’78 Kawasaki KZ 750 Twin
I have written about these bikes before and every time I see one I want to buy it. There is just something about these Kawasaki Twins that really get me going. I know they’re heavy, kinda slow, don’t handle all that great, but…they really work great.
Kawasaki a couple of times has tried to go toe to toe with the British twins, Triumph and BSA with their W650 and neither time were successful. The first go ’round back in 1966 was a pretty dismal failure, looking more like a BSA 500 twin but performing something more like, well, anything but a BSA 500, it was a sales disaster. Kawasaki made the W1, W2 and W3 versions for a number of years but they never really caught on here in the US.
In the mid 1970’s Kawasaki tried it one more time, but this time instead of trying to mimic the classic British Twin, they opted for a more modern design all the away around. My feeling was that they saw the success of the Yamaha XS650 and said to themselves (in Japanese) hey, if they can do it, we can do it? Hence the KZ750 Twin was born.
The KZ750 is a great platform for just about any kind of riding you want to do. Daily commuter, solo traveler, custom, and of course my favorite way to set up this motorcycle…cafe racer.
The big (by vertical twin standards) handled it’s vibration issues pretty well with a counterbalancer and rubber engine mounts but it is important with this model to keep your carbs in balance. I know some owners that have junked the stock carburetors in favor of a pair of flat slide Mikuni’s and tell me that that one change made the motorcycle come to life. Well, along with a period appropriate Kerker exhaust system…
It’s not a true classic now, but I really do believe that the KZ750 will at some time become a relatively valuable collector bike. I guess that most any old motorcycle will find a niche somewhere at some time…I’m betting on my newly acquired Yamaha SRX to fall into that category?!
I found this very nice KZ750 on ebay this morning and even though the opening value may seem a bit high, I don’t believe it is. It’s a 1978 model B with only 12,000 miles on the clock. It is completely stock except for the mirrors and grips. The chrome and paint are all in excellent condition. This one really nice example of a really good motorcycle for just about any riding you would want to do. My suggestion, place a bid at the last minute, fly out to where the bike is and ride it home. But, winter is coming so do it soon! Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures.
Now it’s time for me to work on my little SRX…