Honda’s revolutionary 1960s ad campaign, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda,” gets a lot of credit for helping soften motorcycling’s unsavory image and grow ridership in America. By the early 1970s, many of those nice people were having some naughty good fun ripping around on Honda’s CB750-Four, or, to truly rule the road, the mighty Z-1 that Kawasaki launched in 1973 to counter the historic Honda.
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I prefer the "UJM" look to the cruiser look, myself. My favorite was the Z1R, enough so that I bought 2 of them (1st one wrecked by a drunk). Loved that bike, though handling at the limit fell a bit short, and would like another, but they've become quite expensive.
A few corrections are needed to an otherwise well written story.
The 1973 Z1 was introduced in August 1972 to the press in California.
The KZ900 LTD B1 and the KZ900A4 and A5 had the new VM26SS carbs vs the Z1's VM28SC carbs. The KZ900 was rated at 81 HP vs the Z1 at 82, both at 8500 rpm.
The 1977 KZ1000 standard A1 and LTD B1 were rated at 85 HP.
The only KZ1000 rated at 90 HP was the 1978 Z1-R D1 with its 28mm carbs and the 1980 LTD B4.
The LTD came with a curved grab bar compared with the Z1 and KZ900A4 A5 bent unit.
The American sourced parts were Goodyear Eagle tires, Morris wheels for one year only on the KZ900 LTD-B1 later replaced by Enkei copies, USA made body panels, in addition to the Mulholland shocks and Jardine exhausts.
Like some others, I always preferred the "standard" style to the "cruiser style", back then (and now). When I bought my 1979 Yamaha XS750 standard, everyone wanted to know why I did not get the "Special". They just couldn't fathom why I preferred the looks (and practicality) of the standard!