In the superbike wars of the early 70s, Honda had the CB750 and Kawasaki had the Z1. The CB750 gets most of the glory these days, but we love this immaculate 1974 Kawasaki Z1 racing motorcycle. It belongs to a Californian guy called Dutch, and it was a basket case when he found it. “It sat in a barn for 12 years. I rebuilt the top end and turned it into a cool little bare-bones rat rod café thing, and immediately proceeded to crash it in the mountains.” The bike you see here is Version 2.0. It’s modeled on a 70s club racer, but with modern performance tweaks—like a Dyna 2000 ignition and Race Tech valve emulators inside the forks.
The motor has been seriously upgraded, with a port-and-polish by Cavanaugh Racing, a Wiseco 1075 piston kit, Keihin’s CR31 racing carburetor and a #110 cam from Web Cam. According to Dutch, “The motor is cranking out a healthy 105hp / 77ft lbs and the bike only weighs 425 lbs.” The cool tank and seat, by the way, are from Airtech. “Hell, there’s not much on the bike that has not been changed or modified in some way,” says Dutch. He’s done a great job. [Gros merci to Seb Lorentz of Ze Last Chance Garage.]