Snarling Sue, the 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000

| 4/12/2012 4:56:09 PM

Tags: ,

kawi 1 
"Snarling Sue," Raymond Moses' 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000. 

This is my 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000 LT B1. I call her “Snarling Sue” after my ex.

I bought the bike in 2005 with 43,000 miles on her. It had been re-painted “give me a ticket” red and all its badges had been removed. But it was fast, looked pretty good and had a nice “snarl” due to the drag pipes. I’ve had her up to about 120 where the front gets a little vague-feeling.

After I put about 3,000 miles on her the cam chain started to buzz and rattle. I let the tensioner reset itself but it didn’t help. Inevitably one day it snapped, leaving me 30 miles from home. It bent a couple of intake valves so off to the repair shop. Kennedy’s Sport Cycles in Elyria, Ohio, did a complete rebuild from the bottom up. Mike is one hell of a Kawi mechanic. He really knows these old burners.

I’ve had it back since April 2007 and I’ve put almost 10,000 on the rebuild. Give her a little choke, when cold, punch the button and she sings right up. It idles beautifully. Pop her in 1st, dump the clutch and she launches like a scalded tiger. Financially it hurt to come up with the grand for repairs, but what I got back was essentially a new bike.

I’ve got all the body work off and I’m going to paint it all blacker than black. I plan on putting all the badges back on and keeping her till I can’t get off the kickstand or get my feet up to the pegs anymore. Then she’s going to be given to my grandson, Michael. He’s only 3 so hopefully Snarling Sue and I have a few more dances together.

The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5.00 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $29.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $34.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter