kawasaki Z2 750

The Kawasaki Z2 was the little-known Japanese-market 750cc version of the mighty Z1.

The Last Samurai: 1965 Kawasaki SG250

An early model, the Kawasaki SG250 was one of the first bikes to wear the Kawasaki badge in the U.S.

On the Hunt: The 1969 Kawasaki H1

The 1969 Kawasaki H1 was noisy, blew blue smoke and attracted troublemakers — who wouldn't want one?

1982 Kawasaki KZ1000R — Eddie Lawson Replica

This 1982 Kawasaki KZ1000R was one of hundreds of classic motorcycles at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama.

Heavy Metal: 1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV 750

The Kawasaki H2 Mach IV 750 was to other motorcycles what heavy metal was to rock and roll — outrageous.

Bob Leonard’s Kawasaki Bushmasters

A reader found and restored a Kawasaki Bushmaster much like his first bike and rode it through Death Valley.

Mid-Size Commuter Bike: 1974-1979 Kawasaki KZ400

A profile of the Kawasaki KZ400 and its contenders.

Gary Webster’s 1976 Kawasaki KZ900

Owner Gary Webster showcases his 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 and other rides.

Almost Perfect: 1976 Rickman Kawasaki CR

Mike Vandertie’s 1976 Rickman Kawasaki CR is a well-ridden machine.

My Kawasaki B8

After reading the November/December 2014 issue of Motorcycle Classics, owner Mark Supley reminisces about the Kawasaki B8 from his younger years.

Gary Vailes’ 1973 Kawasaki Z1

Reader Gary Vailes shows off his two rides, including a 1973 Kawasaki Z1.

Learning to Fly: 1965 Kawasaki B8

The first motorcycle to wear Kawasaki badges, the 125cc 2-stroke Kawasaki B8 was launched in 1962.

Birth of the Bean: A Reimagined Kawasaki W650

What began as a Kawasaki W650 becomes a clean and simple café-style custom.

Kawasaki KZ750 Advice

Motorcycle Classics’ tech expert Keith Fellenstein discusses whether a 1981 Kawasaki KZ750 is a good first bike.

Rotary-Valve Rocket: 1969 Kawasaki 350 Avenger A7SS

Before offroad bikes arrived, scramblers like this Kawasaki 350 Avenger were the best game in town.

Craigslist Steal: 1980 Kawasaki KZ650

Rick Chalupsky lucks out by finding a low-milage Kawasaki KZ650 on Craigslist.

CHiPs Lives! (On Kawasaki Police Bikes)

Bob Beauvais and his “CHiPs” inspired Kawasaki police bike meet the CHiPs cast.

2000-2001 Kawasaki W650: Brit Done Better?

Best bets on tomorrow’s classics: 2000-2001 Kawasaki W650. 

1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC: Turbo Power

Before the 1980s turbo wars came the 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC, the first production turbocharged motorcycle of them all.

Double-Nickel Rocket: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550

The Kawasaki GPz550: An old school canyon carver for the boy racer set

Son of Z1: The 1976 Kawasaki KZ900

Everyone remembers the Kawasaki Z1 900, but was the Kawasaki KZ900 that followed even better?

Snarling Sue, the 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000

Raymond Moses shares the story of "Snarling Sue," his 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000.

Making a Mercedes from a 1986 Kawasaki Concours

Scott Horr's Mercedes-silver 1986 Kawasaki Concours has been quite a conversation starter.

1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Mach III

A 1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Mach III at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Alabama.

Retro Redux: Steve McQueen Bonneville Tribute Headlines IMS New York Show

Ton up boys and Ace Café men welcomed Triumph’s highly-anticipated Steve McQueen Bonneville Tribute at Progressive’s New York International Motorcycle Show. Paying homage to the legendary actor and racer who helped cement Triumph’s status as a cultural icon, Triumph will be offering just 300 units for sale in the U.S. when it hits the market in June.

The Kawasaki KZ1300

Weighing in at an astounding 710 pounds, the Kawasaki KZ1300 was a heavyweight 6-cylinder motorcycle.

Vetter/Pridmore Kawasaki KZ1000 Replica

Vintage race bike enthusiast Mike DiSabatino hires Thad Wolff to construct a replica of the Vetter/Pridmore Kawasaki KZ1000 in honor of Reg Pridmore and the early days of Superbike racing.   

Joe Kiess' Kawasaki W1

Joe Kiess discusses owning and riding his Kawasaki W1 motorcycle.

Kurt Limesand's 1975 Kawasaki S3 Mach II

Kurt Limesand shares his experience owning and riding a 1975 Kawasaki S3 Mach II.

Found on eBay: 1979 Kawasaki KZ1300

This restored 1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 has just under 36,000 miles and looks to be in prime shape for many more. 1979 was the first production year for the KZ1300, and the auction states that the previous owner of this bike spent several thousand dollars performing a fraome-off chassis and engine restoration.  

Aki Shinohara's 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R

Mitsuaki “Aki” Shinohara discusses owning and riding a 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R.

Kawasaki Carburetor Problems

Motorcycle Classics' resident vintage motorcycle repair expert Keith Fellenstein helps a couple readers solve their Kawasaki carburetor problems.

1974 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV Restoration

Peter Hickman spared no cost in restoring his 1974 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV.

Dave Gurry's 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV

Dave Gurry shares his experience of owning and riding a 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV

Found on eBay: 1969 Kawasaki W2 650

Rarely seen and even more rare to find for sale, this 1969 Kawasaki W2 would make an interesting and unusual project perfect for a winter restoration.  

Custom-Built Five-Cylinder Kawasaki Motorcycles

British engine fabricator Allen Millyard built a custom 5-cylinder Kawasaki motorcycle for Clive Adams.

1970 Kawasaki H1 Mach III

Kawasaki H1 motorcycles are revered today as the fastest, most powerful and most out-of-control motorcycle of its day.

Found on eBay: 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 project bike

Winter is coming quickly, which means less riding, but more time for wrenching. Do you have a winter project lined up? If not, we've got a bike for you. This 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 comes to us from, and it's ready for a little winter work.  

1982 Kawasaki GPz 750

The boys at Kawasaki knew a sporty image sold bikes, and the new for 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750 showed just how sporty a Kawasaki motorcycle could be. It marked the last — and probably the best — of Kawasaki’s air-cooled 750s.

Found on eBay: 1979 Kawasaki KZ1000 MKII

We run into a lot of great classic Hondas and BMWs when searching eBay, but this week our favorite listing is a lovingly-maintained Kawasaki KZ1000 MKII. With just a little over 24,000 original miles, it's had the care a good bike deserves, and it's ready for a new owner.

Found on eBay: 1974 Kawasaki Z1

Though this blog often includes a variety of bikes in a variety of conditions, we love to see an original bike for sale that someone has really taken care of. Today that's exactly what we've found: a 1974 Kawasaki Z1 that's ready for a new home and needs next to nothing.

Kawasaki-Suzuki Hybrid Motorcycle

Classic meets extreme in a wild Kawasaki-Suzuki hybrid motorcycle.

Found on eBay: 1984 Kawasaki GPz550

Ready for riding, here's a bike to make you yearn for spring: a slick 1984 Kawasaki GPz550, complete with period aftermarket fairing panels and in lovely condition.

Kawasaki Z1-R: Into the R Zone

The Kawasaki Z1-R carried on the Superbike standard set by the earlier Z1: blazing performance, skittish handling. Originally published as "Kawaskai Z1-R" in the November/December 2009 issue of Motorcycle Classics Magazine.  

Found on eBay: 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000

Around here we like café racers, restored bikes, original bikes, customs, bobbers and sometimes even bikes that don't fit nicely into any one category — like this 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000.

Heavy Metal: 1974 Kawasaki H1

The Kawasaki H1 was introduced in late 1968. The Sixties were in full swing, and dizzying changes in art, music and politics were taking place. Motorcycles were changing, as well.

Found on eBay: 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD

This week's eBay find is a 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD, a one-year-only version of the KZ900. According to The Standard Catalog of Japanese Motorcycles, the LTD was more of a cruiser than the standard KZ900, and it featured a Jardine four-into-two exhaust, speacial paint and a  more deeply countoured seat.

Found on eBay: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550

Kawasaki has made a wide variety of motorcycles over the years. Last week we featured a 1973 Kawasaki H2 750, a fun (if slightly impractical) bike we've always loved. So, another week, and another Kawasaki, but this time one that's just as happy carving canyons as it is carrying groceries on its handy luggage rack -- a 1981 Kawasaki GPz550.

Found on eBay: 1973 Kawasaki H2 750

Sometimes it's good to be practical, logical even. A nice standard style motorcycle, or even a good dual-sport bike, can serve many purposes from commuting to riding curvy roads on a Sunday morning to light touring. A nice two-stroke, 750cc Kawasaki H2, however, isn't really great for any of these purposes. We want one anyway.

Kawasaki KZ750

If ever a machine was worthy of Under the Radar status, it’s the big twin Kawasaki KZ750.

Found on eBay: 1975 Kawasaki S3

Got the urge for something different? We've always been big fans of Kawasaki's two-stroke triples, and the smaller 400cc S3 is one of the more unusual of the bunch.

Turbo Wars: Kawasaki ZX750E1 vs. Yamaha XJ650LJ

In life we’re faced with choices: republican or democrat, blond or brunette, paper or plastic? Shopping for a new motorcycle in the early 1980s, you also had to choose between normally aspirated or turbo models.

Found on eBay: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R

This week's eBay searching had its highlights, and one of the coolest bikes we came across was this sweet 1978 Kawasaki Z1R.

Ten days with a 1975 Kawasaki S3 Mach 2

The editors of Motorcycle Classics spend ten days with a 1975 Kawasaki S3 Mach 2.

1978-1981 Kawasaki KZ650SR

Call it the semi-chopper, or maybe the almost-custom. No matter how you slice it, Kawasaki's KZ650SR was, in many respects, little more than a mildly-altered KZ650. And, believe it or not, that's what made it great.

Kawasaki W2TT Commander

The Kawasaki W2TT Commander helped set the stage for Kawasaki's motorcycle success

Kawasaki GPz550

The Kawasaki GPz550 set the standard for middleweight sport bikes of the early Eighties

1973 Kawasaki Z1: King of the Road

The Kawasaki Z1 was the crown jewel of road bikes

Kawasaki H2 Mach IV

Fast, loud, rude and a little unstable, the Kawasaki H2 Mach IV was a rebel in its time. Today it’s a prized motoring heirloom.

Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

A mean machine in its day, the Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica is a collectible classic today.

The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5.00 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $29.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $34.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter