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Discussion Starter #1
I got em' today. It took alot of driving around. Here's a facsimile of the craigslist postings. You figure it out.

Posting #1
Reply to: [email protected] [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-07-11, 6:37PM EDT


1978 Kawasaki Motorcycle

No title



Great Project Bike

Location: Southwest Ranches
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


Posting #2

kawasaki KZ 750 frame & more - $150 (Pompano)

Reply to: [email protected] [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-07-13, 7:10AM EDT


Have frame off kz 750 1978 clean title some other parts available 954-xxx-xxxx

Location: Pompano
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 126xxxxxx
 

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As part of my new kinder Gentler outreach program to keep people from fleeing this board I realize my previous posting was a little harsh and so to help you along I have decided not just to be a sarcastic asshole but one who backs it up with logic and reasoning. So here it goes:

Reasons I hate the kz750 Twin:

- It is a confused bike. From the (stock) seat back the bike looks like it wants to be a sport bike. From the Tank forward it wants to be one of those factory "chopper" crusiers that the big four were churning out back in the 70's. As you may have guessed the bike has confused handling, you would think it would be stable like a crusier but corner like a sport bike but really it corners like a cruser and is about as stable as a two legged cat with dimensia and rabies.

- It is a parts bin bike. Kawasaki saw the implosion of the twin market with the brits failing, HD bowling balls not selling as well as they should, and the italians being reduced to a niche market and decided to pounce with a bike to cover all markets built with as little development as possible. The engine is basically an enlarged version of the kz400 series twin. By itself the engine (despite it's 4 internal spinning chains) is fairly reliable - I rarely hear of one having a massive mechanical failure - which the same cannot be said for the electrical system on these bikes.

- The bike is 480lbs Dry (about 500+ wet and well over 500 with a rider). Compare that with any of the brit twins which weigh in the low 400s wet (my norton sans rider is actually in the high 300 lbs range). And it makes a whopping 55hp at the crank (that translates to about 40-45 at the rear wheel). Now I know you are going to say well it's a twin, the appeal is torque right? well this bike puts out a whopping 42 ft-lbs of torque. Not HD territory but pretty close to something like a 1969 Bonneville which has roughly 45 ft-lbs. except a fully wet bonneville with a full tank of gas is around 450 lbs, this slug is more like 500lbs. All this adds up to a bike that, well, can't get out of its own way.

- if neglected the electrical system on these bikes will go completely to piss. I mean really they go shitty pretty fast. I am also pretty sure kawasaki has disavowed ever making one of these so they don't really carry parts for it anymore. which really sucks for the years that have the crappy cv carbs.

- that frame weighs a ton so it isn't like you can lighten then up easily.

What I like about the kz750 twin in stock form:

nothing.

I will say this, now that xs650 mills have joined the ranks as being yet another expensive chopper engine, kz750s are still pretty plentiful and raggedly cheap. If you are willing to throw pretty much the rest of the bike away and use a rigid frame that is pretty light, and keep the bike simple you can have the same riding expirence as a triumph/bsa/norton/xs650 chopper for about 1/5th the cost. The motor is too tall to jam into something sporty like a featherbed frame and besides which, if you could afford a f-bed frame you could probably afford a better engine to put into it than a kz750. I wouldn't mind seeing one in a modern sport bike cradle frame, maybe like an ex250 frame which might be cool if you built her right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

that is like celebrating that you have chlamydia. Good luck with that lump o' twin.

(by now you must have figured out I am no fan of the kz750 twin).
Geeto, I prefer sarcastic assholes to those who blather kinder and gentler reasoning. Now, I won't argue the fact that the bike is heavy. But, don't assume I have plans to build a lighter bike with it.
I have two cafe styled bikes already. Think more like a retro light sport tourer. In other words "stockish"... with maybe a quarter fairing.

You see, I'm 235 lbs. and an SR500 starts feeling smaller and smaller at 80 mph. I plan on riding up to Barber in October. That' s too far on a small bike and I wouldn't be caught dead on a cruiser.
 

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I don't really want to disagree with Geeto ( OK, I really do), but he is wrong, wrong, and wrong, again. There is nothing really bad about the KZ750 twin, except it is a little heavy. There is lots that is right about it.


quote:Originally posted by Geeto67


Reasons I hate the kz750 Twin:

- It is a confused bike. From the (stock) seat back the bike looks like it wants to be a sport bike. From the Tank forward it wants to be one of those factory "chopper" crusiers that the big four were churning out back in the 70's. As you may have guessed the bike has confused handling, you would think it would be stable like a crusier but corner like a sport bike but really it corners like a cruser and is about as stable as a two legged cat with dimensia and rabies.

It isn't confused, but some people are confused about it since it wasn't a UJM or a cruiser. It is a Standard twin. It doesn't have a 16" rear wheel or leading axle forks, It just has standard stuff with a slightly stepped seat. It has limp shocks and fish oil in the forks, but those need to be upgraded on any bike of this vintage. With decent suspension and a set of Superbike bars, it will handle fine. It has Disks front and rear so lace up some 17 or 18 " alloy rims, some good tires and double disk the front and you will be surprised how competent it is.

- It is a parts bin bike. Kawasaki saw the implosion of the twin market with the brits failing, HD bowling balls not selling as well as they should, and the italians being reduced to a niche market and decided to pounce with a bike to cover all markets built with as little development as possible. The engine is basically an enlarged version of the kz400 series twin. By itself the engine (despite it's 4 internal spinning chains) is fairly reliable - I rarely hear of one having a massive mechanical failure - which the same cannot be said for the electrical system on these bikes.

Nope!!! It is more like an enlarged slice off the KZ1000 than a KZ400. DOHC 2 valve Shim over bucket, Vs. SOHC 2 valve threaderd adjuster rocker arms on the 400. All bikes of this vintage should have their electrical systems gone through. Check for corrosion and bad grounds. Apply a little di-electric grease to the connectors, etc. Just common sense and preventive maint.

- The bike is 480lbs Dry (about 500+ wet and well over 500 with a rider). Compare that with any of the brit twins which weigh in the low 400s wet (my norton sans rider is actually in the high 300 lbs range). And it makes a whopping 55hp at the crank (that translates to about 40-45 at the rear wheel). Now I know you are going to say well it's a twin, the appeal is torque right? well this bike puts out a whopping 42 ft-lbs of torque. Not HD territory but pretty close to something like a 1969 Bonneville which has roughly 45 ft-lbs. except a fully wet bonneville with a full tank of gas is around 450 lbs, this slug is more like 500lbs. All this adds up to a bike that, well, can't get out of its own way.

OK, it is an overweight underpowered pig, but some weight can be trimmed with the exhaust and such which will also add a little power,so it can get out of its own way.

- if neglected the electrical system on these bikes will go completely to piss. I mean really they go shitty pretty fast. I am also pretty sure kawasaki has disavowed ever making one of these so they don't really carry parts for it anymore. which really sucks for the years that have the crappy cv carbs.

Replace the carbs.


- that frame weighs a ton so it isn't like you can lighten then up easily.

What I like about the kz750 twin in stock form:

nothing.

I agree with Gringo in that it would make a nice sport/tourer, that would be nice for some day trips.




Ken
 

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Ken:

- it has a too long frame and a too short rake, no amount of good suspension bits will cure that. A welder will however. upgrading brakes on that chassis is necessary but will not fix the piss poor geometry.

- the bottom end design is the same as the kz400. Sure the head hardware is similar to other big bore bikes but really did you think they were going to carry over everything from the kz400? the thing was mostly a parts bin special.

- no amount of exhaust trimming will displace the fact that the frame is overbuilt, has way too many tubes than are necessary, and is always going to be heavy. The frame is plenty strong but has crappy geometry.

- replace the carbs? that is a much added expense to a bike that is cheap (in some cases good carbs will cost you more than the rig is worth).


Ken, I love ya, but really you need to stop defending every single bad bike that is out there. One would think there is no such thing as a bad bike to you.

oh, and the electrics are not bad cause it is old, even when new the stator and rect had above average number of failures. the bike blows charging systems like unicorns blow bicycle shop owners.
 

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Geeto,
Other than a Harley or a 2 stroke, they all are good bikes. Some are just gooder than others. Just like you said I couldn't come up with a really cool single for under $2000, I bet I could put together a cool KZ750 twin that handles for under $1500. If somebody wants to pay me $2500 (not including paint), I'll build it.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Geeto,
I know that you really want to convince me, that the bike is a turd. To save you further keystrokes, let's say that it IS.

Now, I live in South Florida. It's the land of endless strip malls and speed bumps. There are few barns...let alone barn finds. I don't delude myself for one second, thinking I've unearthed some gem. (like Fang's sandcast CB750). However, I will either build a great bike or make a wad of cash. There's not much downside here.
Feel free to contine educating me on Kawasaki's greatest blunder. You will find, I am not a fountain of knowledge. So, I won't dispute yours.

When I ride 1600 miles to Barber and back...on my 30 year old turd....you'll have to just...well...EAT IT.

Until then, I'll be posting up the project. Maybe you can post up one too and try to keep up.

Kisses


Me
 

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Discussion Starter #10
P.S.

Thanks Ken for supporting the qualities of the bike. I'm not that smart about specifications and details. I do have an eye for function. Make no mistake, I can fix even the space shuttle, if they would just let me near it with my grinder.

No worries...I picked up on that, Geeto's the forum guard dog on my first day. In fact, he's the #1 reason I like this forum. His biggest problems are his love for "satin" black, over use of checkered tape and love for KZ750's.
[8D]
 

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Discussion Starter #11
quote:Originally posted by kenessex

Geeto,
Other than a Harley or a 2 stroke, they all are good bikes. Some are just gooder than others. Just like you said I couldn't come up with a really cool single for under $2000, I bet I could put together a cool KZ750 twin that handles for under $1500. If somebody wants to pay me $2500 (not including paint), I'll build it.

Ken
Ya' wanna buy an SR500 for $1500 ? It took two kicks to start it today. I might have to get rid of it.
 

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I had an SR500. I traded it even up for a Fiat 124 Sport Spider.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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quote:Originally posted by Gringo

When I ride 1600 miles to Barber and back...on my 30 year old turd....you'll have to just...well...EAT IT.
TO be honest I would only be surprised if you didn't make it all the way to barber and back. It is japanese after all and if you are going to tear it down to the frame and back it will probably be like a new bike.

I am going to shut up about it now.

My hatred of them is not unfounded, I had one when I lived in new orleans, if I could have that bike back I would set it on fire. I have owned a few kz400s also and surprisingly I don't hate them as much.

good luck with the project, at least the bikes look clean and complete.
 

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Geeto,
It is OK to be a hater about certain bikes and other things. You know how I feel about 2 strokes and some brands of tires. But I had a couple of great seasons endurance racing an RZ350 on Dunlops. My worst possible scenario.

Ken
 

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Geeto,
It is OK to be a hater about certain bikes and other things. You know how I feel about 2 strokes and some brands of tires. But I had a couple of great seasons endurance racing an RZ350 on Dunlops. My worst possible scenario.

Ken
 
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