Kawasaki 250 TR only in Japan


Kawasaki 250 TR only in Japan

Kawasaki 250 TR only in Japan

Retro kawasaki

A realization that unscrupulous bankers, stingy Swabians or government tax rip-offs never understand can give motorcyclists the greatest pleasure. With the Spartan Kawasaki 250TR, for example.

Show bikes? Vmax, B-King, MT-01, Boss-Hoss. What for? Park the green moped at the gas station and prepare a good text. You will be squeezed out like a lemon: “You restored it nicely, it was definitely a lot of work, wasn’t it?” The enduro rider with his KTM LC 4 also has doubts: “250TR, never seen or heard of, has it been around for a long time? “It’s no wonder, because so far the retro Kawasaki has only thundered through the Japanese urban jungle, Europe has been left out. Why? Maybe because Kawasaki burned his fingers 16 years ago with the Estrella 250 retro bike.

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Kawasaki 250 TR only in Japan

Kawasaki 250 TR

250TR is actually more of a scrambler. Spring travel, shorter than a cigarette, but a seat height from which it is easy to pedal along in greasy terrain. And as with the Estrella, the joy of the little enduro is enormous and culminates in the assumption of a man with a ponytail pressed into a black suit, who can be assumed to have been trampling around on the Kickstarter of his Yamaha for years: “Waaahhhnsinn, ne XT 500 from Kawasaki, and the one with an electric starter. Great!”


Burnout? Racing heart? Stress? Only the Kawasaki 250TR can help

The noble gentleman is not quite so wrong. The mighty cylinder alone, a good ten centimeters high and generously ribbed, suggests at least half a liter of displacement. In reality, it’s half. But the Kawasaki single stamps it on the crankshaft over an endless stroke of 73 millimeters with a 66 millimeter bore. A real long-stroke engine that you won’t find any more these days. In return, the 250TR was given a modern electronic injection system including a regulated catalytic converter and a disc brake on the front wheel. In matt black, the exhaust manifold winds around the engine and ends in a classic megaphone silencer.


Langhuber: The mighty cylinder on the optically inflated crankcase makes a huge difference.

In general, the 250TR comes with a shirt-sleeved technology, with which every halfway talented agricultural machinery mechanic takes care of customer service while refueling. The two valves with adjusting screws can be readjusted during the pee break, there is not much more to do. If the bike digs into the clay, the steel brake and gear levers as well as the chrome-plated steering iron can be brought back into perfect shape with water pump pliers and a matching steel tube. The stalls are indestructible, so in the best tradition the aardvark of the first hour and visually similar to the original enduro and scrambler types. Yamaha XT 250/500, the Honda XL models or Kawasaki’s KL 250 from the 1970s – all wrought-iron stubble bumps for a leisurely excursion into the countryside, crossing the Alps on secret gravel paths or for traveling around the world. Today as then, the little thugs are good for all sorts of jokes on and off the road, just not for the relentless ride across the cross piste or other serious appearances in rough terrain. Because basically the Kawasaki 250TR, like its ancestors, has too little of everything for a genuine off-road enduro.


It is not only easy to move around in narrow city traffic. It also cuts a fine figure in the country.

Too little power, spring deflection, grip, damping reserves – everything is at its limit. Just not humans. He’s the boss, and the goat dances to his tune. Anyone who has the leisure to trot through the landscape with a meager 19 hp, likes to cheat the time and sunk the cell phone as a precaution in the deepest mud, has found the right horse with the little Kawasaki.

A casual 145 kilograms, directed from a seat height of 78 centimeters and brought on the right path via the wide, raised handlebars, redefine the word handling. U-turn on the spot, up the curb, down the curb, briskly in the fender slalom through the city – a mountain bike can’t do it better.


Secretly, quietly and quietly: the black megaphone with a classic counter-cone attenuates more than enough – unfortunately.

Anyone who gets lost on the autobahn has to live with the fact that the speed limit is 120 km / h. Because the autobahn is not called autobahn for nothing, you prefer to crumble with the cute 250 TR in the nirvana of the 3.5-tonne streets, also gravel or as a dirt track, the main thing is to let yourself drift away and explore the world.

Or you twirl your Kawasaki over crisp, curvy country roads of the third order, balance with the good-natured Dunlop trial tires on the penultimate groove around the corner and be careful not to lose your momentum. Anyone who knows how to do it will be amazed at what the slender enduro is capable of. From Stuttgart to Lake Constance over the finely crafted 200-kilometer home route, the 250 TR is less than ten minutes away from the real travel enduro. And that in the absolute wellness area. Upright, easy-going and relaxed, because the Kawasaki does not stress for a second and finds the right path if the traffic is jammed. Sometimes it goes through woods and meadows, crosses clogged federal highways on the shortest possible route, meanders from village to village on hidden “alcoholic streets” and thus keeps motorized locomotion flowing.


Classic serves modern: The fuel tap regulates the spray supply for the electronic injection.

Oh, the engine? Yes it is there too. Grumbles oddly to himself, tends to open up acoustically, sometimes nails bony from the depths of the huge crankcase and pushes the little enduro unobtrusively through the landscape. If the engine weren’t screwed tight, you could almost forget it on the way.

But when the duo climbs up through mighty, steep limestone cliffs from the wild Danube Valley, circling around the tightest turns, behind which the next ramp lurks like an overhang and the asphalt stretches towards the sky, you are happy about the 19 HP a hole in your stomach.

Simply turn to the right, hold on, and whoosh, the small combustion engine pushes you over the hilltop. I am sure that you only learn to appreciate this motorized driving experience when, as a boy, you have to cycle up the miserably long hump between village A and village B every day. Morning, noon, evening. Summer and winter. Then the moped was there – and the hump was gone.


Take another deep breath before winter comes.

You don’t understand Just do it, drive your motorcycle home route by bike. Are you amazed how you have to puff? Now you would give something to the measly 19 hp of the 250 TR. The point is that out of all the engine power, people have forgotten what it is like to have to play the crankshaft themselves. The 250TR brings you back to the ground and makes it clear to you that Gottlieb Daimler put something very special on wheels with his riding car in 1885.

If you want to put this unique piece in your garage, you can only find it at the Popko company in Braunschweig (http://popko.de). And if you want to read more about easy locomotion with the 250TR and its classic role models: The whole story is reopened in MOTORRAD Classic, issue 2/2010. From February 5, 2010, winter reading will be available at the kiosk.

Technical specifications


Small but nice. The 19 hp are completely sufficient for the little speedster.

Single-cylinder four-stroke engine, one camshaft, two valves, injection, Ø 23 mm, regulated catalytic converter, oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, bore x stroke 66.0 x 73.0 mm, compression ratio 9.0: 1, rated power 14.2 kW (19 PS) at 7500 rpm, max. Torque 19 Nm at 6000 rpm.

Landing gear:

Backbone frame made of steel, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, two spring struts, front disc brake, Ø 270 mm, rear drum brake, Ø 160 mm, spoked wheels with steel rims, tires 90 / 90-19; 110 / 90-17.

Measurements and weight:
Wheelbase 1420 mm, steering head angle 63.0 degrees, caster 96 mm, spring travel f / r 120/95 mm, seat height 775 mm, dry weight 136 kg, weight with a full tank 145 kg, tank capacity 6.6 liters, color green.
Price: including additional costs 4800 euros plus TÜV

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