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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 24 May 2023 20:18 #885152

  • MLMG
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I would like to know why you think the Kz are great?  What attracts you to these machines?  I read them.
1977 Kawasaki KZ1000 A1

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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 00:19 #885155

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When I was a teenager the Z1 was the bedroom wall poster child of choice, and the pinnacle of performance motorcycles. I went on the back of a KZ1000 when I was 16 and I was hooked
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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 02:02 #885156

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My first bike was a Kawasaki (AR 50 A1, in highschool) , but most my mates had Z650's.
That "duck tail" was so unique and stylish!

Kawasaki advertising was amazing... Let the good times roll!

Racing in the early 80's was dominated by Kawasaki. 'Nuff said !

H.
'81 GPz 550 D1 Click this link: www.kzrider.com/gallery/kz-550/1981-gpz550d1-9094#joomimg
'81 GPz 1100 B1 ELR "Tribute" www.kzrider.com/forum/11-projects/617040-1981-gpz1100-b1-rst
'82 Yamaha YB100 Fizzie
'79 Suzuki GT200 X5 TWO STROKE TWIN - SMOKER!
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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 03:48 #885157

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I find them much easier to work on than other makes.  Hondas are terrible...Yamahas are worse.  Parts are also plentiful, at least for the big bikes. 

The Suzuki GS series seems a lot like the KZ series and I would probably enjoy restoring a GS.  
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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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 04:14 #885159

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When I was a teenager the Z1 was the bedroom wall poster child of choice, and the pinnacle of performance motorcycles. I went on the back of a KZ1000 when I was 16 and I was hooked
 
Wookie, Morgan Fairchild was my first poster child... then Meg Ryan
'81 GPz 550 D1 Click this link: www.kzrider.com/gallery/kz-550/1981-gpz550d1-9094#joomimg
'81 GPz 1100 B1 ELR "Tribute" www.kzrider.com/forum/11-projects/617040-1981-gpz1100-b1-rst
'82 Yamaha YB100 Fizzie
'79 Suzuki GT200 X5 TWO STROKE TWIN - SMOKER!
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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 04:22 #885161

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When I was a teenager the Z1 was the bedroom wall poster child of choice, and the pinnacle of performance motorcycles. I went on the back of a KZ1000 when I was 16 and I was hooked

 
Wookie, Morgan Fairchild was my first poster child... then Meg Ryan
 

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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 06:15 #885167

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As I entered my teen years, we were living in a rural area near a small town. A small motorcycle dealer opened up on Main Street. He sold Kawasakis and Hodakas. How could any kid resist bikes with names like, Super Rat, Combat Wombat and Road Toad? Even so, I was even more enthralled by the Kawasaki Trail Boss and its sophisticated dual range transmission. I wanted one so bad, I might have traded my mom for one. At that time, the H1 and H2s were the terror of the streets. There was something so very visceral about a two stroke triple with expansion chambers ripping through the gears and leaving the fragrant aroma of burned Castrol R in the air. Absolutely intoxicating, especially compared to the H@#*a CB750, whose most memorable sound was its cam chain clatter.
A few years later, I went to college. I became friends with the son of the department chairman’s secretary, who just happened to be a rider. One day he came by with his new ride and offered to let me borrow it for the day.
It was a root beer and orange Z1 with a Kerker pipe and 29 smooth bore carbs. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! As it turns out, that is also the only street bike I have ever been airborne on, but that is another story.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough
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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 07:22 #885169

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The Suzuki GS series seems a lot like the KZ series and I would probably enjoy restoring a GS.  

I've either restored or rehabbed close to the full line of GS bikes: a 450, two 550's, a 750, two 850's, and two 1000S's.  Of all those UJM's, though, I prefer my KZ750E best of all.  It's the perfect balance of power, weight, and handling, relative to my personal perspective.  

When I was young, riding 400's mostly, the bike I lusted after was the GPz550, first gen.  To me, that was the perfect bike; lightweight, yet plenty fast.  Kawasaki set lots of trends back in the day, from the first big liter class machine, and light & fast 550/650/750's.  And let's not forget the GPz's!  What's not to like?
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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 07:43 #885170

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When I was a teenager the Z1 was the bedroom wall poster child of choice, and the pinnacle of performance motorcycles. I went on the back of a KZ1000 when I was 16 and I was hooked
 

When I was about that same age, one day when riding my Yamaha 250 home from school I saw a guy sitting at the side of the road on a larger street bike, slumped over the handlebars.

I stopped to see if he was okay: he had run out of gas and was tired from pushing the bike, so he stopped to rest.

We both managed to fit on the 250's saddle and I gave him a ride to his house, where we got his vehicle and a gas can. After filling the bike's tank, he handed me the keys so I could ride it back to his house.

That was a 1980-ish Suzuki GS750. Going from a single-cylinder bike to an inline four was an amazing experience - a real eye-opener.

The KZs I saw in 'Mad Max' set me on the Kaw path, and the 1981 GPz550 that found me in the early 1990s sealed the deal.
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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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 07:43 #885171

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Because it was $350 and had 5000 miles on it.

Plus Kaaaaaawaaaaaaasssaaaaaaaaakkkkkiiiiiiii has a nice ring to it. Try that with Honda.
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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 09:02 #885180

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My 77' KZ 1000LTD has been in the family since 78'. I got it last year and we went through it. I was at home on the KZ the first time I rode it. We also have a low mileage 1980 GS 1100E that we resurrected a couple of years ago. The GS 1100E is also a joy to ride with great handling. My favorite Honda we have is the 84' VF 1000F Interceptor. It has a great motor in it and is really fun to ride.
I've never been stuck on one brand of motorcycle. Why limit the fun you can have? There's so many different bikes out there that are worth riding.
The Rust Bros. Garage Collection
1974 Honda CB 550 K0
1975 Honda CB 400F Super Sport
1977 Kawasaki KZ 1000 LTD
1980 Suzuki GS 1100E
1981 Suzuki GS 1100E
1982 Honda CB 900F Super Sport
1983 Honda CB 1100F
1984 Honda Sabre 700
1984 Honda Interceptor 1000
1994 Kawasaki ZG 1000 Concours
And more
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Why a Kz before another motorcycle? 25 May 2023 10:08 #885183

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In 1979 (when I was 24) I owned a Honda 750.  One of my buddies had a 74 Z1A and one day we traded bikes for our ride.  Holy shit, I've gotta get one of these!  Soon after that I bought a 1974 Z1A.  Over the next few years it got a few modifications, including a wiseco1015 kit, mildly ported head, Andrews cams with slotted gears, superbike bars etc.
So 43 years later, several other motorcycles have come and gone but I kept the Z1A all this time.  Then life got in the way and it hasn't been ridden for 15 years.  Now retired, I'm reviving (not restoring) it.  Should be riding later on this summer.  Whenever I see a Z1 or kz1000 I still think "that is the coolest motorcycle I've ever seen!"  Really looking forward to riding it again.

Scotty
Scotty

1974 Z1A
1015
welded Z1 crank
Andrews 1X Cams
Delkevic 4 into 1
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