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 Kawasaki - Z Turbo
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Kawasaki D2-492-03-09
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 750
Model : Z Turbo
Production : 1981 - 1982
Category : (R) Street Bike


750 Turbo (prototype) – 1981

Aeronautical DNA

In 1981, turbochargers were all the rage: Honda and Yamaha had already launched turbo bikes, while Suzuki and Kawasaki responded to the challenge by launching turbo models at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show.


Sensational Styling

Based on the existing 750 model, Kawasaki's turbo bike had sensational styling, which foreshadowed the 1972 ZX range. The fairing, in satin-finished aluminum, was treated in an "aviation style that recalled the existing Kawasaki 500cc racer, with raised screw heads in the manner of aircraft rivets (another branch of the Kawasaki group was an aircraft manufacturer). The three-spoked wheels were also inspired by the 500cc GP racer, while this was the first road-going Kawasaki to adopt the Unitrak single shock-absorber rear suspension.


Liquid-Crystal Display

The instrument panel of the 750 Turbo incorporated a liquid crystal display, and the engine sported electronic fuel injection, a system that Kawasaki had pioneered in series production in 1980. Mounting the turbo ahead of the engine ensured that it was properly cooled, and the short exhaust tracts minimized dreaded turbo lag. But when the 750 Turbo went into production in 1983, while it kept the general appearance of the prototype, its gray color scheme had been sacrificed for a more aggressive red and black. Analog instruments replaced the liquid crystal displays.



Engine: 738cc four-cylinder four-stroke

Power output: 110 hp

Valves: twin overhead camshafts

Fuel system: electronic fuel injection and turbocharger

Transmission: 5-speed gearbox; chain final drive

Suspension: (front) anti-plunge fork; (rear) swinging arm with single shock absorber

Brakes: (front) twin ventilated discs; (rear) disc

Wheels: cast alloy

Weight: 507 lb

Maximum speed: 143 mph


Move over, Rover, and let turbo take over. Though the prototype Turbo 750 was styled like an aircraft fuselage, with exposed rivets, Kawasaki didn't dare put the aluminium fairing into mass-production.”


Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

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