Kawasaki KR 350 Review Motorcycle Trader New Zealand

22 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Kawasaki KR 350 Review Motorcycle Trader New Zealand отключены
Kawasaki KR 1 S

Kawasaki KR 350 Review

Kawasaki KR 350

return to the rostrum in GP racing in with the much-improved ZX-RR in MotoGP by Shinya Nakano and Hoffmann, invites an inevitable down memory lane. than a quarter-century ago, the Meanies dominated 250cc and racing. That master of GP racing, Kork Ballington, who in scooping both 250 and 350 world in 1978, won ten races in all, repeated the exploit in 1979, his race victory roster to in the season.

The demise of the 350 category, with intensified two-… in the 250cc class by other led to Kawasaki’s withdrawal from GP at the end of 1982 In order to concentrate the race activities on those of four-… racing directly to our customer products, it says on the I still have of the company’s press release on the subject. In words, World Endurance in which Kawasaki was the reigning also AMA Superbikes and, in due the World Superbike Championship, Scott Russell won for them in with the ZXR750.

George ex-Jean Francois Balde is no museum piece. It’s the which Jean Francois to three GP victories in 1982, and on he took a trio of third in the World Championship from inclusive. It spent the next few in former Kawasaki France manager Serge Rosset’s till George Beale and his in Bikesport International, Terry took it, and its companion 250, to Britain in 1988.

The pair then entrusted the to former Kawasaki UK race Nigel Everett to restore. The was to prepare the KR350 for expatriate Graeme McGregor, who finished in the British GP at Silverstone in ’81 on a bike, to race in the 1989 of Man Junior TT. The race had the distinction of the last major race in the with a 350cc upper

As proof of the enduring competitiveness of the Kawasakis, Macca, as McGregor was took the ten-year-old 350 around the at an astounding 180.64kph in the race. He was on lap three out of four, when a broke in the primary gear and the gearbox in bottom.

Against the of the current privateer 250s, their electronic power and vastly more modern the classic Kwacker had proved its on the last occasion a tandem-twin would race competitively on the stage. The Lean Greenie was a Green Meanie!

The Kawasaki in 250 form for the 1975 season for Ditchburn and Mick Grant to on behalf of Kawasaki UK, and for Yvon and Ron Pierce to race in the USA. the two best results in a disappointing season were crossovers, DuHamel taking fifth at the Dutch GP at Assen, and Grant an third at Ontario in California.

But the new bikes suffered many occasioned by serious vibration the 180-degree engine; in an effort to the torque delivery more the cranks were geared together, so that the pistons alternately. The result was a double-sized vibration, which literally the bike to bits.

Kawasaki a year off in 1976 for a rethink, and in ’77 with a revamped 54 x KR250 in which the vibration had been resolved by the simple of re-coupling the contra-rotating cranks so both pistons fired in a 360-degree layout. This in the trademark lazy drone of the tandem-twin. The new design debuted in the Japanese GP in ’76 and finished to a works Yamaha.

Kawasaki in force for the 1977 GP season. Barry Ditchburn had struggled to the Yamaha hordes in the first of the year, he was replaced for the Dutch GP by Grant, who promptly won his first on the revamped bike to score his GP victory, following it up with in Sweden. In 1978 Kork found himself with his works ride in a team Aussie Gregg Hansford, and ex-125cc rider Toni

They had KR350s (overbored to but otherwise all but identical to the 250) to go the smaller-capacity machine. The rest, as say is history.

George Beale from his research that 12 of the first 180-degree version made, all in 1975 and all KR250s, around 40 of the later 360-degree were built from split between 250s and with a bias in numbers the smaller bike. The bikes had a for reliability and rarely did anything go As for working on them, today’s could learn a few lessons Kawasaki — they brilliant.

You could strip and the engine inside an hour, they were so well out. It took only 15 to get the motor in or out, and 30 minutes for a strip and rebuild. There was a of four ratios for each but instead of a side-loading cassette-type which all GP bikes have and which weakens your unless you add in extra weight to it, you’d just flip the over and take the bottom off it to ratios.

Power output is a conservative at 11,800rpm, measured at the gearbox, it’s likely Toni later engines gave 80bhp. The 350 weighed in at 104kg the 250 1kg less. V-twins may be all the go in the 250 class except for the new KTM, but the Kawasaki in no way looks dated, nor does it like a sudden-… rotary-valve piece.

The original twin-shock end of the 1975 bikes was later with a monoshock rocker-arm featuring Kawasaki’s Uni-Trak originally developed on the company’s In due course it was used on their Racing improves the breed.

astride the bike and on the track, it as if I was sitting low down at the back, up to the bars, rather than versa. A bit like riding an old Guzzi V-twin road Coupled with the high-set this gives a very riding position, and made it hard to tuck my knees and out of the way while cornering.

How someone as as Gregg Hansford ever a bike like this as as he did, is remarkable.

The Kawasaki well, if rather slowly by GP standards, as befits a long of 1385mm with 18 inch The combination of that and the KR’s weight distribution makes it a understeerer, but you can correct this enough with the throttle, and the is a stable, confidence-inspiring ride neutral characteristics — you stay on the power.

As befits such a light, if tall, bike, the KR can be chucked a turn very easily, the actual geometry figures of a head angle and 108mm come as a surprise. For sure it less steep at the front, and to even more trail, so slow is the steering by today’s

Still, riding the Kawasaki was a blast from the past in one You tend to take it for granted how modern race bikes until you sample something this from the not-so-distant and a curious mixture of old and new in another. allowing for the extra 100cc’s, superb engine could have held its own at 250cc up to not so long ago.

George ex-Balde KR350 Kawasaki is a restored, surprisingly potent, of the all-time 350cc class the Lean Greenie.

KAWASAKI — Specification

Engine: rotary-valve 360-degree tandem-twin two-…

Dimensions: 64 x 54.4mm

Capacity: 394.9cc

Kawasaki KR 1 S

Output: at 11,800rpm (at gearbox)

Compression 13:1

Carburetion: 2 x 36mm

Ignition: Kokkusan CDI


Clutch: Chrome-moly steel twin-loop full cradle

Front: Kawasaki 36mm forks

Rear: Aluminium swingarm with Uni-Trak rate linkage and monoshock unit

Head Angle: 24

Trail: 108mm


Weight: 104kg dry

Brakes: 1 x 310mm Bogl Braun iron disc with Kawasaki calliper Rear: 1 x Kawasaki aluminium disc/two-piston

Wheels/tyres: Front: 3.25/4.50 x 18 KR108 on 2.00 in. Campagnolo 3.30/5.80 x 18 Dunlop radial on in. Dymag

Kawasaki KR 1 S
Kawasaki KR 1 S
Kawasaki KR 1 S
Kawasaki KR 1 S

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