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Old 09-24-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
TheOtherBart OP
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1981 Kawasaki KZ1000--Good? Bad? Value?

What say ye about the early 80's KZs? Any known issues? Things to look out for? Approximate price range? I've been doing some Googling but haven't come up with many good data points.

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
ADV8
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If you mean the 1981+ Z1000J, i found them to be like most big Kawasaki's of the day,pretty much bulletproof.
Of course it is over 25 years later so things might be getting a little loose by now.
I guess if the engine runs quiet that has got to be a good start.
They ran great on gravel roads too.






That i recall,rev them to high and the piston lands could start to wear,run to bigger headlight bulb and the alternator could give up.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:56 AM   #3
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Thanks Les, it turns out to be an 1100, not a 1000. Apparently needs some carb work and something isn't right about the clutch, not sure if it's just a sticky cable or something deeper. So the question is, do I want a little bit of a project? Hmm...
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:21 AM   #4
Brad Felmey
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The engines are generally regarded to be very durable. I can attest that they are astonishingly resistant to abuse.

With that said, KZs of the day were GHASTLY handling bikes. I've had several (and still have three). If you even look at a corner with an aggressive thought in mind, the swingarm will start flopping (laterally!) like a fish on the beach, the forks will dive, and you'll be hanging on for dear life fluttering in the wind atop a two-wheeled mechanical bull.

That's an exaggeration, but not much.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Felmey
The engines are generally regarded to be very durable. I can attest that they are astonishingly resistant to abuse.

With that said, KZs of the day were GHASTLY handling bikes. I've had several (and still have three). If you even look at a corner with an aggressive thought in mind, the swingarm will start flopping (laterally!) like a fish on the beach, the forks will dive, and you'll be hanging on for dear life fluttering in the wind atop a two-wheeled mechanical bull.

That's an exaggeration, but not much.
I've heard that too, but I am about as far from an agressive rider as you can get so I didn't figure it was much of an issue. Good news on the durability though...Decisions, decisions...
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:21 AM   #6
BulletProof
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i love my Kz

As mentioned, things can get a little squirrly if you dont back off in the corners. But I dont think it should be that big of an issue as long as you know about it before you ride. I have no problem leaning it over in tight corners - it's moreso the highspeed sweepers where it becomes an issue. You will learn, as with any bike, the limits you can push it. A plus on the flip side, is that in the straits, you got gobs of power at your finger tips

I've heard, can someone yay or nay this, that with improved rear suspension the rear end wobble is reduced.

for more info, kzrider.com is the place to check out
and for that carb, wiredgeorge knows alot @ wgcarbs.com
idea of what things will cost when they break, they will, z1enterprises.com

As for price, hard to ballpark without more info. You can use the carb and clutch issues (both should be pretty easy to sort out yourself) as negotiating points. Get that info to the kzrider boys, they can tell you what to watch out for.

older pic of my little darlin, '82 kz1000m csr

BulletProof screwed with this post 11-12-2008 at 08:26 AM
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
Mike Butt
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I seem to recall a fuel injected version where some people had FI related problems. It was the predecessor to the GPz1100 I believe.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:47 PM   #8
Steve G.
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I love the old 2 valve Kawi's. My first new bike was a KZ750L4, basically a repainted 82 GPZ750. If it wasn't for that torture rack of a seat, I'd still have it. The bike never let me down, was smooth, quite, 55 mpg. The only issue was a slight speed wabblwe over 200kmh [125mph].
I'm on the look out for a 73 900, now that after market replica 4 into 4 pipes are available. Just a classic bike all round!
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:41 PM   #9
bwringer
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The Suzuki GS series of bikes are every bit as bulletproof and quick as the KZs, plus they handle beautifully. Really.

Exhibit "A": Me and my 1983 GS850GD at Deals Gap. Yes, that's mismatched rain gear and full luggage. Shut up.


But for whatever reason, the old Zooks don't seem to be as costly as the Kaws.

Either way, it takes quite a bit of patience to find one in good shape, and it helps to have a small trailer and a willingness to travel several hundred miles on short notice with a couple thousand bucks.

The main GS web site/forum is down at the moment while the admin battles haxxors, but it's a thriving, welcoming community. http://thegsresources.com should be back soon.

I'm not hatin' on the KZs -- I love seeing any old bike fixed up and ridden hard.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:18 AM   #10
JoeyBones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwringer
The Suzuki GS series of bikes are every bit as bulletproof and quick as the KZs, plus they handle beautifully. Really.
+ 1

I just bought this 1979, 850cc example:



Love the KZ's too.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:21 PM   #11
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My first streetbike was a 1978 GS550 that I picked up in 1995. It was my only form of transport for a year and never let me down. I still have a soft spot for the Kawis though.

I'm afraid that discretion is getting the better of me. I just flat don't have the disposable income right now to go buying a bike that is undoubtedly going to need a little bit of cash thrown at it to be a reliable rider. Damn bills! Of course if it's still around in a paycheck or two...
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