2021 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1978 Kawasaki KH400cc Motorcycle
This lot is no longer available
A pioneering industrialist, Shozo Kawasaki’s company was founded in Tokyo and manufactured everything from locomotives to steel components before diversifying into aircraft in 1937 and then, from the end of the Second World War, motorcycle engines. Kawasaki merged with Japan’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer, Meguro Works, in 1960 and the revitalized company’s two-strokes proved remarkably popular for the next decade, the model line-up expanding rapidly to cover a wide range of engine displacements. Joining the fearsome H-series of triples first seen back in 1969, Kawasaki added the smaller S1 (250cc) and S2 (350cc) models. Expanding the range of S-series two-stroke triples to include a 400cc model, the S3 of 1974 added four-bearing crankshaft, five speed gearbox and points ignition. Part of the rebranded KH (Kawasaki Highway) range launched in 1976, the KH400 replaced the S3 with numerous updates. Retuned to run on unleaded fuel and rated at 38 horsepower and 28 lbs/ft of torque, the KH400 featured CDI ignition, telescopic hydraulic front forks and a swing arm with dual shocks at the rear. Braking was handled by a single disc up front and an expanding brake at the rear. Minor improvements came with the A3 of 1976 and A4 of 1977, the latter sold in either Candy Emerald Green or Candy Royal Purple and these were catalogued in the UK until 1980. The final variant was the A5 version sold in Italy or Germany in 1978, with the tank in a choice of Candy Persimmon Red or Candy Lime Green. Interest in Kawasaki’s triple has increased over the years and values have risen accordingly.