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seruzawa 04-16-2005 07:32 AM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
The old 2-valve Kwacker engines are as close to bulletproof as I've seen. I tore down an '81 750 with 60K miles to replace the cam chain guides and was amazed that the cylinders and pistons were smooth as glass, only a very tiny bit of scoring at the cylinder/cylinderhead junction.

Still, the bike is in no fashion a collector's bike. As a comparison you can get a Magna 700 in good condition for way under $1000. A guy I work with bought a '78 KZ1000 in excellent condtion for $900 last year. On top of that I'd don't think the 550 cost much more than $1700 when new.

A few years back I got an '81 Zooker GS1100L for $1400. So I'd say that anyone who wants over a grand for a 23 year old KZ550 is living in Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland.

A lot of people seem to believe that their old castoff bikes are worth their weight in gold. I'd pay no more than $600-700. Many parts are no longer available so the bike might just be dead and unrepairable next week.

staff 04-16-2005 07:41 AM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
Seru -- what parts aren't available from the dealer? Is there a cutoff year -- say, 20 years old -- when they quit making parts, or is this a stocking issue and ya gotta wait for an order to come in?

dogcatfud 04-16-2005 08:54 AM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
The owner's asking price is astronomically high even if the bike's condition is as good as he/she claims. Either the owner doesn't know the true market value, wants to recover sunk costs (e.g. maintenance & modifications), or is attempting to fleece a newbie.

Walk away from this one. There will be plenty of other opportunities.

seruzawa 04-16-2005 09:37 AM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
I couldn't tell you any official cutoff. I just know that on older Japanese bikes many parts will be discontinued and out of stock. For example I couldn't get factory fork seals or a carburettor boot for a Yammer XS650... but the aftermarket and a junkyard fortunately yielded seals and a good carb. A chewed rear brake disk and a rear axle for my 91 GSX1100G were unavailable from the factory but available by aftermarket and junkyard, respectfully.

It's pretty much catch as catch can on parts for old Japanese bikes. You can find stuff on ebay very often, but eventually these bikes are going to be unsupportable. After all, the Japanese design them as throwaways in the first place.

sarnali 04-16-2005 10:59 AM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
My first new street bike was an '80 KZ750T I paid $2k for new so $1700 or even $1500 is way to high. Seruzawa probably knows more about that end of the market than I do but $5 or 6 hundred sounds about right

The Spectra wasn't that popular to start with, the demand was for GPZ550's so the guy is asking the new price for a bike which wasn't a big mover new and is now a "nice" 23 yo UJM.

You probably don't need to worry about him selling it out from underneath you while you decide.......

cptaebphd 04-16-2005 02:12 PM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
Please look for another bike. That bike is 23 YEARS OLD! And it's probably been a garage queen for a loooonng time. Lord only knows what will go wrong once you start riding it regularly. Then you'll be in Ebay hell trying to find parts for it instead of riding.

Heck, you're not that far away from a brand new 250 Ninja ($3K) that would be much more fun. Now THAT is a great starter bike! Save you pennies....

red916 04-16-2005 04:45 PM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
Ummmmmm...... I think it's "Spectre". And my opinion? Keep looking. I wouldn't pay more than a grand.

ddlewis 04-16-2005 05:05 PM

There is huge underground support for the old xs650.

here's a good place to start. carb boots and all:

ddlewis 04-16-2005 05:06 PM

Re: xs650
crap, this was supposed to be in reply to seruzawas comment on xs carb boots.

fz6todd 04-16-2005 08:22 PM

Re: Kawasaki Spectra Buying Advice
watch out for the o-rings for the oil passages they tend to get hard and leak between the block and the head

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