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Ha ha ! We're nearly halfway through the year and I've yet to post anything on here. Sorry. Just in case anyone's still reading this, I do still own 4 KR's, plus an LC, a GSX-R and a couple of Gag bikes. They (mostly) all run too, but only the GSX-R and LC are on the road at the moment as I have very little spare time to be able to use them.
I still run Diff'rent Strokers and am also regularly on the KR250 Forum which is still the best place to swap advice and parts etc. There's a number of other KR owners on there sharing their build photos at the moment.
As I type this, there are still a couple of KR's for sale on Ebay. Strangely, they're both green/white, they're both missing their side-fairings, and they both have 'S' motors. They're also both vastly overpriced : Tokyo Trading still has theirs at £5895 (see Jan 2014 ) and Blaylocks Motorcycles has one at £6000 (they're not far from me so maybe I should go for a look). Be assured that there are other bikes out there at more sensible prices, if you want one. And you should.
So, as I've got nothing to tell you about my bikes, let's have a look at someone else's. This KR is nothing to do with me, but owner 'Smeg' kindly said I could share his words and pictures with you all :
These pictures were taken at the Barry Sheene Festival (Eastern Creek, Australia, Mar 2016) where I took my KR to be run in and set up. The swingarm is stock but mounted upside down and plated, the supports for it were welded and re-drilled to get the angle right. The wheels are off a Suzuki GSX250F Across, the anti-dive on the forks has been disconnected, and I've fitted a steering damper. The fairing is from a Honda RS250 extended with fibreglass, as is the seat unit. The bike runs a total-loss Ignitech ignition, the carbs are RGV250L slightly modified to fit, and the reed valves have been removed so the engine is just rotary disk. As far as the engine goes, the sleeves for the main bearings in the cases were replaced so that the main bearings do not spin, the primary drives have been custom made so that they engage both sprockets on the clutch drive. At the top-end, the transfer ports have been cleaned up and ported (nothing too radical) and it has over-length rods. Because the original water pump is driven off the end of the crank, it would cavitate at 12000 rpm, so the oil galleries that were no longer needed were sealed, a machined tooth drive was fitted to the end of the crank, then an external water pump was fitted driven by a toothed belt. The radiator was custom made in China, it has around 4 times the capacity of the standard radiator, the water flow has also been reversed. The jetting is almost done, it pulls clean through the gears and engine temp is good (at least it didn't go bang), but it will visit the dyno shortly to optimise the jetting and check the ignition is set up correctly.
Not my KR on the Diff'rent Strokers stand at Stafford this time, it was Darin's (and it's for sale at a realistic price, contact me if you're seriously interested). It was spotted by Jerry Lodge who was on a nearby club stand and he popped over for a chat - if you scroll back 14 years you'll realise that this whole website wouldn't exist without him. Also nearby was a KR750 and that was for sale too, at a less-realistic price...
KR's popped up in the media this month. Classic Mechanics Magazine run a Retro Reboot feature each month, where Kar Lee (PB journalist and graphics whizz) dreams up a virtual fantasy bike inspired by an old one. Would you buy a new 145bhp/145Kg square-four two-stroke ? That prompted James Whitham to write in with a very brief review of the KR he raced at the TT. And Scott Redmond did one of his felt-tip doodles especially for me!
KR owner Terry also sent me this photo of a brand new KR250 still in its original crate in a motorbike shop in NSW Australia !
It's Christmas ! Well, nearly. The latest issue of Racers Magazine is all about the KR250/350 race bikes. I got my copy direct from Japan as soon as it was published. Typical of his countrymen, the seller included a hand-made origami crane as a symbol of good luck.
As I've so little to say on here lately, it doesn't seem worth creating a new diary page so I'll just extend this one. With winter over, I dug the KR out of the garage and got it running again. There's no reason it wouldn't pass an MOT, but should I bother ? I used to try and keep all of my bikes running and legal all year round, but with so little time to use them it seems pointless. My 750RK and 350LC are both MOT'd and taxed as is the wife's 250 Hornet, so that's most bases covered if I want to go out on one.
I was at the Stafford Show again, manning the Diff'rent Strokers stand as usual and chatting with mates about ideas and (stalled) projects. As you know, I tend to be all talk and no action, but an idea for next years show was discussed and - in my case - it'd be KR-based. I really want to do it, but I'll need help, and I'll also need to dust off my dormant FromJapan account...
Christmas Eve, and I dug the red/black KR out of the far corner of the garage with a view to finally getting it on the road, and then making my proposed plan happen. It hadn't run since October 2011 though. The green one came back to life pretty easily though, and shortly afterwards, so did the red/black one !
So it runs, but there's a nasty fuel leak from the bottom left seam of the tank. The front brake calipers were previously removed for servicing but then left neglected. But I'm hopeful that it'll get through an MOT with a bit of work. First, a wash, and some bodywork stocktaking.
The weather has been awful. No useful progress made with the red/black bike yet. In the meantime, I bought another two partsbooks from Japan - just the early red and green ones to find now. And check out this Z250-based Kork, erm, replica I spotted on Ebay!
I took the green one to the Endurance Legends event at Donington, where it was displayed on the Diff'rent Strokers stand. I didn't venture out on track, but I did ride it round the paddock so people could hear it running.