This year marks the 50th anniversary of one history’s most important motorcycles, the Kawasaki Z1. To celebrate the occasion, and to promote the retro Z900RS inspired by the Z1, the company held a little event at its Swiss importer’s headquarters. As it happens, this is also the location of one of the largest and most thorough Kawasaki museums in the world. It houses around 100 bikes, each one brand new and displayed since it was unboxed.
The official Kawasaki video gives us a few glimpses of the museum, located in Härkingen, Switzerland, about an hour outside of Zurich. It’s a truly impressive collection. The only mileage on the bikes are the ones collected as they have been moved around the floor of the building. Fuel has never touched their gas tanks, and even the brake lines have been drained so the fluid doesn’t harden or corrode anything. From H1 to Z1, the museum has it all.
Given the significance of the collection, there’s surprisingly few videos about the museum online. This video is one of the few, and goes into depth on several of the significant models displayed in the gallery. According to the tour guide, the collection started with a Swedish importer, who amassed about 80 bikes. Then in 1988, the entire collection was sold to the Swiss importer who set up the museum in Härkingen. The bikes are arranged by family and generation, and is reportedly so thorough that it even overshadows Kawasaki’s own collection in Japan. So if you’re ever in the area, don’t miss your chance to see it in person.
Images courtesy of Kawasaki Switzerland.
Had my own 1980 LTD 1000.
Wow! A new bucket list destination. I’m definitely a Kaw-boy. I’m restoring a ’90 ZX11 with just over 6k miles and this article has stoked my fire!
There’s a Tengai lurking among the trail bikes!
A rare Kwacka I’d be happy to cruise on.