KAWASAKI Z900 A4 (1976)
Launched in 1972, the 900 Z1 - more commonly known as the Z 900 - has entered motorcycle history to become a mythical machine thanks to its incomparable line, a subtle blend of sobriety and perfect elegance, and its dynamic performance that will outperform the reference Honda 750 Four. With 15 more horsepower, 150cc more, a double overhead camshaft, more torque, top speed and superior acceleration, cutting-edge technology and a few new features for the time, the Z 900 marked a whole generation of riders and seduced the aesthetes. So inevitably, when you get the opportunity to restore one, you don’t think twice!
The history of this ‘76 Kawasaki Z 900, is simply a magnificent restoration pushed to the extreme. As Patrick started and ran his career in a Kawasaki official dealer he deepened his knowledge on some "Z"and I knew pertinently that, for him, it will be a homecoming and this restoration was going to be particular. No matter how difficult it will be, I was sure he would put all his know-how and colossal attention to detail into it! Let's be clear, in every restoration project we carry out at Félix, there’s no room for imprecision. Everything must be strictly in conformity with the original and in perfect working order. But if, in addition, a little nostalgia and a lot of passion for the brand came into play, I knew I could expect an exceptional final result. And I do. This Z 900 A4 is a very high level restoration!
At a very high level because this machine has not arrived in on piece, ready to be restored. Far from it, very far from it ! The former owner, as is often the case, had undertaken to restore it before giving up by facing the difficulties of the task. So, it is in boxes and bags that this Z reached us. Ironically, he had also undertaken to restore a 750 Four in parallel and parts of both chassis were happily mixed up in a hardly believable capharnaum! For the anecdote, he had started the restoration by attacking the fork, except that the fork he restored was that the Honda’s one ! Worse, the engine block, the only almost complete and revised element, had been entirely painted black as on the first series of 1972 and 1973, except that it was a type A4 of 1976, with a raw engine. The hubs and fork had also been painted black. The first and very tedious step was to give back the engine its original appearance. A colossal job that will be done after a week and a half of pickling, microblasting and polishing! Patrick then sorted this pile of spare parts in order to isolate those of the Z and the Four, then to make a point on the missing or unusable elements. Result: brakes, carburettors ramp, exhausts, fuel cap, fuel valve, oil pump missing. Lot of parts like the cables were out of order. Once the inventory was complete, it was time to hunt for parts around the world. Every element found was a victory! By sending the frame to PROMETHE to receive a glossy black epoxy paint, the tank to 1PEC to find back his Candy Dark Green painting and the seat to our master saddler Vincent Bouffort, we knew we were holding the right end. The final assembly was a magical moment and the first turns of the wheels, a true moment of grace as this Z, the last of the 900cc, has the most flexible engine and is the most accomplished and and pleasant to ride. . .
Z 900 Timeline
MY 1973 : Type Z1. Presented in France in September 1972, the first Kawa 900 was sold in January 1973. Available in orange/brown and yellow/green. The engine is matt black and the cooling fin edges are polished.
MY 1974 : Type Z1A. Colours brown/orange and green/yellow. Engine with aluminium finish, redesigned decors. Order of the lights on the instrument panel redifined, stop light added to the rev counter as well as a rear brake lining wear indicator.
MY 1975 : Type Z1B. Blue or red colour with new graphics and larger side cover monograms. Secondary drive chain lubricated by a separate oil pump. Aluminium fuel valve instead of black, modified carburettors for emission standards.
MY 1976 : Type Z900A4. Colours dark green and brown metallic with new graphics, new side covers with different monograms (Z900), new seat, new air filter, double front brake disc, fuel tank key cap, three-fuse wiring harness, hazard warning lights with flasher repeaters, smaller 26 mm diameter carburettors, secondary gear ratio extended, thicker frame tubes.
Type : 4 stroke, transverse 4 cylinder, air cooled, DOHC, 2 valve per cylinder
Frame : double tubular steel cradle