Kawasaki Z 1300 cult bike with inline six-cylinder.


Kawasaki Z 1300 cult bike with inline six-cylinder.

Kawasaki Z 1300

Cult bike with water-cooled in-line six-cylinder.

BMW recently started offering a motorcycle with a water-cooled straight six cylinder. So what! Kawasaki had something like this in its range over 30 years ago.

Enough is never enough. There was always more, because in the late 70s of the last century the arms race in the motorcycle industry and especially with the Japanese manufacturers knew no bounds: fatter, heavier, faster. Whether such a motorcycle was drivable in everyday use did not really matter. The main thing was that the thing had steam, caused a sensation and was bigger than the competition models. Kawasaki came late with the Z 1300, but powerful. With a full tank of 27 liters, the six-cylinder presented in 1978 weighed 330 kilograms and thus a hundredweight more than the not exactly underweight "Six-pack Honda CBX. The water cooling and cardan shaft played a major role. The Kawasaki had an open output of 120 hp, in Germany it was used as part of the "Self-restraint by motorcycle manufacturers and importers" officially only offered with politically correct 100 hp.

In 1984 the Wuchtbrumme received a slightly larger model upgrade and finally the long-awaited, fully electronic fuel injection, known from the Z 1100 FI GP and long-installed in the US model, instead of the three Mikuni double carburettors. This fuel-saving and draft-promoting measure gave the Z 1300 DFI an open power of 130 hp.

D.amit is over at a maximum of 215 km / h, and every modern 600 accelerates better. The Z 1300 is just as good in the wind as a wall unit and consumes a seven and a half ton truck. Lean angle? Yes, you’ve heard it before – but not with the Z 1300. But the unique engine noise, the turbine-like, almost vibration-free revving, the huge, pure irrational exterior and the perfect seating position for people from 1.90 meters make the Z 1300 a cult object. In addition, the thickness is much easier to control than the first appearance leads you to believe – provided that your driver has no sporting ambitions. The Z 1300 is the ideal glider, a reliable and extremely comfortable long-distance travel machine. The Z 1300 driver does not have to worry about a chassis that is not up to the performance and mass, because the framework conditions, the tires and the brakes are ideal for the thick ship – a fact that was by no means taken for granted a good 30 years ago.

Until 1989 the six-pack was available to buy new. In the USA, the Z 1300 was given a full fairing, case and topcase and, as the Z 1300 Voyager, weighed a whopping 408 kilograms – without a driver, of course. This travel steamer never came officially, but in quite significant numbers via parallel importers ("Gray trader") to Germany.

If you want a Z 1300 today, you can get it from 5000 euros for a construction site or from 8500 euros for a cream cake. Around 1000 copies are likely to have survived. IG Z 1300 has been taking care of the Brocken since 1994, organizes regular meetings and maintains a nicely made website (www.z1300.net). In the circle of the early six-cylinder darlings, i.e. together with the Benelli 900 Sei and the Honda CBX, the Z 1300 is definitely the most suitable brummer for everyday use. So why buy BMW?

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