Kawasaki Motorcycles

Kawasaki 6 Cylinder Motorcycle - Kawasaki Z1300

Kawasaki 6 Cylinder Motorcycle - Kawasaki Z1300

Kawasaki Motorcycles has a 55-year-long history and produces some of the world’s fastest and most affordable motorcycles. The company only produced bicycles in its early years to minimize costs and develop a brand name. In 1969, Kawasaki manufactured the first two-stroke three-cylinder Mach II motorcycle. This motorcycle’s popularity in the global market became a turning point for Kawasaki.

Kawasaki has produced several well-known motorcycles, including the Kawasaki Ninja and Z series. While focused more on manufacturing speedy and affordable sports bikes, Kawasaki only managed to produce one 6-cylinder motorcycle known as the Kawasaki Z1300. This article discusses the specs and performance of the Kawasaki Z1300.

1. Kawasaki Z1300

The only motorcycle in the Kawasaki six-cylinder range is the Kawasaki Z1300 introduced in 1979. It is a standard motorcycle equipped with an inline six-cylinder 1,286 cc engine. The Kawasaki Z1300 produced several variants, including the ZN1300, ZG1300, and KZ1300.

1.1 Kawasaki Voyager

Kawasaki Voyager
Photo Credit: @oldbikemag.com.au

The Kawasaki Z1300 was launched in the U.S. market under a different name, “the Voyager.” This vehicle was fitted with hard saddlebags, a tail bag, a large windshield, and a modified frame.

The Kawasaki Z1300 or “the Voyager” was known as a “car without doors” because of its large size and powerful engine. Overall, more than 25,000 models were sold during its 11 years of production.

1.2 Discontinuation of Kawasaki Z1300

The only Kawasaki six-cylinder motorcycle, the Kawasaki Z1300 was discontinued in 1989, 10 years after its introduction. The last 200 Z1300 motorcycles were produced with a special badge on their fuel tanks and were named the “Legendary Six.”

2. Kawasaki KZ1300 Specs

2.1 Identification

Maker Kawasaki
Year introduced 1979
Model Z1300
Motorcycle Type Standard Motorcycle
Price (1979) $4,695

2.2 Engine and Performance

Engine Type DOHC, Four-Stroke
Cylinders In-Line Six-Cylinder
Displacement 1,286 cc
Cooling System Water-Cooled
Torque 115 Nm
Horsepower 120 hp
Stroke 71 mm
Bore 62 mm
Gearbox Five-Speed
Top Speed 138 mph

2.3 Dimensions and Weight

Wet Weight 314 kg
Fuel Capacity 5.6 gal
Seat Height 32 in
Wheelbase 65.2 in
Fuel Consumption 42.3 mpg

3. Kawasaki Z1300 Performance

The Kawasaki Z1300’s six-cylinder 1,286 cc engine could produce a torque of 115 Nm at 6,000 rpm and a horsepower of 120 hp at 8,000 rpm. With its five-speed transmission, this motorcycle could attain a top speed of 138 mph. It had a higher engine displacement than the first two standard six-cylinder motorcycles, the Benelli Sei 900 and Honda CBX1000.

The Kawasaki Z1300’s horsepower of 120 hp was so powerful that in the late 1970s, it sparked a debate about regulating its power output. However, the Kawasaki Z1300 had one of the longest six-cylinder motorcycle manufacturing runs.

The Kawasaki Z1300 had a fuel tank capacity of 5.6 gals and a mileage of 42.3 mpg.

4. Kawasaki Z1300 Vs. Honda CBX1000

The Kawasaki Z1300 was launched six months after the Honda CBX1000. However, the Z1300 was in development a lot longer. These two motorcycles share a similar appearance from a distance. However, that is all they have in common. The Kawasaki Z1300 is more advanced than the Honda CBX1000 in terms of engine architecture.

5. Styling of Kawasaki Z1300

The Kawasaki Z1300 is large in size, with a wheelbase of 65.2 inches. It was a challenge to place a carburetor next to each cylinder, with the crankcases being extended as a result. The engineers decided to go with three twin-choke vacuum carburetors. The water-cooling system helped to reduce the engine’s size slightly.

The Kawasaki Z1300 had a simple design with its fuel tank painted black and the borders colored red with gold linings. Its saddle offers enough room for both the rider and the passenger.

The Kawasaki Z1300’s headlight, display meter, side mirrors, and turn signals are all rectangular-shaped. This vehicle has black mudguards, with a license plate holder attached to the rear mudguard and chromed mufflers on both sides.

6. Chassis

The Kawasaki Z1300’s braking system relies on the two 300 mm discs with dual-piston calipers towards the front and the single 270 mm disc towards the rear. This motorcycle had telescopic air forks in the front suspension, dual shocks with preload adjustment in the rear suspension, and Dunlop tubeless tires fitted into spoked wheels.

7. Comfort and Ergonomics

The Kawasaki Z1300 had a seat height of 32 inches and a wet weight of 314 kg. The Kawasaki Z1300’s handlebars and footrest positions ensure an upright riding position that ensures maximum comfort.

8. Pros and Cons of Kawasaki Z1300

8.1 Pros

  • Advanced six-cylinder engine architecture
  • Latest models had a fuel-injection system and better fuel economy
  • Comfortable rides at higher speeds
  • Stable handling compared to Honda CBX1000 at higher speeds
  • Aesthetically-pleasing sounds produced

8.2 Cons

  • Chassis and suspension were not high quality
  • Did not perform well when turning corners
  • Unreliable braking
  • Too heavy

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

9.1 Which Motorcycle Has the Most Cylinders?

Tinker Toy, a custom motorcycle that was built using the Kawasaki KH250 as a motorcycle base, holds the Guinness World Record of having 48 cylinders. This motorcycle required a dummy engine and a car alternator to be able to start the 48 cylinders.

9.2 Which was the First Six-Cylinder Motorcycle?

The first racing motorcycle powered by a six-cylinder engine was the Honda RC166. Introduced in 1966, this vehicle was only used on racing tracks. However, the first standard production motorcycle equipped with a six-cylinder engine was the Benelli Sei 750.

9.3 Which Kawasaki Model is the Fastest?

The Kawasaki Ninja H2R is the fastest Kawasaki motorcycle, powered by an inline four-cylinder 998 cc engine that can produce a horsepower of 326 hp and a torque of 165.41 Nm. The Kawasaki Ninja H2R can attain a top speed of 250 mph and reach the 100 km mark in just 2.5 sec.

9.4 Why Six-Cylinder Motorcycles Are Not Very Common?

Unfortunately, six-cylinder motorcycles are not mainstream motorcycles because of their many flaws, including higher fuel consumption, complex machinery, and difficulty in maintenance and repair.

10. Takeaway

The Kawasaki Z1300 is the only Kawasaki six-cylinder motorcycle. The Kawasaki Z1300 was popular in America due to being an ideal touring motorcycle with a large windscreen and large luggage capacity. After producing this six-cylinder motorcycle for 10 years, Kawasaki shifted their focus toward designing lightweight, fast, and affordable sports bikes.

If you own a standard or naked motorcycle, you can improve its storage capacity by attaching aftermarket parts available at Viking Bags. Different LUGGAGE options include SADDLEBAGS and SISSY BAR BAGS. Other parts include HANDLEBARS, SISSY BARS , FAIRINGS, and CRASH BARS.

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