1983 Kawasaki Z440 LTD
Fantastic town bike, or single rider small tourer.
Battery died, but this is normal.
Has an oil leak from the valve cover, but this is normal for a 26-year-old bike.
Originally had a pitiful, 35W/50W headlight that lit up a basketball sized circle, 10-feet in front of the bike, at night -- replaced with a 55W/60W Halogen, in a QuickSilver fairing.
Bought this bike 20 years after I fell in love with it, as a teenager -- I am not disappointed. It has belt drive, 6-speed, it is light, agile, and it accelerates very quickly -- too quickly in town...
I remember seeing this bike back in my high school years, and I just fell in love with its classic, teardrop design. It was mid-sized, for the time, had a nice sound, and it just looked cool going down the road!
My father found one for me, in near-mint condition, for $600... It was a super deal for what I got.
The bike needed new fluids, a new front tire, and a good carburetor cleaning. I replaced the oiled foam in the air filter, and it has been running perfectly since.
I bought it for my wife to learn on (she did), and my sons (one did, then he took it over from my wife...).
It handles very nimbly in town, as it is light weight, and quick to accelerate. When I test drove it, I looked down, and saw that I was running it at 35 MPH, in 2nd gear (5000 RPM) -- and I had four gears left!
The belt drive is smooth, quiet, reliable, and maintenance free. If I could convert my 750 to belt drive, I would. Matter of fact, I will be investigating this possibility this Summer.
The power is good, for one-up, in town. I find myself over-riding it too often, in town, as I fly up to speed, and corners, only to ride the brakes hard, to avoid over-shooting my corners! On the highway, acceleration is far less. Riding two-up, is much slower, both in town, and on the highway. Top speed, two-up, is around 60 MPH, on the level, straight-away. Riding one-up, it will top out around 70 MPH (27 hp @ 7000 RPM).
This is a great town bike. I would not care to tour with it, unless I was riding alone. Mine is equipped with a Vetter QuickSilver fairing, and an adjustable backrest (will slide up to the driver), and a hard trunk.
As a beginner bike, or a town bike, this is one reliable, trustworthy, and FUN bike to ride. If you can find one, in decent shape, buy it! You will be glad you did. Cheers!
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th January, 2009