July 2016

Did you know that in Japan, the Kawasaki Z1-R is more highly regarded than the original 903cc Z1 that us Europeans get in such a lather about? The Rs make huge money in their native land and are particularly popular with specials builders who are looking to enhance the Kwak’s imposing looks. But back in 1978 when the Z1-R was launched, it didn’t capture the public’s imagination in the way Kawasaki had hoped it would. It was too styled, too unusual and – perhaps – too expensive.
How times change.

Almost 40 years later the Z1-R has matured into an era-defining superbike, rubbing shoulders with the original 900 as a ‘must have’ of the Zed range. We think the Japanese are right – the Z1 may be the original but the R is better in every respect, and a line in the sand in its own right. Phil West explains why from page 54. Suzuki’s TL1000R fell short of the mark when launched 20 years after the Z1-R. Oddball styling and a failure to deliver on its promise cut its time short. PS reader Dave Campbell saw the potential, though. He’s now on his third, and with clever thinking and engineering nous has built the bike Suzuki should have made all along.

Also in the issue we’ve got restorers from across the globe, an RF900 that cleans up on track, plus loads more...

Enjoy the mag
Jim Moore, Editor

 

Inside this issue...

Rally raid

 

The Paris Dakar rally caught the public’s imagination in the 1980s – and it wasn’t long before bike manufacturers started cashing in. We put the Yamaha XTZ750 Super Ténéré and Honda XRV750 Africa Twin through their paces...



“People said I wouldn’t walk again, let alone rebuild the bike”


After a serious accident that left his body and XJR1300 SP in tatters, you’d have forgiven Gary Haythorn for giving up riding. Instead, he recovered and turned his crumpled Yamaha into a triumphant resto


Kawasaki Z1-R


In its three-year lifespan it was something of a pricey flop, but the Z1-R’s since matured into one
of the most desirable and revered Kawasaki fours