Richard Young took possession of the KT250 as a well-used and abused yet complete, competition machine in 1998. It was languishing in a mates garage and he knew very little about the type along with possessing little or no interest in trials riding although having long been a lover of the Kawasaki brand this seemed like a perfectly good idea to take on and restore. The bike was a genuine UK spec machine having been supplied originally to a trials rider in Yorkshire before passing down into Richards hands and on eventually to the immaculate machine we see here.
The railway carriage repair man from Norfolk, quickly discovered that parts for the ultra rare trials bike was going to be a major problem, few were ever sold in the UK back in the mid seventies and the type was never well supported by the importers ands retailers. The Kawasaki parts specialist Z power however held some of the answers as they were in ownership of the majority of remaining parts. Richard purchased the whole lot in an attempt to finish his project and around 60% of the machine is now made up of those precious parts, the rest, polishing and other such restoration work having been completed by Richard himself. The acquisition of the remaining parts from Z power also led to a blossoming friendship with Chris Gascoine, another KT owner with several of the type in his collection and a constant source of info and advice on the KT. The KT’s complete production only ran for two short years and with very few machines actually sold little is known about them outside of the trials purists circles
Pretty early on in the restoration Richard happened upon Don Smith at a bike rally, don was the man who developed the KT on Kawasaki’s behalf in a bid to gain sales world wide much in the same way that Yamaha had Mick Andrews and Honda Sammy miller. Don was most forthcoming with help and guidance with the KT250 so much so that on its completion he told Richard it was all well and good but had the wrong rear shockers fitted. Richard was downhearted at this until Don produced a brand new set from his own collection. This spanking set of genuine shocks had been laid up never having seen action since the mid 70’s and presented to Richard, these were duly fitted to the already pristine machine finally finishing off this difficult, but stunning, restoration.
Unfortunately Don died earlier this year from an unexpected brain haemorrhage but his memory lives on certainly with Richard who now carries around a display board illustrating the great trials rider’s achievements. Don was responsible for the entire development of the KT and history tells us of his various exploits during this process, once he arrived in Japan to be presented with the latest prototype only to ask for as hacksaw, welding equipment and a lathe. The Japanese officials were all set for a dinner to honour their English trials experts arrival while Don was about to cut the head stock off and weld it back in the position he specified in the first place!
Richard’s KT250, making its first public appearance, won the best off road bike award at CMM’s Stafford show back in 2001 and has continued to wow show visitors all over the UK since. It isn’t only the lime green trial bike that steals the show as Richard is a regularly trophy pincher with his big collection of mint condition triples too. His Kawasaki S2 has won several best in show titles and his H2 has regularly been voted the best in the Kawasaki club.
Cost wise Richard has little idea what the KT currently stands him at, but he thinks not as much as the overall end result would suggest. The plan for the KT250 is to keep it alongside the triples due to its rarity and also ease of maintenance.
Kawasaki KT250 Restoration Gallery