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thooker515

Kawasaki Kt250 Prototypes

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Would love to document the KT250 prototype differences (frame numbers KT2-00001 to KT2-00499) to the production KT250 pieces, any interest here?post-22223-0-78607700-1453864640_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Would love to document the KT250 prototype differences (frame numbers KT2-00001 to KT2-00499) to the production KT250 pieces, any interest here?

 

 

I'm interested in the story behind any prototypes of production trials bikes. I'm a bit confused though. Are you saying there were 499 prototypes made before they made the production bikes?

I know the early production KT250s had a different magneto cover insignia, being a big "K" while the later ones had a smaller "KAWASAKI" and I have no idea why they changed it

 

There are many good photos showing KT prototypes in Don Smith's book "Ride It". Some of Don's bikes in that book show a bike very similar to the production KT but with different front wheel hub, or backing plate to the production KT. There are probably other differences and I will enjoy having a look for them later on tonight

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There are many good photos showing KT prototypes in Don Smith's book "Ride It". Some of Don's bikes in that book show a bike very similar to the production KT but with different front wheel hub, or backing plate to the production KT. There are probably other differences and I will enjoy having a look for them later on tonight

 

I seem to recall some of those KT's in that book were 450cc's.

 

https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.webermichl.at/_bikes/kawasaki/kawasakikt450.htm&prev=search

 

http://www.twnclub.ch/classic_trial_files/Kawasaki/Kawasaki.htm

Edited by goudrons
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I think the preproduction prototypes were 350s.  What I am calling prototypes are the early hand produced machines that were sold in the States.  Some sample differences are below. The K instead of Kawi spelled out in the side covers, right hand shift spline in the clutch cover.post-22223-0-66906000-1453946751_thumb.jpgpost-22223-0-05387200-1453946778_thumb.jpgpost-22223-0-66014600-1453946861_thumb.jpg

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 No, it was a 450.I remember the test ride in Cycle World or Dirt Bike. Never remembered the right hand shift. Interesting. 

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The right gear shift option was quite common at the time, Bultacos and Ossas also came with it and I guess a list of others will start appearing here soon!

 

You have to remember that before the likes of these purpose built trials machines started coming out of Spain and later, Japan, riders rode converted British bikes that came with gear shifters on the right and rear brakes on the left.

I guess to appeal to those riders manufacturers included the option to swap things around.

 

 

 

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It is difficult to tell if the engine covers with the "K" instead of the later "KAWASAKI" are hand made or not in those photos. Please photograph the insides to reveal if they are die cast or sand cast

It is possible that the "K" magneto cover was made to enclose a different shape/size flywheel than the production flywheel

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I just had a look through "Ride It" and every bike that Don is riding has the shifter on the right. I'm thinking that at the time Kawasaki was developing the bikes, the big selling bike was the Sherpa T (which was RH only shift at the time), and they would have wanted to make the KT as acceptable as possible to the trials riding market. By the time the KT went into mass production, the US laws requiring RH side braking were coming into effect so naturally they made the production bikes LH shifters, like everybody did.

Another factor about which side the shifting was on would have been that Don wanted left foot braking because that is what he was most familiar with

Something else I noticed is that the bike that is captioned as the "production" KT250 in the book has the "K" engine covers, the air box with only two fasteners for the lid and the less curvy version of the front brake arm

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Hi,

 

Off topic I know, but I was very happy to see the Kawasaki trials development taking shape when they tempted my old mate Alec Wright to join them, that meant his Ossa sidecar outfit with a works motor became surplus to requirements.

 

I offered to buy it, but he could only sell it without the motor - but the Ossa concessonaire at the time was another old mate from the West Leeds club, Fearless Fred (most publications use his posh name - Peter Fletcher!) so I was able to do a swift deal which left the outfit intact........

 

Mary and I had great fun - with gobs of help from Jack Matthews.

 

So, thankyou Kawasaki for making it all possible.

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The production KT came in two versions, 74/75 and 76, the side casings and airbox changed with the 76 model

 

Early model had the K emblem on the casings and 2 bolt airbox, later model had Kawasaki in full on the casings and 3 bolt airbox

 

I had a 76 model which didn't have the r/h gear shaft, it was blanked off.

 

Don's first prototype was the bronze coloured 450 for which Kawasaki supplied just the engine, I think he made the frame. He then switched to a 250 which was how the bike was finally produced but his last prototypes were the 330  which was a nice looking bike. Two versions I think, one with upright and one with angled rear shocks.  Kato still rides his in Japanese classic trials I think

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More differences between the pre-mass production models and 00001-004??  Another air box shot, Horn mount has only one bolt, Swingarm has a bolt instead of a rubber plug in the oiler, and front brake arm.

post-22223-0-89702700-1454132988_thumb.jpg

post-22223-0-00532500-1454133053_thumb.jpg

post-22223-0-50895400-1454133076_thumb.jpg

post-22223-0-09778900-1454133177_thumb.jpg

post-22223-0-10757500-1454133212_thumb.jpg

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The later front brake arm has always seemed to me to be a retrograde step

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