Posts by tag: parallel twin

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Laverda November 3, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

eBay shows sold for $52,500. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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Today’s featured listing is a bit older than the bikes we usually feature on this site, but you can’t argue that a Laverda SFC is both very rare and a sportbike. It was a machine from the era where you could pull your mirrors and turn-signals off, assuming the bike had them to begin with, drive to the track, and race. In fact, many SFCs sell with the roadgoing bits still in a box… The SFC, which stood for “Super Freni Competizione” or basically “Super Brakes Competition” and was the homologation version of Laverda’s 750cc parallel twin powered SF roadbike. The earliest bikes used a huge drum front brake, while later examples like this 1974 model used a pair of discs up front to provide the super stopping promised by the name. All of the SFCs had that funky, tacked-on taillight that looks like it’s best viewed from the air and the solo tail-section ready and waiting for a white numberplate.

1974 Laverda SFC for sale on eBay

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Far more heavily-constructed than British twins of the period, Laverda’s engine featured five main bearings and, although the resulting bike was a bit on the heavy side, the SF and SFC machines did well in endurance racing. Reliability was helped by Laverda’s insistence on using the very best parts from a variety of manufacturers: Ceriani forks, Bosch ignition, and Nippon-Denso electrical components meant that, although the Laverdas were expensive, they were quality machines.

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The bike was electric-start only, with a right-foot shift for the five-speed gearbox. Compared to the regular SF, the SFC engine featured an updated frame, suspension, and significant internal revisions, tuned and dyno’d at the factory for a claimed 75hp. That power peaked at 7,500rpm which is, you’ll note, at the top of the red band on the suspiciously Honda-looking tach, so I guess you just keep the needle in the red for best results?

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Just 549 were built between 1971 and 1975, and this example looks to be in beautiful condition, with just a few tiny modern touches like the stainless-steel braided brake lines and an electronic ignition, both of which should add a bit of modern safety and reliability and are certainly in the spirit of the bike.

From the seller: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

1974 Laverda SFC comes set up with steel tank, and includes original fiberglass tank in excellent condition. 18,171 miles, ready to ride and collect. This is an excellent rider, set up correctly with DMC ignition. Considered by many, including myself to be the ultimate ’70’s Italian sport bike.

Paint details: restored perfect condition paint
Frame: Excellent, restored condition
Wheels: Restored – excellent
Electrical details: Everything in correct working order, set up with DMC electronic ignition
Riding: Smooth. Fast. Violent endless power in every gear.

Disclaimer: Every single bike I buy and sell, I personally go through—-not someone else, I am the owner operator of my small business, and I take what I do very seriously. I work on the bikes, I ride the bikes. I have been working on this lovely Italian crap for a long time, I know the differences between the bikes, how they should work, the history etc.. If you are serious about buying true collector piece from someone who not only has a passion for these bikes, but works on them, rides them, collects them – then call me. Jokingly people say to me, “these bikes don’t seem so rare as there are so many in your shop” well….. I consider myself a custodian for these machines, they should go to people who will love, and appreciate them..

Other details:
Excellent restored condition with receipts
Steel tank
Original fiberglass tank included with sale
18,171 miles
all receipts
original shocks included with sale
On SFC registry

1974-laverda-sfc-engine

The seller includes a couple of clips of the bike starting and being ridden and two things are abundantly clear: first of all, Brooklyn is a pretty lousy place to enjoy a 70s Italian race bike and second, a Laverda twin sounds very different than a parallel twin from Norton or Triumph.

The auction ends on Sunday and the current bid is $32,300 with reserve met.

The bike is being sold by Moto Borgotaro, a well-known shop that specializes in European bikes of the era. Seriously: check out the “For Sale” section of their site to see the kind of machines that have passed through on the way to finding new owners.

-tad

1974-laverda-sfc-r-side

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale
Yamaha October 14, 2016 posted by

Fresh Off the Boat: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

1989-yamaha-tzr250-black-l-frontToday’s Yamaha TZR250 has a couple interesting things going for it. In addition to the unusual, reversed-cylinder configuration of this Japanese market 3MA, it’s also available in this interesting black/grey/red color scheme: almost all the 3MAs we’ve featured on this site have been white with red speed-block graphics.

1989-yamaha-tzr250-black-r-rear

Earlier TZR250s from 1986-1988 used a conventional liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine. The 3MA version available between 1989-1990 had the cylinders spun around 180° with the carburetors on the front of the engine, and the exhausts facing the rear of the bike, tucked up under the seat and exiting through the tail, Desmosedici-style. This helped significantly with packaging issues common to two-strokes: those bulky expansion chambers need to go somewhere, and most other manufacturers needed to introduce “gull-arm” curved swingarms to allow the exhausts to tuck in close for maximum cornering clearance.

1989-yamaha-tzr250-black-l-rear

As with the other 250cc two-strokes of the era, the engine was backed by a six-speed gearbox and the frame was lightweight aluminum, Yamaha’s “Deltabox” design here. Power was restricted by government mandate to 45hp and weight was in line with the class as well, at just over 300lbs wet.

1989-yamaha-tzr250-black-r-side

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. Overall clean bike. Very good running condition sharp response of the 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are work fine. Electricals are all working, aside from right side direction indicator. Has Yamaha genuine fairings. But has hairline cracks and chips and scratches on fairings. Fuel tank has some dents. Used motorcycle with wear more than 25 years old, so look carefully all pictures and video.

Speedometer looks like a Yamaha genuine part and shows 18,900 km = about 11,800 miles, but actual mileage is unknown.

Will needs new tires and fork seals too.

Again, this bike is sold without title.

1989-yamaha-tzr250-black-gauges

The seller also helpfully includes a link to a video of the bike being started, along with a link to plenty of additional photos. Obviously, the usual issues apply here regarding that lack of a title. But if you live in a state where getting paperwork for a bike like this isn’t impossible, that just means you’ll pay less for the privilege: in spite of the handling and performance on par with its contemporaries, 3MA TZRs currently cost far less than an equivalent NSR or RGV. Parts will prove to be more difficult to obtain, but you probably won’t be finding parts for any of these 25-year-old, Japanese-market two-stroke sport bikes your local dealer…

-tad

1989-yamaha-tzr250-black-r-rear-naked

Yamaha September 18, 2016 posted by

Super-Sporty – 1996 Yamaha TRX-850

Hoping to jump into the budget-conscious supersport market, Yamaha developed the TRX-850 twin and introduced it in Japan and Europe.  Slow sales kept it from a long history and the U.S., but this private import is a nice example of an interesting bike.

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1996 Yamaha TRX-850 for sale on eBay

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Adding the Genesis 5-valve heads to their 849cc parallel twin resulted in 80 hp, and engineers also went to a 270-degree crank design to preserve rotational energy.  A good illustration of how it widens the torque band ( and why a counterbalance shaft was included ) in a parallel twin is here.  The engine also boasts a dry-sump system with a neat integral oil tank just above the clutch.  Beside the nice trellis frame, there was a bit of parts-bin engineering, with right-side-up forks and 5-speed transmission.  Peculiarly, the European models came with Yamaha brakes, but Japanese versions had Brembos, either way they are adequate 298 mm dual disks in front and 248 mm rear.  The supersport picture is completed by an upper-only fairing and solo-plus-one seat fairing.

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The Florida owner brought the bike in and has made a few choice mods, and the auction check-box indicates clear title.  With 31K on the clock it has been well loved, and appears in good shape.  A weekend at the detailer’s and most evidence of carport storage will be gone.  From the eBay auction:

1996 Yamaha TRX-850, these bikes were never imported in the US, I bought this bike in England and shipped it here. As far as I know this is one of only few or only one here in the states!  They were only made for a couple of years, as competition for the Ducati 900ss.  It has a 270* crankshaft so it even sounds like a Ducati v-twin, a trellis frame, and hand made gas tank that resembles a Ducati.  The engine has 2 oil pumps,5 quart dry sump oil tank, and is liquid cooled also. It is a Genesis engine with 10 valves, 5 per cylinder.  New Michelin tires, braided stainless brake lines, EBC carbon fiber clutch, adjustable clutch and brake levers, belly pan, tire hugger, Carbon dash and clamp covers, R6 shock, R1 calipers, 2 windscreen (1 new-1 used), LED tail-light with signals, silicon water hoses, and Stainless steel header with Remus carbon mufflers.

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A bit of a unicorn stateside, but way sportier than the surviving TDM, the TRS-850 does have a good fan base, and the auction has generated several bids.  Might be a good way for a Yamaha fan to break in to a rare sporty bike without busting the budget…

-donn

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Super-Sporty – 1996 Yamaha TRX-850
Yamaha August 31, 2016 posted by

Starting Small: 1985 Yamaha TZR250 1KT for Sale

1985 Yamaha TZR250 R Side Front

Designed as a natural evolution of Yamaha’s RD two-stroke sportbikes, the TZR250 helped set the tone for the entire class, and the bike featured a lightweight aluminum beam frame, full bodywork, and liquid-cooling for the twin-cylinder powerplant that produced a claimed 50hp with the help of Yamahas YPVS power-valve. Until the introduction of the 3XV version of the bike in 1991, Yamaha used a parallel-twin configuration although rivals from Honda and Suzuki quickly moved to v-twin engines. The TZR was cutting-edge when introduced but was quickly eclipsed by the sportier offerings from Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Honda until the 3MA reverse-cylinder version was introduced, although that bike was never officially available outside Japan.

1985 Yamaha TZR250 L Side

Unlike some other small sportbikes of the 80s and 90s, including Yamaha’s own 3MA, the TZR250 came with 17” wheels front and rear. This could, in theory, could help with tire selection: there are lots of smaller “sportbike lite” Ninja 300s and CBR300s running around and certainly bikes like KTM’s RC390 cry out for sporty rubber in skinnier sizes. The single front disc and caliper probably won’t offer cutting-edge stopping power but, with good pads fitted, should pull the sub-300lb machine up well enough.

1985 Yamaha TZR250 Clocks

This example is fresh off the boat from one of the regular eBay importers, and looks very striking in this unfamiliar color scheme. If you’re comfortable with DMV shenanigans in your home state, keep an eye on this one. It’s a little rough around the edges, with some scuffs and surface corrosion, but is complete and appears to run well.

1985 Yamaha TZR250 R Side

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha TZR250 1KT for Sale

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are work fine. Electricals are all working. Has YAMAHA genuine fairings, but has hairline cracks and chips and scratches on fairings. Fuel tank has some scratches. Will needs new tires and fork seals too. Speedometer looks YAMAHA genuine parts and shows 11,900 km = about 7,400 mi, but actual mileage is unknown. Has an original key.

This is an over 30 years old used bike. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

1985 Yamaha TZR250 Engine

The seller also includes a video of the bike starting and running. The last TZR250 1KT we featured sold for $6,000 on the nose, so this one should probably fall somewhat lower given the recently imported status: the aforementioned bike actually had a NJ title. I happen to like the graphics on this one, although traditionalists may prefer the period’s seemingly more common red/white speedblock pattern, so I’m not sure how the color will affect interest in the bike.

Keep in mind that this is a no-reserve auction, so keep an eye on this little TZR as it might go for cheap.

-tad

1985 Yamaha TZR250 L Side Rear

Starting Small: 1985 Yamaha TZR250 1KT for Sale
Yamaha August 17, 2016 posted by

I Come In Pieces: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale

1989 Yamaha TZR250 R Side

If you’re looking to import a rare and unusual vehicle that was never intended for the US market into the country like today’s Yamaha TZR250, there are a few ways to go about it. Some of these desirable machines can be found in Canada, and others can be found already here in the US, imported at some point in the last 25 years by one means or another. These days, there are a number of people bringing in little smokers by the container-load, buying up bikes that are relatively ordinary in Japan and shipping them across the Pacific to two-stroke-starved US buyers. If all else fails, you can simply browse the internet and buy all the parts you’d need to build one in your own garage, one bit at a time. Which is what the seller of today’s bike appears to have done.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 L Side Rear

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Japanese Big Four were competing for sales in the hotly-contested 250 two-stroke class. Specifications were very similar on paper and performance advantages could be razor-thin, with the RGV, NSR, TZR, and the occasional KR all fighting for a slice of the pie. Early on, parallel-twins were the most common configuration, although later bikes shifted towards v-twins. Yamaha eventually followed suit with their TZR250 3XV but, for a couple of years, they experimented with an unconventional reverse-cylinder layout in their 3MA.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 R Side Front

Reverse-cylinder engines claim a number of performance advantages, although the reality is that actual gains are very minimal. The main goal in the 3MA appears to have been packaging: two-stroke exhausts require bulging expansion chambers for optimal performance, and wrapping them around engines and behind fairings and underneath swingarms can be a packaging nightmare. In the TZR 3MA’s case, the expansion chambers are tucked up neatly under the rider to exit through the tail section, avoiding cornering clearance and swingarm fouling problems, in addition to saving some weight and any ram-air benefits the bike might have seen from mounting the carbs at the front of the engine.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 L Side

The 3MA TZR’s handling was supposedly excellent, and the little twin made good power compared to its rivals. Unfortunately, the bike quickly developed a reputation for being very unreliable compared to the RGV and NSR, although I’ve read comments in various two-stroke forum threads claiming that they’re no worse than any other bike in the class. There’s really nothing here an experienced two-stroke rider wouldn’t expect, so the main concern with the 3MA is limited parts availability, although eBay and Google can likely provide most of what you need if you have a little patience.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale

I have for sale a 1989 Yamaha TZR250 with a 3MA20 engine, wiring harness and ECU but a 00 clutch and top end. We did NOT import this bike whole but spent about 5 yrs getting parts and pieces for from all over the world to make this a complete running/racing bike. This bike was not sold in the US but can be titled here for street use or raced in Vintage Roadracing classes through a number of organizations.

She is a two stroke streetbike that was issued in Japan for street use or roadracing. She is about 95% complete, starts and runs (have even tested it around the streets of Indy). Doghouse shown in pictures is the only new piece of freshly painted bodywork on the bike ~ I have everything else to install still but have not yet since she wasn’t completely built but could be tested this way and if anything happened, the new bodywork would still be pristine. I have a Japanese title and registration for her. I have the paperwork for Indiana BMV to assign a new VIN # to her and issue a Indiana title for her. Things still needing done ~ Rear brake caliper is leaking and needs replacing (I put in a rebuild kit and it still leaks ~  it needs replacing). Windscreen is not the proper one and too small for the bike ~ got tired of dealing with the supplier I was working with. Custom painted bodywork needs to be fitted to bike but have all pieces ~ front fender and doghouse already installed ~ seat, side panels and rears need to be installed. You can keep the old bodywork on her too. Wheels freshly powder coated white. New tires just put on last year.

Currently oil tank is not connected due to trying to keep the gas tank from rusting any further by using oil/fuel mixed in the fuel tank. A dust seal on LH Fork needed. Like I said, some minor things need finishing that I just can’t do or afford right now. Just one hell of a bike. I will try to post a video of her starting and running. Contact us with any questions. This is also listed locally on Craigslist. Whenever it sells, the ads will be removed from both Ebay and Craigslist.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 L Side Front
The seller also includes a video of the bike starting and running. It’s great that this TZR is here and I’ve developed a real fascination with this particular model. These reverse-cylinder bikes were a bit of a failure in practice, but they’re very cool and, for some insane reason I’ve put the 3MA on my wish list. But importing a bike in pieces seems to absolutely be the most difficult way to go about purchasing a TZR250. The question is: since these are being regularly imported these days from Japan and elsewhere, why go through the trouble to bring one in in pieces? A noble endeavor, but that’s a pretty big hassle. Did the seller begin the project before that was commonly done? Was he avoiding import taxes on a complete machine, or planning to title it as a “kit bike”? The seller does mention that he has Japanese paperwork for the bike, so I’d imagine it be just as easy, or just as difficult to get the bike registered, depending on where you live.

-tad

1989 Yamaha TZR250 Fairing Panels

I Come In Pieces: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale
Yamaha August 15, 2016 posted by

East Coast Smoker: 1986 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale

1986 Yamaha TZR250 R Side Front

Introduced in 1986, the Yamaha TZR250 was the follow up to their RD family of sportbikes. Yamaha’s first go at a quarter-liter TZR had middling success: it wasn’t especially competitive next to more focused rivals from Kawasaki and Suzuki on track, but it was a far better roadbike. The TZR followed the standard two-fiddy two-stroke formula of the period, with a lightweight aluminum frame and fully-faired bodywork surrounding a 249cc liquid-cooled parallel twin, and midrange courtesy of Yamaha’s YPVS power valve. They claimed 50hp from the motor, which made the 282lb dry machine capable of a top speed north of 120mph.

1986 Yamaha TZR250 L Fairing

17” wheels could be found at both ends, although tire sizes fall somewhere near bicycle width in the front and front tire at the rear… The single disc brake up front was adequate and pretty standard for lightweight sportbikes of the period, although twin front discs quickly became the norm for the 250cc class. Apparently a “blue spot” caliper from an R1 or R6 will bolt directly onto the stock front forks if you feel you need a bit more stopping power, a little restomod touch, or a splash of color.

1986 Yamaha TZR250 R Side

The first TZRs were known as the 2MA or 1KT bikes, depending on the market in which they were sold. Later, the parallel twin saw its cylinders reversed in an effort to improve cornering clearance in the 3MA, before Yamaha switched to a v-twin for the final, 3XV version.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale

86 TZR250, 9362 Kilometers.
Imported from Japan one year ago.
Super rare. Runs well.
Will ship at your expense.

Well that’s not exactly a ton of information, almost an eBay haiku, but at least the seller includes a number of nice pictures. Even with the recent influx of grey-market two-strokes, the Yamaha TZR is pretty rare, although at that $6,000 Buy It Now price seems on the high side. They’re claimed to be relatively easy to maintain which is appealing, considering parts will have to ship from overseas most likely.

Interestingly, this particular little smoker is hiding in New Jersey. See: some good things do come from Jersey! Besides me of course: I grew up there. Actually, I’ve never really understood all the hate heaped on Jersey. It’s like people fly into Newark International Airport and decide that the whole place must just be more of the same. Or they get their information from uppity New York residents… Anyway, the state may be best known for its Jersey Shore bro-culture and really good tomatoes, but it is most definitely not known for having a permissive DMV, so I’m wondering about the status of this TZR. Is it registered and titled? The listing doesn’t say. Maybe that’s why it’s being sold after only a year? Considering that these early 2MA bikes are supposed to be most at home on the road, it’d be a shame if this was for collectors and track-riders only.

-tad

1986 Yamaha TZR250 L Side

East Coast Smoker: 1986 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale
Kawasaki July 29, 2016 posted by

Vivid Green Oddity: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale

1984 Kawasaki KR250 L Side Front

Well here’s a real curiosity, another bike from the era of experimental engine configurations. Prior to the introduction of the KR-1 featured earlier this week, Kawasaki’s quarter-liter two-stroke sportbike reputation was upheld by this bike, the KR250. Although it’s powered by what is technically a parallel twin, the Kawasaki KR250’s engine is configured more like half of a square four. It’s basically a pair of singles, one behind the other, with separate cranks, and the design is referred to as a “tandem-twin” to differentiate it from more conventional parallel-twins.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Side

Although it complicates construction a bit, it likely helps the bike remain very narrow and improves packaging, as exhaust routing and expansion chambers no longer have to run underneath the engine as they do on most parallel-twin engines. In this case, they both exit on the right side of the bike: one down low, the other partly through the tailpiece in flamboyant 1980s style. The round taillamp set into the kicked-up tail and those bolt-on-overfender-styled hand-fairings are a nice touch. And that stepped seat appears to be a factory part!

1984 Kawasaki KR250 Dash

That unusual engine was backed by a six-speed gearbox and put out 45hp, good for 112mph when pushing the sub-300lb machine. Like other two-strokes of the period, it was lightweight, reasonably quick, and handled well. Later versions added the KVSS “Kawasaki Exhaust Valve Sycronization System” to help with the typically flat two-stroke midrange. They apparently could be difficult to get started, even when new, but are otherwise no more difficult to own than any other smoker of the period. The KR250 isn’t worth all that much in other markets but is extremely rare here in the US, which counts for a lot if you’re a fan of the weird.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale

Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are working fine. Electricals are all working. Has Kawasaki genuine fairings but repainted by previous owner. Has hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Fuel tank has some small dents. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as this is 32 years old. Speedometer looks KAWASAKI genuine parts and shows 36,300km = about 22,600 miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Will needs new tires and fork seals.

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title, as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

The seller also helpfully includes this short video of the bike sounding very fierce. This is another no-reserve auction and bidding is very active so far, but it apparently started at $0 and is creeping up by inches. Currently, it’s at around $1,200 with a couple days left. The seller mentions that the bike has been repainted by a previous owner and I can’t vouch for the originality of that color scheme, but I think that red and green paint looks terrific. Like Christmas on two wheels, if Christmas was a heavy smoker with a nasal voice who just showed up in a shipping container from Japan.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Side Front

Parts will obviously be challenging, getting it worked on difficult, and this definitely won’t provide the performance of a modern sportbike, but I bet it’d be hard to find something that will generate more discussion at your local bike night short of a Bimota Tesi.

-tad

1984 Kawasaki KR250 L Side

Vivid Green Oddity: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale
Kawasaki July 28, 2016 posted by

Rare Team Green Two-Stroke: 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 for Sale

1988 Kawasaki KR1 R Side Front

Well this one’s pretty exciting: the recent influx of two-stroke sportbikes has been notably lacking in Team Green Kawasakis like this KR-1, thought by some to be one of the best, or at least the craziest, of the breed. Considered by the press to be a significantly better performer than the RGV, the KR-1 was very fast, but flawed and somewhat fragile: reliability was pretty sub-par even compared to other highly-strung two-stroke whippets, and the bike was notoriously tank-slappy over uneven surfaces, something that affected road riders more than track users.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 L Side

Although it followed the very familiar “249cc, six-speed, liquid-cooled two cylinder” formula common to every bike in the class, that little motor was noticeably more oversquare than the Honda NSR250: bore and stroke of the parallel-twin were 56mm x 50.6mm and the bike put out a claimed 55hp which, in the KR-1, was good for a top speed of 131mph. The later KR-1S saw a slight bump in power and a max velocity of 139mph, making it the fastest 250 by a pretty wide margin, considering the virtually identical specs of the bikes in this class.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 Dash

The 271lb dry weight helped, of course, and the cassette-style 6-speed gearbox was an exotic piece of kit, if basically useless on the road. But on the track, the bike shined and it was very successful in British Supersport racing at the time.

Today’s example looks very sharp, except for a few minor cosmetic imperfections like that discolored pillion seat and those possibly non-standard rear indicators. Many recently-imported two-stroke sportbikes are selling for very reasonable sums, but the seller is jumping right in with a $6,500 starting bid on this one.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 L Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 for Sale

Nice original KR-1 for sale.

Good for Collection or Track days.

Not recommend on street too fast! No title bill of sale only.

Bike runs well.

Will ship worldwide, export shipping papers available.

Ultimately, the KR-1 is missing some of the trickness found on the TZR and NSR. It doesn’t feature reverse-head wizardry and banana swingarms are also conspicuously absent, but these have that reputation for being unruly and wild, which made up for the more pedestrian components. And since two-strokes always require a bit more effort to run, the lack of reliability didn’t seem to negatively affect the bike’s image when new and doesn’t seem to affect it now.  The 18” rear wheel does limit tire choice somewhat, although manufacturers are starting to offer some grippy rubber in that size, owing to two-strokes’ popularity in vintage racing.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 Cockpit

The KR-1 lacked the later KR-1S’ nickel-plated cylinders, which might help when the time comes to source engine parts. It was also supposed to be a bit roomier than competition from Suzuki and Honda, something that might help it appeal to US riders, assuming they can get it titled. Just fit a steering damper and have at it. No seriously: you’ll be fine. I’m sure. Safe as houses.

More Kawasaki weirdness in the pipeline for tomorrow, so stay tuned!

-tad

1988 Kawasaki KR1 R Side

Rare Team Green Two-Stroke: 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 for Sale