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1982 Kawasaki KR500 - Added by on 31-Aug-2020

The 1982 Kawasaki KR500 500cc GP machine. This machine used a box section backbone frame similar to the 2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R.
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Kawasaki KR500 - ID: 4087
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More Information on the Kawasaki KR500

The Kawasaki KR500 was a racing motorcycle built by Kawasaki from 1980 to 1982 for competition in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing series. The motorcycle was powered by a 494 cc two stroke engine, and used an aluminium monocoque frame, similar to the 1979 Honda NR500 racer, aimed at improving aerodynamics with a small frontal area, improving chassis stiffness and reducing weight.

The bike debuted in the world championship ridden by Kork Ballington at the 1980 GP of Nations held on the Misano circuit. At the season-end the South African rider finished 12th in the standings.

For the 1981 season the KR500 was improved, a new chassis was built which was stiffer and lighter, with magnesium crankcases and anti-dive front forks. The season saw the KR500 get its first podium finishes with two third places (in Netherlands and Finland) with Ballington finishing 8th in the final standings of the championship.

The main change before the 1982 season was switching to Showa suspension. Ballington finished 9th in the championship, with a best result during the season of 6th place in Misano. At the end of the season the Kawasaki retired from the Grand Prix motorcycle racing.


Ossa in the late 1960s successfully raced a 250 cc Grand Prix bike with a welded-sheet magnesium alloy monocoque frame, withdrawing after the death of their rider Santiago Herrero. In 2000 Kawasaki released the ZX-12R, the first production motorcycle with an aluminium monocoque frame, followed by the 2006 ZX-14, and the 2008 Concours 14 also with this type of frame.


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