KV75 owners

#42
I had one of mine out over the holidays and think I might have blown it up. It started making a loud noise like a cracked ring or a rod bearing so I shut it down real quick. Total tear-down coming up.

I had a couple guys email me asking about the MT1/KV75 steel sprocket & chain sets and they are now available again.

Send me a PM if you need any.
 
#43
Had mine up and running only to find out that the trans was shot. Took weeks to collect all the parts for a complete rebuild. 2nd gear output is incredibly hard to find. New bearings, seals, trans, gaskets and the motor is now complete. Waiting on warmer weather for final assembly.
 
#45
Used mine a little at the camp during summer. I put it away a few month ago due to work. No time to play with it. Stark to leak from output sproket, and need to re-seal fuel tank at the seams. So some love is need again. Had a blast ridding around the camping making everybody laugh!
 
#46
Looking at the OldMiniBikes show classes, it doesn't appear that the Japanese minibikes are included in any of them?

There should be at least a "foreign" category with a separate Japanese category being better since it would include the Honda z50, Kawasaki MT1/KV75, Suzuki Trailhopper, and all the rest of the classic Japanese minis.
 
#48
Not much love for Japanese imports but they are very nice. A work in progress...
I feel that way a tad sometimes , the imports while built better than the US mini's they lack the cool culture of the era, back in the day US mini's were king and many kids owned them, the imports were poorly represented and in my era there were none as who could afford them, my first US mini was 35 dollars and what a bargain that thing was , a blast was had and for minimal (Cool!) the imports also lacked that extra cool clutch chain jingle I'll always love that sound ..... Yes I really like my KV but I think I like the US minis either equally or maybe a tad more than the imports..
 
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#49
Well, I was a kid in the 60s and 70s and back then in my neighborhood any minibike was cool but the American lawn mower engine minis took a back seat once the Japanese bikes started coming out. I don't know of anyone back then who wouldn't have traded their Ruttman or Rupp (or any American lawn mower engine mini) in a heartbeat to own a Kawasaki or Honda. That's just the way it was. Performance rules over nostalgia when you are a kid.

It isn't until you are an adult that nostalgia means anything.
 
#50
Here's a little-known performance improvement for 1972-1980 MT1/KV75 minis.

The original 1971 "Parnelli Jones" Dynamite MT1 was the fastest of all the years. Not by much but a tad more power.

The reason was that the original exhaust baffle was designed for max power but lacked the level of spark arrest required by US law so in 1972 Kawasaki added a secondary spark arrestor. This changed the tone of the exhaust some and the power was affected a tad too. Not much but a little bit.

The main body of the exhaust remained the same which means the 1971 baffle will bolt right onto any year. This makes the 1971 baffle a highly-sought after upgrade if you can find one. Fortunately they don't seem to be too hard to find because Kawasaki probably got stuck with a bunch of them when they were forced to make the change to improve the spark arrest. A few years ago I bought 3 NOS 1971 baffles.

With the 1971 baffle there is an improvement in throttle response and best of all... it sounds a lot meaner.

Here's one on eBay. It isn't mine and the price is a little high but other than reworking the carb this is about the only true bolt-on performance enhancement you can get for these bikes.

NOS Kawasaki 1971 MT1 Baffle Tube 18033-046 | eBay
 
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#51
I feel that way a tad sometimes , the imports while built better than the US mini's they lack the cool culture of the era, back in the day US mini's were king and many kids owned them, the imports were poorly represented and in my era there were none as who could afford them, my first US mini was 35 dollars and what a bargain that thing was , a blast was had and for minimal (Cool!) the imports also lacked that extra cool clutch chain jingle I'll always love that sound ..... Yes I really like my KV but I think I like the US minis either equally or maybe a tad more than the imports..
60's-70's my era too :thumbsup: I agree 100% the imports were king once they arrived but they were pricey and out of most youngsters reach , I wanted a TM75 in the worst way never got it they retailed at just under 300 dollars new, that was huge money ,in hindsight and nostalgia I dig the lawnmower engined mini's , I truly dig the sound of a putt putt with a centrifugal clutch , good memories :thumbsup:





Good tip on the performance baffle, I'll keep my eyes peeled for an early Parnelli Jones unit :thumbsup:
 
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#52
ive only heard mine start once, but it sounded like a freaking bubble machine. it looks like someone made the baffle and turndown on it.... but mine is special so the person who did it may have been the one to do all the other mods... i bet if anything mine is quietened more than stock or as much as the later baffle is.
 
#58
Just adding my recent acquisition to this thread. Color is not stock, everything else is.

View attachment 96794
It's a very-nice bike. I'm pretty-sure I know who built it. He's done a bunch of them.

Your bike has one of my rear sprockets on it. :thumbsup:

It's a custom machine though. Everything other than the tank isn't 100% stock.

From this side I can see it has the following:

  • Aftermarket rear shocks (more adult-friendly units than stock)
  • A smooth 1971 MT1-style seat cover
  • A Honda z50 fuel petcock
  • A different brand shift lever (looks like it might be a Honda)
  • A modern NGK spark plug boot
  • The oil tank is 76-80 KV75
  • The black handle bar controls are from 78-80 KV75

Like I mentioned, I know the guy who built it. He does awesome work and makes some sharp-looking machines. He even makes the decals on the gas tank, fender, frame, etc. He also repairs the HTF throttle cables.

He buys a lot of my MT1/KV75 sprockets.
 
#60
Gatecrasher, it's a 1979, so why wouldn't it have a '79 oil tank and '79 handlebar controls?
It looks like it does have a 76-80 oil tank and 78-80 controls.

You can tell for sure what year the frame and engine are by the serial #'s but it isn't that important unless you are restoring one to absolute factory originality. Even then there are only a very small group of MT1/KV75 freaks who would even care.

I have both all-original and customized bikes. Your bike is definitely sweet but it is not 100% stock other than the color. It has some other custom features.

The z50 fuel petcock is a nice revision, especially since the Kawasaki ones are expensive and hard to come by. I like the z50 petcocks because they have the "reserve" setting too where the original didn't.

Since over ten times more z50s were produced than MT1/KV75s, there are a lot more reproduction parts available for them. It's nice that several are interchangeable with the Kawasakis like the gear shifter and kick starter levers too. You can also fit the aftermarket forks and rear swingarms to the KV75. Some parts are unique to the Kawasaki though like the rear sprockets. If you convert to the Honda wheels you can use the more readily-available Honda rear sprockets but I prefer to keep the Kawasaki wheels.

The reason I'm into these bikes is I had one as a kid in the 70s. It was a 1971 MT1 "Parnelli Jones" and I rode it hard every day. I used to blow every cent I had and then some keeping it maintained and running. The three parts I used to have to replace more often than anything else were:

  • The sprockets and chain
  • The throttle cable
  • The foot peg rubbers

There was other stuff too but those were the main three. I blew the engine twice and had it bored for new pistons. These bikes are a great learning tool for kids to gain mechanical ability.

The shocks you have on the back are a nice upgrade. The original Kawasaki shocks were pretty-weak and definitely inadequate for an adult rider. My springs were broke on mine back in the 70s.

I have the same aftermarket shocks that you are using on all my bikes that I ride. I have a total show bike that I don't ride that still has the originals on it.

The rear sprockets for these bikes were selling for over $100 on eBay for an NOS one (if you could find one). They are unique to the Kawasaki. So I eventually got tired of it and decided to have them manufactured myself. You have one your bike.
 
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