A bit of history and some stories about vintage bikes for sale

’79 Kawasaki KZ750 Twin

Talk about flying under the radar, I don’t think you can get any further under than with a KZ750 Twin. As someone once wrote about the twin, “it’s the stepchild of the Kawasaki lineup”. Sad, but accurate. The 750 Twin is a very good motorcycle, more like the Rodney Dangerfield of Kawasaki’s line, “it don’t get no respect”. Most people have never heard of the KZ750 twin much less seen one, yet it was in the showrooms for seven years in one version or another. Kawasaki must have sold quite a few of them but where are they? They’re hiding in garages around the country waiting for people like me to sing their songs and tell their stories…and maybe convince somebody to go out and buy one.

The KZ750 came out at a time when Kawasaki had put the 2 stroke street rockets to sleep and building the 4 stroke inline four powerhouses. So why a relatively sleepy twin? The Triumph twin was still selling well, the Yamaha XS650 was a moderate success, and it seemed to Big Green that riders still wanted a simple, easy to maintain, reliable ride. They hit the nail right on the head with the KZ750. Not flashy, but not too traditional looking, comfortable, decent handling, and easy to maintain…only two cylinders and two carbs to tune. The KZ was a little porky at around 500 pounds, but it’s 55HP motor would get you anywhere you wanted to go quickly and easily enough. Fully loaded for traveling up and over mountain passes were no problem for the twin. Decent gas mileage and a somewhat smooth motor, for a twin, made for a decent ride.

Through the ’70s and ’80s I was a big time Kawasaki fan. I owned a 750 triple, a GPz1100 and raced a GPz550 and loved them all…I loved about as much as I loved my Triumphs! I rode a couple of KZ750′s, before they became the CSR750 cruiser, and really didn’t think all that much about them…back to the Rodney Dangerfield image. They were Ok, but that was it…no real personality. The KZ didn’t have the history of the Triumph nor the feel of the Yamaha but it was a nice motorcycle. Nobody ever wants to be called ‘nice’. Especially a motorcyclist or his bike!!

There is a lot that you can do with a KZ750, under the radar. The motorcycle aftermarket never embraced the lowly KZ, (that happens to all stepkids…), but there are many 750 twin enthusiasts out there that love sharing what they have done to help inspire you to make yourself and your stepchild stand out from the crowd. Cafe racers, street trackers, even touring riders all have good ideas for this poor misunderstood and unloved motorcycle.

So, this morning while not drinking my English Breakfast Tea, I came across this very nice, super low mileage KZ750 Twin. I remembered riding a couple of them in decades gone by, but I also remembered one I rode back in 2000 that was no ordinary KZ750. The big stock mufflers were gone (nice looking but truly stifling) replaced with a set of Dunstall replica mufflers that not only looked great but let the bike sound like a good vertical twin should, the carbs had been changed out and some suspension work had been done. It was a totally different motorcycle, but it was the same…I loved it.

Back to the bike on ebay. This is a really good bike at what should be an incredible value. This KZ has lees than 1000 miles on the odometer, new by pretty much anybody’s standards, a handy rack on the back and, if you are going to tour on it two up, a comfy ‘King and Queen’ seat…junk the seat as fast as you can !!! This is a great bike if you want a rock solid, reliable, good handling, easy to live with motorcycle. And…you’ll have money left over to make it the motorcycle you really want. Click on the pictures below for more pictures and a little more info. The Kawasaki KZ750 Twin is, in my book, one of the most under rated and under valued motorcycles ever built. Grab it while you can. It is the next cult bike.




’79 Kawasaki KZ750 Twin

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8 responses

  1. Dr. Ben Carper

    I am interested in adding a KZ 750 Twin to my collection of KZ bikes. I have a 1982 KZ 440 Twin, 1979 KZ 650 four, 1992 KZP 1000 police. My son and I have rebuilt and restored a 1987 ZX 600 Ninja. A KZ 750 would be a nice addition. I live in Greenville, South Carolina.

    January 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    • Good morning Doctor, KZ750 Twins aren’t all that hard to find but finding one in good condition is a little tougher. I found one a while back in a salvage yard and by digging around the place I found most of the parts that would be needed to get it roadworthy. Craigs list is a good source to start your search and I’ll look around here in So Cal .
      You have quite a unique collection yourself, the KZ Twin will fit in very nicely.
      Paul

      January 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    • I added the 750 Twin to my collection a couple years ago. It made an excellent ride and nice addition to the 7 KZ bikes I have in my collection presently.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm

  2. Squadman33

    Hey. Just acquired a78 750 Twin B. Cool bike, classic 70′s look and feel. Fun and Easy to work on and it actually rides prety smooth for a twin. It’s a sleeper…that gets noticed.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    • I am really envious. Since writing that post, I have been on the search for one. Is it stock? or modified? What do plan on doing with it?

      December 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

  3. Found a KZ 750 Twin on Ebay and purchased it in early 2011. Custom fabricated oversize gas tank and cafe fairing, aftermarket mufflers and needle and jet kit for the carbs. The bike is a real blast to ride and is a good addition to my KZ collection.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    • Send me some pictures. After I finish my Benelli and the big bore kit on on my CB350 a KZ750 twin is next on my list. I saw one near my home a month ago in showroom stock condition…the guy had just bought it…for more than it cost new!?

      December 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm

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    August 6, 2013 at 7:23 am

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