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General Discussion / Re: Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by gixxer6 on Today at 06:58:54 AM »
Anyone have an insight into production numbers for this sled?  Thanks!

I don't know the production numbers, but it was a one year only sled.  It was my personal favorite of all the Drifters with it's unique look.  It's probably the most sought after Drifter as well. 
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General Discussion / Re: Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by UP NORTH RIDER on June 23, 2022, 08:35:37 PM »
Anyone have an insight into production numbers for this sled?  Thanks!
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General Discussion / Re: Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by mswyka on June 21, 2022, 05:56:51 PM »
Sounds like a good adventure. ;D

Any adventure that ends up with a Kawasaki sled is a good adventure!
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General Discussion / Re: Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by Interceptor398 on June 21, 2022, 03:57:24 PM »
Sounds like a good adventure. ;D
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General Discussion / Re: Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by UP NORTH RIDER on June 21, 2022, 10:13:17 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I'm likely going to make the trip yet this summer.  Just hate to think of that sled continuing to spend its life hidden away forever.  While it may not be a highly sought-after collector sled, it is unique as it has been so well preserved. 

I know that here are various transport services that move sleds around the country - I've used those several times in the past.  I'll likely transport this one on my own - several relatives to visit along the way so I have a good excuse to make the drive . . . . 
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General Discussion / Re: Summer Project
« Last post by mswyka on June 20, 2022, 06:41:44 PM »
One piece at a time....
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General Discussion / Re: Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by Interceptor398 on June 20, 2022, 05:01:31 PM »
Welcome to the site!  There are people who just haul sleds across the country and would be cheaper than getting it on your own.  Or it could be a great adventure??  A rare and fun sled is worth some effort.
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General Discussion / Re: Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by mswyka on June 20, 2022, 01:59:34 PM »
Ken, great find and great story.  Thank you for sharing.  Can't wait to see pictures.

Without a doubt, a sled that has already been this well preserved for this many years should be saved, and if at all possible, made to run again.  It sounds like the real question is whether you have contracted a strong enough case of Mad Kaw Disease to be the one to bring it back to life.

I have not held on to any of the Drifters that we have come across.  But from the description it sounds like this one would be worth holding on to.

Good luck.

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General Discussion / Ultimate "barn find"? Opinions requested!
« Last post by UP NORTH RIDER on June 20, 2022, 10:25:19 AM »
New to the kawi forum guys.  I've restored a number of Arctic Cat and Ski-Doo sleds, and I'm looking for opinions regarding a Kawasaki sled that I recently had an opportunity to check out I live in northern Minnesota, and I just returned from a vacation visiting relatives in Montana.  A cousin of mine in Montana has mentioned several times in the past several years that he had possession of an "old Kawasaki" snowmobile that i might be interested in.   He wasn't sure of the model, and being a Ski-Doo/Cat guy, I wasn't that interested.  Through those years, the opportunity to see the sled never happened - until now.

True to the name, this sled has actually been stored in a barn.  As the barn doors opened, I finally was able to see the machine - a 1980 Drifter F/A.  The sled was super dusty/dirty, but a closer inspection revealed that this machine was in fantastic condition.  As I looked the sled over, my cousin mentioned that it has been stored in his barn for the past 40 years and never been run during that time  In 1982, he offered to temporarily store it for the owner of the local Arctic Cat/Kawasaki dealer, and that owner simply never came back to get it.

The Montana environment of super-low humidity acts as a preservative for all materials - especially steel.  This machine has absolutely no rust or corrosion at all.  All external steel components painted black are still shiny (under the dust/dirt).  Under the hood as well - not a hint of corrosion.  Even the muffler/header pipe are rust-free.  All fasteners under the hood and on the exterior - including unpainted bolt heads, locknuts, rivet heads - zero corrosion.  Skid frame components, skis, belly pan . . . absolutely rust free.  Track looks like new, seat cover is perfect (under the dirt). 

The sled has no dents or dings, and all sheet metal is perfect.  Running boards, skis, bulkhead structure - all perfect.  Sliders look like new. According to my cousin, this sled was set up and test ridden by the owner of the dealership and likely has less than 50 miles of use.   Unfortunately I didn't have my phone with me - didn't think I'd see anything worthy of photos - so no pics to offer at this point.  Wouldn't have been easy to take pics anyway due to the way the sled was positioned in the barn (stacked in with a bunch of other items).

Any negatives?  There is no windshield on the sled, which from my quick research appears to be normal?  There is no speedometer in the dash, although there is a cutout for it.  The "snap in" black vent on the RH side of the hood near the driver position must have issues, as it appears that it was secured with rivets.  The snowflap has a tiny tear near the RH bottom corner.  That's really it for negatives.

This is where I'm looking for opinions.  My cousin has offered to simply give this sled to me.  However, it's a 2,000 mile round trip to get it.  With current gas prices, hotel stays, meals, etc., it would probably cost me $1,000 to drive out and get it.  While I'm not a Kawi collector, this machine has me intrigued as it is an all-original survivor that deserves to be preserved and cared for a bit better than it has been.

Basically, it would take a few shop days to perform an extensive cleaning, but no true restoration work would be required to make this sled show-ready.  The RH vent issue would likely need to be addressed, but that would be a very straight-forward task.  Not even sure I'd take anything apart - it would be great to leave most fasteners in their original factory state.

This is where your input would help  Is this sled worth the cost to drive out and get it?  What type of value would this sled have as an all-original, unrestored survivor?  How rare is it?  All opinions appreciated. 

Thanks!

Ken

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General Discussion / Re: Happy fathers day!
« Last post by Interceptor398 on June 18, 2022, 05:25:38 PM »
And again--happy Fathers day!!  Not sure what I will do just yet??
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