Kawasaki KZ750 twin

With a run­away suc­cess like the four-cylin­der Z1/Z900, plus the soon-to be re­leased fours in the shape of the Z650 and Z1000, why would Kawasaki bother with a 750cc twin?

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS - Story Pe­ter Laverty Pho­tos Jim Scays­brook

The ques­tion was es­pe­cially poignant with the re­cent demise of the trou­bled TX750 Yamaha twin, although Yamaha did soldier on with its now-ven­er­a­ble XS650 twin. The Bri­tish par­al­lel twin pre­tenders had largely van­ished; the En­field In­ter­cep­tor, BSA’s A65, both gone, and the Nor­ton Com­mando about to do the same, leav­ing only the 750cc Tri­umph Bon­neville, of which the less said, the bet­ter. Per­haps Kawasaki felt that the once-proud class was ripe for pick­ing, and that big-twin fans needed look­ing af­ter. It’s true that the new breed of four-cylin­der bikes – soon re­ferred to as UJM (Uni­ver­sal Ja­panese Mo­tor­cy­cles) – did not have across-the-board ap­peal; many felt that the com­plex­ity and the loss of do-it-your­self main­te­nance was a back­ward step.

Of course, Kawasaki had built a big twin be­fore, or rather, they had in­her­ited the BSA-like W1 650 as a re­sult of their takeover of Me­guro in 1964. Very Bri­tish in con­cept and styling, the 650, through sub­se­quent W2 and W3 ver­sions, re­mained in pro­duc­tion un­til 1975, by which time 26,289 had been built. So there was a gap in the range that the Big K wished to fill, but what re­sulted owed noth­ing to the W range. In fact, the gen­e­sis for the new 750 came in the form of the Z400, a pop­u­lar seller from the point of its re­lease in 1974, and which was mar­keted as the “lit­tle brother” of the four-cylin­der Z1, at half the price. The new KZ750 ac­tu­ally made its world de­but at the 1975 Mo­tor­cy­cle Show at Earls Court, Lon­don. Re­leased for sale in 1976, the KZ750 (also known as the Z750 in some mar­kets but never re­leased in Aus­tralia) was

Clas­sic Style says mileage shown on the speedo is gen­uine – not bad for 42 years.

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