Introduced in 1985, and only produced for 2 years (1985 and 1986), the ZL900 evolved from the legendary Kawasaki Z1. The ZL900 was designed to evoke images of the wildly successful Z1 drag bikes, with a bobbed rear fender, short travel fork, large rear tire, fat chromed mufflers, a small fuel tank and low straight handlebars, and at the time of its original release was the fastest accelerating (from zero to 50 m.p.h.) production motorcycle, and also sported the widest rear tire of any production motorcycle. The ZL900 engine was a transplanted and slightly modified version of the liquid-cooled I4 introduced in the 1984 Kawasaki ZX900 Ninja. Kawasaki used smaller 32mm carburetors (the ZX900 used 34mm), different timing and camshafts with less duration. This gave the engine a dramatically different personality, trading the Ninja's high-end surge for low-end grunt and a meaty mid-range that was more suitable for a cruiser. At the time, the ZL900 was the only bike in its segment using an Inline 4 powerplant instead of a V4 configuration. These bikes were produced by Kawasaki in Lincoln, Nebraska for the American market, but failed to live up to their potential here as there were stiff tariffs at the time for Japanese motorcycles over 700c.c.'s. They were wildly popular overseas in Europe due in large part to the decidedly "American" styling and plenty of dependable power..