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tHEtREV 11-05-2011 02:33 AM

79 KDX400, any info on them?
Anyone have any experience with a 79 or 80 KDX 400?

I'm looking for a bike for VMX and Vinduro to go with my 87 KX125.

I wanted an earlier bike so I can race both on the same day and I wanted to stay with Kawasaki just because the guy that I usually pit with has two so were going for the unofficial Kawasaki team thing.

Anyway a 79 KDX400 has been on Ebay for awhile, but I can't remember them, and I can't find much on them on the net, so I thought I would ask here to see if anyone has any lasting memorys of them...

nachtflug 11-05-2011 04:18 AM

I had one, bought it brand new. Great woods bike, and it was the last bike I ever motocrossed on. Didn't need a whole lot of maintenance, strong as a tank. Can't see where you could go wrong with one.

They topped the IT400 as the best open class woods bike from japan until the next best thing came out.

rufus 11-05-2011 02:45 PM

I had a 1980 model. GREAT bike.

But it had 2 big problems.

The swingarm bushing were plastic. No bearing, just a plastic bushing. Mine would have slop in about 100 miles. The dealer couldn't keep them in stock. After a few months they were on perpetual backorder.

The 2nd ( and worst) problem was the shifting drum. They broke easily. The drum was supported on 1 side only. The left side hung in the air. Every kdx 400 I have ever seen had broken at least 1. This was the death of these bikes.

BikePilot 11-05-2011 02:50 PM

I bet you could replace those plastic bushings with brass or something. Kawak H1s also had plastic bushings that didn't work well, but everyone puts in brass ones. :deal

JSharp 11-07-2011 06:47 AM

I have an '80 KDX 250 sitting in the shed I bought new. It's substantially similar bike to the 400 but for the engine. The 250 was considered the best of the Enduro bikes in 1980. It was a John Penton design he came up with for Kawasaki. Japanese parts but notice all the aftermarket items too. Vesco petcock etc... I hope you're tall if you buy it. The seat height is 37" and it predates modern progressive suspension so when you sit on it you're still way up in the air. Ride it hard and everything settles in and it feels great. Tool around at low speeds and you'll swear you're riding a barstool with 2 legs...

eric123 11-07-2011 10:05 AM

A '79 KDX 400 was my first bike bike...Had my first big crash on it too. Never let me down and always started.

amockalypsenow 10-17-2012 05:24 PM

any creative ideas on how to efficiently source/fabricate the brass bushings? I'm in need of some.

amockalypsenow 10-17-2012 05:54 PM


eric123 10-17-2012 07:02 PM


BIG ED XT FAN 10-17-2012 08:12 PM

I had a kdx 400 and a 420 both had there problems. The muffler was very long on the 420 and would brake-off alot.
Both bikes were sold for a new IT 400!!! :eek1

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