The 1976 Kawasaki KZ900.
This bike was kind of a curve ball for us at Mecum. We typically search for Hondas and Triumphs, but this bike had some serious potential!
In 1968, Kawasaki was in a race with Honda for a four-stroke machine to supply the eager market with larger capacity motorcycles. The Honda CB750 made it to market first, pushing the in-production Kawasaki 750 to be delayed until they could produce a 900+cc machine which resulted in the K1. In 1976, the K1 was replaced with the KZ900 in the United States.
The 1976 KZ900 came in both Diamond Green and Candy Brown. However, the brown wasn’t painted as a mixed lacquer. A purple base was laid, covered in a clear coat with metallic flake, then a translucent yellow, followed by the gold pinstripe. A final clear coat sealed it all in.
The KZ900 became known as the “best roadster in it’s class” for this production year, and for good reason. The power of this bike was monumental, now and for its time. It’s a fun bike to ride and always turns heads when out. While considered “big” for it’s day, it isn’t an unwieldy ride especially when compared to larger models being produced today. And, despite its size, it handles much better than you would expect.
The KZ is definitely a great bike to bring you back to the 70s without much compromise on power and handling.