This year marks the 40th anniversary of the ground-breaking Kawasaki Z1 which made its public debut in 1972, becoming what many would regard as the world’s first superbike.
Kawasaki’s first large-capacity four-stroke multi-cylinder motorcycle took center stage at the 1972 IFMA, the precursor to the INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany. Together with the Honda CB750, the Kawasaki Z1 helped spearhead the popularity of the Japanese Inline-Four.
The Z1 trumped the CB750, which hit the market in 1969, by offering a larger engine (903cc vs 736cc) and double-overhead cams. Some of the Z1’s design elements such as the four-pipe exhaust layout carry on in today’s Kawasaki Z1000.
To celebrate 40 years of the Z-series, Kawasaki is planning a number of activities including a display of Z-series motorcycles where it all began, at the 2012 INTERMOT show in Cologne in October.
[Source: Kawasaki UK]