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Looked at a Kawasaki ('85) 454 LTD. Has been dropped; dent right side of take and far end of break handle broken off. Other issue noted: speedometet & tachometer do not function. Cold blooded but will start with chock engaged. Tires look in very good shape. Has 11,5XX miles. She is asking $1,000 O.B.O.This will be my first bike.Thank you greatly for any help you can offer.Noekae
 

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The LTD was a good bike. Brake lever is cheap- maybe $15-20. The fuel tank could be an issue- hard to find an undamaged tank for a bike nearly 30 years old, but if the dent is something you can live with, at least for now...

What do you mean by the tach and speedo do not function? Do they simply not light up, or do they not work at all?
 

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Looked at a Kawasaki ('85) 454 LTD. Has been dropped;
She is asking $1,000 O.B.O.This will be my first bike.
Reasonable price.....IF it was in near perfect condition....which it isn't.

First time, non-mechanic riders who buy a bike that isn't running 100% correctly often turns out badly.

My vote is PASS.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The LTD was a good bike. Brake lever is cheap- maybe $15-20. The fuel tank could be an issue- hard to find an undamaged tank for a bike nearly 30 years old, but if the dent is something you can live with, at least for now...

What do you mean by the tach and speedo do not function? Do they simply not light up, or do they not work at all?
The speedo and tach do not work.
 

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That is not good. The tach is electronic, but the speedo is mechanical and cable driven, so those are two different problems. Which kind of makes the rest of the bike suspect, as the drop probably did not cause either of them. If the cable is broken on the speedo that is a quick and cheap fix, but there is no telling how long it has been broken and thus no telling how many miles are actually on the bike. If it is the speedo itself that is bad, changing it out is not too bad, but a used one is your only option if you can find one. The tach could be as simple as a blown fuse or loose wire ( a sign of other electrical problem with the bike?), or it could be the tach itself. This could turn into a headache real fast. If you are a decent mechanic then offer her $750-800, if you are not a good wrench I'd pass. If you like the bike, you can find really nice Kawas 454s in the $1500-2000 range.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is not good. The tach is electronic, but the speedo is mechanical and cable driven, so those are two different problems. Which kind of makes the rest of the bike suspect, as the drop probably did not cause either of them. If the cable is broken on the speedo that is a quick and cheap fix, but there is no telling how long it has been broken and thus no telling how many miles are actually on the bike. If it is the speedo itself that is bad, changing it out is not too bad, but a used one is your only option if you can find one. The tach could be as simple as a blown fuse or loose wire ( a sign of other electrical problem with the bike?), or it could be the tach itself. This could turn into a headache real fast. If you are a decent mechanic then offer her $750-800, if you are not a good wrench I'd pass. If you like the bike, you can find really nice Kawas 454s in the $1500-2000 range.
The odometer works. I kept an eye on it while riding it.

I'm going to look at a '81 Kaw 440 LTD later today and perhaps an '86 Kaw 454 LTD.
 

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Bottom line....way too much $$$$$ for that bike
It is kind of strange, I think.......that I seem to see a lot of those mid-80s LTDs that have been beaten to crap and just neglected to death......and almost none that have really been kept up good. Seems like more than most other models. Maybe I'm just dreaming though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I text rode a'81 Kaw 440 LTD and a'86 Kaw 454 LTD today. I've decided on the '86. The deciding factors were that the '86 was in better shape and the seller is someone whom appears, from the state of his bike and the attention to detail in his landscaped yard, who takes care of his things. There will be a little more learning curve with the '86 but I believe I'll be happier.

Thank you everyone for all the advice, it is greatly appreiated.

Noekae
 

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There will be a little more learning curve with the '86 but I believe I'll be happier.
Why more of a leaning curve?
All bikes are pretty much alike.
Is the 454 really that much bigger ??

Have you taken a beginning rider's course yet ??
Very important that you not ride until you are trained and properly licensed......and insured.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Why more of a leaning curve?
All bikes are pretty much alike.
Is the 454 really that much bigger ??

Have you taken a beginning rider's course yet ??
Very important that you not ride until you are trained and properly licensed......and insured.
I'm mainly talking about finding the right friction zone without ending up on the ground. I test rode a 454 last night from a dead stop on an incline and after killing it once or twice I ended up pop a wheelie. Thankfully I didn't wipe out. :shock: As you can tell I very little riding experience, but looking forward to the days ahead.

Yes. I have taken the riding course and am properly licensed.
 

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It's good you've taken the MSF course, but that doesn't mean you can't still practice. Find a good parking lot with little to no debris or gravel, practice the same things you learned in the MSF course. If you can, find a parking lot with an incline as well, to practice those hill starts. Just be patient, and don't panic. That bike sounds like it would be very manageable with minimal experience. Good luck, and look out for all the idiots on the road. Ride like you are invisible.
 

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It is kind of strange, I think.......that I seem to see a lot of those mid-80s LTDs that have been beaten to crap and just neglected to death......and almost none that have really been kept up good. Seems like more than most other models. Maybe I'm just dreaming though.
I think it's just that they sold a lot of them and that they were solid enough bikes that many survived long enough to become beater bikes,sort of like the old Honda 500/550 & 750 Fours from the 1970's.
 

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It's good you've taken the MSF course, but that doesn't mean you can't still practice. Find a good parking lot with little to no debris or gravel, practice the same things you learned in the MSF course. If you can, find a parking lot with an incline as well, to practice those hill starts. Just be patient, and don't panic. That bike sounds like it would be very manageable with minimal experience. Good luck, and look out for all the idiots on the road. Ride like you are invisible.
I'd sure suggest he stays off the road til he gets a little more able to control the bike,one mistake in traffic can be deadly.
 

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Every now and then I see a really nice one, but most soldier on a low-budget beaters and beginner bikes that get dropped a lot. Good, solid bikes, but almost 30 years old now and out of production since 1990 so they are long in the tooth now, and very hard to get sheetmetal for. Not old or rare enough to be worth fixing up, not new enough to still be in good shape- struck in the middle with other 'throw away' bikes. But that does make them great beginner bikes.
 
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