A fully kinetic assessment of the stability properties of toroidal drift modes has been obtained for a case for the Large Helical Device [A. Iiyoshi et al., Nucl. Fusion 39, 1245 (1999)]. This calculation retains the important effects in the linearized gyrokinetic equation, using the lowest-order "ballooning representation" for high toroidal mode number instabilities in the electrostatic limit. Results for toroidal drift waves destabilized by trapped particle dynamics and ion temperature gradients are presented, using three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic equilibria reconstructed from experimental measurements. The effects of helically trapped particles and helical curvature are investigated. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S1070-664X(00)00512-7].