1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST Underwent an Anti-Aging Treatment

To be fair, it looks better than it did three decades ago.
1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST 9 photos
Photo: John Reed
1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST
Back in the day, Kawasaki’s iconic Z1000 ST had one hell of a reputation going for itself. Besides a classy design language that’ll have just about any moto-loving gearhead in awe, the Japanese marvel also brings about a delicious performance and genuinely fearsome power output figures. All things considered, this mean machine is a true gem!

The 1980 model in Kawasaki’s revered range is put in motion by an ominous four-stroke DOHC inline-four monstrosity, with two valves per cylinder head and a compression ratio of 8.7:1. Z1000 ST’s air-cooled leviathan is equipped with as many as four Mikuni carburetors that enable it to breathe with ease. Additionally, this nasty animal prides itself with an unholy displacement of 1015cc.

It is perfectly capable of delivering up to 93 hp at 8,000 rpm, while a ruthless torque output of 58 pound-feet (78 Nm) will be accomplished at approximately 6,500 revs. A five-speed gearbox is tasked with channeling the engine’s wicked power to the rear wheel by means of a shaft final drive. This entire shebang enables Kawasaki’s beast to run the quarter mile in just 12.4 seconds. Its top speed is generously rated at 135 mph (217 kph).

1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST
Photo: John Reed
At the front, the whole structure is supported by a set of telescopic forks, along with fully-adjustable dual shock absorbers and a double-sided swingarm at the rear end. Stopping power is taken good care of by twin 240 mm (9.45 inches) discs and one-piston calipers up front, joined by a single 250 mm (9.84 inches) brake rotor and a two-piston caliper at the rear. The behemoth crawls on a pair of seven-spoke wheels, with a diameter of 19 inches at the front and 17 inches on the opposite end.

Now, that’s all fine and dandy, but even a splendid piece of machinery like Kawasaki’s Z1000 ST will begin to show its age after thirty years of faithful service. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of talented craftsmen that specialize in restoring or customizing (or both) vintage beauties to make them regain their youth.

A British fellow, by the name of Joe Gibbons happens to be among these gifted moto surgeons. Over the course of six painstaking months, he embarked on a quest to breathe new life into a weary 1980 Z1000 ST, and the results will have you lost for words. In fact, let’s proceed with a closer analysis of this entity, shall we?

Given the fact that this bike looks absolutely ravishing straight out of the box, Gibbons decided to focus mostly on the restoration side of things and a healthy dose of performance enhancements. For starters, we notice a selection of juicy upgrades that’ll improve handling by a significant margin.

1980 Kawasaki Z1000 ST
Photo: John Reed
These include top-of-the-line rear shocks from a Suzuki Bandit 1200 and high-performance Heidenau K60 all-terrain tires, besides custom clip-on handlebars that do a great job at complementing the retro aesthetic.

Furthermore, the wizard went about fabricating one-off front and rear fenders, as well as a menacing exhaust system to give this Z1000 ST a personality of its own. You will also find a fresh headlight module, aftermarket turn signals and one tasty leather saddle. The latter was meticulously upholstered by the experts over at DP Leathers.

Lastly, Gibbons fiddled with the suspension to bring this creature two inches (50 mm) closer to the ground and tweaked the subframe to increase its length. To top it all off, he wrapped it up in a timeless gloss green finish, accompanied by black and golden accents.

One thing’s for sure; we’re aching to see what else this British magician will delight us with in the future!
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories