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All New 1979 Kawasaki KDX400 Test
From The Pages Of The Past
1979 Kawasaki KDX400
When I look for inspiration and direction, there is nothing like paging through the old magazines. The content and style are just so entertaining to me. In many ways it is amazing how far motorcycles have come. But the ability to write good, creative stories about them has not changed much. Personally, I like the older low tech approach to things and the attention to detail.
I have a number of these old magazines. Every dirt bike test has a tear down photo of the piston and cylinder. These are not stock photos, but the real thing. You can see the actual wear marks and carbon build up. Today, the need to do so has gone. We take it for granted that the piston is good for 100 hours on a large two stroke. This era featured so much new technology that is was hard to keep up with. This article talks about swingarm bearings made of Teflon Fluorocarbon with interwoven Dacron fibers. Who knew?
Unlike the smaller 175/200, the poor KDX400 was never destined for greatness. At 270 lbs, it was porky even for an open classer. Never the less, it might be fun to take one out for spin today to see just how the big motor works. So from the pages of the August 1979 Cycle, here it is.
To be able to read the text better, use the Smugmug link at the bottom and then open each photo larger. Sorry it is tough to get these to scan well enough to read easy.