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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been counting how many Kaw KZ's I have had the pleasure of riding over the years and the number is 6. I was able to find photos of all but 1. Geez, these old bikes are great!

My first KZ (900 bought new back in '76):

750 Twin (my favorite bike ever)

750/4 (another great one, the guy I sold it to cut it up into a chopper! :( )

KZ1100 w/sidecar (No, I don't care for sidecars)

Current project waiting attention (cafe?):
 

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I've ridden both a KZ740 twin and a KZ750-4. Both are awesome bikes!
 

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VERY NICE!!!

In September of 1976 I started my carreer in the South Florida m/c industry. Bottom of the ladder, cleanin bathrooms, gopher this and gopher that, etc. On my first day I was given a brown 1976 KZ900 to assemble, took me all day to put that thing together.

I remember very well those ole KZ750 twins. Tourqey engines with a soulful sound with a good exhaust system. Those 750 twins were prized for their kickstarters. They were about 1" longer than a KZ900/1000 kickstarter and made of MUCHO better material. As we started building the big bore hi-compression 4 cylinder engines the electric starters were at times unable to crank the engine over, and if the stock KZ900/1000 kickstarter was used frequently it would bend and become pretty much hard to use. So those 750 twin kickstarters were coveted for their durability.

When I bought my 1977 KZ1000 in 1980 it had been sitting abandoned at the dealer I was working at. The engine was frozen and the skoot was a mess from sitting. I tore that KZ down to the last nut and bolt, rebiuilt the top end and completely stripped the skoot of all the stuff I didn't need, including the electric start system. The reason for that was to make a very light KZ ,and I was coming off ridin a big 500cc thumper that if u didn't perform the kickstart ritual and give it a good kick it would remind you who was boss. Kickstarting a stock bore/compression KZ was a walk in the park in comparison. Very soon after gettin that KZ on the road the stock kickstarter commenced it's death throw and very soon a 750 twin kickstarter found it's way onto the skoot. I rode that skoot for 43,000 miles, converted it into a drag bike. The first engine was 1200cc and 14-1 compression that I was able to kickstart (oh I was much younger and stronger back then too!!). Eventually the internal
kickstart shaft bent making it extremely difficult to start, so thus was the beginning of converting to an external 24 volt car starter.

Here's my ole KZ in action. My best nat'l record I set was a week after this pic was taken, over in Bradenton, 8.84 @ 149.5 mph.



Thanx for the pics of your KZ'S, sorry to hijack the thread but you brought back many memories of a time long ago in my life and carreer.

RACNRAY
 

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Discussion Starter #5
......sorry to hijack the thread but you brought back many memories of a time long ago in my life and carreer.

RACNRAY
No need to apologize, those stories and pics of yours are awesome! It is very cool to look back on the ways bikes have enhanced this experience we call life....

This is one of my more recent experiences....:beat-up:



I am going to use my best efforts not to repeat that one.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A new one for the fleet.....

I found this bike locally. Went to see it and immediately had to have it:



Loaded up, ready to go home:



a happy camper:



PO had this bike for 18 years and gave my a notebook full of receipts, articles, magazines, manuals, cards and stickers from '76, etc...

 

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I found this bike locally. Went to see it and immediately had to have it:

Think I saw that same pic on facebook! :p You must be on the VRA facebook page.

Sharp bike! Seems like there are two kinds of KZ's out there in the used market. Those that are hammered, left outside, ignored, unmaintained and abused (but still run like a champ), and those that are loved and meticulously cared for. Definitely a 'cult following'.
 

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I enjoyed checking them all out! Makes me want one!!
 

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In 1978 i bought my first bike, it was a brand new yamaha 650 special for $1850. from a dealer, and my best friend bought a kawasaki Z-1, 900, he insisted i ride on the back, at around 110mph things started to get real blurry and i was about to strangle him until he finally pulled over and i got off and called my girlfriend to come and get me; my first experience with a kawi.....ride on....
 
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