Kawasaki Z1J Moriwaki Replica
Not our usual kind of project but we love a challenge! This Z1000j already had race pedigree as it was an old “Bulmers Cider” sponsored bike in the early 80’s that found its way back on the road. Engine wise it had high lift cams, Wiseco high comp pistons, a gas flowed head and ignition advancer, so this as a straight forward strip, paint and refresh with new crank bearings, piston rings valves faced and seats cut.
Chassis wise, it already had a Metmachex swing arm, so we had a nice billet top yolk machined and adaptor plates sourced for the Lockheed callipers to give it that 80’s look and boost the braking performance. A full Moriwaki exhaust system is still available so that was a must have item! With the usual frame and cycle parts repaint, wheels powder coated in a lovely gold, and the fasteners replated we where good to build! A nice large oil cooler was fitted, along with retro “semi flat” bars and complimented by original 80’s rear sets, the bike began to look the part. In addition we fitted semi adjustable shocks to give the race look without looking too modern. A set of Keihin CR carbs also came our way to provoke that period style.
Finally of course, that iconic paint scheme with a collection of retro sponsor decals I’m sure you’ll agree it looks fab! We had to dyno the bike to set up the carbs and afterwards we put a gentle 50 miles on it to make sure it was jetted right. It was a bit on the rich side, so after some new carb jets and needles it was running sweet and clean and who could resist an output measurement… 92 bhp at the rear wheel, at 6700 rpm (a little under the redline due to it still needing a few miles on it) 100 bhp at the crank claimed by Kawasaki at 8500 rpm so more than happy with that!
On the road it felt like a modern bike due to all the handling upgrades and was comfortable too with the flat bars, maybe one day I will get chance to take it on a classic track day even just a parade lap or two and turn back the clock to the “Crosby and Gardner” days!