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Welcome to KZ1300.com
KZ1300.com has been around in various forms for many years. I took over the domain about a decade ago and immediately set out to build a community of enthusiasts who were willing to share and learn about these fascinating bikes, nothing more, nothing less. This website and forum have up and running since that time and are well on their way to becoming the world’s best tech resource for Six Cylinder Kaws. Today we have over 1000 members from all over the world.
Some background on six cylinder bikes. There have only ever been twelve thirteen, with the best saved for last.
Benelli produced the first six cylinder road bike when it came out with the 750 Sei in 1972 in 1979 they upped the displacement to 900 CC by increasing the bore and stroke. Honda climbed in with the CBX 1047 in 1978. In 1981 Honda moved the CBX into the Sport Touring arena with the CBX-B, which incorporated a detuned engine (100 HP down from 105HP), mono shock rear suspension, air adjustable front forks, panniers and a fairing. For a time some CBXs were bored and stroked to 1400 cc and sold as one offs called the Samurai Six. (need documentation here, most likely done by a private third party.)
BMW's K1600 which comes in three variations was first debuted in 2009.
A company called Horex started hand building it’s VR6 in 2013 and is still in production today.
In 2016 FGR debuted it's Midalv 2500 V6. It's also a hand made bike and also the largest displacement production motorcycle available today.
Mike Hailwood made history in 1964 aboard Honda’s six cylinder 300cc RC 174 which was soon followed by the RC 165 and RC 166. (more information needed here)
Honda debuted it’s first 1000 cc GoldWings in 1974, The four cylinder engine morphed into a 1520 CC six in 1988. It was the first time that Honda chose to not match the number of carbs to the number of pots with two carbs servicing six pots. In 2001 Honda came out with the 1800 cc GoldWing.
In 1996 Honda offered a variation of it’s GoldWing stable by coming out with a very different bike built around a 1520 CC GoldWing engine. This bike named the Valkyrie was out fitted with a front tire that was nearly as large as most other manufacturer’s rear tires. With a totally different frame and six carburettors, the Valkyrie was truly it's own machine. There were three models available: The Standard, no saddle bags or wind screen, the Tourer with both and the Interstate which boasted a more complete front fairing, a stereo and a trunk.
I believe that in 1982 Honda came out with the variation on the Valkyrie which they dubed the “Rune”. It was a beautiful bike that featured the 1800 CC engine but added a magnificent trailing link front end that resembled a hugh chrome Praying Mantise.
In recent years Honda has been stripping down their GoldWings and calling them Valkyries and F6s.
In 1977 Laverda built a race specific 1000CC V6. Which put out 140 HO and was reported to be capable of 177 MPH.
Now for the best of the sixes.
In 1979 Kawasaki, not being a gambler, was in the enviable position of being able to see the other cards on the table and throw in with a design that was sure to rule.
Kawasaki’s 1300 was the first to be water cooled and shaft driven making it a good tourer with its more friendly ride position, unlike either of the others of which were more sport oriented. New Zelander, Graem Crosby raced one at Bathurst quite a famous Aussie race in its day. (Need documentation, more information). Arto Nyquist of Finland and Dave Taylor from England where notable for their endeavors aboard these beasts.
Kawasaki’s Z1300 and KZ1300 are liquid cooled 1286 CC transverse straight sixes that were manufactured between 1979 and 1989. The undersquare design keeps the engine width acceptable and the power curve flat. The shaft drive is dependable although it exhibits a tendency to torque jack under heavy acceleration. During it’s production run, a digital fuel injection system was adopted primarily to improve fuel consumption but also to pass new emissions regulations due out in 83, The digital injection system also brought along increased power and torque. The first carbureted bikes put out more than 120 HP the fuel injection was good for another 10 HP.
It’s been said that this is partly why Honda dropped the CBX in 82.
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.
Cycle World tested the 1979 KZ1300's 0 to 1⁄4 mile (0.00 to 0.40 km) time at 11.93 seconds at 114.79 mph (184.74 km/h) and 0 to 60 mph time at 4.01 seconds
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