Not every classic is an investment: Kawasaki LTD

Kawasaki LTD
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"Classics are only bought by investors." That is not true. We recently saw two classic - because 25 + years of young engines - two Kawasaki's that were facing a fairly uncertain future. They were not Mach III and Z900. And, no matter how beautiful and good and dated they are: they are likely to go to Poland. For a price that the traveling Polish traders want to pay for it.

Totally unwanted

These types of motorcycles are currently receiving just as much warmth and interest here as a Jawa 350 cc from 1956 received in 1976. I bought a Jawa for 150 guilders myself. And everyone thought I had paid too much. Maybe that Jawa isn't such a good example. Or indeed. Because such a Czechoslovak twin now pays up to € 6500.

But maybe that changes

And that is how we may one day also look at the Kawasaki LTD 454, which is located at the Motorenloop Woesthoff in Brummen. That little twin is a textbook example of what the Japanese thought a custom / chopper should look like. So like a Harley-Davidson. But then to scale and with kamikaze-like neglect of harmonious relationships. From a motor point of view, such a Kawasaki LTD is a kind of half Ninja 900 engine.

And for a sketchy little custom bike, that engine with its twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder and liquid cooling was of course a strange thing. The twin delivered about 50 hp at a lot of revs and had such short gear ratios that it could compete on the sprint strips in the States against a Chevrolet Corvettes with a very thick V8 block. Not until the end of the strip. But still… The timing belt transmission to the rear wheel was also a very neat transmission solution.

The rider - and that was because of the dimensions - often someone who was taking motorcycle lessons or a woman was sitting in a kitchen chair in a sort of seventies. In addition, the seating position is less comfortable than it seems and - just as little as the entire motorcycle - suitable for long journeys.

Kilometers or miles

The Kawasaki LTD 454s that drive here often have a gray import past. The ex-Americans have mileage counters, the former Canadians have the instruments in kilometers.

The Kawasaki LTD was the precursor of Kawasaki's successful Vulcan series. It started with the 500 cc Vulcan. Also an active, not wanted classic. But the larger Vulcans have already found a circle of friends.

In the meantime, such a Kawaatje stands for an extremely dated styling with which the Japanese take their first steps in the design of custom motorcycles. An era by the way, where in Suzuki with the Intruder line proved for the first time that a Japanese custom bike didn't have to look like a cake.

What is such a small Kawa worth?

That's just the fool for it. We have already seen a nice specimen change owner for € 400. The fact that the engine was sold two months later for € 200 was due to the fact that the buyer decided to buy a Harley-Davidson Evo. But an absolute top piece? With an asking price of € 2000, that is already incredibly high in the tree.

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