1st build - "Dirty-Thirty" KZ440 LTD

Doogie

Been Around the Block
Hello all,

Finally picked up my next project and I am really stoked to get everything together and rolling. I stalked craigslist for weeks and found many overpriced beaters. But eventually I found this gem






I picked it up for $500. The PO said he rebuilt the carb two years ago before it sat in a shed or barn. It needs some TLC but it will definitely make a sweet ride...hopefully sooner than later.

Here is how she sits after a few hours of disassembly:




Any advice, tips, 'what-to-look-out-fors,' etc. will would be awesome and very helpful.

Also does anyone think I would be able to sell the front fairing? It still has a sweet radio!!

Thanks for looking!
-Doogie
 

savheadbanger

New Member
Some resources:

Kz400.com
Armbell.com/kz400
Kzriders.net
Z1enterprises.com

If you cant find it at the armbell site, you aint gonna find it.

I have an '80 standard model by the way. If youre the industrious sort, youre gonna want to do a single carb setup, electronic ignition swap from a post '80, and fork upgrade.
 

2_DONE_THE_TON

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
me and my collegue built a kz 400 1979 cafe.i dont know what kind of bar layout you wanna go for but if you want to use clip ons or cafe bars youll need to exchange the standard brake pump...cause of shorter bar length.we used one of a gsxr 1000 :) witrh a separate brake fluid thingie.
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
savheadbanger said:
Some resources:

Kz400.com
Armbell.com/kz400
Kzriders.net
Z1enterprises.com

If you cant find it at the armbell site, you aint gonna find it.

I have an '80 standard model by the way. If youre the industrious sort, youre gonna want to do a single carb setup, electronic ignition swap from a post '80, and fork upgrade.

Thanks for the sources. I have found a few of those but not all. Also do you have any threads or info on why it is beneficial to do the upgrades you listed?(besides what is obvious about new parts vs. old) I like to research the dickens out of everything I do before I go too far. Again, thanks for the heads up and info!
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
2_DONE_THE_TON said:
me and my collegue built a kz 400 1979 cafe.i dont know what kind of bar layout you wanna go for but if you want to use clip ons or cafe bars youll need to exchange the standard brake pump...cause of shorter bar length.we used one of a gsxr 1000 :) witrh a separate brake fluid thingie.

I am planning on swapping out those god-awful stock bars for a set of drags or clubman bars. I'm trying to do this on the cheap...military pay ::) I figured I was going to have to replace the stock master cylinder...Is that what you are referring to?
 

treitz

Over 1,000 Posts
Doogie said:
Thanks for the sources. I have found a few of those but not all. Also do you have any threads or info on why it is beneficial to do the upgrades you listed?(besides what is obvious about new parts vs. old) I like to research the dickens out of everything I do before I go too far. Again, thanks for the heads up and info!

I have a KZ400 and love it. I have done one of the upgrades listed (the single carb), so I can tell you why it's beneficial.

First off, if you plan on upgrading anything on your bike, intake, exhaust, etc. you will have to rejet your carbs. Re-jetting those stock CV carbs is not only a pain in the ass, but the jets are damn expensive. So by the time you've bought 4 sets of them, you could have bought a brand new Mikuni VM34 carb. The VM34 carb is about $100, and the manifold (depending on who builds it) will probably be between $100 and $200. Beyond the tuning advantages, the throttle response from the round slide (or flatslide if you go that route) is so far beyond the CV carbs I can't even explain it with words.

I haven't done a electronic ignition on my bike, but some of my friends have. From what I understand you gain reliability more than anything. Points can be a hassle to deal with.
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
treitz said:
I have a KZ400 and love it. I have done one of the upgrades listed (the single carb), so I can tell you why it's beneficial.

First off, if you plan on upgrading anything on your bike, intake, exhaust, etc. you will have to rejet your carbs. Re-jetting those stock CV carbs is not only a pain in the ass, but the jets are damn expensive. So by the time you've bought 4 sets of them, you could have bought a brand new Mikuni VM34 carb. The VM34 carb is about $100, and the manifold (depending on who builds it) will probably be between $100 and $200. Beyond the tuning advantages, the throttle response from the round slide (or flatslide if you go that route) is so far beyond the CV carbs I can't even explain it with words.

I haven't done a electronic ignition on my bike, but some of my friends have. From what I understand you gain reliability more than anything. Points can be a hassle to deal with.

Yea I have been doing a ton of research and I think it is going to be the way to go. I made a few calls to some buddies who are welders by trade so hopefully that should keep the cost down. I am trying to figure out the size and shape/configuration of the manifold to be built. I think having the new carb come straight out the rear will look the best and run the best but I dont want it to be kissing the rear tire; haha. I do like the look of the 90 degree carb hanging out the side but I don't want to deal with fuel drop or the possibility of it sticking out too far.
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
Treitz,

Any pics, how-to, etc. of your 2-1 build? Or did you buy yours from somewhere?
 

treitz

Over 1,000 Posts
I tried the 90 degree and couldn't get it tuned right, so I switched to a straight one. It works much better.

This guy at 11th hour built mine. Here is the link to his manifold build thread: http://www.armbell.com/kz400/viewtopic.php?t=19597&mforum=kz400

And here's his website: http://11thhourindustries.com/kz400-intake-manifold/

He;s building them out of aluminum not instead of steel.

He is a cool guy and easy to work with. Not sure if he has a template for a KZ440 yet though.
 

treitz

Over 1,000 Posts
And unless you make the manifold wrong, or have a ridiculously long air filter, you won't have to worry about kissing your rear tire. Mine still has room for my battery box to hang behind the air filter and before the tire.

Here's a dude who did one on the KZ440: http://kzrider.com/forum/3-carburetor/587526-kz440-single-carb-conversion#594880
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
Yea i just read that whole thread earlier today. He is making one for the 440 but I'm not sure if I want to spend $250 for a new carb and manifold. I might just have my buddy fab one up but at least I know I can go the 11th hour route as well.
 

treitz

Over 1,000 Posts
Doogie said:
Yea i just read that whole thread earlier today. He is making one for the 440 but I'm not sure if I want to spend $250 for a new carb and manifold. I might just have my buddy fab one up but at least I know I can go the 11th hour route as well.

For sure... Wouldn't hurt to give it a shot!
 

M.B Co

Coast to Coast
What are your initial plans?

I'm in the last stage of my first build of a 440LTD. I've kept the CV carbs and re-jetted without any issues. Each bike is different and reacts differently to jets. I have $30 in jets of various sizes. I'll get the sizes I changed out to.

I didn't hack off the rear of my frame. I personally like the step up and creates some decent lines to go off of. I'm building a brat seat which will curve with the frame slightly.

Check my build thread. Any questions let me know.

How she sits for reference. Which shes looked like this for some time now :'(


Untitled by MBCo, on Flickr
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
M.B Co said:
What are your initial plans?

I'm in the last stage of my first build of a 440LTD. I've kept the CV carbs and re-jetted without any issues. Each bike is different and reacts differently to jets. I have $30 in jets of various sizes. I'll get the sizes I changed out to.

I didn't hack off the rear of my frame. I personally like the step up and creates some decent lines to go off of. I'm building a brat seat which will curve with the frame slightly.

Check my build thread. Any questions let me know.

How she sits for reference. Which shes looked like this for some time now :'(


Untitled by MBCo, on Flickr

I have your thread bookmarked already. I have been checking out all the kzs. I could use the jet info if you have it handy.

Well, I haven't had the bike for a week yet and my plans change constantly. Practically everytime I look at the bike. Right now I am stripping everything down to the frame. Detabbing and deciding what I want to keep in stock locations i.e. side covers, taillight, turn signals, etc. Once I get the engine pulled I'll prep for paint but I need to decide what color scheme I am going with first. Right now it is dark gray frame, with black tank and red accents...I'm sure that will change. Originally it was OD green tank and black everything else. I'll figure that out this weekend.

Other than that I am keeping the exhaust stock, either using stock carbs or going 2-1 depending on how it tunes up. Planning on keeping the mid sets so I'll probably go with clubman or drag bars of some sort. I have not ruled out clip ons but I really don't want to try to attach rear sets. Plus the additional cost, etc.

And since my bike came with the giant ugly front fairing from the factory I have a Ford F-350 headlight instead of a nice round light. So, I get to buy a new one for the front and rear. Still don't know what is out there or where to buy. Been looking around DCC and other places.

For the rear/seat section I want to go with a brat style/old school dirt bike seat. I'm not too keen on the cafe bump that everyone has. I like it but I can do without the extra steps and fab. Maybe later. I found a thread a while ago but I can't find it now ...but.... someone with an LTD welded some stock round steel on top of the step down in the frame creating a more straight line for the seat without hacking up the rear section. I like that idea because it keeps the original integrity of the frame and creates a nice space to use as a electronics/battery tray.

I am still learning and researching; trying to make good, informed decisions. Looking to have everything together, running and on the road in a month or so. We shall see how well that works out.

Thanks.
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
TADA!!! I found the thread!

OK, here is the link...

http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=41551.0

Post # 6, 7, & 8 are good pics. I would probably do something like that but I'll see what happens when I get there.

Might not get there till the winter. ::)
 

Scruffy

West Tennessee
Interesting starting point, have to say, I've never seen a KZ440 quite that overladen...

Headlights are easy, round. Tail lights not so much, too many choices.

If you plan to ride it on base, you will need turn signals, decent sized tail light and a horn... and probably a mirror on each side since it is a post-74 machine. That's how it was when I was active duty, couldn't bring my bike on base unless it was on a trailer or in the truck bed.
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
Scruffy said:
Interesting starting point, have to say, I've never seen a KZ440 quite that overladen...

Headlights are easy, round. Tail lights not so much, too many choices.

If you plan to ride it on base, you will need turn signals, decent sized tail light and a horn... and probably a mirror on each side since it is a post-74 machine. That's how it was when I was active duty, couldn't bring my bike on base unless it was on a trailer or in the truck bed.

Yea that thing had sooo much crap and junk on there it was ridiculous. I'm not too sure about the requirements of the post as far as motorcycles. I plan to ride it on post because I live on post! haha. Anyway, thanks for the heads up I will definitely check into it and be prepared.

Any links for good places to buy cheap lights?
 

savheadbanger

New Member
Hey Doogie, where are you located? Ive got a bunch of spare parts and know these bikes like the back of my hand. I might trade a weekend of labor for that fairing if youre close enough.
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
savheadbanger said:
Hey Doogie, where are you located? Ive got a bunch of spare parts and know these bikes like the back of my hand. I might trade a weekend of labor for that fairing if youre close enough.

I would love to do that deal but I think we are a bit too far away. I am located about 15 South of DC.

I am actually thinking of moving back to Charleston, SC in a few months. I'm sure the fairing won't be going anywhere soon. I'll let you know when I head down that way. I have a bunch of buddies down there in Ranger batt. that I need to visit so I might be down your way one of these days.
 

Doogie

Been Around the Block
Just out of curiosity...what do these type of front fairings with all the hardware go for used on the forums?
 

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