Up for sale in Craigslist in Texas is one of the more original 40-year-old bikes we’ve seen. This 1978 Kawasaki KE125 2-stroke is claimed by the seller to have just 30 original miles and be in nearly new condition.
Let’s be clear, this bike is little, so you aren’t going to be commuting any long distances or even probably riding any lengthy trails, but for a campsite get-around, or surf & sand machine, this might be a pick.
Seller claims to be second owner, and claims it is in all original condition with everything working. The pictures certainly back up that claim, and show a bike that looks to us like it’s been kept indoors and not ridden much in the last 40 years.
Before we’d buy, we’d check the tires, which may be original, and ask when the last time the carb and seals were done.
When new, this 1125 put down about 10hp, and the torque probably makes this perform closer to a 200cc modern 4 stroke. Kawasaki listed these as having a top speed of 58mph, but anyone planning on buying one should consider this a 0-45mph machine.
Seller does note some pitting on the chrome, which we’d expect no matter how well this had been kept. We are a bit curious about a notation that the original seat is “NOS.” If the seat is new, old stock, that would indicate it’s been replaced. That could meant he original just degraded and this is a NOS replacement.
Seller says they have clean title in hand, and will include original dealer receipts and manual.
We think $2800 is a high price for a bike that doesn’t REALLY have a strong collector community yet—even given the condition… but if you are a fan of 2-smokers, or better yet, had one of these as your first bike and have been looking for something that takes your right back to that first twist of the throttle… then we say go for it.