In 1977 Kawasaki came up with a new motorcycle design with a 1015cc 4 cylinder engine producing 90 hp and the legendary KZ1000 was born. That same year, the KZ900 had been modified for police use, and the following year, the first KZ1000 police bike went into production. These first bikes, called the C series, featured a Harley Davidson style windshield, large cushioned seat for a single rider, floorboards in place of foot pegs, a larger generator for the extra lights, siren and radio equipment, and a speedometer with a solenoid that could trap the needle at the push of a button to record the speed of a traffic violator. The bikes were fast, nimble and rugged, but there were some issues with magnetic interference with the police radios (at that time, almost everything interfered with police radios).
The bike was popularized by the television series "CHiPs", featuring two California Highway Patrol officers riding the bikes into new adventures. In 1982 a new model with a smaller but more efficient engine was introduced, and the windshield was replaced by a cowling. Production continued until 2005. Starting around 1999 many law enforcement agencies began to switch over to Harley Davidson motorcycles because of high demand for those bikes. Many agencies claimed that the bikes could be resold after a few years for the same price. While many motor officers were Harley fanatics, they openly admitted that the Kawasaki was faster, lighter, more maneuverable and it could be ridden over obstacles like roadside curbs or common pedestrian stairways. The Harleys were more expensive to maintain. Many agencies have now switched over to BMW motorcycles, but Kawasaki has re-entered the police market with the KZ14000 police bike.
The Kawasaki Police 1000 motorcycle is an icon of law enforcement. As part of the Naked Bike series, Aoshima
offers several versions of this bike, including this one with the LAPD type windshield. This kit appears to represent a KZ1000 C model, 1980 or 1981. Later models would need the different engine and side plate.
The kit comes in what I consider the typical box for auto/motorcycle models-medium sized but much taller top opening type. There is a photograph of the subject taken from the rear side. Inside the box the sprues are all individually packaged, which is much appreciated as a single bag for all parts results in parts breakage and scratching.
There are 20 sprues, plus two rubber tires, three screws and a length of vinyl tubing. The sprues are molded in black, white, gray, bright chrome and satin chrome. Personally I really dislike chrome plated parts because of the extra work they create. The plating must be removed to glue parts together, doesn't take paint as well as bare plastic and to clean up mold seams or sprue attachment points reveals the plastic underneath. You can't just touch it up as the paint won't match the plating, so the entire piece must be painted.
Other than the gripe about the chrome, the molding of the parts looks really quite good. Very fine engine detail, accurate texture on the seat, grips and floorboards, and the vinyl tubing is to provide wiring for the spark plugs, throttle and brake lines. Ejector pin marks are hidden from view and I did not see any sink marks.
Details shown in the photos should satisfy most modelers. The rims on the real bike are cast with a very slight visible texture no present on the plastic molding. The tires come with legible sidewall lettering.
A single decal sheet is provided with markings for the California Highway Patrol. The decals appear thin, in register and clearly printed, with even the odometer reading legible.
The instructions are in fold-out pamphlet form, with the decal instructions at the front. Assembly is shown by line drawing and is completed in 21 steps. They are clear and easy to follow. Painting is called out during assembly with color numbers provided for Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr Color paints.
My overall impression of this kit is that it is very nicely detailed and complete. Aside from my dislike of chromed parts, everything looks great. I always appreciate good, clear, clean instructions. I don't know if there are aftermarket decals for those outside of California that would like to model something more local.
A build log has been started in the forums and can be found by clicking below:
Kawasaki Police 1000 CHP LAPD build