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What are the best 70's & 80's sports bikes?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Sportster883, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Hey i'm looking for my first bike and i like the older style 70's and 80's types, i don't really know which bike manufacturers were the best back then.

    A few that i like that i have seen that i like are the Suzuki GS550, Yamaha SR500, Kawasaki GT550, Honda CB550 Super Sport and the 1981 Kawasaki KZ440, these are the types of bikes that I like so any suggestions along these types would be great :grin:

  2. The Suzuki and the Yamaha are certainly the most proven of the lot - given that they're effectively still being made (GS500 and SR400). That also helps with availability of parts.
  3. if you are looking for a cruiser you can't go past the Yamaha xs650, there are millions of sites and forums for them and the same goes for parts. i am hoping to pick one up soon to bobber but that is a whole different story
  4. I have a suggestion, go look up teh definition of cruiser. None of teh bikes you listed could be called a cruiser, and some are UJM's.

    Regards, Andrew.
  5. Sporty
    There are various cruiser bikes around from that period, including "custom" versions of most of the bikes on your list eg. GS550L and several "LTD" Kawas. They were more or less just standard bikes with higher bars, peanut tanks, smaller back wheels and extra chrome. Some worked better than others. Your biggest problem may be finding one.

    Other bikes not already mentioned include the CX500 Custom and XV750. Both were around in the early eighties I think.

    I'd go for one of the four cylinder LTD Kwakas- the engines are fairly bulletproof. The GS550 series had regulator/rectifier issues, the single-cam Hondas eat their cams and the singles are gutless.

    The GS550 was a four cylinder, not to be confused with the GS500 which is a development of the GS400/425/450 twins :)
  6. +1 to Typhoon, I'd start there with your definition.

    Assuming you are on your learners or just off restrictions, an XV750 may not be legal on LAMS, but if it is, it could be a good choice. Not a rare bike, sound good when they have freer exhausts and reasonably-priced.

    Nah, have some fun, get an XS 650 or similar - http://www.centralmotorcycles.com.a...?category_id=1107146392&product_id=1107456480
  7. Ahh yes - always get the 450 and 550 confused.
    Still most parts on GS/GSX series Suzukis are pretty interchangeable.
  8. if youve got a full licene get a Yamaha VMAX
  9. 1970s: Royal Enfield/Rickman Interceptor (Series II); BSA A75 Rocket 3; Triumph T150 Trident; Moto Morini 3 1/2 Sport; Ducati 750/900ss (Roundcase); Laverda SFC/Jota; Moto Guzzi 750S; honourable mentions: Honda 400F SuperSport; Kawasaki Z1

    1980s: Moto Guzzi Le Mans/S-models
  10. Kawasaki Z650. Do consider, Sportster.
  11. z650 these are a really good bike and there are heaps of mods that you can do to to this bike,they are around i just missed out on one in adelaide x-mas time for 1,500.the other on of course is z900 but you will pay upwards of 6000 for an agerage one or up to 15,000 for a good one :grin:
  12. The Z 650 is a good bike, as is the later Z 750 four cylinder.
    Th early Z had 65hp, but lots of useable torque, and a fairly rigid frame for teh time.
    The later Z 750's are teh pick though, as would be a GPz900.
    The later bikes had triple disc brakes, as opposed to single disc/drum, and they handle, brake and accelerate much like newer naked bikes. They're obviously not as fast, but they're still very rewarding to ride, and have no bad handling traits. Parts are readily available, and are fairly cheap too.
    $1000 will get a serviceable Z650-750, $2500 will get a really nice one.
    This Z750 cost me $1500, and needed some ignition work and rego-
    And my old Z 650-

    Regards, Andrew.
  13. I remember that bike, Andrew :).

    Sports bikes, 80s and 90s??? You'd have to be considering any Katana, surely?? Nakeds aren't really sports bikes, (although you can ride 'em like one :LOL:)

    Actually we need a better definition and some more info, as suggested; location, license status, age, insurance, inside-leg measurement, etc.....
  14. Kawasaki GPZ900
  15. I was a damn fool to sell it Paul.........
    If anyone ever sees it, find out who owns it and let me know!

    Regards, Andrew.
  16. #16 AlGroover, Jul 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    If you're talking '70s then you have to include a stroker. Suzuki's disc braked GT500 would be the pick of the bunch here.
    Maybe this will convince you
    I'd forgotten about that left side kickstart.
  17. Not really a good first bike but back in the day I wanted a Honda CBX1000 6 cylinder. Didn't have the wherewithal then though :( Wonder if you can still get 'em :?: :twisted:

  18. You bet you can, here's a late, late model touring version, for only $7,500.

    (A well-ridden 600 would box its ears on most any road, but, oh, the SOUND.....)

    http://snipurl.com/2u5tf [cgi_ebay_com_au]
  19. Come over to the real bike side and stay away from those dirty diesels.

    Try one of these, Yamaha RD350LC or RZ350 you could even give an ol' Suzuki RG 250 a buzz ........ Ring-a-Ding Ding ........


    RZ350 YPVS

    RG250 Racer


    Then one day you may be lucky enough to own one of these
    The meanest bike in town!! RG500 GP replica MONSTER

    Besides all these bike are becoming harder and harder to find, you will probably make money on the resale.
  20. Beautiful. I had a CB750F2 in exactly the same colour scheme as that one. Remember them? You could get a factory bored out one to 900cc as well.