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Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

  1. #1
    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    After hearing my depressing story of losing out on that CB360T (Which the new owner has already posted back on Craiglist) my buddy here at work told me he knew of a KZ650 and KZ900 that have been preserved under covers in a garage in CT. Obviously I jumped at the thought of this and asked him who it was. Luckily it's his step father and he has agreed to sell the KZ650 to me. I'm basically going to be getting it dirt cheap after he takes it out and dusts it off next week while he is on vacation. I'm really hoping this deal goes through for me as I've missed out on a couple bikes and the sale of my car recently. Anyways, If I do happen to get this bike (lord willing) does anybody have any experience with them and know how easy it is to modify? I've seen a few bobber style around the interwebz and am hoping to make my own cool little ride. As far as the year goes, my buddy thinks it is a 79' in Grey. The KZ900 is not for sale if anybody was wondering.

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  2. #2
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    The KZ650 is a GREAT bike. I was looking for one a few years ago, but came across a KZ550 so I picked that up, cleaned it up and rode it for a couple of years.

    Here's the forum: http://kz650.info/

    Hmmm, now I wish I still had the 550 ...


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  3. #3
    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Thanks for the forum jump!

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  4. #4
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Good luck, hope you get it at a deal you're happy with.

    My 550 was barely running when I got it, and it was apparent that it had sat for a long, long time at some point in its life, but no problem. Normal start up procedures worked fine, eg, plugs out, oil cylinders, rotate slowly, let it sit with oil bathing the rings; battery charge then replace; clean carbs, petcock, and tank; fresh oil and filter, fresh plugs; lube cables etc. In other words, don't try to start it up with out doing those things first. Before starting, I checked compression which should reveal a stuck valve or stuck rings. Then you can go on to check valve clearances, and, and and, to your heart's desire ...

    Not sure of the year the 650 went from points to electronic ignition, that forum will certainly tell all.

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    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    He said he is going to try and clean everything up and get it running for me, which I told him he didn't have to do. My buddy assured me that I will be getting it for under a grand if everything is agreed upon. I don't see this not working out for me. But when I do get it I will be sure to post pictures and do a thorough breakdown of the bike to make sure everything is up to par.

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  6. #6
    Ense petit placidam sandman's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    i had one, as i recall i paid around $800 for it back around 1982

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    jim

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  7. #7
    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Oh how inflation has changed the world.

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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    I have an 80 KZ1000 LTD that is a blast. Mine is the first yr. of the electronic ignition (at least for the 1000) so yours may not have it. I restored mine back to factory appearance but your choices may be different. I often take it to MN in Lowell where several other KZ owners bring thiers also. Even after 30 plus yrs. they are still popular bikes.

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  9. #9
    Member rpiian's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Yep, I have a 81 KZ650 CSR. Rode it for 5 years, now it's in my trailer waiting for a monoshock conversion project.

    I don't know why, but I had more fun on that thing than my SV1000 for day to day riding. The suspension and brakes are not the best, but the motor howled. While wringing its neck I would consistently get 40-50mpg. The seat is comfy but the peg position is... not ideal, for me at least at 5'11".

    Great bike though. To me it has soul.

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    '81 KZ650 CSR
    '06 SV1000S

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    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    At 5'9 I think it should suit me pretty well. Today is the big day where the owner takes it out and spruces it up for me. I can't wait.

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    Member rpiian's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    You will love it.

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    '81 KZ650 CSR
    '06 SV1000S

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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Update: I talked to my buddy today and he said that it is a 1978 KZ650 and that his stepfather wants $750 for it. I asked him if he could swing $700 since I'm really trying to spend as little as possible. I'm still waiting to hear back from him. Is this a decent price for a bike that has 3,000 original miles on it? I'm still not sure if it runs or not as he hasn't pulled it out of the garage yet. Can I get a little advising from some people who have bought these recently?

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  13. #13
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    condition condition condition,,,,,,,,,,,,does it run?? what does it need?? all these will have bearing on the price,,,,,

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    Senior Member bstnsboy's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    What ever happend with the gs 500 you went to look at?

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  15. #15
    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    I never got to actually see it. I didn't have cash that day to give him and he said he had about three other people waiting to pick it up that weekend. I never followed through, then my buddy came to me with this deal. It's supposedly in pristine condition and has been garaged and under a cover for the last however long. Im confident the chassis is great, just wondering about the motor, guaranteed it probably doesn't run.

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  16. #16
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Quote Originally Posted by D.Brown View Post
    Update: I talked to my buddy today and he said that it is a 1978 KZ650 and that his stepfather wants $750 for it. I asked him if he could swing $700 since I'm really trying to spend as little as possible. I'm still waiting to hear back from him. Is this a decent price for a bike that has 3,000 original miles on it? I'm still not sure if it runs or not as he hasn't pulled it out of the garage yet. Can I get a little advising from some people who have bought these recently?
    Right, condition. A low mileage bike that old means that it has sat a lot, and sitting can be bad, very bad, for a bike. OTOH, maybe it was stored properly. One usual problem is the carb passages in the idle and start-up circuits get blocked.

    I paid $500 for the 1982 KZ550 about three years ago. Then added tires, chain, sprocket, battery, plug wires, plugs, couple of oil changes, plus endless hours of fun troubleshooting the wiring, flushed the tank, pulled the valve cover and checked clearances, stripped carbs in place and cleaned, and and and ... . In other words, I ended up with a nice vintage bike by putting in more time and money than it was "worth" in re-sale value, but it was my choice and no surprise to me.

    Buying an older bike it makes a big difference if you do all your own work or not. Or have a friend who will work with you, or you want to learn by doing, or pay a shop, or pay a dealer, and looks like dealers are getting $90-$100/hour now.

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    Last edited by whynot; 07-24-12 at 07:07 AM.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Jeez, I guess I didn't realize how much work a sitting bike could possibly need. Perhaps I should dig a little deeper before I make a purchase. Thank you.

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  18. #18
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    Yeah, not to induce anxiety, but just caution ... great bikes in general, but how about this one? Might turn out great, you just have to see it and take a careful look. In my case, I like working on old bikes to revive them, sometimes I think I've had enough though haha ... it's been 13 months since I bought a bike, so maybe I'm getting over it ... .

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  19. #19
    Super Stealth. D.Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody ever have a Kawi KZ650?

    This will pretty much be my first long term bike. Although the vehicle gods seem to hate me as my insurance premium just went up $72 this month. Sigh. Perhaps it's better to get it, work on it, insure it once it's road worthy haha.

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