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Old 07-12-2008, 08:39 AM   #1
smedo
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Default Help with Kawasaki 440 LTD - 1981

Hi,
Cycle has been in storage for 8 years - took it out and it and started. Replaced gas, oil, cleaned carb, sparkplugs, etc. Running OK, but it seems the power goes in and out and when you jiggle or pull the clutch, it seems like it runs better, and the lights get brighter. I'm not a mechanic - just looking for some ideas of what else I should clean/replace or other possible problems. Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
mscuddy
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Ah ha, yet another old bike unearthed from the garage...your problem with the clutch sounds like something is binding up, like the chain or wheel bearings. Also, does it shift OK? Notchy shifting can point to warped clutch plates. You might want to go for the major tune-up route, cam chain, valves, timing, air filters, etc.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
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Doesn't this bike have essentially the same engine as the EX500? If so, a sticking clutch is "typical" on 'em - the only "cure" is to exercise it. Something to do with the way the oil drains out of the plates when shut-down for extended periods, IIRC.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:13 AM   #4
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Default No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_AirHawk View Post
Doesn't this bike have essentially the same engine as the EX500? If so, a sticking clutch is "typical" on 'em - the only "cure" is to exercise it. Something to do with the way the oil drains out of the plates when shut-down for extended periods, IIRC.
The engine is entirely different. I'm not trying to be harsh here but that KZ400/440 engine was a real piece of crap. They wore out early and had loads of issues.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:57 AM   #5
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When I was stationed at NAS Oceana, every squid had one, either the 400 or 750 twin. They were giving 'em away at the local Kawi dealer. You don't see to many around anymore, except in salvage yards....(unlike the mighty CL/CB/SL 350).
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:25 PM   #6
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Default I'm Going to Make This Easy For You

I've managed to find photos of 3 (count'em, THREE) of these unique and rare motorcycles. They are right here for you to study carefully. This bike wasn't in "storage" for 8 years. The owner had been hiding it in shame. He undoubtably purchased it near the end of a 3-5 day cocaine and alcohol binge.

The only reasonable action to take with this motorcycle is to throw a bucket of gasoline over it and toss a match. I'm pretty sure that in at least 40 states putting that machine back on the road would constitute a misdemeanor. The other 10 count it as a felony. Only completely destroying every component beyond repair is sufficient to ensure the protection of the eyesight of future generations.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Kawi LTD 2.jpg (5.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Kawi LTD.jpg (39.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Kawi LTD 3.jpg (56.0 KB, 8 views)
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:07 PM   #7
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Oh, I dunno. The king-n-queen seat is ugly, but the rest of the bike is reasonable for a Japanese "cruiser" of the time.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:56 PM   #8
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I think the official riding gear for this bike is a white polyester bell-bottomed disco suit, with matching white snakeskin cowboy boots, and a Zody's $9.95 metalflake blue open face helmet, with a blue tinted bubble visor.

"WE KNOW HOW TO DO IT, YEAAAAA!"
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:32 PM   #9
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Default Thanks (I think)

Thanks for the advice - and the attempt at humor. . . The shifting seems OK. I have the manual, but it's not too clear if there is an electical cut-off on the clutch that may be causing this. Timing adjustment would help and I know it needs a major overhall - but I just want to be able to ride and wear my Elvis suit.
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:52 PM   #10
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Hmm. The only switch that can be related to the clutch is a sidestand cutout switch -- That's the one that kills your engine if you try to put the bike in gear with the sidestand down. But I can't imagine such a switch would have anything to do with your symptoms; if it is working at all the engine would die, period.
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