Kawasaki Z 1300

Kawasaki Z 1300 1970s Japanese classic superbike

The Kawasaki Z 1300 is one of a select set of motorcycles that sport six cylinders. By definition, such an engine packs impact. In the case of the Z 1300, though, not as much as you might think! Why so? The radiator grille plastered across it! In profile, it is an impressive piece of kit. But, from the front, at least, the Z 1300 paid a sartorial price for its water-cooling.

Top speed for the big 'Z' was 135mph - which it reached with ease. That, from a capacity of 1286cc - and an output of 120bhp. Manoeuvrability-wise, a bike with a wet weight of 670lb was never going to be agile! That said, the Z's handling was adequate.

Though there have been other '6-pots' since, the Z 1300 will always be bracketed alongside Honda's CBX1000Z. Another Seventies siren, it radiated 'six appeal'! The 'CBX', though, was a brash brute of a bike - more muscular than the 'Z13'. The Kawasaki, though, blended power with refinement. In many ways, then, the perfect motorcycle ... apart from that pesky radiator grille!


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