| Z400 | Z440
Whether you're talking platform shoes, flares,
ties or motorcycles, bigger was presumed better
in the 1970s. Honda started the ball rolling
with the Goldwing and CBX, Yamaha riposted with
the XS1100, and Kawasaki rounded off the decade
with the Z1300, a 305kg, six-cylinder sumo-bike
with all the grace and handling of a filing
cabinet on top of a wayward supermarket trolley.
As it happened no-one really wanted to try,
leaving the Z13 looking increasingly quaint
until it finally disappeared in 1989. The only
obvious update was electronic fuel-injection
instead of a set of three double-choke Mikunis.
Sales were slow in Britain, so there aren't
many around now so restoring a Z13 would be
difficult and hideously expensive. Classic status
has been a long time coming but the Z1300's
appeal has finally been recognised. Although
the long-stroke engine feels tame now, it makes
a musical noise, and the sofa-on-wheels chassis
is surprisingly good for its era.
- 1978 - Version A1: This is the original
- 1980 - Version A2: increase the amount of
engine oil and replacement Shock (springs
harder and increased travel).
- 1981 - Version A3: introduction of the electronic
ignition, further increase the amount of engine
oil, replacement oil shock by combined air
- 1982 - Version A4: Changing the transmission
(primary and secondary), moving the ignition
behind the alternator.
- 1983 - Version A5: increase the amount of
oil the fork.
- 1984 - The Z1300 becomes ZG1300 and adopt
the electronic injection. The power of the
machine goes to 130 hp (but 1000 trs / min
- The machine is marketed until 1988. No machine
will take the baton. The machine still has
many followers throughout the world.
- In 1984, the Z1300 Voyager is marketed for
the U.S. market.
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