BMW Motorrad Spezial

Sanctuary Kawasaki Z2

Z2 Kawasaki
The legendary Kawasaki Z1 had a little brother, the Z2. (A better behaved little brother, no doubt.) You’d be hard pressed to tell these Zeds apart: pretty much everything was the same on both bikes, apart from the internals of that glorious DOHC engine. Kawasaki dropped the capacity from 903 to 746cc, but the Z2 motor was carefully designed to mimic the feel of its bigger sibling. And the output was a very respectable (albeit ‘claimed’) 69bhp at 9000rpm. Today, the Z2/750RS is almost as sought-after as the Z1 in Japan, where retro superbikes are highly coveted—and is now a major target for customizers. The machine shown here looks stock at first glance, but has been heavily modified by the Kouga branch of the famed Sanctuary workshop. The frame has been powdercoated and reinforced, and fitted with forks and a swingarm from a Yamaha XJR-1200. New wheels, Brembo brakes and twin XJR-1200-spec Öhlins shocks add more control to the handling. The engine is blueprinted and balanced, with Yoshimura-tuned Mikuni TMR-MJN38 carburetion. Gases exit through a Nitro Racing exhaust with titanium silencers. It’s a beautiful package, and I’ll bet it corners wonderfully too. If Moto Guzzi can go back to its roots with the successful V7 Classic, why not Kawasaki with the Zeds?

Z2 Kawasaki
Z2 Kawasaki
Z2 Kawasaki

  • WOW!

  • Sensational!
    The big K did try and go back to its roots with the ZRX in order to battle the XJR/GSX/CB13, albeit in a lot more modern than retro fashion (still a fantastic bike tho).
    But yes, a great big, ludicrously fast, naked muscle bike with that trademark 70’s duck tail would be a wonderful idea. Especially in Oz where the Classic Kwaka fans are, well… insanely passionate.

  • Hiwatt Scott

    Are you forgetting the Zephyr series? They were available in 550,750 and 1100 sizes in the early 90’s. Very similar to what you see here, even air cooled. Nobody bought them, at least not in the states.

  • D

    It looks like it cut itself shaving in the third photo.

  • These guys know how to upgrade bikes. Awesome work. Visit their website and be stunned.

  • KeithB

    I had a 750Z2 that I bought while stationed in Okinawa in the 70’s. The way I understood it, it was a Z1, but sleeved down to a 750. This was because Japanese laws didn’t allow anything greater than 750 at the time, hence no Z1s.

  • DnA

    Man, this is so cool. Love the exhaust pipes – very similar to the ones on the House Rockers’ CB750. In fact Kouga and House Rockers share similar design themes. This Kawasaki looks like a good handler thanks to the high mounted XJR swingarm and modern forks. I’d love to take this bike through a few canyon roads.