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Price 21 Feb 2021 17:38 #843838

  • mopguy
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Why are the Kawasakis made between 1973-1976 worth more than the ones made between 1977-1980?
I have a 1980 Kawasaki KZ750 Ltd. I bought new. I recently managed to get it out of my garage after 28 years and put it on the road again (2010). I feel like a kid all over again. Since I have acquired 3 78 KZ1000 Ltd, 1 1981 KZ1000 Ltd, and another 1980 KZ750 Ltd. Love the LTD's.

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Price 21 Feb 2021 22:44 #843842

  • Kaylinator
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Because of the nostalgia of a Z1 / 900, along with desirable features like 4-4 pipes, and less emissions control. And, well, older is rarer.
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Price 22 Feb 2021 05:55 #843849

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There is no emission controls on the 77-80 bikes, personally I think these are better made bikes than the earlier models.
I have a 1980 Kawasaki KZ750 Ltd. I bought new. I recently managed to get it out of my garage after 28 years and put it on the road again (2010). I feel like a kid all over again. Since I have acquired 3 78 KZ1000 Ltd, 1 1981 KZ1000 Ltd, and another 1980 KZ750 Ltd. Love the LTD's.

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Price 22 Feb 2021 06:14 #843852

  • 73z1
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>>>>>>>>>>Why are the Kawasakis made between 1973-1976 worth more than the ones made between 1977-1980?
73 is the first year and has the highest value
74 is the second year and has the second highest value
75 is the third year and has the third highest value
76 is the fourth year and has the forth highest value
Classic status is what gives the bikes value.
The 77 to 80 bikes are just as good as the early bikes, perhaps even better, but they lack classic status.


>>>>>>>>>>>> There is no emission controls on the 77-80 bikes, personally I think these are better made bikes than the earlier models.
Emission controls has no effect on value or classic status.
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Last edit: by 73z1.

Price 22 Feb 2021 06:30 #843853

  • ghostdive
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My theory is that the people who saw/rode the early bikes growing up now have the money and time to buy and fix them.
1982 KZ750 Spectre
Dyna 2.2 coils + 8mm wires, WG coil relay
Mikuni BS34s - 40P/127.5M
Progressive fork springs/KZ900 rear shocks
Vance & Hines 4-1

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Price 22 Feb 2021 06:35 #843855

  • Nessism
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mopguy wrote: There is no emission controls on the 77-80 bikes, personally I think these are better made bikes than the earlier models.


Actually, in the USA anyway, federal emission requirements for motorcycles began in 1978, but California had their own rules and many manufacturers geared their bikes to meet those standards.
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Price 22 Feb 2021 10:43 #843866

  • Rick H.
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1973 was the bell ringer for many people because it was the first year model and rocked the motorcycle world. I believe it also had the fewest made. As you go thru the years more were made and the "WOW" factor wore off. If you rode a motorcycle, or knew anything about motorcycles, the '73 Z was all it. And obviously Kawasaki decided to refine the later models especially the '77's and on. Problem was and still is availability. You had to be at the right age and income level to afford a new '73 and you had better have had a ticket for one or you were left holding poop in one hand and a wish in the other. I still recall watching the few '73 Z owners in my AO that thoroughly impressed me with the performance of the early Z's. I told myself someday I will have one. That day came when I stopped in at a Kawasaki dealership that was going out of business and had a couple of '75 Z1B's on the floor. He gave me a super good deal on a blue one IF I got it out of his dealership on that day. I ran around like an idiot to get the money and get a ride back to the dealership but when he closed that day I rode off on my brand new Kawasaki. Living in the greater Milwaukee area there were few 900 Kawasaki's running around and the Harley guys knew better than to mess with them, so life was good for awhile.

From a purely personal standpoint I think the '77 KZ-1000 was a better all around motorcycle than the early Z's. The factory did some improvements to the KZ-1000 that made a lot of sense to me, so when I went looking for a Kawasaki to refurbish a couple of years ago, I went for the '77. I could have purchased any year I wanted, but I aimed at the '77. I also love being able to mess with Harley guys over the Kawasaki being built in America, but that's another story. If I could add one more Kawasaki to my stable it would no doubt be a '75 Z1B, but that would only be for the nostalgia of having owned a brand new one. It was hard enough finding OEM parts for my '77 so I can only imagine the difficulty of finding early Z OEM parts now. I am always amazed though at what people will shell out for a '73 Z . They obviously have way more disposable cash than I do.

Rick H.
Rick H.

1977 Kawasaki KZ-1000A1
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Price 22 Feb 2021 10:49 #843868

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The diagrams at Partzilla show a number of 77-80 models with the Kawasaki Clean Air System.
I suppose it's possible some of them didn't actually have it & Kawasaki kinda jumbled the diagrams.

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Last edit: by martin_csr.

Price 22 Feb 2021 10:54 #843869

  • hardrockminer
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I think what you're really asking is what distinguishes the early models from later ones. There are a number of key factors. First, the Z1 was a huge step up in power, which allowed it to develop a racing pedigree in its day. Later years had to compete with models built by Suzuki and Honda, among others. There was little to distinguish between them, and the KZ series was no longer dominant at races.
Second, it had classic styling that is admired and copied even today. Suzuki copied it shamelessly with their GS series. And third is nostalgia. When I saw my first Z1 I was captivated by its look. I vowed then and there to buy one when I could, and two years later I did. A few years later, like many bike enthusiasts I had different life priorities and I left biking behind. Flash forward 40 years to my return to motorcycles....there was only one bike I wanted to buy. And I did.

As an owner of a Z1 (two actually) and a KZ1000, my opinion is that the KZ is far better for riding. Better handling, particularly for cornering and a bit more comfortable. My only wish, and this is driven from being much older and much more demanding of comfort...is that Kawasaki would develop a softer seat and moveable footpegs to accommodate my stiff knees and hips.

So to summarize, style, power, nostalgia and racing pedigree.
I have a couple of Z1B's restored, an '80 KZ1000LTD restored, a 1981 KZ550 restored and a 2008 KLR 650 for off road fun. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.
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Last edit: by hardrockminer.

Price 22 Feb 2021 13:33 #843881

  • DOHC
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martin_csr wrote: The diagrams at Partzilla show a number of 77-80 models with the Kawasaki Clean Air System.
I suppose it's possible some of them didn't actually have it & Kawasaki kinda jumbled the diagrams.


Yes, the diagrams are jumbled. It's annoying. The air injection was only on the 79 and 80 models. Also, they leaned the jetting and added accelerator pumps. But the air injection system doesn't have any impact on performance. It just allows fresh air to flow into the exhaust on deceleration..

The 73-80 bikes are all very similar, and they certainly all share the same base engine and frame design. Each year there were a series of mostly small engineering and styling changes. But after evolving for 7 years that added up to a lot of small changes.

I think the Z1 values are largely based on nostalgia, as mentioned. The 1973 model was the revolutionary model that got everyone's attention. That's the one everyone wants. The '74 and '75 are very similar, and still have the Z1 name, so they ride the '73 coattails. The KZ900 was the least valuable for a time, but prices have come up recently. After that things get complicated as the different sub-models each have their own fans.
'78 Z1-R in blue, '78 Z1-R in black, '78 Z1-R in pieces
'95 GPZ1100 (sold) , '00 ZRX1100

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Last edit: by DOHC.

Price 23 Feb 2021 06:12 #843912

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mopguy wrote: Why are the Kawasakis made between 1973-1976 worth more than the ones made between 1977-1980?

SUPPLY!! They only produced 80,000 or 88,000? Z1-Z1A-Z1B models from 73-75. Don't know count on 76KZ900? But they mass produced the late 77 and up KZ1000's with rear disc brakes. A lot of those still around. That's why the 76 KZ900 drum rear is the next high dollar bike as you are seeing on eBay and Mecum auctions last year in 2019 & early 20. In Las Vegas.
And the Guys on this site doing some fine restorations like Mikaw Matt! and I see 3 or 4 others in progress.
Plus in the beginning, I'd say 1/2 of the Z1's were turned into Racing, Drag Racing, Side Hack, Dwarf cars, Choppers to say the least! I myself, trashed at least 25 bikes for drag racing, buying rusted ones for $100 just for the engine. Cutting up frames, blowing up 5-6 stock engines with a turbo from 89-94 I had tried. Scraping frames and stock parts. It's all about the supply and demand and inventory of the old motorcycles. The Daytona 24 hour race in 73 helped fuel the growth also. And believe it or not, ask anyone down under in OZ. That the "Mad Max" original Movie, the "Stone" movie helped for damn sure! It's up to you 40's and 50's year olds' to keep it going! Plus the world wide attention to the 50th anniversary approaching sure will be a big notoriety for the mighty Z! That's JMO. Then again? What do I know? I help by modifying stock parts from there original state, but on the other hand as I sold parts on ebay for 20 years, those parts helped the next guy put his Z / KZ together. Just yesterday, I ground down some 77 up fork legs and a 76 front brake caliper. And I'll find the picture of a 73 rear brake plate with no wear indicator on it that I customized to my liking! B) I'll go get some phone pics.
Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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Price 23 Feb 2021 07:22 #843915

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Z1R disc's counter sunk for 45° flat heads as well as the brake caliper mounts on lower legs.
The rear brake plate altered also cut that bottom part off and welded a lug on for brake torque arm. Plus I always cut those front fender bracket tabs off of the lower legs that they use some other models? I guess I'm bored drinking morning coffee!
Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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