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Geeto and Engel,

Check out Unit's bio......it's been all filled out you lazy bastards.

Tex
 

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simply figured it to be a good way with clear photo's for yanks that didn't get this model in this format to see what that the original post alluded to.

this ones not a bad looker.
 

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the biggest difference between the US and other bikes is the brakes, US models had single disc, while others had dual. Also I don't think we ever got the KZ500 or the z400 here in the states, just the kz550. post a pic, does it look like a mini z1r?
I had a 500 in the early 70s, I don't recall if it was a Z or KZ. It was a 3 cylinder 2 cycle.
 

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The moment you posted that I could hear the engine in my head.
That sound was imitated a Lot by snowmobiles in later years :|

... sort of a yayingvrooombaddaduddayingyangbuddadudda.... or something like that.
 

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Old thread but thought I'd throw in my 2c for future readers.
Firstly its important to clarify I'm m only talking about the regular dohc 8-valve, twin shock fours here. Not any twins that used the same names. Nor am i including any of the "Ltd" customs.
The Z500 was known as KZ500 in the USA (N. American?) market. The difference was the KZ only had a single disc front brake. The (K)Z500 ran for 2Years 1978 and 1979 and were known as the Z500B1 and Z500B2, differing only in paint jobs. You can spot a 500 by the rear disc brake. In 1980 the Z500 was superceded by the Z550 in response to the CB550 and GS550. The Z550 was just a bored out 500. Everything else was the same except for drum brake rear, red line lowered to 9,500rpm and carb modifications.
The Z550 ran for a few years, and was known as Z550A1 to Z550A4. From the A2 on, the passenger footrests were hung off a cast alu plate whereas Z55OA1 and both the Z500 variants used steel tubes welded to the frame. The A2 on also used the then current design disc brake calipers with the v-shape carrier and rectangular pads. A2 to A4 diffetences were paint only.
At the same time there existed a 400cc version for the markets with 400cc licence classes such as Japan. Also increasing the 500 to 550 created room in the range for a baby z.
This model was the Z400J and used a destroked verion of the Z500 donk. Not to be confused with the Z400 twin. The Z400J's development exactly followed that of its big sister Z550.
The Z400J1 shares all parts not related to the engine changes with the Z550A1. The Z400J2 on mirrors the changes made to the Z550A2 and so on. The Z400J1 redlined at 10,000rpm compared to the 9,500 of the Z550. Thats the easiest way to tell the drum rear braked bikes apart.
The ultimate version of the Z550 was the Z550D aka tbe GPz550D. Basically a hot cammed version of the Z550A with red war paint. After that the chassis went monoshock so the GPz550D is the last of the line of this range of dohc four, twin shock configuration, though the 553cc motor and Z550 name lived on in various forms long afterwards. All parts z500 to Z550D are interchangeable except those to do with the engine and the chassis differences.
 
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