Additional photos of this 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 are available here for your perusal.
In the late 80’s, Kawi had some success with their KR250 road racer so they released the KR-1 as a wonderful little two-stroke race rep. It was quite successful, triggering increased competition from the big 4, and it set off a 250cc 2-stroke war among the Japanese – unfortunately us Americans didn’t get to enjoy these little demons. Thankfully for you, this KR-1 (VIN: KR250B002428) possesses a clear title in Washington state.
While the KR-1 was one of the faster two-strokes ever built (a 1990 speed test clocked the successor to this bike at 139 mph), riders are usually more familiar with the competition – the RGVs, NSRs, and TZRs of the world. You got a two-cylinder, reed valve induction motor with a 180 degree firing configuration. KIPS – the Kawasaki Integrated Powervalve System that’s advertised quite heavily on the fairing – was designed to broaden power delivery and was used in other Team Green 2-strokes. This water-cooled bike produced 59 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque. Less than 10,000 KR-1’s were produced, making it much rarer than the competition.
Recently serviced and detailed, this KR-1 shows 13,355 kilometers on the dash (8,298 miles) – the low mileage is reflected in the condition of the bodywork, which is all original and only shows minor nicks and scrapes on a few of the panels. The wheels show no rock chips or scratches, and the frame/engine are clean with none of the serious corrosion often found on Japanese imports. It shows as highly original with the exception of the LeoVince SBK exhaust.
Mechanically, the bike is said to run and ride great with smooth shifts through all six gears in the transmission. The recent service included ultrasonic cleaning and adjustment of the carbs, fluid flush, and several new parts: spark plugs, air filter, brake pads, and tires. All of the switches and electrical components work.
This is a lovely example of a hard-to-find machine in the US. Whether you like two-strokers, small sportbikes, or just the color green, this KR-1 would be an excellent choice to ride or show.