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Z1300 showing smooth engine water jacket and shaft drive to rear wheel
|Also called||KZ1300, ZG1300, ZN1300.|
|Parent company||Kawasaki Heavy Industries|
|Engine||1,286 cc (78.5 cu in) 4-stroke DOHC water-cooled inline-6 with three Mikuni 32mm BSW32SS CV twin-choke carbs (1979 Z1300 A1 model)|
|Bore / stroke||62 mm × 71 mm (2.4 in × 2.8 in)|
|Top speed||222 km/h (138 mph)|
|Power||89 kW (120 hp) @ 8,000 rpm (claimed)|
|Torque||115 N·m (85 ft·lb) @ 6,000 rpm (claimed)|
|Transmission||Multi-disc wet clutch, 5-speed, shaft drive|
|Suspension||Front: telescopic air fork
|Brakes||Front: 2× 300 mm (11.9 in) disc
Rear: 270 mm (10.8 in) disc
|Tires||Dunlop tubeless, Front: MN90-18
|Rake, trail||28.5°, 100 mm (4.0 in)|
|Wheelbase||1,660 mm (65.2 in)|
|Dimensions||H: 810 mm (32 in)
|Seat height||810 mm (32 in)|
|Weight||314 kg (692 lb) (tank 1⁄2 full) (wet)|
|Fuel capacity||21 l; 4.7 imp gal (5.6 US gal)|
|Fuel consumption||5.56 L/100 km; 50.8 mpg-imp (42.3 mpg-US)|
Previously referring to the Z1300 as an Autobahn stormer, when reviewing their 'Machine of the Year' competition results in 1979 after readers had voted for the Triumph Bonneville as the winner, UK weekly newspaper Motor Cycle News stated "Kawasaki, with their Z1300 — a superb example of technology by anyone's standards — have gone overboard in many people's minds", adding that the Honda CBX, Suzuki GS1000, Yamaha XS1100 and Z1300 were "hyperbikes".
The Z1300 featured six cylinders, water cooling, and shaft drive, The undersquare stroke of 71mm and bore of 62mm kept the engine width acceptable, but the high piston speed limited the maximum rpm figure. During its ten-year production run, fuelling was switched from carburetors to electronic fuel injection and suspension was upgraded to air systems front and rear. Fuel injection system was adopted primarily to improve fuel consumption, but as a bonus were increased power and torque.
Although its straight-six engine was smooth, the motorcycle was heavy, expensive and thirsty, and the Z1300 sold poorly, particularly in Europe. One amateur reviewer on a modern website criticised the handling, stating it "wallowed, weaved and bucked", and the engine covered only 30 miles per UK gallon.
When released, its output in excess of 120 hp (89 kW) prompted France to introduce a 100 hp (75 kW) limit on new motorcycles. However, no other EU country followed suit, and France is set to abolish the 100 bhp limit in 2016.
The Kawasaki Z1300 was manufactured in several versions, namely: Z1300, KZ1300, ZG1300 and ZN1300. It is the biggest model of the still-ongoing Z series that was started in 1972 with the Z1 (900). In the U.S., the model was equipped with a windshield, suitcase, and a redesigned frame. This new model was called "Voyager". In Europe, the traditional model was still available. The last 200 models (built in America as all Z1300 models were), built in 1989, have been called "Legendary Six", and were equipped with a special logo on the fuel tank to show that to the public. After a ten-year production run, Kawasaki's only liquid-cooled six-cylinder engine bowed out in 1989 after 20,000 KZ1300/Z1300 models and 4,500 Voyager models had been produced.
Sbarro Super Twelve
In 1982, Swiss specialty car manufacturer Franco Sbarro constructed a mid-engined sports car with hatchback bodywork called the Sbarro Super Twelve. This featured an inline twelve-cylinder engine (a nominal straight-12) which consisted of two "joined" Z1300 engines. The two engines were not a unit as such: they were connected only by belt. Each engine kept its own gearbox and drove its own rear wheel. The performance of this 800 kg car with 240 bhp was described as "ferocious", and only one was ever built.
Millyard Z2300 V-12
- Motorcycle Sport (UK magazine) July 1979 pp.364-365, 378-381 Analysis of the six-cylinder flagship of the Kawasaki range Retrieved 2015-02-04
- "Cycle World Test: Kawasaki KZ1300", Cycle World, Newport Beach, California: Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., pp. 35–42, April 1979, ISSN 0011-4286
- Motor Cycle News 10 October 1979, p.5 It's your last chance to VOTE for your machine of the year. "Kawasaki are fielding a strong new team for the title captained by the six cylinder Z1300 Autobahn stormer...". Accessed and added 2015-03-03
- Motor Cycle News 14 November 1979, p.6 Editorial comment. Back to basics. Accessed and added 2015-02-27
- RedLeg Interactive Media. "RealClassic.co.uk: Classic Motorcycle Road Test - Kawasaki Z1300". realclassic.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
- "French 100bhp limit to be revoked - Motorcycle news: Industry - Visordown". visordown.com. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
- Mazzocchi, Gianni, ed. (April 1984). "Autonotizie: Per lo Svizzero Sbarro questa è una ≪Ferrari≫!" [Car News: To Switzerland's Sbarro, this is a Ferrari!]. Quattroruote (in Italian). Milan, Italy: Editoriale Domus. 29 (342): 102.
- Philippe CALVET. "Sbarro Super Twelve, 1981". sbarro.perso.neuf.fr. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
- Roland Brown. "Homebuilt Kawasaki 2300cc V-12 Motorcycle". Motorcyclist magazine. Retrieved 2016-08-02.