Bandit-Powered 1977 Kawasaki (K)Z1000 Custom

Kawasaki Z1000 Custom

Today we’re thrilled to present this incredible restomod Z1000 from Dave Solomon of Cheltenham, UK. Dave is a friend of Darren Carter, whose BSA Hill Climber and custom Z650 have each graced the blog.

We’ve always been big fans of the Kawasaki KZ1000 (Z1000 in the UK). A descendant of the venerated Z1, the KZ1000 was the fastest production bike of its time, with 90 horsepower and a quarter-mile time in the low 12’s.  It was made famous as the motorcycle in CHiPs–as the KZ1000P, used in police forces across the nation–and it also featured heavily in the original Mad Max, ridden by Max’s Main Force Patrol buddy Jim Goose.

We love Dave’s Z1000 build so much because he’s managed to retain the classic styling of the Zed, while bringing the bike up to speed with an array of modern components–foremost of which is a 150+ horsepower motor from a Suzuki Bandit 1200!

In the Builder’s Words

After spending most of my youth riding 750 Hondas as well as Z900 Kawasakis back in the mid eighties, I naturally progressed on to better things, frames got better, engines got quicker, and I generally got…fatter! I found that bikes were being designed for 10 stone GP riders and my ugly carcass was doing me or the new generation of sportbikes no favours…so we skip a few years (decades in fact), I built various bikes and sampled what I thought was perfection. However, they were all missing something, so I took a good look at what was available and decided it was all no good for me personally.

KZ1000 Custom

So decided to build the Zed.  I wanted 1977 classic z1000 looks with modern performance.  ZX9R forks were mated to z1000 hubs.  Akront rims and stainless spokes give it the look I was after.  An Ohlins rear shock helps keep the frame reasonably comfortable in the “twisties.”  However it’s the motor is where it’s at:  Suzuki’s Bandit lump was chosen for the bike’s heart.  I grew up with these engines and power gains are easily achievable with little fuss:  1246 J&E pistons, a pair of Kent camshafts, and a good head job by a local tuner gives me 156bhp with 96lbs of torque.

Finally last year I spoilt the bike with a full Titanium ‘Racefit’ system…now she’s perfect!

KZ1000 Cafe Racer


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  4. james mcintyre

    Hi, is this bike for sale? Cheer’s, jimimac

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