Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

The owner’s tale: Graham Peters


The Z1A landed in my garage way back in 1995 for what was then a fairly sensible £1800. I took it back to standard over two or three years as it had received numerous tweaks and updates during its life. One of the changes someone had bestowed upon it was a set of Lester alloy wheels which was one of the upgrades we used to do back in the day. Amazingly the dealer I purchased the bike from gave, yes gave, me a set of the original spoked wheels! I got on with the bike’s restoratio­n well before Z1s went ballistic; I wouldn’t want to do one from scratch now! The Z1B I’ve had since 2011 and in a pretty rough state it set me back £1700; compared to my Z1A it was a bit of a hound. There’s 16 years between me buying the two bikes and the comparable prices shows just how much the market had moved on over that period. As I already had the Z1A in original condition I opted to recommissi­on the Z1B in the style of a late 70s or early 80s Big Zed that had been modified and tricked up. At the time most people were only restoring Z1s back to stock so a lot of the parts were relatively easy to come by. It’s subtly different to ride from the standard Z1A and I’ve used it regularly and ridden it hard on numerous occasions. By way of offending the purists, it’s even been subjected to numerous winter runs from Suffolk to the Dragon Rally in Wales. It ran fine, got covered in salty grime and cleaned up fine; after all isn’t that what we did with them back in the day? As I have another slightly younger and more unkempt classic for winter sorties I’ve decided I’ll probably return the Z1B back to standard. It’s going to be interestin­g seeing just what all those aftermarke­t parts go for now; I gather things like the seat and those cast alloy wheel are in high demand again now. I couldn’t have done any of this stuff to either bike without the Z1 Owners Club and Z Power… thanks guys!

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