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Old 12-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
Spitfire151 OP
Joined: Aug 2012
Oddometer: 27
1975 kz400

Hey all,
I am looking at maybe picking up a second bike to do a restor/very slight brat mod to. It is as the title said, a KZ400 from 1975. The tank is a bit rusty inside, the carbs need work, and there is the standard oil leak that most KZs seem to have. However, the owner has the airbox off and forgot to put it back on when he tore down the carbs in the Spring. He doesn't really ride it at all and when I test drove it, you needed the choke on to run the thing. I did not get a real good test ride bc it was cold, dark, and the choke was making the throttle grabby. He also has shorty mufflers on with no baffles I believe. The tach is gone, and I can tell it will need some wiring and a turn signal relay and new tires. Battery is good, side covers are pretty good, tank has no dents but someone removed the badges and bondoed the holes =(.

Currently I have a 1981 KZ440 cafe'd and love it. I'm looking for a bike that I may need to learn some things on (such as carbs, de-rusting a tank). Also, my current bike will need a starter clutch/rebuild soon so I will have to tackle that this Winter.

I'm mainly concerned with the choke/airbox situation. Also the pipes are in rough order, one is quite rusty and the other has an underside dent. All things I'm willing to take on but back to the point, with the airbox off, the carbs are sucking in anything so am I looking at a ticking time bomb with the engine even after I put the filter back on?

The owner is asking $775 and I think I can work on that. Let me know your thoughts, attached are two pics.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Montana
Oddometer: 444
I have a complete 79 400 ltd if you need any parts. I have no desire to do anything with it at this stage. Let me know if you end up buying it and need anything.

"If you're in control, you're not going fast enough." -- Parnelli Jones
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
Spitfire151 OP
Joined: Aug 2012
Oddometer: 27
Many thanks! That's awesome =)
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Marble Hill, MO. U.S.A.
Oddometer: 729
I had one of these that I rode for a few years, sold it in 2006 when I bought my '89 Ninja 250. '74 & '75 KZ400 parts are pretty much the same. Some '76+ parts are similar but Kawasaki sorta did a re-design for the '76 model year so they changed a lot of parts. Z1 Enterprises was the main vendor I got a lot of parts from, nice people to work with even with these old bikes. There was also a vendor over in Germany that I occasionally bought from, don't remember the name atm though. In fact I've still got a original air filter for mine, that I had bought then and never installed. But you'd still need the original air box to put it in of course. was the main forum I went to for info.
1997 Yamaha Seca II - mostly stock, Oxford Sports Style Heated Grips, Barkbusters Blizzard Cold Weather Handguards, a Scottoiler vSystem chain oiler. My Mileage Tracker Page.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
Spitfire151 OP
Joined: Aug 2012
Oddometer: 27
Jeeze, you gents are too much! This is really encouraging me to take it on. I do want your input thought, do you feel, given the small amount of info I have shared, that the engine could be in bad shape as a result of the carbs/air filter situation? I am willing to take on tearing down the carbs but I haven't a proper garage or tools for the engine if that were to require it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
Dave E.
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Middletown, PA
Oddometer: 636
You already know that $775 is too much. Since you have a KZ440 you should also know that is all things KZ twins (need to see your KZ440 Cafe there ). Dirty carbs w/o air cleaners will not let the engine run properly (or bad carb manifolds that let in too much air); straight pipes are less of an issue. Do a compression test to be sure. I was under the impression that all the exhausts from either the 400 or 440 - including the 440 B single exhaust - were interchangeable (except maybe for some minor mounting tabs).

Not sure how it is where you live, but in PA it is a nightmare trying to get a clear title if the PO doesn't have one.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:19 PM   #7
Spitfire151 OP
Joined: Aug 2012
Oddometer: 27
I am indeed on there and I will have to try posting my bike again, it wouldn't let me when I was new. What I'm trying to avoid is getting a brick, he has the title for this one and I got around the no title issue on my current Kz by going through VT for registration, since yes PA is a nightmare for trying to get a court order to release one to me, etc.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Location: paradise
Oddometer: 1,524
I would not pay anymore than $300 for that bike.
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it." Yogi Berra.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: North Dorset, UK
Oddometer: 994

Originally Posted by welder View Post
I would not pay anymore than $300 for that bike.

I wouldn't pay more than 1.00 .... but I'm in the UK & postage is horendous

If you want the bike and $775 seems OK to YOU - go ahead & buy it .... it's worth what you want to pay for it
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Central CT
Oddometer: 2,355
If the air box has been taken off for a short time while he "works on the carbs", I'd say it's no big deal - don't worry about it. How many miles on this thing? Rusty tank is a PIA. On the one I had (and come to think of it, most 70's Kawis I've come across) the master cylinder was corroded and leaky. I sold one this past year for $225 to a guy who had another KZ400 on his trailer he bought for $300 that ran well. You're the only bite he's had at $775 - pay no more than $350 for that bike. There's lots more out there.
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