Classic Bike – August 2017


This is The Green Issue, but not some kind of environmentally-motivated political message those three words now suggest. Far from it. It’s a celebration of a time when green was mean, a time of Kawasaki’s outrageous two-strokes triples and ground-breaking four-strokes. A time when big horsepower was everything and chassis technology was struggling to catch up.

In the early 1970s riders were going Kawasaki crazy on the road with the wild 500cc and 750cc two-strokes. On track it was fast and furious too, with people like Mick Grant at the TT and short circuit heroes like Yvon DuHamel and Art Baumann struggling to tame the ‘green meanies’.

Then came the four-strokes. Godier Genoud won endurance races with the Z1/Z1000 power units and Eddie Lawson earned legendary status racing a Z1000 in American superbike that saw Kawasaki develop a road bike as a tribute to him.

It was an incredible period of gas-guzzling, tyre-smoking madness – a green era to unsettle all of today’s green campaigners.

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