What do you look for when you’re looking at classic bikes? One ideal scenario is a one-owner bike that was ridden, but clearly looked after during its lifetime up to this point. I’m not talking about a display piece that was never ridden, because that only ever works if the buyer also has no intention of riding it. While motorcycles can certainly be art, I believe they’re meant to be ridden, and I’m going to guess that most of you reading this do, too.
This 1973 Kawasaki Z1 is a beautifully refurbished example that allegedly came from a single-owner situation. According to the Bring A Trailer listing, a returning Vietnam veteran brought it back from Japan in 1972, and owned it right up until he died in 2018. He put 20,000 miles on the clock before stowing it in a garage from 1979 until 2018, so it was ridden for some time, then locked away to await rediscovery.
The seller purchased it from the owner’s family in 2019, and set to work refurbishing it with new-old stock. That includes the front brake system, carbs, engine top end (new piston rings, seals, and finishes), new chain, new rear sprocket, and new tires. Cosmetics also received a good going over, as you can clearly see in the photos. There’s a nice flake to the dark brown paint that only seems to show in some of them; it’s probably much easier to see in person, as such finishes usually are.
Gallery: 1973 Kawasaki Z1
It also comes with its full factory tool kit, as well as both the owner’s and shop manuals and its original California pink slip. All the receipts from the recent refurbishment are there as well, and you can see them in the extensive photo collection if you scroll through. There’s a cold startup video to see and hear as well, and doesn’t it sound just perfectly inviting? If air-cooled Z-bikes are your thing, this one is up to $11,000 at the time of writing and is located in Cedar City, Utah. The auction ends on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, so you have a bit of time to think about it and/or make room in your garage (or living room, wherever).
Sources: YouTube, Bring A Trailer