KIWI RIDER 10 2018 VOL.1 - Page 69

Second came the Triumph Bonneville, an icon from the golden age of British bikes. Edward Turner created his legendary 498cc OHV vertical Speed Twin in 1937, a design that formed the basis of Triumph twins until the 1970s. The Bonneville name came from the Utah salt flats where the Triumph had enjoyed considerable success in speed trials. Next, three years after the Honda in 1972 came Kawasaki’s Z1 900, like the Honda CB750 a four-cylinder machine with, for its day, stunning performance. At 82bhp, with a top speed of 215km/h there was very little on the road that could come close to it. At number four came Yamaha’s RD350 and 400, one of only two-stroke models in the first ten. On the race track, touring, or commuting, the simple air-cooled RD Yamahas virtually dominated much of motorcycling activity in New Zealand during the 1970s. Liquid cooling was introduced on the LC models in 1981. The 400 had a top speed of 161km/h. The model was a direct relative of the highly successful TZ range of race bikes, which dominated race tracks, beating machines of twice its capacity. 1967 Triumph Bonneville T120 1969 Bonneville engine detail 1975 Kawasaki Z1 900 Rare shot of Mike Hailwood with RD400 in Auckland 1977 > Sharing your passion facebo /Caffein eAndCla ssics