considering a zephyr 750. some questions

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considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby bubba_zanetti » 31 Oct 2019, 18:14

im considering one of these along with a z900RS or zrx1200R for my next bike.

Do the frames really rust as bad as some people claim? I know the tanks seem to but i'll be replacing that with a doremi Z2 tank.

any other problems with these?
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby David Richard » 31 Oct 2019, 20:09

hi mr zanti,i think any one on here answering your question will be bias about the zephyr ,i can only talk about the 750 i have owned one for 20 years now they are very capable bikes for normal use but can keep up with most other traffic if you push them hard only a 5 speed box it could do with 1 more but i have gone to a 17 teeth front sprocket so at 6k thats 82mph ,for steady riding the brakes and handling again very good but its no sports bike .they do rust so quick if used through the winter ,which i dont .weak points the cam chain adjuster not so clever a lot of them are changed for manual type and people are finding now the starter clutches need to be done and the clutch cushion rubbers are mush its quite a big job depending how involved you want to be ,my advise would be buy the best one you can find fairly all the same from 91 to 97 just depends what you want,oh petrol tanks are prone to rust but it sounds like you know that ,im sure the 1100 folk will have alot to say but good luck ,david
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby bubba_zanetti » 31 Oct 2019, 20:25

well im really looking for a classic kawa 4. the zephyrs seem pretty cheap and the aftermarket looks good and the offerings from doremi to make it look like a Z2 appeals to me. Im mainly worried about corrosion, what makes these so prone to rust? did they just use a cheap metal or something? Can one parkerize and coat the frame?
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby Freddy » 31 Oct 2019, 22:00

bubba_zanetti wrote:well im really looking for a classic kawa 4. the zephyrs seem pretty cheap and the aftermarket looks good and the offerings from doremi to make it look like a Z2 appeals to me. Im mainly worried about corrosion, what makes these so prone to rust? did they just use a cheap metal or something? Can one parkerize and coat the frame?


Rusting in certain countries is all due to local conditions, nothing to do with the original manufacturing quality of the bike. There is zero rust in my 1996 Zephyr 750 with 180,000 kilometers on it. Tank is perfect.

Ride any bike or car on the beach, do nothing to protect it, let water sit in the bottom of the fuel tank or evaporate dry, and anything will become a rust bucket.

In fact, compared to a 2010 Yamaha XT250 I own which is covered in rust (even the chrome fork tubes) the Zephyr was extremely well made.
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby bubba_zanetti » 31 Oct 2019, 22:08

Freddy wrote:
Rusting in certain countries is all due to local conditions, nothing to do with the original manufacturing quality of the bike. There is zero rust in my 1996 Zephyr 750 with 180,000 kilometers on it. Tank is perfect.

Ride any bike or car on the beach, do nothing to protect it, let water sit in the bottom of the fuel tank or evaporate dry, and anything will become a rust bucket.

In fact, compared to a 2010 Yamaha XT250 I own which is covered in rust (even the chrome fork tubes) the Zephyr was extremely well made.


i understand that, but from what i read these are more susceptible than a typical bike or what have you.. Just a concern. I ride in all conditions, so i would be riding in the rain with it.
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby hugojose » 31 Oct 2019, 22:36

Bubba;

The Zephyr 750 is simply part of the Kawasaki air cooled 750-4 line which sold for about 30 years world wide. We call it in the USA the KZ750 line..... until superseded by fuel injection and liquid cooling because of legal, performance, and enviromental reasons, not because of rust. Aluminum frame is for light weight today, not because rust was an issue with painted steel.

The frame is painted steel like most other bikes of the time. It won't rust worse or better than any other steel contemporary bike and depends on where you keep it and how you neglect it, or take care of it.....like anything else. Riding in the rain, won't do it, it is moving, and it will dry...... Leaving it outside to the elements all the time neglected, or sitting for very long periods of time in a humid place might do it like on any other steel structure, if it gets thru the paint.

......your fears would apply to most anything old made of metal that could corrode. It is really up to you, assuming is not already a pile of rust..
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby Freddy » 01 Nov 2019, 00:44

bubba_zanetti wrote:
Freddy wrote:I ride in all conditions, so i would be riding in the rain with it.


I also ride in the rain. The bike is garaged at home. To find rust you'd have to look very closely to find just a couple places where stone damage has chipped the frame paint back to bare metal.

Problems you might read about like impossible to get the rear engine mounting bolt out due to it being totally seized in the block by corrosion, my bike it just pushed out by hand when I once removed the engine.

It's totally the local conditions, and how the bike has been careful for in relation to that. My SUV was heavily rusted underneath after just a couple months of regular beach driving (salt), in contrast there had been zero rust prior to that for the previous 10 years of driving in other conditions.
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby bubba_zanetti » 01 Nov 2019, 22:47

hugojose wrote:Bubba;

The Zephyr 750 is simply part of the Kawasaki air cooled 750-4 line which sold for about 30 years world wide. We call it in the USA the KZ750 line..... until superseded by fuel injection and liquid cooling because of legal, performance, and enviromental reasons, not because of rust. Aluminum frame is for light weight today, not because rust was an issue with painted steel.

The frame is painted steel like most other bikes of the time. It won't rust worse or better than any other steel contemporary bike and depends on where you keep it and how you neglect it, or take care of it.....like anything else. Riding in the rain, won't do it, it is moving, and it will dry...... Leaving it outside to the elements all the time neglected, or sitting for very long periods of time in a humid place might do it like on any other steel structure, if it gets thru the paint.

......your fears would apply to most anything old made of metal that could corrode. It is really up to you, assuming is not already a pile of rust..


Alright, just some reviews i read and other people mentioned it like it was some sort issue. I assume these are a bit more reliable than the Z1 or Z2 which is why im opting for the zephyr and then kitting it with doremi tank/seat and ohlins and maybe brembos down the line.

This is probably what i'll roll with unless kawa releases something closer to this or the Z1 down the line. RS kinda didnt do it for me when i saw one in person. Nothing beats that classic kawa 4 look.
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby Freddy » 01 Nov 2019, 23:13

bubba_zanetti wrote:. RS kinda didnt do it for me when i saw one in person. Nothing beats that classic kawa 4 look.


The RS is probably a good reference as to the build quality and performance of the Zephyr.

I personally doubt an RS will look any better in 20 years time that a well cared for Zephyr. May not even hold up as well. For a 21 year old bike I find mine to have been extremely reliable and well built.

There are a few area of technical weakness by today's standard in the Zephyr, brakes not being one of them, and that's were I'd recommend focus be placed if you decide to go this direction. The front suspension being one. From reading the RS forum the suspension on the RS isn't a world beater either and it warrants attention. At least you can sit on a stock Zephyr seat for more than an hour, and the throttle is buttery smooth.

I would strongly recommend against modifying any aspect of the intake and exhaust system if that's in your plan. Do that and you are nearly guaranteeing you'll be VERY disappointed in the outcome.

I recently semi 'raced' an RS through the local public 'racetrack' and the RS had nothing on my Zephyr, few straights were some extra HP of the RS may have been an advantage. Neither of us was going flat out, just riding 'spirited' with a capital S. My point being that with a few tweeks the Zephyr is just as quick in practical terms as the RS on real world policed public roads.
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Re: considering a zephyr 750. some questions

Postby bubba_zanetti » 02 Nov 2019, 11:26

yeah im not modifying it for speed, just handling and looks. So suspension and maybe brakes, and the Z2 4 in 4 exhaust and tank/seat/cowl. A slipper clutch would be nice as well. I know it has enough practical power.

Although the RS has almost twice the HP for the same weight, a zephyr is just a lot cheaper and more traditional

basically this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0wxPeyFAVk
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