It’s Two-Wheel Tuesday again, so let’s pay a visit to one of my favorite places, Alfaheaven. This is one very unique business, with ex-military vehicle sales combined with the love of the pre-Fiat Alfa Romeo, as well as vintage 70’s Japanese Motorcycle parts. So, why am I revisiting this place for Two-Wheel Tuesday? Two reasons: Alfaheaven will soon re-open their museum to visitors in the spring, with a dedicated motorcycle building filled with hundreds of vintage Japanese bikes. The other reason for this posting? They have two 80’s vintage bikes for sale. Are they reasonable, or crave-worthy? Only you can decide that.
According to an article in Motorcycle Classics, the Kawasaki KZ750, introduced in 1976, seemed to be a curiosity within the Kawasaki product line.
If ever a machine was worthy of Under the Radar status, it’s the big twin Kawasaki KZ750. Never heard of it? Don’t feel bad, because the truth is, most people haven’t.
Introduced in 1976, the KZ750 was the odd-man-out in Kawasaki’s lineup, especially considering the new bikes Kawasaki had planned for 1977, which included the 4-cylinder KZ650 and KZ1000. Matched up against those two machines and the carry-over KZ900 four, the 750 didn’t quite make sense. With its legendary 2-stroke triples a thing of the past, Kawasaki’s performance machines were being defined by four cylinders. So why a big twin?
You can read more of that article at Motorcycle Classics. Taking the classic British big-twin formula, and making it dependable seemed like the ideal formula for success, but apparently not this time. If you are looking for one of these beauties, Alfaheaven has this one for sale. According to the listing:
1981 KZ 750. Good tires. Recovered seat. Sissy bar. Crossover headers. 26,xxx miles. Bad battery, bad starter clutch (will not crank engine). Spare engine for parts included. Clear title.
Asking price for this classic Japanese Twin (with spare parts included) is $500. Yes, five hundred US dollars. Is this bike worth the asking price? Only our faithful motorcycle fanatics can answer that.
The Yamaha 750 Virago has the distinction of being the very first Japanese V-Twin motorcycle, introduced in 1981. According to the website Find Cheap Bargains:
The Yamaha Virago motorcycle has a great little history behind it! As the very first V-twin motorcycle of the cruiser variety produced by the Japanese motorcycle corporations, it was a substantial enough cruiser motorcycle to scare Harley Davidson into requesting that additional taxes be put on any imported motorcycle over 700cc in engine size. This tactic did not stop Yamaha from importing the Virago, however. By the time of the tariff’s introduction, Yamaha was producing a 750cc engine and 920cc engine for the Virago. So Yamaha did what most smart corporations do: they attempted to sidestep the issue by lowering the Virago 750cc to a 699cc.
So, this particular bike put the scare to Big Bad Harley-Davidson. This bit of information actually makes the next bike offered by Alfaheaven even more desirable, as its a 1981 Yamaha 750 Virago, and according to the listing:
18,xxx miles. Nice original paint. Excellent tires. Good brakes. Jardine exhaust. No battery. No battery cover. Needs carbs cleaned (runs but idles poorly, rear carb floods)
$1,500 takes this bike home, but is the bike really worth that much? I am no motorcycle expert, so I will leave that particular question in the hands of the experts, our Hooniverse fanatics. See both of these bikes here.