In 1974, Kawasaki built a production plant in Lincoln, Nebraska to crank out their new mid-sized street bike, the KZ400 twin. It made Kawasaki the first international motorcycle manufacturer with a plant in the US – something they would celebrate 4 years later with an exclusive run of Americanized KZ1000s. In the early 80s, the KZ400 grew into the KZ440. One of the variants was the LTD, a small cruiser.
The limited edition KZ1000s, if you’re curious:
The 443cc motor was paired with a six-speed transmission through a wet clutch. It weighed 360 pounds dry and the final drive was taken care of via a belt. As an ’81, this example should feature electronic ignition and an improved oiling system compared to the 400s. For more information (and some vintage ads), head over to this site dedicated to the model.
This bike has 7,755 miles and the seller says it looks great. There’s definitely some wear in the brightwork and the engine cases, but this does seem like a solid example of the breed. Find this KZ440 for sale here on Craigslist for $1,500 in Middletown, New York.
This bike-uriousity brought to you by “peejay”!