Gregg Hansford’s 1977 Kawasaki KR750
With Phil Aynsley
Now here is bike of great historical interest! Gregg Hansford’s 1977 KR750.
In 1974 the FIM revised the homologation requirements for the 750 Championship, from 250 down to 25 bikes. The KR750 (model 602) was Kawasaki’s answer to Yamaha’s TZ750. It debuted, rather unsuccessfully at the 1975 Daytona 200.
It differed from the earlier road based H2R in using a purpose built water-cooled motor that had extensive changes to the porting architecture, a shorter crankshaft and was overall a more compact design.
In 1977 the KR750 design was updated (model 602L) with many weight saving changes – principally the magnesium crankcases and a new clutch – that reduced the bikes weight to 136 kg.
However Team Kawasaki Australia’s sole KR750 was further modified in ’78 incorporating Brembo front calipers, Zanzani plasma coated alloy front discs, specially made (only four) Campagnolo wheels and an alloy fuel tank. This resulted in a further 10 kg weight saving.
Noteworthy design details include the gearbox overflow being directed into the main frame tubing (venting near the headstock), and the coolant catch tank being integral with the radiator (on the RHS). The carburettor support cradle is also a feature.
A choke is used for starting with the lever placed under the clutch lever. Output was 130 hp at 9500rpm with a top speed of over 300 km/h.
The bare motor images are of a 1978 unit.
As can be seen from the accompanying paperwork Gregg campaigned this bike extensively in 1977-78.