Kawasaki KZ1000 MKII A3A (1979)

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May 3, 1979 - March 10, 1984      5 seasons and 16,170 miles

  I bought this bike when I worked for a motorcycle dealership as in the spring of 1979.  I was able to sell the previous bike (the KZ750) to someone who came in looking for a used bike.  Money from that and some cash got me this bike.  The dealer even treated it like a trade-in to save me some tax.  The dealership, though, was peculiarly managed, turning away customers for service and basic things like tires and batteries.  I thought I got a great deal on the bike, and then was fired the first day that I rode it to work because I complained about being shorted on commissions.  This taught me a lesson about working for a crooked operation.
  This was my first four-cylinder bike.   A big bike with looks, performance (95 hp) and desirable features.  Triple disk brakes, cast wheels, 5 gallon tank, black engine, electronic ignition.  Solid and stable, if a bit heavy.  Still had a kick starter that worked, too.

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  I eventually bought an aftermarket suspension to clear up some handling sloppiness.  It looked sharp and actually helped the handling.  In 1983 I added a $288 Vetter Windstar fairing that matched the angularity of the bike and worked well to block the wind.  Doing the wiring inside the headlight was the hardest part of the installation.   About twenty years later (in 2002), I'm doing the same wiring job for the fairing for the 78 KZ1000 that I got in Maine.  And this time without any instructions.

  I added electric horns, too.  I also customized the always-on headlight with a high beam cut-off switch to save the battery when starting on cold days or after sitting for a while.

  This was the set up that I had when I took the bike for a camping vacation to Virginia in 1983, the last season that I rode it.  Two weeks.  1,500 miles.   Zero problems.

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Created Dec. 2000

Edited July 27, 2002