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1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma #2709240
10/22/19 03:39 PM
10/22/19 03:39 PM
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Holland MI Ottawa
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2boltmain Offline OP
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Here's my problem. Kawasakis new Z900RS is an awesome bike and an honor to the legendary 1973 Z1 900. The current test riders are running 11.20s to 11.40s in the 1/4 with this bike. The new Kaw is 900cc, liquid cooled and 110hp. THE WEIGHT IS 474LBS. By comparison my true love- 1983 Suzuki GS1100E attained period 11.25s -11.40s. (Famous Jay Pee Wee Gleason dipped into the tens in 1983) The old GS was rated at 108hp and weighs 550lbs.

New bike makes same or better power and weighs 70 plus lbs less but can only achieve low 11s? Im thinking modern test riders are not going all out. Maybe to younger buyers ETs are not important? But then this bike was made to appeal to us old timers who lived and breathed them inline 4s of the 70s. Heck the bike comes stock with a 4 into 1!
Opinions? Jay Gleason in his prime would do mid 10s Im believing.

z900.jpg

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Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 2boltmain] #2709247
10/22/19 04:34 PM
10/22/19 04:34 PM
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Grand Prairie,Texas
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Maybe sprocket differences, RPM limits, amount of fuel fed to it, tire size, exhaust limitations? There are a whole lot of things that may be different because of federal regulations

Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: stumpy] #2709303
10/22/19 07:18 PM
10/22/19 07:18 PM
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slantzilla Offline
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You have to remember, Jay was otherworldly in his abilities to ride a bike, and the bikes he rode were a better class of "stock" than production bikes. Think Ronnie Sox and the A-12 test.

PeeWee ran what, 10:80's on a V-65 Honda? I saw dozens at the strip and the best I ever saw was a high 11.

I'm guessing Kawasaki didn't put a whole lot of effort in testing the RS900. No horsepower race going on anymore.

BTW, my next bike might be an RS900. I'm diggin' it!


"Everybody funny, now you funny too."
Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 2boltmain] #2709317
10/22/19 07:48 PM
10/22/19 07:48 PM
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Put a Mr.Turbo on it.


GOTBOOST!New improved with Victor heads.
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Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 2boltmain] #2709330
10/22/19 08:13 PM
10/22/19 08:13 PM
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A12 Offline
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Hmmmmmmmm, seems to me the quicker one had carburetors and the slower one is fuel injected work

For the longest time the Suzuki inline fours ran Lectron carburetors and I wouldn't be surprised if one or two of them still are running Lectrons.

Would bet that meeting California emissions (re; C.A.R.B.) is the reason for the slower 1/4 times and with a little "adjustment" it should be just as quick or maybe quicker with the right "adjustments" wink

I still have this......never got it for speed or drag racing got it for the smooth inline four and the shaft drive. GS850 and the 100cc made up for the shaft so it was just as good as the GS750 IMO

Later got the BMW K100RS "Flying Brick", still in a way an inline four but turned sideways and then laid over. Throw in my 990 Super Duke (V-twin) that will do high 10's and low 11's @ 126 - 130 mph all day long. It's light as a feather as I have carbon fiber wheels, fenders, etc., and titanium header and aluminum mufflers. Added a quick shifter for full throttle shifts at the drag strip.

I would have no second thoughts about buying the Z900RS, that's a great looking bike up up

1979 Suzuki GS850 G.jpgIMG_0829.K100RS.jpgIMG_1117jj.sjpg.jpgIMG_2366s.jpg
Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: A12] #2709362
10/22/19 10:29 PM
10/22/19 10:29 PM
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Just cannot stand the fender to tire gap, maybe that has something to do with, just to tall and bad aerodynamics? work


The funny thing about science is that if you change one miniscule parameter you change the entire outcome to the way you want it.

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Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 2boltmain] #2709373
10/23/19 01:18 AM
10/23/19 01:18 AM
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I really like it, but I had a 1975 KZ900 back in 1978.

That one looks like it has the looks of the now vintage KZ900's.

I do agree with Rhino that the rear is too high and it gives it too much fender clearance, but I would think that there would be a way to deal with that.


Kayse can't keep up at all now. lol
Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: SNK-EYZ] #2709395
10/23/19 06:51 AM
10/23/19 06:51 AM
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N.E. OHIO, USA
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Originally Posted by SNK-EYZ
I really like it, but I had a 1975 KZ900 back in 1978.

That one looks like it has the looks of the now vintage KZ900's.

I do agree with Rhino that the rear is too high and it gives it too much fender clearance, but I would think that there would be a way to deal with that.


That's common with high leverage ratio single shock bikes as the are soft in the beginning of the stroke and allows the shock piston to get a lot of shock fluid on the rebound damping side or return stroke. You can take off or reduce the spring preload and get it to sag even more but usually rider or rider and passenger weight will get a balanced ride angle. My Super Duke and the Super Adventure above have the stink bug high rear until you sit on it......really the biggest problem is for short riders getting their leg over that high rear to get on it, DAMHIK. wink I usually just leave it on the side stand to get on it.

(also take a look at my Super Duke's rear height in the driveway and then at the drag strip, the tail end is much farther down when on it and accelerating.)

Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: slantzilla] #2709400
10/23/19 07:32 AM
10/23/19 07:32 AM
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Holland MI Ottawa
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2boltmain Offline OP
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Originally Posted by slantzilla
You have to remember, Jay was otherworldly in his abilities to ride a bike, and the bikes he rode were a better class of "stock" than production bikes. Think Ronnie Sox and the A-12 test.

PeeWee ran what, 10:80's on a V-65 Honda? I saw dozens at the strip and the best I ever saw was a high 11.

I'm guessing Kawasaki didn't put a whole lot of effort in testing the RS900. No horsepower race going on anymore.

BTW, my next bike might be an RS900. I'm diggin' it!


Thats the first time I heard of Gleason receiving "Tweaked" bikes but it makes sense. And a good point that back in the day of 1/4 mile wars the big four was fiercely competitive - even one dimensional with acceleration being the main attraction. . But today 150,180, 200 and above HP is the norm. Kawasaki has said they knew the monoshock would upset that 1970s theme but went with it simply because it functions so much better than twin shocks. I sat on a Z900Rs and really liked it. I also sat on a Yamaha MT-09. The Yamaha felt like it would truly be an enjoyable bike. Its slender and light- Closest I will ever feel to being in a jet fighter but Its just too modern looking for me.


Keep old mopars alive.
Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 2boltmain] #2709495
10/23/19 11:20 AM
10/23/19 11:20 AM
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second 70 Offline
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I thought my 1976 kz that I had a built 1075cc engine was fast then the GS1100, but when I got my GS1150ES it made the kz look like a scooter. It was the fastest bike cycle world had ever tested and ran a 10.94 quarter mile. Then a built hurricane which was unbelievable top end. I never took the next step to a Hayabusa.

8FCB3192-C808-4B76-AE6B-8EBAB06338C9.jpeg1570F5D8-7F61-40C3-8312-90EFF14C0170.jpeg
Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: second 70] #2709499
10/23/19 11:24 AM
10/23/19 11:24 AM
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Holland MI Ottawa
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2boltmain Offline OP
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Originally Posted by second 70
I thought my 1976 kz that I had a built 1075cc engine was fast then the GS1100, but when I got my GS1150ES it made the kz look like a scooter. Then a built hurricane which was unbelievable top end. I never took the next step to Hayabusa


Nice Kaw and nice Suzuki. I miss the 80s.


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Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: second 70] #2709503
10/23/19 11:40 AM
10/23/19 11:40 AM
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On other forums several members chimed in that 1/4 times are not important- doesnt fully show a bikes worth. Very true but the era Im reminiscing about was the era where 1/4 mile time was king. Who cares the Kawaski H1 and H2 ring dingers were death traps- they HAULED IN THE 1/4! Just like with vintage muscle cars where the 1/4 time was all that mattered many like me feel the same about new bikes that are a commemoration to a legendary classics and their era of cycle drag racing.

The 79 XS1100F I had.

The 83 GS1100E I traded it for. XS was a powerful bike but the GS is more refined quicker and nimble.

XS1100.JPGGS2.jpg

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Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 2boltmain] #2709543
10/23/19 01:39 PM
10/23/19 01:39 PM
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So Near, Yet So Far
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I have many fond memories of my Yamaha SR500s and Kawi Z1R, and would probably buy another of either if I found a mint example.
For me it's a similar deal to new cars: they may be "better" by some yardsticks, but too complex and missing some Soul.
Granted, the SR500s weren't freeway cruisers, and the ZR was a handful in the twisties (hence "the proper tool" and all that).
I like "personality", even if it's "be clumsy or foolish with me and you'll get hurt".

Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 2boltmain] #2709544
10/23/19 01:42 PM
10/23/19 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 2boltmain
(Famous Jay Pee Wee Gleason dipped into the tens in 1983) The old GS was rated at 108hp and weighs 550lbs.

New bike makes same or better power and weighs 70 plus lbs less but can only achieve low 11s? Im thinking modern test riders are not going all out.


I think you answered your own question there. There's no one around like Pee Wee Gleason to wring these things out anymore.

When I was in my twenties in the mid-'80s through mid-'90s you could pick up all kinds of '70s and '80s Japanese superbikes for dirt cheap. I had an '82 GPZ550 followed by an '80 KZ1000, '77 KZ1000, '81 GPZ1100, and finally an '83 Suzuki GS1100E. These were all bought for between $400-$600 with the exception of the GS1100E which cost me $1700.

I took the GS1100E to Carlsbad dragstrip and it was a handful. The best I could do was low 12s hanging on for dear life, but I had no idea what I was doing!

Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 67Satty] #2709559
10/23/19 02:10 PM
10/23/19 02:10 PM
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The Center of Ohio
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Fun topic. In the '80's my room mate had a GPZ1100, I had a KZ 650, In '84 I bought a new Yamaha FJ 1100 and rode that bike for 15 years. I had gotten married about a month before I bought the FJ and it was the first fight I had with my new wife. I pointed out that I had to sell my Porsche 911 to get married and I was spending pre-matrimony money. She got over it. Still have the same wife, wish I still had the FJ. I know where it is stored and it is pretty much totaled now from sitting under a leaking roof for 10 years. Some people shouldn't have nice things....

Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: 67Satty] #2709560
10/23/19 02:13 PM
10/23/19 02:13 PM
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I had this 78 KZ 1000 with a 1175 Big Bore kit and lengthen Aluminum swing arm. This thing was a hand full. drive

78 KZ.jpg
Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: blewbyu] #2709566
10/23/19 02:43 PM
10/23/19 02:43 PM
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2boltmain Offline OP
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Yes definitely fun topic. Getting the latest issue of Cycle World with a 4 way shootout... Exciting. Original Mad Max movie immortalized the KZ Kawasaki. Cool donut then launch right up the middle.

mad max.jpg

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Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: blewbyu] #2709568
10/23/19 02:45 PM
10/23/19 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by blewbyu
I had this 78 KZ 1000 with a 1175 Big Bore kit and lengthen Aluminum swing arm. This thing was a hand full. drive



shock shock shock a burn out WITHOUT the front brake on.....now that's impressive shock shock shock up

Mike

Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: Rhinodart] #2709573
10/23/19 03:02 PM
10/23/19 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhinodart
Just cannot stand the fender to tire gap, maybe that has something to do with, just to tall and bad aerodynamics? work


Hey Jim the "bad aerodynamics" has more to do with the "standard" upright seating position and handlebar height, then add in the flat standard non-aero 7" round headlight and big, wide, flat radiator, no fairing or aero bodywork and then the biggest and sometimes bigger than big rider size which IMO is the biggest aero factor with a "standard" style motorcycle. One of the main reasons most of the bikes posted have the added quarter fairings or 3/4 fairings and bodywork.......at least that's why back in '79 I added the 1/4 fairing on the GS850 that had aero hand guards too. The headlight on the Super Duke is somewhat aero but still not aero enough to get the most out of it without really tucking, and at the top end you really have to hide from the 100+ mph air.

A friend of mine laughed when he saw that I left the mirrors on the first couple times I ran the bike at Norwalk ( I rode the bike to and from the track), He was right as I took tools with me in a backpack the next time and removed the mirrors and picked up a couple of tenths shock.

IMG_2639ss.jpg
Last edited by A12; 10/23/19 03:07 PM.
Re: 1970s inline 4 superbike guys. My dilemma [Re: A12] #2709602
10/23/19 05:11 PM
10/23/19 05:11 PM
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Ricky Gadson was probably the last rider who could equal Gleason's skills, but I'm pretty sure he had a few pounds on PeeWee.

Since the Hayabusa/ZX war is history, the factories don't need the hype anymore.


"Everybody funny, now you funny too."
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