March 1973, Daytona Speedway. Everyone was still excited from the Daytona 200 Mile race, won by Jarno Saarinen (Yamaha) the day before. But there was another group that day, excited for what was to come...
It was a scene, perfectly planned by Kawasaki, to promote the Z1 for the first time in the world.
The Z1--code-named: New York Steak--was fitted with Yoshimura's 4-into-1 exhaust system and the engine tuned by Pop Yoshimura, in strict confidence, in Japan. The power output was 106PS/10,000rpm (STD 82PS), while retaining the 903cc engine capacity.
The Yoshimura-Tuned Z1, ridden by Yvon Duhamel, broke many FIM and AMA Speed Records that day. The most highlighted record achieved, “Fastest Closed Circuit” speed ever recorded by FIM officials at 160.19MPH!!
The Z1 running through that one flying lap on the Daytona 31 degree-banking, with Yoshimura 4-into-1 exhaust sound, still lives clearly in my mind.