1983 Kawasaki LTD 440 brat/tracker

Rudapo

Member
Good day DTT gents,

after seeing all the mods and upgrades done to all the "old" and classics bikes on this site, i thought it was about time to post my little project bike and my attempt of creating a "trackerish" bike.

the starting point is a 1983 Kawasaki LTD 440 Canadian edition.
The price of the bike was good, it had 2 new tires on it and relative low milage.
Also the parts for these bikes are relative low in costs and still easy to get.

the bike was a runner, the frame has only a little bit of rust on it but no major issues, only set back is that the bike has a chopper frame, which makes it a bit more challenging to create a more sporty look.
IMG_2011 (1).JPG

idea is to keep the rebuild cheap"ish", use as much bits and pieces i already have from previous builds and re-use as much as possible from the bike itself.
Also tooling wise, i only have hand tools, a small amount of power tools, and a welding machine. However my last use of a welding machine has been 20 years or so.

So the idea's i had in my head was to start with front of the bike and start with the simple ones:

- remove the grandpa windscreen, which was a bolt on so this was the easy bit.
- get rid of the chopper handle bars and replace by a more sporty handle bar, had a couple of those still laying around so i had some choice. It ended up with a nice black superbike handle bar to replace the mini ape.
IMG_3390.JPG

- removed to OEM mirrors and replaces these by one bar end mirror.
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- removed the OEM instrument cluster ( i found it to big on this bike) and replaced it by a small speedometer
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- removed the OEM blinkers and headlight and change these out for smaller ones. needed to fabricate a new bracket to place these.
while replacing the parts i simplified the wiring of the front, still have an occasional electrical gremlin in the bike, so the wiring harness needs some more attention eventually.
IMG_3377.JPG

- also added some fork boots, however a blew a seal on the right fork. so need to order parts to refurbish the front forks.
- small in between succes was that i had the horn working, it produced no sound during the test drive.
- next step was the front fender, in my perspective this OEM style was to long on the front and the back, so the solution was tape, a pencil and a hacksaw. the result is a leaner fender and more in the style i have in mind. the best bit is that the fork brace is still in place, so stiffness wise i loose nothing and shedding to weight will increase the acceleration ;)
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Rudapo

Member
after the adjustments the front end is done for now
IMG_2596.JPG

however i'm still in doubt whether or not to put a small screen above the headlight or keep it so. Out of the remains of the front fender i mocked up a small screen which has the same size as the headlight
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Also the color scheme was not my idea. Just black is just plaine. So i sanded it down to bare metal, which exposed a lot of bondo related dents and issues.
Since the bike doesn't have to win beauty contests and i kinda liked the look i decided to keep it rough.
Found a nice metallic redish colour, kept a bare metal racing strip and found a nice bag i wanted to re-use on the bike so i improvised.
ending up with a following tank;
IMG_3391.JPG
 

Rudapo

Member
After this it was time to start with the back of the bike. So i found a nice cheap new brat style saddle that i wanted to use for this build. however placing the seat ment that i needed to make some adjustments to the rear of the bike. So i removed the OEM seat and seatpan, removed the lighting, removed the chrome rear fender and plastic inner fender, threw out the sissy bar and found a frame with a chopper dent under all this.

So the new seat is smaller then the OEM seat, which means that or i need to lenghten the seat or shorten the frame. Decission was made to shorten the frame. while doing so i ordered a new seat hoop with integrated tail and brake light and integrated blinkers.
After receiving the hoop it was time to get the hacksaw out and make a change for the better.
IMG_3372.JPG

The OEM seat support i re-used and relocated this for the strenght of the frame and to support the new seat.
The OEM chrome rear fender i modified so it could be re-used to fit in between the frame.
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since we entered the LED period i needed to update the blinker controls to have it functioning again.
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no only getting rid of the chopper dent in the frame.
on the left side i'm using a military style bag, right hand side will be a plate.
 

Rudapo

Member
The motorframe width is 200mm center to center.
I went for the 215mm hoop, measured outside to outside, and then adjusted the radius of the hoop so that it was in line with the frame itself.
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the width of the tube hoop was so that i could ease it in the motor frame itself.
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rsStewie

Member
Now that’s a downright reasonable frame width. On mine I’m measuring at 246mm, I believe. I’ve found one with a 243 width but I’m dragging my feet at the shipping costing as much as the hoop. Really liking your build though, man
 

Rudapo

Member
i had ordered mine through AliExpress, came from China. price was cheap and no shipping costs. However i live in the Netherlands and i don't know how that's working for the rest of the world with shipping costs.
 

Rudapo

Member
i need to close some gaps in my handle bar control since i simplified the electronics.
i have no high /low beam or alarmlight function on it anymore, does anybody have proven idea on how to solve this?
.
IMG_3392.JPG
 

Maritime

Well-Known Member
If you never want to use them again, JB weld can fill the holes and be smoothed and painted well. Put tape on the underside and do a couple of layers.
 

Rudapo

Member
Hi Maritime, thx for the idea. i'm trying something with the controls to see if i can close it up. didn't want to go to the store just the get the JB weld so went through my lockers to see what i could find to close up. found some bondo so i'm first trying this out and see if it will hold.

in the mean time also working on closing the gap between seat pan and frame. Since i'm no welder and didn't want to cut up the frame other options needs exploring.
IMG_3400.JPG

since i never have room on me for tools, phones and other stuff, i wanted a bag or something on the bike to put some stuff in.
found a nice sachet with the proper size and angles on it so that went on the left hand side, with a piece of sheet metal on the back to close the small gap between seat and frame.
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looking at these pictures it's time to clean up the garage.
 

Rudapo

Member
so for the other side i wanted to have an old style tracker plate.
naamloos.png

like the look of this, and i can use the OEM air filterbox and don't need to clean up in between the frame and relocate all the electronics.
i started out with a piece of cardboard for the outline and testing some ideas.
after this i had a piece of sheet metal lying around which i used to make the first set up of the plate
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then took over the lines of the bike and adjusted piece by piece until i had the shape i liked
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played with some colours
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copied the colour scheme of the tank.
the red looks brighter, probably because there is a white base underneath and the tank was bare metal
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for now i keep it like this and first focus on the all the other little bits that need attention.
maybe when finished i have another look on the paint scheme, might go back to a white plate with a number on it for the sporty look.
but i think it worked out ok, no more gap between frame and seat!!

i have also ordered some tail riser to address the stance of the bike.
 

NoRiders

Well-Known Member
That looks good....I did similar to my Honda build, leather satchel on one side, comes in handy for small storage and an alluminium oval roundel mounted on rubber straps and plugs into the Honda grommet, for access to the electrics.
 

Maritime

Well-Known Member
looks pretty good. Bondo may work but also may crack from vibrations on the bars. Will depend on quality. Good stuff or fiber reenforced should hold.
 

Rudapo

Member
Before:
IMG_3392.JPG

after:
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will see if it holds with vibrations and stuff but so far i'm happy with it.
looks nice and clean.

looking at the headlight i'm currently using i found it to massive for the little bike, so i've ordered a bates style headlight.
little bit narrower and not so massive, think this will improve the look i'm going for.

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also ordered new LED blinkers for the front end, hopefully this will resolve the blinker synchronization i have.
i currently have LED at the back and normal at the front with a LED adjustable synchro switch in between, they are working but with a glitch.
so hopefully going full LED will resolve this.

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Rudapo

Member
started with the electrics again....trying to get rid of the extra wiring that i don't need.
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sticky tape from the 80's and wires, mmmmmhhh.
 

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