Kawasaki KSR: bike for motor-bboys

When we just arrived to Thailand, I thought I need nothing but scooter. Yes, I noticed strange small mutant bikes lookштп like mix of sport and enduro bike. But I thought them to be some unserious toys for strange Asians. And, apropos, first generations of that bikes with their simple green design looks unpleasant.

But after year of living in Thailand I met friend who told me: “I just bought a nice bike and do tuning of it. Guess, you aren’t familiar with this class of bikes, it’s called ‘mini-supermotards’”. It was that strange small bike, Kawasaki KSR. From my friend I learned about big community of KSR-lovers. Barely, I found a motorbike rental with KSRs and took one for a week, to test drive it. Than I understood – it’s my bike and bought the new one.

So, what does KSR represent? Of course, I can copypast specifications here, but you can easily find it on KSR website. I don’t like specifications, because they don’t give understading why this bike is different or why it so popular. So, I’ll try to explain it without parameters and numbers.

It’s mini, but it’s still supermotard

styleSupermotard – enduro/motorcross mixed with a road racing bike. From a motorcross it has shock absorbers with long wheel travel, frame with high centre of gravity, low weight. From a road bike – fat slick wheels, stronger breaks, optics. So, with motard you can ride public roads, but you have extended abilities: you can jump, ride off-road, you will miss rock and holes on bad roads.

But if you are a novice driver, you may have some problems. Supermotards, like their offroad fellas, are very high. If you not tall enough, your feet will not get ground when you seat on bike. Plus you need to use to switch gears in this condition! And, of course, a big and heavy evil supremotard bike looks frightening for a newbie driver.

funride2As a solution of this problems, the new class of small bikes was created. It’s calls “mini motard” or “mini supermotard”. Kawasaki KSR is the most popular in Japan and Thailand mini motard. Its’ weight is 85 kilos only (Ducati Hypermotard, for example, weigh about 180 kilos), seat height is 750 mm only (Ducati Hypermotard have 845 mm seat height). Of course, KSR has small, 110 cc engine. And it has very good option for newbies – it’s half-automatic. Means, you can switch gears, but you don’t need to care about clutch.

KSR has only one problem – comparing to usual Thai bikes, it’s not so useful for everyday life. Stock bike even hasn’t footsteps for a passenger. Of course, you can equip bike for carrying a passenger or a luggage, but not a passenger and a luggage in the same time! And it’s totally imposible to carry same amount of luggage that Thai scooter is able to carry.

Now you can ask me: “man, if bike not useful – what to do on KSR?”

Fun riding

funride
This is main purpose of my KSR :) . It’s hard to explain, but this bike gives a completely differend feeling of riding. KSR has own wild character which makes you to do stupid but fun things on roads.

Motorcycle stunt

stunt4

stunt1

stunt2

stunt3

I’m not a fan of bike stunt, but KSR is the best base to make a stunt bike and then learn how to do tricks. It’s cheap, light and small – a nice combination. There are many KSR stunt clubs in Thailand.

Off-road riding

offroad2

offroad

Change tyres to off-road, install luggage rack and voila – you have an easy to use, cheap and comfortable bike for jungle adventures.

Touring

touring

myksr

Touring on KSR is not so comfortable. I passed 750 kms in 3 days and still remember strong pain in my ass. But if you became an enthusiast of KSR, and I can’t persuade you to cancel your 1000 km trip, please, care about purchasing special motorcycle pants – it will save your ass undamaged.

Racing

racing1

racing2

Yep. There are special racing tournaments among mini motards and among KSRs. Do performance tuning with Takegawa parts and go practice to closest racing circuite!

The main secret

I forgot to say about “small” detail – tuning shops sell enormous, big variety of different, ready to use tuning parts and customisation services. I’ll tell you about the tuning market in next posts.

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21 Responses to Kawasaki KSR: bike for motor-bboys

  1. Pingback: Hi from Thai! - Motorcycle-Journal Forums

  2. flow says:

    nice and honest review man. love the way you elaborate about the ksr. it was long time ago when i’m planning to have of these but i thought that it would be so small, so i got myself a xrx125 hyosung which is a lot bigger and it fits me well..honestly i love ksr and i love the way they modified it…

  3. samlowry says:

    Looks, like the XRX 125 is a fullsized super motard. Now Kawasaki sells in Thailand a D-Tracker and the subculture of the D-Tracker styling and tuning is growing.

    But, bro, I can’t say the KSR can be small for somebody, if you aren’t guy who have weight 100+ kg. I’m 175 cm height, 65 kg weight. I got KSR-o-mania from a guy, who higher than me and heavier. Wait for my next posts – I’ll publish funny photo of fat guy on KSR :)

  4. s4ints says:

    are you based in Thailand? I’m looking for mods.. just wondering the price.. I was wondering if you can help..

    • samlowry says:

      Hey! How do you plane to buy bike? To come here or via internet?

      • John says:

        I’m based in Bangkok – do you have any suggestions on where to pick up a KSR?

        • samlowry says:

          John, you can buy KSR in any bike shop (where usual Thai scooters sells). Then you need to choose special KSR shop, where you will do tunings, stylings, etc. That shops you can find on ksrthailand.com, but they usually speak only Thai.

  5. David says:

    Hello

    Nice to see you are using my photos without giving credit. The rest of the set is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aeylabs/sets/72157613970859245/

  6. joe says:

    hye…i’m from malaysia… i want to know from u all…if i going to thailand, where can i get the ksr product and accessories…??? many choice and chipper is better… thanks…

  7. samlowry says:

    David: I got photos from KSR Thailand – sorry for no credits, they are great pirates too.

  8. The more I read it the more I like it!
    May I use it in my own blog? I’d love to share this with others.

  9. azrin says:

    Please tell me the contact email of the owner of the above KSR Naked Transformer b4 I jump the bridge……..

  10. SYLVIAChavez says:

    If you want to buy real estate, you would have to receive the personal loans. Moreover, my sister all the time takes a car loan, which occurs to be really firm.

  11. Hirman says:

    Hi all, i just bought myself a KSR110.. still learning bout the bike.. any ideas on how to mods for a better performance? n outlook wise?

  12. fakhrul farhan says:

    belikan saya ksr ,boleh????

  13. joechi says:

    Hi Samlowry
    I’m from Hong Kong, just by accident came across your site…really love to buy a fully tuned KSR stunt bike, pls let me know whether u can help!
    Best…

    • samlowry says:

      Hi! At this time I can’t help you. In the next 1-2 month I move to Bangkok, I’ll try to find some partner, who will be able to construct/send such bikes.

  14. joechi says:

    Hi Sam
    Joechi again…just wondering whether you can get informations through your stuntmen friends about modification and budget on tuning the KSR so I can get ready and send it to meetjoechi@yahoo.com.hk
    Thanks…Best!

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  16. Smithd193 says:

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