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 Kawasaki - KS /KE trail
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Kawasaki D2-492-43-19
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 125
Model : KS /KE trail
Production : 1973 - 1986
Category : (On-Off) Dual Purpose


KS 125 - 1974

A feisty lightweight

Having long concentrated only on the US, Kawasaki realized in 1974 that the trail bike market had really taken off in Europe (and in particular, France, where each year tens of thousands of 125cc trail bikes were sold). The unchallenged champion in this fast-growing sector was the Yamaha DT 125; to make its mark, Kawasaki had to roll up its sleeves.

Excellent Beginner's Machine

The KS was the perfect answer, for it combined a fiery temperament with first-class cycle components. Its new engine incorporated the classic induction system by rotary-valve, long typical of lightweight Kawasakis, and thus developed 13 hp at 6500 rpm. More highly-tuned than its rival, the KS was unhappy during low-speed maneuvers, off-road or in town, and was less of an all purpose machine. On the other hand, it was an excellent beginner's machine for endure and was class-leader when it came to covering rutted stages rapidly.

More Comfortable and Refined

Redesignated the "KE" for 1976, the 125 Kawasaki trail bike became more comfortable and refined (but lost 2.5 hp in the process). A stylistic freshening kept it going into 1979, but it gave way in 1980 to the new KE 125 A, which was more powerful (13.5 hp) and more sporty and took its layout from the marque's motocross machines – it had greater suspension travel.


Engine: 124cc (56x51mm) air-cooled single-cylinder; flywheel magneto ignition

Power Rating: 13 hp @ 6500 rpm

Valves: two-stroke; rotary intake valve

Fuel System: 24mm carburetor

Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm with twin spring/dampers (rear)

Brakes: 4.7 inch drum (front); 5.1 inch drum

Wheels: 2.75x21 inch (front); 3.50x18 inch (rear)

Weight: 230 lb

Maximum Speed: 82 mph

With its striking iridescent metallic green fuel tank, the eye-catching Kawasaki KS 125 was aimed squarely at the youth market.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

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François-Marie Dumas

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