'82 Kawasaki 440LTD

Kawasaki 
440LTD

This is a nice little bike that I got from a friend of mine. It's in very good shape cosmetically and mechanically. This spring it started up like a champ after not being run for at least 8 months. I charged the battery, turned to petcock to prime, set the choke (I think, it was dark), and it started after about 15 seconds of cranking. It runs, but I only ran it for a few minutes.

It has about 13,000 miles on it and as I said before, it's in pretty good shape. It also has belt drive. It has that sort of cruiser styling with the drop-style handlebars, turn signals attached directly to the bars, and a stepped seat. It looks as if it will be a good around town bike, or a pretty decent first bike.

I haven't decided how much I want for it. It will depend greatly on how much work it will be to get it running. I'll try to post a price here on the site before I start running ads.

Kawasaki 
440LTD

9/3/01

I have sold this bike. I sold it in return for work on my house to an independant contractor. He's a good friend who's also a mileage nut--he loves these high-mileage motorcycle rallies like the Minnesota 1000 and the various "Butt" rallies. I think he wants it for a town bike, and that's just fine. It's gone.

8/5/01

I showed the bike to the first potential buyer today. He was impressed. I hope he likes it enough to plop down the cash. Some small things have cropped up as well: The air filter element is toast. I have to get another one. Also, the front brakes are pretty spongy. I don't know if this is endemic to this bike or not, but I will probably have to take a look at it. I also posted the pictures of the bike on this page today.

8/1/01

I put a quick coat of polish on it today and rode it down to First Thursday with a For Sale sign. About 5 tear-offs were gone by the end of the evening, and that's good. Only one person called, but that's good too. I'll be showing it on Sunday if the weather cooperates. I'm hoping to sell it quickly.

7/21/01

I went and got a front tire for this bike today. It was terribly hot, but I want this project out of my garage and the only way to do this is to get this thing ready to roll. I'm going to polish the heck out of this bike as soon as the heat abates, and then I'm going to post some ads for it. I still have not figured out how much I want for it, but as a bike that needs nothing and is in pretty good shape, I think I'll be asking a grand for it. It seems fair. Any bike that "needs work" that I've helped put back on the street has cost at least that much, so I figure a bike that's turn-key ready should go for about as much. So there.

7/15/01

I went to the salvage yard today to get a part for this bike. It was a stinkin' hot day and I got a nice little sun burn over the course of the day. I drove the 40 mile (one way) trip just to have the parts counter ape tell me that the part I was looking for (the air filter box) is frequently broken on this bike and that they didn't have one. He invited me to go out in the yard and look, so I did. I think I looked for about 15 minutes until I found one. It was under a locked seat, but the yard guy took care of that. Folks, if you think seat locks are secure, think again. Anyway, the one I found was in perfect shape and they hit me for a ten-spot. I installed it while I was still at the yard.

7/7/01

I did an oil change on this bike today. Nothing to report, really. It went very smoothly.

7/6/01

Well, the best laid plans of guys who work on bikes are often derailed. It's now July and I've finally completed the task of getting this bike running and on the street. Here's what it took:

This spring I realized that I had fallen down on my obligation to the former owner to change the title ASAP. That was the first order of business. Through some unfortunate truth telling and an awful lot of forgetfulness, it took me three times at the DMV to get the title swapped. Eventually, the gods of red-tape smiled upon my bald pate and granted me a title for this nice little bike. It took 6 weeks to get here, but I finally had it.

I already had the tabs from the title swap, so I could have hit the street at that moment. However, things weren't going to go that smoothly. When I started it up later this spring, I noticed that it was only running on one cylinder. Time for a carb rebuild. My life took a turn for the busy in late spring, so instead of working on this bike, I did other things.

I pulled it out of the garage after the title came in the mail. I surveyed the situation and realized that if I ran the bike long enough, gas came barfing out the overflow tubes on the carbs. I finally did rebuild the carbs. I ordered the somewhat spare kits from Dennis Kirk on a Thursday and they got here the next day. Excellent service, guys. That's why you're getting mentioned here. I will note that they are about 50 miles North of us here, but still, I expected and received rapid service.

I had already taken the carbs apart once prior to ordering the kits. I thought I had cleaned them out thoroughly, but I was mistaken. The needle valve (gas valve) on both carbs was the problem. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning these things, but they were just too junked up. The bike went from no gas flow in one carb and endless flow in the other, to endless flow in both carbs. The carb kit had new needle valves, and I used a couple of the included o-rings to replace grotty ones in the carbs. I stuck the carbs back together and back on the bike and it worked just fine. Simple as that.

Well, the bike is now licensed and insured and I'm going to use it for a couple of weeks to see if I can get anything else to break. I'm going to have to replace the front tire as it's old, cracked and down to the wear bars, and I may have to look at the front brake as I would expect far greater stopping power from the setup the bike has than I'm getting.

Beyond all this, I'll have a picture of it up very soon, and I'll be selling it by the end of July.

Back to Bikes