Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Kawasaki KZ440LTD

Thu, February 11th, 2010

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1980–84 Kawasaki KZ440LTD
When the Kawasaki 400 twin got a 40cc overbore for 1980, power rose from 36 to 40 HP, but the engine still was slower than the competition and felt anemic at higher revs.
The standard KZ440 was not exactly a corner carver, and the LTD version was marginally worse.
The 400/440 LTD was only a year old when I got into bikes, and it was one of the first bikes I was attracted to. Because of that, I still have a fondness for the look, especially in comparison to some of today's silly cruisers.
The KZ440 motor and chassis were reliable and could withstand sloppy maintenance, but they were not designed to last forever; most eventually wore out with an unremarkable number of miles on them.
What was an otherwise good around-town commuter was hampered by the LTD version's uncomfortable stepped seat and pullback bars.
Nowadays, the KZ440LTD is a bike most likely to to be ridden by the weird guy who plays guitar on the street corner outside Starbucks. Is there a bike with less street cred?
The KZ440LTD is a sentimental favorite of mine. But it is otherwise nothing special.