1978 Kawasaki KZ650C

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There are images that are iconic like our last posting on the BMW. There are also simpler things, like color, which are iconic. The seller of this 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 painted their bike a unique blue color, and every one of you thinks back to a particular time in motor racing. The seller reminds us of the racing team, and an actor who was paired up with the team in life and film.


From the seller

Bike was rode to my house by previous owner. Took it for a spin down the street to make sure it was running correctly, turned around, drove it into my sunroom and immediately proceeded to strip it down to frame and motor. A nine month intense customizing, brainstorming, and fitting ensued.

The bike is my vision of a 70’s circuit superbike with a European flair as evidenced by the yellow(french) headlight, and Idea I owe to a childhood friend who built his first cafe bike when we were in our teens. Choose the Gulf Racing colors as an homage to Steve McQueen’s Le Mans movie and the race cars of that era. As anyone knows those colors and winning were synonymous during that era.

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This Kawasaki KZ650c was on the scene at the same time as the bigger Z1, but its 652cc engine with double over head cams generated only 64bhp. In 1977 the KZ added a C-1 to the designation, and the bike got a pair of disk up front, and a large disk in the rear. Spokes were replaced with cast wheels, which take the gold “magnesium” color very well.

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The seller of this 1978 Kawasaki KZ650C says they spent time and effort in the design and assembly of this bike. They highlight the visual cues of the bike. This leads you to wonder if as much attention was taken inside the engine. I do like the orange stripe and the inclusion of the velocity stacks. But a nice high lift/duration cam, bump up in CR, and maybe opening up those carbs a few mm wouldn’t help. BB

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1 Response

  1. Aaron says:

    Another kid with a can of rattleball and a hacksaw. Orange velocity stacks? Seriously? We can do so much better than this, no?