Kawasaki Z2 - 750RS

Reference site for all Z2 enthusiasts

      1973 Model Z2 

      Production start: January 1973

      Production cease: October 1973

      Frame Numbers: Z2F00026 to Z2F03687

      Approximate number of model produced: 3600       Official photo release - Kawasaki  

 

The Z1 may have had a 6 month head start regarding manufacture, but by time shipping and import control regulations had taken effect in various export markets, the Z2 wasn’t that far behind the Z1 in sales dates, probably no more than 2-3 months. Z2 manufacture commenced in late January 1973 and continued until October of that year when it was replaced by the Z2A. It was an instant success with sales outstripping the Honda CB750 by 9%. In all, 3,611 units were built in this first production run. The bike went on sale in its home market for 418,000 yen, which at 1973 exchange rates was about £700 - not too far adrift from the price of a 1973 H2A. Kawasaki claimed that the top speed was 200kph, with a SS quarter mile time of 12.5 seconds and a power output of 69bhp at 9000rpm. 

Unlike the Z1 produced for 1973 in Brown/Orange and Yellow/Green, the Z2 was only produced in the Brown/Orange colours. In some ways the bike was a cross between the European and USA versions of the Z1. For example, the switchgear / headlight was UK spec (dipped for riding on the left), as was the seat and the fixed footrests, but the rear mudguard was the USA type, as were the rear shock absorbers (albeit with orange reflectors rather than the USA red ones). The sidepanel badges were identical to the 900 versions apart from the cc size, and of course it had a KPH speedo with a "red line" at 80kph - Anything more than 80kph and a switch under the fuel tank is tripped and a warning light fitted on top of the headlight comes on! The only other cosmetic change would be for the eagle eyed, that being a 42 tooth rear sprocket in place of a 35 tooth Z1 item.  

With regards to the speed warning set up mentioned above, a mini-loom ran from the switch in the speedometer to the speed warning unit (Pt No. 25025-003) under the tank. This item was never offered as a spare part but the wires were later incorporated into the Z2A instrument light loom which adopted a new part number (compared to the Z1A item) for this purpose.

 

As mentioned earlier, the only other major differences relate to engine internals and carburettor specifications. However, for those interested in changes within the ‘first’ model specification, the engine changed from a one piece to the 2 piece head gasket at engine number Z2E01086 (equivalent to Z1E-14319). Also, the camshaft sprockets had a location mark put on them from Z2E01758 onwards. This was to provide accurate positioning for tappet clearance (the marks should level up with top face of cylinder head).

 

Although this motorcycle is most commonly referred to as Z2, it is perfectly acceptable to refer to it as 750RS. This is one of those bikes that officially appears to have 2 names. All Kawasaki literature refers to this model as either 750RS or Z2 (or both) depending on what reference you are reading. Clearly, in Japan, either name is OK. Some time ago I did enquire as to what the “RS” stood for. I was originally informed that this was “Road Star” but have since been informed that it means “Roadster”. Something lost in translation perhaps but either seems OK to me!    

      Brochure Images

                       Above: Extracts from 1973 brochure                                         Below: Images (Front and rear cover) from extremely rare 'Employee only' 1973 range brochure.                

I The rear cover translated says: "Kawasaki Motorcycles on sale for employees only from June 1st to September 30th (1973) - Long payment is OK, no down payment, no interest - If you pay cash you will get discount - Great helmet will be the present" - For example the Z2 was - 20 months at 10000Yen, 2 months at 72000Yen and 1 month at 74000Yen (= 418000Yen)

      Z2 (1973 model) specifications

            All specifications are as Z1 except as follows

 

List Price: 418000 Yen

Colour: Candy Orange / Brown only

 

Maximum Horsepower: 69 BHP at 9000 RPM

Bore x Stroke: 64mm x 58mm

Displacement: 746cc

Final Drive Ratio: 2.80 (42 rear tooth / 15 Front tooth)

Final Drive: 96 Link

Carburetion: Mikuni VM 26 SC

 

Top Speed: 200KPH

Quarter Mile: 12.5 Seconds

 

Owner’s Manual: 99997-300

Shop Manual: 99997-200

Parts Book: 99997-103 (First Publication: 01 March 1973)

Service Log Book: 99997-401

 

 

                                     Right: Shop manual 99997-200

                                     Below: Owners Handbook 99997-300

 

 

      Selective Z2 Part Numbers

Piston (Standard) 13001-063

Piston Ring (Standard) 13008-048

Piston pin 13002-026

Crankshaft 13031-044

Carburettor Assembly 16001-202

Rear Shock Absorber 45014-089

RH switchgear 46132-005

LH switchgear 46091-017

 

Rear sprocket 42041-132

Rear Chain 92057-025

Side Panel Badge 56018-153

Speedometer 25001-073

Headlight Assembly 23004-054

Headlight lens 23007-054

Speed warning light 23016-014

Licence Plate holder 35027-002

Speed warning switch 25025-003