Posts by tag: KR-1s

Kawasaki April 21, 2018 posted by

Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

They’re relatively rare here in the US, even in states with lax registration requirements, but late 80s and early 90s quarter-liter two-strokes were pretty widely available elsewhere in the sportbiking world, considering their narrowly-focused role and limited audience. Kawasaki was largely absent from the intense class rivalry during that period, though. Their earlier KR250 was out of date compared to something like the original TZR and they didn’t have a real competitor ready until 1988 when the Kawasaki KR-1 and the sportier KR-1S were introduced.

The KR-1 was discontinued in 1992, without any significant updates and well before the others in the class. Just 10,000 were built, making it a pretty rare sight outside Japan these days: Honda constructed more than ten times as many NSR250Rs! But although Kawasaki as a company didn’t seem like they’d gone all-in on the idea of going head-to-head against Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha, it wasn’t as if the KR-1S itself didn’t measure up.

Like most of its rivals, the KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel twin and backed by a six-speed gearbox to exploit the razor-thin powerband although, also like its rivals, the Kawasaki did feature power-valve technology, here dubbed “KIPS,” to boost the midrange. Modern bikes with their ever-larger engines and horsepower numbers are increasingly equipped with electronic up-and-down shifters and autoblippers, but they really don’t particularly need them on the road, considering the available power. A quickshifter/autoblipper would get plenty of use on one of these, had they been available: there’s only so much you can do with just 249cc and the bike’s government-mandated 45hp, so dancing on the gear lever is a required, not optional activity when riding a little two-stroke.

The frame was the typical aluminum beam unit of the class and the suspension was good but, compared to other bikes in the class, the KR-1 was a bit… raw. Handling was “lively” and the bike managed a best-in-class tested top speed of 139mph. An engine balance shaft driven by the 180° crankshaft seems like it was the only concession to civility, and even that was probably justified as preventing vibration damage to the minimalist frame, rather than as a means to refine the experience of riding the wee beastie.

From the original eBay listing: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

The KR1S model here in the USA is one of the most rare of the Japanese 250 racer replica two strokes. If one can be found, it will usually be the green, white, and yellow bike. Sometimes the black and green bike, but never a factory genuine JDM Zeus Blue bike. These bikes were very limited in production. The factory Zeus Blue bikes differed from the export models in a few ways: indicators, mirrors, calipers, rotor center color, wheel color, all ID by the frame number. California titled and plated to its original VIN# Rare. Call Tim @714-746-5087 for more details.

When I purchased the bike a few years ago, I went onto the forums and found only a handful of original Zeus Blue KR1S models all overseas: one in Australia, one in the Netherlands, and one in the UK. I would go so far as to say this is the only one in the USA, and I know it’s the only one with a California title. This is THE rocking horse unicorn bike. To whomever buys the bike, you would be INSANE to remove the California title from the bike. That makes this bike so desirable. These bikes were ONLY JDM models never for export which is what makes them so rare. I have owned many many 2Ts (TZR, SPR, MC21, Rothmans, MC28, VJ23, V Model, Lucky, etc). These parallel twins really are amazing bikes. Having owned the four big Japanese manufactured bikes, to me there is no question Kawasaki is the most fun to ride. They literally are mad scientists and I LOVE IT! The KR1S was the fastest of all the 2T racer replicas. And if you know Kawasaki, they just built it and let it rip. Yamaha, Honda have their rev limiters, credit card ignitions, etc. Not Kawi. This thing will go all the way if you were to wind it out all the way. The sound of the parallel twin motor is simply the best. The cackling of the pipes. This bike has only had Motul 710 in it, runs fantastic, starts first kick, and purrs at idle. 18k miles on the clocks, float, gaskets, float valves all done, carbs serviced and cleaned, has Uni foam filter, new plugs, steering damper, factory toolkit, original key, etc. Clear California title in hand and current registration ‘til Jan 2019. Bike is for sale locally so the auction can end at any time. Thanks. Enjoy the ride…

Personally, I prefer my wild-haired Kawasakis to be vibrant green, and not the more civilized, metallic green they’ve been using on their modern, more sophisticated offerings. No, I want that lurid, fluorescent green of old. But this color scheme is exceedingly rare here, and that does count for something. Not to mention that it does look pretty sharp! The 18,000 miles indicated may not be stored-in-your-livingroom low, but the bike does appear to be you-could-eat-off-it clean and is in immaculate condition, with the very desirable California registration. And yes, the seller is correct that re-titling it in another state is absolutely a bad move financially: legitimately-titled two-strokes of this era are difficult to come by here, and there are plenty of well-heeled enthusiasts willing to pay extra for something they can legally ride.


Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale
Kawasaki July 8, 2014 posted by

Rare Jewel: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S


When it comes to rare, imported smokers, the Kawasaki KR-1 series is a hidden gem. While the world rides around on NS-Rs, RZs, RGs, RGVs and the like, few KR-1 models seem to come up for sale. Definitely the most unknown of the quarter liter two strokes, the KR-1 is a basic parallel twin following in the footsteps of the early 250cc RG. When released, the KR-1 briefly eclipsed existing performance benchmarks – Kawasaki had produced a competitive machine. The march of progress is inevitable, however, and the KR series was soon outclassed by the advent of the RGV. So in 1989 (some sources seem to indicate the 1990 model year) Kawasaki stepped up to the plate and introduced the KR-1S. The S model added power and handling to the basic KR-1, while reducing weight. Kawasaki again found itself with a competitive machine – briefly. In the 2 year span of the KR-1S, the competition moved forward again and Kawasaki bowed out of the quarter liter two stroke game for good. With the supply of KR-1 and KR-1S limited, these continue to be sought after models by collectors. This particular bike will be shipped to you directly from Japan.

1989 Kawasaki KR-1S for sale on eBay


From the seller:
In the series of the motorcycle which Kawasaki sold, KR-1 is a road racer replica of Kawasaki only 2 stroke 250cc.

Mileage 42400km

The body work is painted by oneself and has scratches and a little cracks. The screen has a crack and stain. The forks has some rusts on the chrome and some oil is blurred. The back seat has a tear at the edge. The step is changed to BEET Full Bank back step.

Disc of thickness Front : 4.0mm Rear : 4.3mm


Of the two models, the higher-output KR-1S is the one you want. This particular bike has a bit of mileage on the clock, and sports the usual component erosion seen on Japanese bikes. Surrounded by ocean and without the luxury of indoor parking, nearly all bikes we see from Japan show signs of hard use and neglect. The aftermarket rear sets are a decent upgrade, although the rear brake master is missing the aluminum guard. Keen reader eyes will likely spot more areas of concern. The unknown is the mechanical condition; KR-1 models have a spotty reputation when it comes to reliability and build quality. All told, this is a pretty rare machine – if you are in the market, you might want to take a peek. Good Luck!


Rare Jewel:  1989 Kawasaki KR-1S
Kawasaki January 10, 2012 posted by

SmokinJoe’s Stroker Roundup: Two 1987 Yamaha TZR 250’s And A 1989 Kawasaki KR-1

SmokinJoe’s Stroker Roundup: Two 1987 Yamaha TZR 250’s And A 1989 Kawasaki KR-1

I guess I picked a bad day to take an extended gin and tonic lunch break.  I came back to the plush and dimly lit RSBFS offices to be greeted with an email about all the strokers RSBFS reader SmokinJoe439 had found.

I think most readers will be pleased that these are all Craigslist bikes.  One of our new years resolutions was to make an effort to add more CL bikes back to the RSBFS pages.  They never went away but we had been posting them more on our Facebook page.

SmokinJoes’ first find is a nice one: a clean and titled 1987 TZR250.   It has obviously had some loving owners during its’ life.  Remember these are pre-V twin days so that is an inline twin hiding under the bodywork.

And there is said twin.  As you can see it is also pre-double front disc as well.  It is hard to find a bike this old,  that is this clean and in stock condition.  Oh yeah, and California titled.

I sure like what I see.  If you need any more convincing here is what the seller had to say:

1987. 2MA. Stock. Very good condition. Only 11k miles. Runs very well and is surprisingly quiet. Sounds awesome when it comes on the pipe though. OEM plastics in good condition. Original red/white paint in good condition.
New tires. New carb internals. New intake manifold. Fresh coolant and oil change. Service Manual included.
The bad: Windscreen has 4″ crack but is in one piece. Gustaffson has replacement. Tach not working – comes in and out. Other minor blemishes due to bike is 24 years old.
California plates good thru April 2012. Clean title

Location: San Diego

Asking Price: $4,200


Next up is a 1989 KR-1.  If you really want to stand out in the two stroke crowd this might be the  bike to have.  It is rare but it also claimed to be one of the strongest running 250 street bikes to come out of Japan.

Yep, another parallel twin.

There is no mention of a title in the ad.  I’m noticing some after market chambers and a lack of switch gear and turn signals;  possibly a track bike.  The asking price is not track bike like though.  It is actually in KR-1S or KR1-R territory:  $6,000.

Location:  Portland, OR

Asking Price: $6,000



Que the potato jokes.  This 1987 TZR250 is located in Idaho.  What is vastly more interesting though is the lack of KM’s on this bike.  The odometer is showing under 4000 KM’s.

No title with this TZR but you do get four bags of Idaho’s finest.  That is accurate except for the part about the potatoes.

Location:  Idaho

Asking Price: $4,995



Classic Sport Bikes For Sale December 10, 2011 posted by and RSBFS Facebook Weekly Update!

It’s been a busy week here at RSBFS! We have seen some awesome 500cc two-stokes as well as some other classics that haven’t shown up in a while. In case you missed what showed up on ClassicSportBikesForSale, here is you chance to get up to speed. Also, check out some of the cool rides showing up on the RSBFS Facebook page. Enjoy!

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T ForSale

1951 Moto Guzzi Albatros also on CSBFS

1974 Laverda SF-2 on ClassicSportBikesForSale

1991 Yamaha TZR250R in the Pacific Northwest

1992 Kawasaki KR-1S in the UK

2002 MV Agusta F4 750 ORO


Kawasaki September 28, 2010 posted by

North Of The Border: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1 Stroker

1989 Kawasaki KR-1 Stroker  


Kawi two stroke fans take note, a clean KR-1 is looking for a new home.  I know it is located in Canada but Kawasaki ring dingers just don’t appear for sale that often so grab your passport and cash in the frequent flyer miles.  The KR-1 just might be the rarest of the Japanese 250cc two strokes.  I found one figure that claims less than 10,000 bikes were produced over the entire production run.  No wonder info on these bikes is at a premium.  One place I do recommend visiting is, it has a wealth of info and has an active forum for the bike.  I have to admit, I’ve never read a bad thing about these bikes, especially the parallel twin engine.  In the UK  it seems to be widely accepted the KR-1 is the easiest 250 to extract extra power from.    If you are a lover of straight line speed the KR-1 might be your bike;  it holds a couple of records at Bonneville.   Where the KR-1 lacks a little is the chassis/suspension department.  It didn’t survive past 1993 so it didn’t see the updated chassis and suspension components that later RGV’s, NSR’s and TZR’s received.  


I know pictures don’t tell the whole story but this sure looks like a nice example.  The mileage is low with just over 7,000 miles and it appears completely stock.  What else can you ask for from a 1989 model?   

From the auction:  

Imported from Japan, a very rare bike.  

The only registered, street legal KR1 in Canada.
250 cc twin cylinder 2 stroke motor. Liquid cooled. Oil injected. Servo controlled exhaust valves.
6 speed transmission.
A strong running bike.
Was the fastest, lightest 250cc when compared to the NSR250, TZR250 and RGV250. 55 rear wheel horsepower, 123 kgs. 

New tires, carbs have been cleaned. New battery. New fork seals. Completely stock condition. 

Parts are easily available. Most consumable parts (brake pads, fork seals etc) can be sourced from dealers in Ontario. Engine parts are readily available from the UK. 

11,300 kms. 

It has an Ontario ownership. Was legally imported.
Never raced, or used as a track bike. 

PICK UP ONLY. Only buyers from Canada and US.  


I don’t think I can add too much more here.  It is a rare bike, it has low miles and appears to be in good condition.  The only drawback for a buyer in the States is the location.  Nothing that can’t be overcome but just a bit more work and cost.    You Kawasaki fans are a hardy bunch, if there is a will there is a way.  The auction has cranked up and can

Just a pretty KR-1S with a nice set of after market pipes. 


Kawasaki December 6, 2009 posted by

Kawasaki KR-1

Located in Ayr, Ontario Canada is a Kawasaki KR-1 of unknown year.  Unfortunately, this bike is located in Canada which makes it difficult (to say the least) for anyone in the U.S. but it is in North America so I guess our readers should be aware!  Seller doesn’t state much other than general facts about the KR-1 line.  However, it looks to be stock and in good condition–excluding the fact that it shows some oxidation and the tank looks to have been repainted–from the photos with the odometer showing 11,278km (7,007mi).  The asking price is $3,000–not stated as USD or CAD.  See the bike on North American Two Strokes here.