Technical Q and A for classic motorcycle maintenance and repair.
Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Q: I’m a woman looking to purchase my first bike and I’m looking at a 1981 Kawasaki KZ750 for sale here in Monroe, Washington. I found your information while researching maintenance issues with the Kawasaki KZ750. I was wondering if you would be willing to offer advice on anything I should be particularly concerned with or specific questions I should be asking of the dealer before considering buying it? — Reis Pearson/via email
A: I can’t think of anything about that particular model that raises any red flags, so I would suggest the usual questions: How new are the tires? Have the carburetors been cleaned recently? How old is the battery? Has the bike been dropped or wrecked? That said, I would strongly recommend a smaller bike as a first bike. Many times people get off to a bad start in motorcycling by buying a bike more powerful than their experience level warrants. I’m old enough to remember when a 750 was a Superbike, something you got after you learned to ride, and fall off of, a 125, 350 or 400. I’d also advise that you take a motorcycle safety riding course, often offered through local dealerships. I hope this helps. MC