Team Kawasaki Australia KR350 Prototype

With Phil Aynsley

This is the prototype KR350 sent to Team Kawasaki Australia for development during 1977. It was built in ’77 and based on a ’76 KR250. The modified 250 motor had a larger bore and a capacity of 306cc.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kawasaki’s KR350 as ridden by Greg Hansford

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
The bike originally featured a KR250 motor bored to 306cc

Kawasaki KR PA KRP

Gregg Hansford tested the bike and resulting changes included modified KR750 front brakes being fitted. In 1979 a full 350cc motor was installed and the bike was raced by Rick Perry in 1980, winning the 350cc ARRC.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
KR750 brakes were added on Hansford’s feedback

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
A 350 engine was added in 1979 and Rick Perry rode the bike to ARRC victory in 1980

Kawasaki KR PA KRP

One of the interesting features of the motor is that the water pump casing was cast integrally with the side case, rather than being a seperate unit. I was surprised to note that the whole barrel assembly is angled at 15º to the centreline of the motor.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kawasaki’s KR350 as ridden by Greg Hansford

Kawasaki KR PA KRP

Overseas Kork Ballington won the 1978 350cc World Championship with a dominant 9 wins. Hansford finishing 3rd with 3 victories. The result was the same the following year with five and three wins respectively.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kork Ballington won the 1978 350cc World Championship, with Hansford third

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Racing success continued until 1981!

1980 saw Anton Mang finish in second with Jean-Fraçois Baldé in third. The KR350 filled the top three positions in 1981 (Mang, Ekerold, Baldé) and for the final season of the 350cc Championship Mang again finished in first with Baldé in third. So ended the extremely successful career of the KR350!

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kawasaki’s KR350 as ridden by Greg Hansford

This bike was retired after the 1980 season and subsequently restored. The motor and parts are 1978 vintage.

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