Andy Hines' Kawasaki KZ400


The KZ400 is an oft-overlooked UJM made by Kawasaki from '74 to '84. When stripped of its body work and reduced to the basics, it starts looking pretty good. In the hands of a pro like Cory Hebert at Maindrive Cycles, it gets even better. Rather than take the easy way and just lop off the rear end and throw on a universal fiberglass tail, Cory built a loop and crafted this KZ's tail from steel.

This is one of the first ChopCult features to show actual in-progress photos so you can visualize the build process. There are more on Cory's Flickr Page. In its raw state the machine looks menacing and ready to go, and even slicker finished off with paint and seat.



Owner: Andy Hines

Location: Carrollton, TX

Bike name: Slack Stealer, it's a phrase I overheard my son using. He and his older brother were fighting over a blanket while watching TV. The younger one yelled, “Gimme some slack, you ol’ slack stealer!” My wife and I looked at each other and started laughing, and it came to me: "That’s the name of my bike." My son takes credit for it at every opportunity

Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1977 Kawasaki KZ400, bone stock

Frame: Stock, but heavily modified with custom tail section and upper shock mounts, and lots of unused stuff removed

Fork: Lowered 2 inches, legs and trees shaved and powdercoated gloss black

Tire/wheel size and style: 3.50" x 18" Coker Firestone classics; stock wheels with a dark grey sparkle powdercoat

Favorite thing about this bike: Riding it!

Next modification will be: I’m not interested in adding or changing a thing

Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Fabrication and assembly by Maindrive Cycle; gas tank, tail section, seat pan, exhaust, battery box/internal wiring, wheel lacing/truing

Cool parts: FabKevin Single Shot tag plate, Burly 10.5" shocks

Paint by Scott at The Backstreet Bucket

Seat upholstery by Hardluck Designs

Builder: Maindrive Cycles

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Comment with Chopcult (31)

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 06:53 am

fucking way cool.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 06:55 am

And I thought my 77' Kz400 was turning out well...
That bike is freaking awsome, and to think I was wondering lately why a chop on one had seldom been featured anywhere. Much respect.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 07:16 am

KZ400/440 are the only sub-500cc engines worth using for me. Very nice work.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 07:39 am

very cool scoot! i really really liked being able to see the progress with the write up.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 07:43 am

I followed this thread on the 33 and this write up is awesome! Great bike!!!

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 09:22 am

I love that paint. All around class.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 09:32 am

x2 on the paint, that thing is sick. you ol slack stealer!

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 09:42 am

Show stealer

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 10:01 am

I might have to look for a kawi project soon, nice ride

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 10:11 am

Now that bike looks like fun. Bet it's a blast to ride and the paint from Scott is bitchin. Great colors and tasteful, not overdone.

I dig it.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 12:07 pm

Sweet. I just lost out on a KZ. 440 o
n craigsist a few months ago. I l
l be looking for another one.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 12:11 pm

Fucking nice man....I dig it.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 01:05 pm

Looks like a fun little scoot!
Turned out good.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 01:09 pm

I fuckin love this bike.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 01:49 pm

In the immortal words of The Ole Dirty Bastard, "Sexy, Sexy, Sexy".

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 01:50 pm

bet thats fun as hell to ride.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 03:23 pm

Slack stealer !! hahahahaha Nice !

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 04:04 pm

Turned out great! Glad I could be a part of it.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 04:41 pm

best kz440 i've seen by far! rad commuter/ city bike. now my wife wants one...thanks

great paint, too!

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 05:18 pm

cool bike. those rear shock mounts are funky.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 05:25 pm

The before and after shots are insane, but having the progress shots really puts it all into perspective. AMAZING!!!!

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 06:24 pm

Great looking bike. KZ400/440's are fast little bikes and they do look amazing with a little bit of love.

Commented on 4-4-2011 At 08:36 pm

I'd say more like "a whole lotta love".. not "just a little bit."

Commented on 4-5-2011 At 05:03 am

Congrats Andy! Good lookin' scoot.

Commented on 4-5-2011 At 05:39 am


Commented on 4-5-2011 At 12:04 pm

Sorry to crap on the party, but I don't like the angle of the tank.

Commented on 4-5-2011 At 12:32 pm

very nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Commented on 4-5-2011 At 08:47 pm

very cool. a 75' kz400 was my first bike. slow as piss

Commented on 4-6-2011 At 04:59 am

thats how you do it son!

Commented on 4-6-2011 At 10:39 am

cool little cafe racer

Commented on 4-12-2011 At 02:50 pm

good looking bike. I like working on the old ones that everyone has had but nobody wants until they look this good.

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