1978 Kawasaki KH250 from United Kingdom
A good solid little bike, and fun to ride
Nothing at all ever went wrong. I replaced brake pads, discs and a chain during ownership, as with all service parts.
For a 250, it had an incredible amount of bottom-end torque, with a nice spread of power. I thought the performance and handling remarkable. I used it for work transport one winter as the traffic queues were horrendous because of bad weather. I never once had a problem with this. Wet and icy roads were just coped with. No excitement. Small enough and light enough to throw around.
Did a number of long-distance hauls, and my only comment would be that the petrol tank could have been bigger. Depending how I rode, I could get up to 135 miles to a tank, or as little as 30 (I really hate paying the extra pennies to Motorway Service Stations).
The lighting was good, with no problem on unlit country lanes.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th December, 2007
I owned a KH250 in the late 70's. It rode great and had great pickup for a small bike. However, one difficulty was the engine design, with 3 cylinders in line, the middle cylinder didn't cool properly, and in my case, and, I understand generally, the cylinder casing cracked.
Also, as the reviewer states, the distance between fill ups was limited, by both the tank size and the relatively poor gas mileage: 3 cylinders in a 250 bike may be the cause. But, the mileage wasn't great for a small bike.
I owned one of these babes in the early 80s. At the time the KH's were known as "three brain-cell bikes". It was a fun little bike and I was very nearly tempted by the KH750, two-stroke madness indeed! I took it to Switzerland one summer and filled the tank over 30 times for the 3000 mile round trip.
I had lots of trouble with the contact breakers (three!), which were almost impossible to tighten in place as the thread on the bolts would strip oh so easily! One (of the three!) would slip, leading to a huge backfire, which would blow the baffle out of one the (three!) exhausts. This once happened to me on the boulevard péripherique around Paris at 85 mph in the pouring rain, with a very startled Parisian taxi driver pressing close behind, a very hairy moment for him, but I almost died laughing at the look on his face!
The most fun I had on the KH was a mad dash from Paris to Dieppe trying to make the last ferry of the day. I pushed it to the limit hardly dropping below 90 mph for over 100 miles leaving (three!) blue two-stroke smoke trails along the way.
The KH's engine partially seized on the M1 and I then left the bike in a corner of the garden for several years while I went to university. I eventually gave it to a "collector" who wanted to restore it.