Photos of 1980 Kawasaki KX125SR / KX250SR

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6/4/2018 1:00 PM

Was just reading this article on KHI's site and couldn't find any photos of the works bikes used in the All Japan event they mention. https://www.kawasaki-cp.khi.co.jp/msinfo/press/kdc/vol04_e.html

Anyone happen to have pics of either the 1980 KX125SR or KX250SR used in that race? It had Uni-trac, water cooling and a front disc, two years before the first production KX came with front disc.

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Ride like a girl!!!
2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
Current project #2: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1 rider/racer resto
1989 KX125 resto
1987 RM250 resto

6/4/2018 1:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/4/2018 2:08 PM

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This was Jeff Ward's 1980 SR125. I don't ever remember it having a disc brake though. Sounds like they only used them in Japan at the time, and may have been late in the year. The beginning of the 1981 season is when all of the American factory riders had front disc's on the SR's. 1982 they were in production. Honda didn't put a front disc on until 1984, and it took Yamaha and Suzuki until 1985 to figure out that front discs were the way to go. Kawasaki was also the first manufacturer to put a REAR disc on a dirtbike in 1986. Most riders of the time didn't like the rear disc because it didn't have a floating rear brake arm and it was touchy. Motocross bikes were changing by leaps and bounds during this era. You really were at somewhat of a disadvantage if you owned a year old bike, or one that didn't have the latest technology.

*edit I just found a pic of Goat Brekers SR in 1980 from Matthes' site. Notice the caliper in front of the fork leg - in 1981 they moved it to the rear of the fork leg:

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6/4/2018 2:20 PM

mxrose3 wrote: Photo

This was Jeff Ward's 1980 SR125. I don't ever remember it having a disc brake though. Sounds like they only used them in ...more

That second one is the one used in the All Japan race. Kludgy looking but well ahead of its time.

When did Suzuki first race with the full floater prototype?

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Ride like a girl!!!
2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
Current project #2: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1 rider/racer resto
1989 KX125 resto
1987 RM250 resto

6/4/2018 2:33 PM

I'm thinking 1981 Suzuki ran the Full Floater on the team bikes and production machines.

*Cool side note, while looking for 1980/81 Mark Barnett bike pictures I can across this. 1983 RH250 that carried the fuel in a alloy tank where the air box would go and the air box is housed in the fuel tank.. pretty cutting edge for the time.

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6/4/2018 2:37 PM

queen of spodes wrote:

That second one is the one used in the All Japan race. Kludgy looking but well ahead of its time.

When did Suzuki first race ...more

Yeah, if you consider that in 1980, most bikes were air-cooled, drum brakes, and dual shocks - this thing looked like it came from outer space. They hadn't figured out to put the radiators lower yet though.

The Full Floater was on Suzuki works bikes through most of the 1980 season. Kent Howerton, who won the 250 National championship that year, started out on a dual shock bike, while his teammates started on the Full Floater. By mid-season, he had switched to the full floater also. That was a stolen design btw. Suzuki had a lawsuit against them for it and was forced to pay the inventor. Probably one of the reasons that it was abandoned.

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6/4/2018 2:37 PM

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6/4/2018 2:38 PM

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Barnett rode both in 1980.
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6/4/2018 2:41 PM

What a magical time for motocross.

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Ride like a girl!!!
2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
Current project #2: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1 rider/racer resto
1989 KX125 resto
1987 RM250 resto

6/4/2018 2:41 PM

2 Trick Rick wrote:

I'm thinking 1981 Suzuki ran the Full Floater on the team bikes and production machines.

*Cool side note, while looking for ...more

Here is Howerton at Unadilla in 1980

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That 1983 design with the tank swapped with the airbox was abandoned because the riders couldn't get the bikes to handle right like that. It probably made the front end too light.

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6/4/2018 2:45 PM

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6/4/2018 2:46 PM

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6/4/2018 2:50 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/4/2018 2:50 PM

SCR wrote: Photo

Barnett rode both in 1980.

Yeah, It was early 1980 when they first starting showing up at races though. At the Philadelphia Supercross, Barnett and Howerton were on dual shock bikes, while Darryl Shultz was on a Full Floater. I've got pictures of it when I was a kid.

Check this article out:

http://articles.latimes.com/1987-03-28/news/mn-699_1_patent-suit

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6/4/2018 3:45 PM

SCR wrote: Photo

Barnett rode both in 1980.
mxrose3 wrote:

Yeah, It was early 1980 when they first starting showing up at races though. At the Philadelphia Supercross, Barnett and ...more

Yeah I saw that article somewhere a few years back.
Works bikes were so bitchin back then. Real one off Formula One stuff.

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6/4/2018 5:17 PM

Saw this on mecham motorcycle auctions on NBCSN. Reserve wasn’t met so it can be yours if you have the $$$ Photo

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6/4/2018 5:40 PM

mxrose3 wrote: Photo

This was Jeff Ward's 1980 SR125. I don't ever remember it having a disc brake though. Sounds like they only used them in ...more

My photo of Brad Lackey at 1980 Trans-USA. Disc brake on front of fork leg. High radiator shrouds. Shock push rod mounts on outside of swing arm, like Goats bike.

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6/4/2018 5:57 PM

One more someone posted of Lackey’s bike at the same race and a later, same year version (I think) with brake moved to rear of fork leg, shock push rods moved inboard and finned rear shock reservoir. Blue engine too.

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6/4/2018 8:56 PM

That was the golden age of MX bike development. Such a cool period. These KX’s show how wild and different (even the same model) the bikes could be at that time. The advancements were fast and furious.. Sorta boring in comparison for the past two decades.

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6/4/2018 10:06 PM

stillwelding wrote:

One more someone posted of Lackey’s bike at the same race and a later, same year version (I think) with brake moved to rear of ...more

Awesome pics! The bike that Lackey rode in the first pic at the Road Atlanta Trans USA race was in October of 1980. So it was late in the year.
The #9 is Warren Reids bike. His number was #9 in 1981, so this could have been early 81'.

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6/5/2018 6:37 AM

I believe you are correct. I think that the no. 9 bike is Reid's SR250 with some refinements over the ones raced in the 1980 Trans AMA series.
Here's some pics I saved of a 1980 and a 1981 SR125.


Photo1980SR1252 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr


Photo1981SR125 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr

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6/5/2018 6:41 AM

Some more pics I have of the 1981 SR250. I always thought this bike was incredibly trick for 1980 and 1981!


Photo1981SR2506 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr


Photo1981SR2507 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr


Photo1981SR2508 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr

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