The Kawasaki KZ400 is 398cc twin cylinder
Universal Japanese Motorcycle. This term
is blurred today with the various models
Japan builds. Few of which look like the
UJM of the 1970s and 1980s. Kawasaki produced
the KZ400 from 1974-1984. Some of the later
models were 440cc. They were built at plants
in Akashi, Japan and Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Lincoln plant (1974) made Kawasaki the
first foreign motorcycle manufacturer to
operate a plant in the United States. KZ400s
outsold Honda in the 400cc twins market
through the 1970s. These motorcycles were
marketed as fuel efficient transportation.
Ads would feature the KZ400 next to a Volkswagen
Beetle and the tag line "think smaller."
1976 Kawasaki KZ400
US import. The early models were prone
to oil leaks and unstable idling. Both the
carburetors and the design of the oil passages
were redesigned for models beginning in
1977. Some models were offered bare bones,
with no electric start and front drum brakes.
Most, however, had a single disc in the
front and drum in the rear as well as electric
and kick starters. Deluxe models even had
a fairing and saddle bags.