Force Fed – Magnum Opus Turbo KZ650

In 1978 former Kawasaki Marketing Director Alan Masek knew that the mighty Z1’s dominance of the street was coming to an end. Honda’s new CBX and Suzuki’s GS1000 were set to leave the Z1 in their dust, but rather than sit back quietly and watch that happen, Alan devised the Zed’s ultimate swansong. In what can only be described as a ludicrous business agreement, Alan, who was at the time CEO of Turbo Cycle Corporation, acquired 250 of Kawasaki’s powder blue Z1000s. These bikes were then rebadged as the Z1R-TC and fitted with bolt on turbo kits. The Z1R-TC ran the same engine internals, same suspension and same brakes as the standard Z, but thanks to the turbo kit packed an additional 40 brake horsepower. Insanely the bikes were then sold through Kawasaki dealerships, without warranties, to power hungry riders. Unfortunately many of the bikes met their demise by melting pistons, tearing cranks in half or at the hands of riders who simply couldn’t control the beasts.

Today the idea of building such a bike for the street sounds rather ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done…

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