The Specifications of a Kawasaki KZ440 LTD

by Brianna Collins
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If there's one thing that separates a purists' vehicle from any other, it's honesty. A purists' vehicle makes no pretensions about being anything that it isn't -- a trait lost on so many. The Kawasaki KZ400 and KZ440, unlike their less successful, sort-of-performance-oriented predecessors, never tried to be anything but what they were: simple, utilitarian transport for people who preferred two wheels to four. Uncompromised by sporting pretensions or unnecessary equipment, the KZs were free to be one of the best tools for the job at hand.


Known as the KZ440, or simply the Z440, this motorcycle featured a 443 cc engine, more powerful than the Z400's 398 cc engine. The Z440 could come in C1, C2 or LTD trims, though the main difference between them was style and color options. All featured the same engineering and convenience specs.


The 1981 Kawasaki Z440 came equipped with a four-stroke, two-cylinder, air-cooled engine with a single-overhead-camshaft configuration. It had a bore and stroke of 2.66 inches by 2.44 inches, a compression ratio of 9.2-to-1 and a displacement of 27.03 cubic inches. The engine worked in conjunction with a standard six-speed transmission with constant mesh and return shift and a wet, multi-plate clutch.

Chassis, Suspension, Brakes

The KZ440 featured a tubular-type frame with double cradle. In the front was a telescopic fork suspension system with 5.91 inches of travel, while the back of the bike featured a swing-arm suspension with 3.74 inches of travel. The KZ440 also had an 8.90-inch single-disc brake in the front and a 6.30-by-1.18-inch drum brake in the rear.


Weighing 360 pounds dry -- without fuel or fluids -- the Kawasaki Z440 measured about 81 inches in length, 32 in width and 42 in height. It had a wheelbase of 53.7 inches, a ground clearance of 5.3 inches, and a seat height of 31.5 inches. The bike used a 3.00S-18 4PR tire in the front and a 3.50 S-18PR tire in the back, and had a 3.1-gallon gas tank.


The KZ440 also featured some options not available in the standard Z400. This included two helmet locks, a headlamp flasher when turning and a pillion grab rail. Other extras included alloy wheels, a vacuum-operated fuel cock and stop-lamp failure warning lights.

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