The ZX10 has a distinguished family tree which can be traced back to the 900cc Z1 which was launched in 1972 and was the first real Japanese superbike. It was originally planned as a 750 but the appearance of the Honda CB750 in 1969 provoked a radical rethink and a legend was born. The Z1 went through several metamorphises including the Z1A, Z1B (the most sought after) and the Z900 which was slower but smoother than its predecessors.

1977 saw the first appearance of the Z1000 which was still slower than the original Z1 but this was only the beginning of the bikes development.

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