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Kawasaki KZ500 1981 - What is it worth?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Genetical, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Hi folks,

    I've been loitering around this forum for a while now in the lead up to getting my bike license (now completed) and finding a good first bike. But this is my first post, so please... be gentle... :p

    Basically, I am convinced that I want a GS500, but I don't have the $$ for one at the moment and probably won't for another year or so, so in the interim, I figure I am better off riding something rather than nothing at all.

    I am going to look at this bike tomorrow and not being very experienced in bikes or mechanics in general, I was wondering if any of you netriders out there could give me some words of wisdom regarding this bike, what to watch out for, and ideally.. what I should expect to pay.

    It is a Kawasaki KZ500. 1981 model. 46,000klms. It's claimed to be "in immaculate condition for it's age" and "runs really well". It runs out of rego at the end of this month (which I figure is a good bargaining point for me). If it goes ok in the test ride tomorrow, I am considering an offer of around $1200... Do you think that is too high/low?

    Cheers in anticipation of any assistance you can offer.

    (sorry, it seems I can't post the pic of the bike until I have 5 posts on the forum)
  2. I think they were a fairly good bike, but remember it is old. I rode an old z650 once and loved it, was a brilliant bike. I can't remember riding one of these. what price does he have on it? beware of comments like "immaculate for its age" its either immacculate or it isnt, if it isnt, then the price is adjusted accordingly. the older tyre sizes might not have such a wide variety of rubber available, but you should be able to get some decent tyres when required - bridgestone bt45 worked well on my funny old ft500. Id probably try for something a bit lower, its not a classic, not sure if the 500 ever will be. but hard to tell, as you havent said what the asking price is. Hope it goes well for you, and if it is the bike for you, that you are able to get it at a good price. Personally i think the gs would be better, but money is money. cheers.
  3. I'm always a bit dubious about claims like "immaculate for age". It's either immaculate or it's not.

    That said, the Z500 was an OK machine but was rapidly replaced by the 550 which, in the UK, was a staple of us skint under 25s who couldn't afford to insure anything bigger. The GPz and GT versions being particularly sought after.

    The rarity indicates that parts might be a problem although I'd expect a fair bit of interchangeability with later 550s.

    I reckon maybe $1000 if it's really really shiny and nice with lots of history. $5-600 if it's not.

    Don't forget, a lot of nasties can accumulate over 25 years.

    Good luck.
  4. I turned a nice one down at $1400 with 6 months rego a few weeks ago. The 500 is not as desirable as the Z650, nor as good a bike as the GPz550. If it's an okay bike it's probably worth about $1200, as any decent bike is worth about that as a minimum I think.

    Check for fork pitting, missing panels or instruments, functional carbies, quiet engine- there are expensive to fix. Busted cooling fins, weak battery, broken fork seals on good forks, split seat vinyl are less expensive and fixable, but should be taken into account.