Which bike, which issue?

Kawasaki KX250A4 1978 restoration

Words and photos by Claude Giguere

Let's start with the story behind this bike. Back in October 1977, a friend and fellow competitor, Don Gill, called me up one Wednesday. He asked me what I was doing that evening and I should come over to his place and to bring my truck and bike. When I got there he opened the garage door and here was this trick Kawasaki KX250, all shiny and green with gold rims, swingarm and motor mounts. It looked just like what Weinert and Semics were racing, a "Works" bike! Don told me that the local Kawasaki shop called him up and gave him the KX so he could race it at the last race of the season this coming weekend. So we went out to our practice track and broke it in. The bike was amazing, light, fast, the steering was quick, a blast to ride. Of course Don won with it on the weekend beating all of us on that trick KX! The following spring the local Kawasaki dealer gave Don two new KX's, a 125 and another 250 to race the '78 season with. When I saw the new bikes I noticed that there were some differences between the first one we rode in Oct and the new one Don had got. The bike we rode in Oct sat in the dealership for most of the year and then it was gone.

Now let's fast forward to 2008, at the Motorcycle Show in January, another friend of mine, Trevor, asked me if I was interested in a motorcycle that a friend of his wanted to sell. He said it was seized up and partly apart. I asked him what it was and when he said a '78 KX250! I did not hesitate, I said sure! Trevor told me that it was in Winnipeg but that his Dad would be coming to Calgary in a couple of months and he would bring the bike with him, bonus! When Trevor called that the KX was in I went over to pick it up and as soon I saw it I knew it was the one we rode that fall in '77! The differences were there as I remembered them and seeing as there were only two of these bikes in MB this one had to be the one. Also the KX that I have has the frame #000022 so it is a good chance it is the one as the number is so low.

Let's go over the differences between the one I have and any other that I have seen in person or in print. (Click on any picture to view larger)


The main difference is the forks, my bike has forks with fins wrapped all around the bottom of the sliders like this:


kx250a4pic2 kx250a4pic3

Almost all pictures and the bike Don got in ’78 have forks like this

Even the pictures in the Kawasaki manual shows the forks like mine


The magazine tests back in the day show both styles but mostly the ones with the less fins are pictured:

coverpic insidemagpic

MXA March 1978 cover picture

Yet the picture inside of the test shows different forks

kx2540A4pic6 kx2540Apic7

VMX #13 2001 shows the newer forks also

Dirt Bike March 1978 test shows the newer fork also

The other major difference with my bike is that it has no chain rollers.

chainrollers1 chainrollers2

Even the Kawasaki owner’s manual shows chain rollers

The magazine test even comment on them. MXA March 1978

My bike does not have them and it appears that it never did:


VMX #13 issue says that Kawasaki only made 1717 of these bikes including prototypes and pre-production machines. With my bike being such a low number #000022, it makes me wonder if it is a pre-production model.



This is my second restoration, the first being a 1981 Suzuki RM125X that turned out great.




But this KX250A4 looks beautiful! I am not sure I want to get it dirty.


finished1 finished2



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