You also need…
If you’ve followed up on every bike we’ve suggested, then your shed will be pretty packed with a variety of offroad motorcycles by now. The good thing about dirt bikes is that generally they’re quite light and it isn’t difficult to construct a shelf which
…a Kawasaki KX125C1 in your shed, and it will do more than simply keep the Yam company.
Why a 125? Well, in the world of dirt bikes, bigger isn’t always better, in the same way smaller isn’t always easier to ride – at least that was the case once the Japanese started taking an interest.
The world of GP racing included a variety of classes, with the 250cc and 500cc classes being the premier ones. However, there had been growing interest in the 125cc class in both the USA and Europe, where initially the youth scene was the place where 125s were to be seen. Kawasaki produced a fabulous bike which had all the attributes of the bigger machines and became a legend in its own right.
This was no kids’ toy but a full-size race machine able to mix it with the best and in order to ensure their bike would mix it Kawasaki made sure it had the best bits on it… after that it was up to the rider.
We looked at this 1984 125 KX model at Westcountry Windings a while back, as it was being finished off. Eagle-eyed readers will note the radiator cover is missing on this liquid-cooled model, but apart from that it’s just about ready to go. Why liquid cooling? Well, best power is produced at a certain temperature and liquid cooling ensures the engine remains as close to the optimum as possible.
Suspension, too, had enjoyed a massive boost and even a few years before the rear and front springing was relatively short-stroked, until the world realised sticking two dampers on the rear was limiting performance.
In 1980, in came Kawasaki’s Uni-trak. While it didn’t perform better than the twinshock systems at the time, it showed the potential for development which was available to this type of system, whereas the twinshocks were at their limit. Development potential was aimed at providing a smoother ride on the smaller bumps while allowing the full potential of almost a foot of travel for keeping the bike on line after the bigger stuff. Same with the front end too, as in order to keep this matched, longer units were used and the spindle fitted further up the slider to keep the ride height in the realms of sanity.
Brakes too were receiving attention and it was noted the drums were on their limit and discs had to be the way forward, but it wasn’t exactly a smooth transition as there was a period when discs were poor and drums were good.
However, for 1984 Kawasaki had produced a bike where all the bits worked and they were about to reap the benefits of having what was often referred to as the best 125 of its time…which is why we say you need one in your shed...