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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! This is purely an academic question, but here go's anyway...

How much do you think my 1978 KZ650 is worth?

I've seen KZ 650's range from $400 -$1300. Of course it depends on the condition that the bike is in.

My KZ is a little different, in that its pretty custom. I expect it would sell for far more than a stock KZ650 Just because of the custom factor. Its also a matter of taste. a person that doesn't like the style of my bike wouldn't pay $10 for it but someone that's looking for a bada$$ cafe might want to pay north of 4 thousand.

So basically I'm just wondering what you guys think my cafe might sell for. Thanks guys. So here's the bike....












Oh and just in case you were wondering how custom this bike is ... this is what it looked like when I got it.




And you wont hurt my feelings if you put a low price on it.

May the force be with you!
Matt-
 

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Very nice bike...but I think you have answered your own question...one man's beauty is another man's beast. Generally, restorations bring the highest resale value for any model of KZ...custom renditions can be so user specific that they may not appeal to the average buyer.
 

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retro rider
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I remember the thread when you built that bike. I would guess you could get $1,000 easy enough. There is a low point on craigslist, (like under $1,000) were most bikes are worn out junk. A nice looking bike like that would stand out in that price range even to a person not into vintage. I sold a beatuifuly restored 76 XL350 for $900. In one hour I had multiple full price offers. The previous summer I saw the same model bike go all summer and not sell for $1,200. I typical don't worry about a few hundred $$ either way. If I want the bike gone I offer it up at a good price. I'm happy to have so many quick offers and the buyer is happy to get a good deal. You will never make money restoring vintage bikes. Even a Z1 900.

IMO If you like it and ride it value does not matter. It only matters how many miles you can rack up on it. I have over 50k miles on my 900 and just hit 30k on my 750.
 

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retro rider
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And as far as the cafe market I beleive you will find there is a preferance towards Honda CBs and older British twins. The KZ650 was never that great of a performance engine ( I had a 78 back in college). It is just not one of the most desirable 70s bikes. Same could be said about my 750 twin. Not a huge demand for them.
 

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Eddie Lawson is God!
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I got two of them in my shop (3 if you count my 750) and have exactly $40 bucks invested in them. One needed a carb clean and a timesert in a spark plug hole. One (My 750) is getting my spare set of 29 smoothbores and is being the new daily grinder. One died for the other two. They are rats for sure (and yours has a TON of work invested. I want $1000 for the 650 and $1500 for the 750 (with VM24s). I'll get it.

Maybe $2000-2500 for yours. That's not meant to be an insult. Add 400-500 for the VM29s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Guys! Thanks for the reply's.

Elr658... I'm not insulted at all. 2,500 would be great If I could get that much for it. I have about 1,200 put into it, including the bike. I think the most expensive thing on the bike was the the spokes and the tires. Remember I did everything myself so mostly I have sweat equity put into this bike. It was a labor of love, so I have absolutely no profit motive.

I have NO PLANS to sell this bike. I was just wondering what it might be worth. I've seen other cafe's for sale between 4 and 6 k. That's where I got the 4k price range. I know "Carpy" sells his cb750 cafe's starting at 8K but he's "Carpy". Here's a link if your interested in his bikes.

cb750cafe.com - custom cafe racers

I think you called on the money Mcdroid... It's worth whatever the buyer thinks its worth. I mean hey, some people (women) will spend 3k on a purse. If someone wants a "Carpy" knockoff for half the price... well, I guess my bike might be worth 4k.

Most importantly I LOVE RIDING MY CAFE' ACE. And I'm not going to sell it. It's sort of like that t.v. show antiques rode show, where you take your stuff in and see how much its worth.

As far as my KZ650 not having that much power... well Its got about as much as the cb750's did. Right? Wasn't that the big selling point on them... duel over head cam, blah blah blah. admittedly its no KZ1000 but if I rev it to 5k and drop the clutch it scares the $heit out of me. But I'm kind of a wuss.

Thanks again guys, and keep the comments coming.

May the force be with you, Matt-
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
At least the bad rep makes them less expensive.

Elr658, why do the KZ650 have that reputation? is it based on the engine displacement alone?

I remember reading an article from the 70's about the KZ650 (I read it on KZ650.info) and the article basically talk about how awesome the KZ650 was running at bonneville. here's the article ...
http://articles.kz650.info/documents/1977FebruaryBigBike-BonnevilleKZ650.pdf
it was cheaper than other 750's and it had as much, or more power. So again, why the bad rep?

Thanks, Matt-
 

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Eddie Lawson is God!
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The 650 had the misfortune of being second fiddle to the 900-1000. Add into that, the difficulty of valve adjustments, and a lot of them wound up dead.
BUT given my tendency to SKEWER any bike I don't like, you may notice that I NEVER say anything bad about KZ650-750 fours.

650s have a lot to recommend them. Good strong, well braced frame, they look good, and don't handle too bad. And they have the instant bore kit known as the 750.

The KZ650 held the 24 hour record until the 85 GSXR750 broke it.
 

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KZ Kool!
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The basic answer to the question of any item's worth is, "What someone will pay." Now, that is simple but it is the truth.

Personally, would I pay what you'd want out of the bike? I highly doubt it as it doesn't suit my interest. Present me with a fine factory original and it will be decision time for me. Someone else will have a completely opposite reaction.

When it comes to customizing, add-ons and farkles, it really depends on the individual. I've bought vehicles in the past that had certain accessories I would have added any way and was willing to pay slightly more for them. OTOH, the idea that customizing and farkles increase a bike's value comes from HOG's sales hayday where dealers would add farkles to bikes as a means to increase their high margin even further. This carried over into the used market where owners thought that such glitter would increase a bike's value. In general, the reverse is true and a vehicle that is closer to stock will hold its value better as it ages, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great post Nate! I remember when you couldn't give away a 68 Chevelle. Now they are worth a crap load. Its all about what's cool. Another example is Harley Davidson's. I remember when a big twin used to go for about 3k, now they go for 15k or 80k if its custom.

I think in the Cafe' market the price range i'm thinking of is about right (4k). I think people will pay for the look. Obviously the KZ650 alone (no matter how perfect the condition is) can only get about 1,800 max.

not to brag but my bike doesn't just have a cool look (my opinion) but it has 29mm smooth bore's, k&n pods, header (4 into 1), fork stabilizer, and fresh top end rebuild , SS spokes, and Accel coils, as well as new tires and chain. Oh yeah and it Halls butt!

The best part is I might never know how much its worth. I don't know if I'll ever sell it. but its a fun conversation.

Matt-
 

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This space for rent
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I don't build bike to sell, I build them for me, and then I put a ridiculous price on them so no one will buy them.
But sometimes they still do. First 79 KZ750 twin I did, figured no one would pay $2500 for it, but a guy did.
Learned my lesson, current 750 twin has a $4000 price tag, surely no one is that insane!

As far as the 650/750 fours go, valve adjustment may be a little more involved, but they don't spit shims like the 900/1000 motors do. KZ1000-TC (AKA Z1R-TC) was not a factory turbo, but if it had of been it would be considered the worst factory turbo ever made. 84-85 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo was a factory turbo, and generally considered the best factory turbo ever made, and it will run away from any stock KZ1000, and most modified ones.
I've had several KZ1000's and they all felt like overweight pigs, so I got rid of them.
But I like my 750's, both twins and fours.

Currently in the garage/shop:
79 KZ750 twin
79 KZ650SR with 83 GPz750 motor and suspension
85 GPz750 Turbo
80 KZ750E project bike
96 GSXR1100, my nephew's bike and I hate riding the thing, 15 minutes and I'm ready to cry "Uncle!", really uncomfortable to ride.

And in the storage shed waiting:
77 KZ650 with 2000 GSXR1000 suspension front and rear, waiting on a motor to be decided on.
two 1980 KZ750G twins waiting on me to do something with them, but I have to finish the 750E first.
 

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Obsessed by Z1's
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Typical prices around here range from $800-$1300 for a running KZ650. Very nice examples only in the $1500-$1800 range.

The KZ650 and KZ750 fours are good bikes - but there are a few issues that cause headaches. The valve adjustment requires the cams get pulled out - and consequently most owners choose not to do this - so the bikes run like crap - and occasionally causing a valve /valve seat damage.

Another issue: the starter clutch is in the center of the engine. This means pulling the engine apart to get to it... not fun.

Not all the parts needed for a full rebuild are available. We've struggled to get valves and cam chain rollers (although both are being manufactured for us now and will be available soon).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Amen to that Jeff! Parts are a pain in the BUTT. While you're at it get someone to make some stock rings and .50mm over pistons and rings for the 650 and 750.

I love my KZ. I wouldn't get another one only because of the parts issue. But I would get a900, 1000 or 1100.

Matt-
 

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Obsessed by Z1's
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We are gradually sourcing parts like pistons and rings for the older bikes. We just added some pistons/rings for Honda CB750's. We are chasing Z1 pistons and rings, and yes, would like to chase the CB650 ones fairly soon. We can get these parts - but the lead-times and upfront expense just stop us doing too many at once - we have to get 600 sets of pistons and rings of one type in an order... Although that includes the mix of standard, 1st and 2nd oversize, that's still a ton of sets and money...
 
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