Kawasaki KR500 — Classic Motobikes — Bike Reviews

19 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Kawasaki KR500 — Classic Motobikes — Bike Reviews отключены
Kawasaki Square Four 2 Stroke Prototype

Kawasaki KR500

Kawasaki has had a romance with premier of GP racing over the last odd years or so, first of all during the seventies with Dave and Ginger Malloy on the air-cooled, based triples and then a full on radical design for a period during the turn of the before returning in more times with a four Moto GP machine. Only the racer to date has been successful with the Malloy Agostini and the MV home for second in the 1970 championship and the late Simmond’s winning the 1971 GP, so far the best result in a 500/Moto GP by latter day Kawasaki is third

That first triples with the modern day Kawasaki were and are quite conventional compared to the rest of the opposition the bike in the middle stood no comparison against any machinery of the day or since. The KR500 featured a aluminium chassis and a completely new of engine based upon the thinking behind the all-conquering four disc valve Suzuki.

We say all conquering of course but isn’t strictly true, as Kenny Roberts on the ancient inline four had quite won the 500cc class for the three seasons. Although the Yam wasn’t an advanced design it would that the nut holding the handlebars was to take the title for the tuning brand. A very similar could be aimed at the KR500 on paper at least the square machine is so very nearly performance wise and the imaginings well be if only they had sat a top upon it, it may just have won

The trouble with those is it did have several “top sat firmly upon the lengthy green machine including times 250 and 350 world champion Ballington, antipodean superstar Hansford and future multiple champ Eddie Lawson, all had a around on it and still never got to the top step of a GP podium. Ballington did it into the first three at GP on several occasions, also the UK domestic 1982 Shell 500 as well as finishing second in the class against stiff from the Haslam’s and the like of world.

What’s it like?

Sat in the pit lane this twenty three old machine up before the off amongst a host of open megaphone and race bikes, the KR felt crisp and responsive to throttle From the moment we took to the the Kawasaki was “rev happy” and to hoist its skirt up and get on with it.

into Redgate for the first felt absolutely spot on and as the went on this sensation got and better and is perhaps one of the finest ever in this area. The stays flat and stable, trying to stand on its nose so many other race of the period, this is directly to the mechanical anti dive uses the caliper action the disc to lock up the front end and it from diving into This pays dividends a few later on when the gas is applied as the is not out of shape and struggling to rebound, it sits square as the brakes are let off and the refuses to squat into the all too potential high side.

The is a confident application of power all the way to max quite quickly. Acceleration is and business like with the pulling very strongly the 7 k mark and maintains a good pull to 11 and above. If anything the is as good if not slightly better the opposition certainly once a bit of is gained within the workings low down it does lack compared to the benchmark RG500 of the

Several laps into the and things were starting to get race like in pace and the KR behaved impeccably although corner began to be one long, but tail slide as the lengthy struggled to keep up with the of cornering.

Technically speaking

wise the 1980/81 spec being a true monocoque, that sees the tank as part of the aluminium chassis, is few others from the period or The thinking behind this is to the weight down for a low centre of and the frontal area small for aerodynamic effectiveness. The bike is so and aerodynamically effective that the mudguard has to be formed into a at the rear to force air into the radiator.

We now know that a low centre of is not necessarily a good thing for speed as a bike has to lean for any given corner speed the advanced streamlining is a very idea. Originally the one piece frame was attached to the front of the via down tubes running the headstock but early tests these to be the cause of a severe so bad that the clip-on’s had to be rubber which in turn gave a feel to the steering.

Kork’s Dozy was also the chief on the project and he elected to run the first with these down loosely attached instead of bolted and that all but cured the As can be seen here the later did away with the tubes

The suspension is pretty radical too the mechanical anti dive via the brake calipers torque to the discs and the rear “rocker suspensions soft, compliant to damping. Almost all of the rear travel can be used up just on the bike but in use this absorbs all of the bumps and hollows effectively a sure footed ride around the recently resurfaced circuit.

Kork’s take on it

We the opportunity to ask Kork about his with the KR500, catching up him at his home in Brisbane where he now a successful fasteners business.

The and … was about the only between the KR500 and KR250. I the emphasis of the factory was stability and we could have hung a V8 in Chassis! The KR500 was at least longer than the Yamahas and of the day so it did feel incredibly stable but was suited to touring rather racing.

The 3 cylinder Hondas that around ’82 were possibly a bit still than the Yams and Their years of experience in GP in wheelbases that were appropriate for racing. Kawasaki’s in 500 racing led them to develop a around the requirements of their riders who were doing the of their riding on the bumpy 5.5 km oval test track the town of Yatabe called (Japanese Automobile Research

This is why the KR500 is exactly as you it. It was very stable on very corners and very difficult to direction on, the approach to Maclean’s a example.

It was terrible in chicanes and no would get it through them The only solution would been to shorten and lighten it, the factory steadfastly refused to do. in GP’s chicanes were prolific and fast corners disappearing.

I had no problems in that Gregg never complained, he never did too much racing on it due to Eddie Lawson raced one in the without success. I would to get his view. I know they racing the ’82 model because, as by USA Journalist Dean Adams: packed up and pulled the KR500 out of the halfway through the season Eddie Lawson hurt trying to keep up” (with and Roberts.)

It was awesome on brakes and was the real area where I was at an against the others.

I think did develop the bodywork in a tunnel so it was as efficient as you could get a 500cc

The ’81 KR500 was never as fast as the Yam or particularly accelerating from corners, so it was difficult to beat to the corners in the first place! No at the rear once the tyre was hot it extremely difficult to keep up let stay ahead.

If a long such as the KR500′s created cornering speed then all would have made bikes as long. Shorter, GP 500s have just as a cornering speed. Short bikes are less harsh on the tyre, grip like and tend to have a more breakaway whereas long get to a limit and drift lazily unwanted extra heat in the tyre) limiting what you can do but do not a higher cornering speed the short bikes.

Long bikes might be a bit to ride in fast corners but not under GP racing conditions. bikes achieve the same speed with slightly lean than longer Hardly a problem when but it makes a difference at the limit with rear tyre designed around the short

I learnt to ride around the faults where possible but the problem we had was one nobody could do about and was by far the most frustrating and thing imaginable. When hard heavy bikes up the rear tyre more light bikes and long heat up the rear tyre than short bikes. A long bike heats the tyre up quickly and effectively to the where it has no useful grip to be to race competitively.

Pete (Dunlop’s chief technician) and I that the rear tyre was way hotter than was considered by taking the tyre temperatures out on the after laps and comparing with a shorter bike. reasonable. Rear: too effing

Dunlop had developed their over many years feedback mainly from the shorter Suzuki. They not prepared to go to the expense of building a construction slick and experiment compounds for one very heavy so we were stuck with a clearly not suitable.

The rear used to cook within and for the rest of the race I would be it home. On a few occasions I finished metres of podium positions but was to challenge because the bike was sideways everywhere.

If my memory is to be the bike weighed in at around more than a works Yam or Honda. Although of ally, the weighed a lot more than a steel tube or twin ally frame. It and a lot of the chassis were too robust and It all added up. The anti-dive was probably a couple of kg than a hydraulic setup. mag cases were substituted for ones which weighed

The ’82 bike came out even

Kawasaki Square Four 2 Stroke Prototype

One thing I must say is that the was always in the ballpark. In 1981 a short of grunt but by late with a major ignition possibly the most powerful 500 on the Had Kawasaki gone for a conventional with appropriate weight and it would have done proud.

It is really not easy to or convince people of the strange, counter productive way in which approached the “development” of a GP bike. We took one small, meaningful forward in our quest to get the thing only to get shunted 2 huge back by some strange from far away!

Basically the did not share our opinions therefore did not see such as the long wheelbase or as a big a problem as we did. They had or no understanding of what was needed to get chicanes possibly because of of experience and meaningful feedback the test riders. They had no of the tyres getting cooked in Japan.

I am not even sure if it was raced there.

Once had decided to use monocoque construction it was their policy and character to That was no real problem I think it had huge potential. The would have succeeded their wildest dreams if had made it small and light.

In my the chassis designer, Cowboy simply would not take of what we (Dozy, Stuart and myself) needed to improve

Case in point: At the end of 1981 told me his design for 1982 only fit a 16 inch front because he wanted the smallest frontal area. I was horrified and got him and the tech for Dunlop together to that they were not to develop the 16 inch any further and 17 inch was the way to go. Amongst a long of requirements was the fact that the bike must be able to use 17 and 18 front wheels.

Was it such a good idea to .1 sec on the straight because of a few sq. mm less area then lose .1 sec on corner on a dodgy front

I can only assume that design was too far-gone to change and ready in time for the first GP of There is a good chance he might not have changed it if he had the desire and manpower because he had that the bike should the smallest possible frontal for aerodynamic purposes.

There was no with the 1981 spec except weight and dimensions. My to them was to shrink the chassis to as the weight and dimensions of the Suzuki as could get it. We had it handling very as you have experienced but to stop the rear tyre and do better lap consistently it was going to need to be and shorter.

The major design for ’82 came about because the believed the ’81 chassis was too rigid, an I did not share. They redesigned the ’82 to allow some flex. deviation from monocoque to an “spine” style meant the could no longer hold fuel so a large heavy was added!

1981 Kawasaki Specification

Engine . water four cylinder two … valve induction

Bore . 54mm x 54mm

Carburetion . 4 x Mikuni round slide

. six speed, dry clutch

Chassis . monocoque

Wheels . front 300 x 16” (18” used sometimes). 400 x 18” Dymag

Kawasaki Square Four 2 Stroke Prototype

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