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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 04 Feb 2023 19:48 #879794

  • Stereordinary
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portland.craigslist.org/mlt/mpo/d/portla...arts/7585813522.html

This obvious basket case of a KZ400 has been on my local Craig’s List for a hot minute, and I have at times been tempted to pick it up. 

Now I have no need for it, barely have the disposable income for it, could instead save the money for the bike I already have, and only sort of have space to store a second bike. BUT, I would love to have a project bike to work on at some point, I have heard that having two bikes makes a huge difference in the way you approach spending money on them (not to mention getting around and riding), and I hate to see a cool bike just sitting around being unloved. Even if I just got it and flipped it, I am pretty good at restoring and painting stuff, and could maybe make a little bit of money on it. Or at least break even and improve the life of this little KZ. 

It’s been on CL for a while, and I think I could maybe get it for even less than the asking price. 

So what do you think all? Slightly inebriated and bike-obsessed minds would like to know. 
A breeze from the west.
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka “Zephanie”
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka “Goldie Brown”

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 00:52 #879796

  • Wookie58
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Why not? It looks like it isn't a rusted out POS (does look like the head gasket is leaking on the left cylinder which I suspect probably why it got laid up in the first place) There is a huge amount of satisfaction in making it "great again" and it's better for your wellbeing than spending your money on drugs and loose women 
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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 04:20 #879801

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It's a project for sure.  It might be more than you really want at this point in your life.  You might want to ask yourself why you want this particular bike.  If it's to have a project to work on then you have to ask yourself if it's the right one at the right time in your life.  My experience with projects is that they are impossible to budget and usually wind up costing double what you can get back from them.  And that's with more popular ones.  Lesser known ones will be harder to find parts and will probably cost more to rebuild.
I have several restored bikes along with a 2006 Goldwing with a sidecar. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 04:44 #879802

  • ThatGPzGuy
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Parts are not as easy to come by as they are for others. The market doesn't really value them either so I doubt you would make much money if you restored it. 
The front brake caliper seal is NLA. 
Jim
North GA
2016 Yamaha FJR1300ES
1982 GPz750 R1
1974 Kawasaki H1
1976 Kawasaki KZ400
1979 Yamaha XS650 cafe'
2001 KZ1000P
2001 Yamaha YZ426
1981 Honda XR200 stroked in an '89 CR125 chassis
1965 Mustang
1967 Triumph GT6
1976 Bronco
"If you didn't build it, it's not really yours"

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 05:32 #879803

  • DavidZ1R
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Most of these old bikes are money pits, but the enjoyment is bringing them back to life, and hearing them fire up for the first time in years, many parts are hard to find, but you USA guys have more available to you than us UK types, try knocking the asking price down and take the plunge.

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 07:04 #879807

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By ThatGPzGuy: ... The front brake caliper seal is NLA. 

From my notes for a  KZ400 front brake caliper: 
Possible alternate part to replace 43049-004 RING,PISTON SEAL:  Harley-Davidson 44047-83 (listed on EB. made in USA)(HD. Harley).
P/N is from a topic on another forum for a 76 KZ400 front brake:
The gist of his comment was that the square cut o ring 43049-004 is NLA, but a local Harley shop fixed him up with the Harley part.
He said it fits nicely & stopped the slow drip of brake fluid with the old ring. I don't have a KZ400, so I haven't done this.
I checked EB & they're still available. and a lot cheaper than HD chrome. hee.
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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 10:24 #879816

  • Nerdy
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That's a little pricey (not terrible) for a pile of parts, but having the title does make it more useful. 

I would probably offer $350 initially and let myself be talked up to $400. :)  Or you could offer $400 cash in hand and see what the seller says.

Do you have an indoor storage place for it? I think that would be important to minimize any additional decay until you can get to work on it.
1979 KZ400 Gifted to a couple of nephews
1967 Yamaha YCS1 Bonanza
1980 KZ440B
1981 Yamaha XT250H
1981 KZ440 LTD project bike
1981 GPz550
2013 Yamaha FZ6R

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 11:36 #879819

  • Nessism
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It's not the initial price that would put me off, it's the cost of restoration, and when you're done, it will only be worth peanuts.  Unless you have real love for the old 400's, I'd pass.

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 05 Feb 2023 13:20 #879825

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It´s only a parts/donor bike no more or less, just my 2 cents.....

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 07 Feb 2023 17:35 #879889

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So what do you think all? Slightly inebriated and bike-obsessed minds would like to know. 
 

Well? Did ya get it?? :)
1979 KZ400 Gifted to a couple of nephews
1967 Yamaha YCS1 Bonanza
1980 KZ440B
1981 Yamaha XT250H
1981 KZ440 LTD project bike
1981 GPz550
2013 Yamaha FZ6R

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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 08 Feb 2023 09:06 #879903

  • Stereordinary
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No, I didn’t. At least not yet anyway, but probably never. A few of the votes opposed here, and a couple of my moto buddies convinced me it wasn’t a good idea. Additionally, the timing is not right for me financially. 

I’ve got a lot going on right now, with work, being back in college, and hunting for a new job. Besides so many other things though, I have found that my motivation for a project bike is one of the few remaining constants. So while it may not be this bike, I am thinking I’m gonna have to pick one up eventually. 
A breeze from the west.
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka “Zephanie”
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka “Goldie Brown”
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Should I rescue it? KZ400 on Portland CL. 08 Feb 2023 11:25 #879907

  • Wheelhop
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Try to "squirrel" away a little cash every week / month so when the right bike comes along you are ready for it.
Granted you are in school and on a tight budget- we used to buy cars for under $500 when I was in college! 
1978 KZ 1000B (73 tribute)
1977 KZ1000 project
1976 KZ 900
1976 KV 75
1976 Honda Elsinore MT250
1974 Z1 900 project
1971 Honda CT70

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