Posts by tag: KR1

Kawasaki January 11, 2018 posted by

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the vibrant quarter-liter two-stroke class saw the NSR, RGV, and TZR go at it with knife-fight-in-a-phone-booth intensity. Notably missing from much of the action was Kawasaki. It didn't help that Kawasaki didn't start building a two-stroke sportbike until 1988 and abandoned the class in 1992, before the other Japanese manufacturers and, as a result, the Kawasaki KR-1S is a bit of a holy grail for two-stroke fans in the USA. They're really nearly impossible to find in any market, as Kawasaki produced less than 10,000 examples in total, and they were obviously never sold here in the US.

If all you've done is glance at the spec sheets of the class competitors, you could be forgiven for thinking the bikes in this class were pretty much the same, with two-cylinder, liquid-cooled two-strokes, aluminum beam frames, six-speed gearboxes, and a suspiciously identical 45hp output. In fact, sometimes only a catchy acronym for the power valve gives the manufacturer away, although KIPS, ATAC, SAPC, and YPVS all performed basically the same basic function. But period road tests and two-stroke enthusiasts claim that each has a distinct character that seems line with corporate sterotypes: Honda's NSR was sophisticated and refined, while Suzuki's RGV was a bit of an unruly wild-child, fast and a bit fragile. But although Kawasaki joined the party late and left early, they left an indelible impression and their KR-1S was claimed to be the fastest, the easiest to tune, and have the hairiest handling of the bunch.

The KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled 249cc parallel-twin with a 180° crankshaft that also drove a balance shaft to improve smoothness, and put power to the back wheel through a six-speed gearbox. The "S" model seen here featured wider wheels at the front and rear, and tested top speed of 139mph. An "R" model was also available, but is nearly impossible to find, with fewer than 200 built. Interestingly enough, last month's Practical Sportbikes features an article that discusses the rebuild of a KR-1R in detail.

Like yesterday's ZX-7R, this KR-1S is slathered in green, white, and blue graphics that suit the bike's brash personality. Happily, the seller also includes images of the bike with the fairing removed, as it shows off the very slick aftermarket expansion chambers and another odd detail: the engine sits almost entirely below the frame! That of course keeps the bike relatively narrow, but seems strange that most of the engine is suspended beneath the frame, rather than nestled between the frame spars.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

1990 Kawasaki KR1S C2. I am relisting and selling another bike out of my prize collection. Journalist called the KR1-S the most exotic and fastest of all the 250 2 stokes of that era. This KR1S is a UK model. Which means UK CDI power box, mile per hour speedo. Non-restrictive. Always been in street bike form. Not a converted back race bike. This is truly a rare bike. Unlike NSR’s, TZR’s and RGV’s and even Aprilia RS’s that come up for sale now and then, you very rarely see one of these for sale. I have owned this bike for over 10 years. I have spent many of thousands of dollars on upgrades. I mean many! I installed a pricy set of Dyna mags magnesium rims. The old KR1S aluminum rims came with a 17” front and an 18” rear. These are 17” front and back. Light weight magnesium and make sporty tires more available. I have put on a set of Michelin pilot sport tires. Green D.I.D.  O-Ring chain with gold aluminum sprocket. Beautiful high end custom steering damper. Then I had made a JMC fully braced swingarm with eccentric adjustment. Beautifully polished. I was told at the time that this was the only top braced swingarm that JMC has ever made for the KR1S. I installed a huge custom made “Pace” radiator made for the KR1S. This radiator is huge, and solves the problem of any overheating. If anything I have to tape of part of the radiator when its cool out. But a nice position to be in. Silicone radiator hose are used. Then I purchased a nice new set of Jolly Moto pipes with Carbon silencers. Bikes sound great and pulls better. I had the rear shock rebuilt and the shock spring powder coated green to match the bike. Front forks have been recently rebuilt with all new bushings, oil and seals. Rebuilt both the front and rear calibers with new stainless pistons, bolts, and seals. I had them powder coated too. Custom made steel braided brakes lines with aluminum fittings. They look like new. I also installed new light weight disks front and back.  Have a fortune in light weight titanium, stainless, and aluminum bolts throughout.  All the lights and switches work. The bike has 16,600 miles on it. So a far as I know the motor has never been touched.  I had plans to rebuild the motor and including all the parts to do it.  I have everything needed to build it included. But now I have gotten old and don’t have time for this project. I have tuned it up, changed all the fluids. Adjusted the power valves, etc. Bike does still run strong but mileage is getting up there for 28 year 2 stroke. The original bodywork on the bike is not too bad for its age but not perfect either. I had a few tabs and small cracks repaired. The tank has a couple tiny little chips, but is in remarkably in good shape for its age. No dents. The tank is clean inside without rust. The body panels have a few scratches and touched up spots.  Still not all that bad for its age either. Please refer to the pictures for more details. I am including the stock rims with a brand new fresh powder coat on them. The stock pipes, radiator, manuals, and various other parts as seen in my list and pictures. Lots of stuff.

The following is a list of some of the parts that are included with the bike, but not complete. No much to list. Please refer to pictures.

  • 4 brand new piston sets, including, rings, pins, clips, and small ends
  • Complete set of crank seals and crank bearings, plus new rod sets. Everything needed to completely rebuild the crank like new.
  • 3 gaskets set, plus one extra head gasket
  • New Water pump part set
  • New carb sets including floats
  • Power valve seals
  • New billet aluminum power valves and power valve wheels
  • 1 extra new front disk
  • Numerous new seals and bearing that go into the motor
  • Stock pipes in good condition
  • Stock swingarm with fresh paint and new bearings and seals. Like new
  • Stock radiator in excellent condition
  • Stock wheels with fresh powder coating, sprocket,  and cush drive

All the old wheel bearing, wheel spacers, front and back disks, sprockets, brake lines, and caliber parts. The old original nuts and bolts that were replaced with titanium and stainless, aluminum

Bike comes with a current California registration and title!  Has all the correct serial and engine numbers, but is listed as a 1980 instead of a 1990. You might think that wow I am asking way too much for this bike? I say “find don’t buy it then”. What I can say how often you see one of these for sale in this condition, with all these extras and titled too? Try to find another? These bikes are only going to increase in value as time passes. Plus I am including thousands of dollars in extra parts.

So the $17,500 asking price is big money for a two-stroke sportbike, but I'm betting it will find a buyer: if that California title is valid, I know a couple folks who'd love to snap it up, and it's really not all that far off what folks have been asking for pristine NSR250s recently. It isn't completely stock, but all of the upgrades described by the seller are clearly intended to thoughtfully boost performance and handling. All-in-all, it's one of the coolest bikes we've posted recently.


Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale
Kawasaki January 3, 2014 posted by

Titled 1988 Kawasaki KR1 Available in Virginia

1988 Kawasaki KR1 for sale

At first I thought this seller was being awfully brazen to post a picture of his title for this bike and then it dawned on me -- it's 25+ years which should make it a registered classic in most states. Compared to NSR's and RGV's, we probably see these the least in North America. There are a few in our KR1 archives that could be possible matches from a previous owner. Regardless what is shown here looks very clean and I really appreciate that he partially broke down the bike to show it's that clean throughout.


1988 Kawasaki KR1 for sale on eBay


from the seller:

Up for auction is my all original rare Kawasaki Kr1 250cc Two stroke sport bike with only 5,026 miles on it . Very rare motorcycle only 10,000 examples ever produced and was never made available to the U.S. This bike is fully functional all lights horn brakes work as they should , also has new tires . Bike starts right up no hesitations and runs great . I have clean Va title in hand for the bike in my name .



Titled 1988 Kawasaki KR1 Available in Virginia
Honda November 28, 2012 posted by

UK Beauties: Kawasaki KR1-S, Honda Segale 900 And Spondon Yamaha 200

I got the yawns searching for interesting bikes in the U.S. today so I jumped the pond and the sellers on eBay UK did not disappoint.

We see way to few of these beauties on RSBFS.  I still consider the KR1's, especially the "S" or ubber rare "R" the rarest of the Japanese 250's.  This one has had a semi restoration but apparently is still wearing original bodywork with original paint.  The damn things aren't slow either and seem to have a cult following.

I like what I don't see;  corrosion.  The mind wanders and tries to imagine what a 1996 KR1 would have looked like.  Would it have resembled the X-09 in any way?  Scroll down halfway down the page and have some tissue handy.

Asking price is a hefty but in my humble opinion worth it at 4200 GBP.  It would dress up any Kawi collection.

Click it.

Does this thing not have a Mad Max element to it?  The Australian with no gas kind, not the Italian with plenty.  I'm asking for your comments on this one as I'd love to know more about these bikes.  As far as I can tell, they are kind of an Italian version of Harris or Spondon.  I have no idea as to what series the bikes were run in.  This seller has quite a few high end former race bikes for sale if you are looking to lighten your wallet.

Best heel guard I've ever seen.  RSC was the first incarnation of HRC; correct?

Simply nasty!  You might not be invited back to your local track day after letting everyone enjoy that symphony.

Asking price is 12,900 GBP and you can see more pictures here.

Lastly, this Spondon framed 200cc Yamaha caught my eye.  Apparently it was purpose built for an Irish 200cc class back in the day.  The bike has since been restored and is now looking for a new home.  The bike is officially listed by the seller as a Spondon/Fahron.  Who can fill me in on the Fahron?

I love all the different takes on frames back in the two stroke glory days.  I don't know if it a sleeved down 250 or 125 on roids.

If you are looking to dip your toe into the vintage race bike world, this may be a modest way to test the waters.  The starting bid is 2,5000 GBP.

Check out the auction.


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



Kawasaki September 21, 2011 posted by

Mean and Green: 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 For Sale in Oregon!

Location: Medford, OR

Miles: Less than 2,500?

Price: $4,500

Up for grabs here we have one of the lesser seen 250cc two-stokes that put the Suzuki RGV on notice when it arrived back in the day. With about 50hp pushing around only 271lbs of dry weight, its easy to see the amount of fun that can be had while blasting its angry sounding two cycle engine to 10,500rpm. You also get the Kawasaki Integrated Power-Valve System (KIPS) to help increase useable power throughout the engines range.

The bike in question here looks to be a low mileage example in good working order. I will point out that the paint scheme is not original, but the way it is done looks very close to stock and comes with a Jolly Moto exhaust. The seller does state that the bike has “less than 2500 miles” and I would be curious to know the exact amount. And from the photos it doesn’t appear to have been in any major accident, though as stated by the seller there are some chips and dings from being ridden.

From the seller:

*** 1988 KAWASAKI KR-1 250 B Inline-Twin 2-Stroke ***
*** Very rare, fast, and fun ROAD-RACING bike! ***
250cc Inline-Twin
Factory Oil Injection
Water Cooled
Fresh top-end
KIPS (KAWASAKI Integrated Power-Valve System)
Jolly Moto Exhaust
Custom Painted
Shop Manual Included
Pit Bull Stand Also Included
METZELER LASERTEC 110/70-17 M/C 54 H (Approximately 80% Tread)
Twin Dual-Piston Calipers
Twin 280mm Rotors
METZELER LASERTEC 130/70-18 M/C 63 H (Approximately 70% Tread)
Dual-Piston Caliper
210mm Rotor
ALWAYS starts on first or second kick, runs GREAT!!!
VERY-WELL taken care of.
Bike is registered and titled in Oregon, USA.
Second owner, never raced, only been ridden 50-100 miles per year for last six years.
Bike does have some minor chips and dings, as it HAS been ridden.

Though this isn’t a pristine example of a KR1, it does look to be in good shape and taken care of. These don’t seem to pop up too often, so if you have been looking for one then give it a look. I think it might be priced a little on the high side, but it does have an Oregon title and registration. Check out the for sale ad here!


Sport Bikes For Sale May 25, 2011 posted by

1994 Yamaha TZ250 Kenny Roberts Racing

1994 Yamaha TZ250 King Kenny Roberts stable

Location: Santa Ana, California
Mileage: It's a racer 🙂
Price: $10,000 will do it

Que the AC/DC and crank up Back in Black because is back baby! We're as amp'd about it as anyone and the IT guy better be apologizing to everyone- and quick! I personally think we should give him a good old southern ass kik'n for holding us down so long. Who wants to help?

Have your Angus cranked up yet? Mines on 11, but I can still hear and smell the cotton candy fumes of hi-octane and synthetic 2T burning from a full on GP bike. Yep, that's right my friends- the closet 99% of us will ever get to being a true GP racer boy is to buy an ex GP racer and now is your chance!

SCHWING! Pretty spiffy eh? Read on for the 411

1994 Yamaha TZ250 located in California. This bike belongs to Kenny Roberts and was raced by Jimmy Filice in the 1996 European 250cc Championships. Bike has Ohlins Forks and Brembo Brakes. The cylinders and pipes are Bud Aksland. This bike is in very good condition and fast. Sold with no spares, comes with what you see in the pictures.

Hmmm, comes with what you see in the pictures eh? Maybe KR will throw in a track lesson for the lucky buyer 🙂

I poked around on some of the two stroke forums and the main question seems to be "wonder what's in the motor?" I'm curious as well and would like to see the Dyno sheet for this machine.

Track day machine? Office art? Conversation piece? What would you do with a gem like this? Hit me back and tell us what you'd do with a full on GP machine.