Take a look at the maxi-concept motorcycles that never made it to the roads. We present to you the unique Kawasaki 750 Square Four, Yamaha RZ1, Triumph Quadrant 1000 and Morini 500 Turbo.
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Italy’s La Gazetta dello Sport has taken us on the joyride of impressive maxi-concept motorcycles that never made it to the production stage. iMotorbike has taken the liberty to share with you the bikes that could have been made.
Of all the Japanese motorcycles that never made it into production, the most beautiful one is the Kawasaki 750 Square Four. With its two-stroke four-cylinder engine arranged in a square and liquid-cooled, it appeared to the world in 1973. It could have become a more modern and technological alternative to the three-cylinder H2 750. The idea was astounding but the Akashi house instead focused on developing the Z900. The Z900 had already been on sale the year before, in 1972.
When Kawasaki exhibited the model at the 1973 Tokyo Motor Show, enthusiasts from all over the world gasped.
It is no strange fact that many appreciate the Kawasaki 750 Square Four. Nevertheless, it was met with an onslaught for its excessive consumption and excessive production costs. Above all was the competition from the Z900 with a four-stroke, four-cylinder in-line air-cooled engine. Unlike the two-stroke, it would not have created pollution problems in the United States.
Another model was the Yamaha RZ1 with a Wankel rotary engine was much less appreciated. This type of engine, complex and polluting, had a production outlet among Japanese manufacturers. This is thanks to Suzuki with the Re5, a modern, innovative and aesthetically pleasing vehicle, which however recorded negligible numbers.
In Europe, however, the Wankel was mounted on the smaller Hercules W2000, designed at the end of the 60s and put on sale in 1974. But it too recorded minimal production and sales.
Triumph in the mid-70s even made two versions of the Quadrant 1000. It was nothing more than an evolution of the Trident 750 with an extra cylinder.
It would have been the highest-volume English motorcycle built up to then. However, it too never saw dealer windows despite being much appreciated by the many enthusiasts of the British company.
When Moto Morini presented the design of the Morini 500 Turbo at the Motosalone in Milan in November 1981, it caused confusion among all enthusiasts. Designed by Franco Lambertini, the designer-inventor of all the Morinis, who surprisingly wasn’t an engineer, it remained in the prototype stage for an unbelievable cause. He cited the reason as being the insane amount to make the moulds for the fairings, around one billion old lire. This was three times as much as the budgeted amount. And so it was that the dream of the Morini 500 Turbo vanished. The only existing model of this dream bike is kept in the museum of Mario Righini, a wealthy collector from Emilia.
Among all the great designs, which one is your favourite?