The Kawasaki G4-TR was introduced on 1970 and was marketed as a do it all bike, including an agricultural bike. Also known as the Trail Boss, it was a full sized dual purpose motorcycle, with a 100cc, two stroke, rotary valve, five speed engine. It also had a unique feature in that it had a hi and lo range gear box, giving the bike ten speeds. This was operated by a cable on the handle bar and proved to be very reliable. The option of hi and lo range on a motorcycle had been a popular option that dates back to the mid 1960's, but was achieved by mounting two different sprockets on the rear wheel. The rider would place the chain on the sprocket which would give the ratio required. Unfortunately, this method would put the chain out of allignment, prematurely wearing out the chain and sprockets. Kawasaki used an auxillary gearbox to achieve both ranges, which was similar to the Suzuki TC-120 of the same time period. In fact, Suzuki marketed motorcycles with dual range gear boxes until the end of 1977, but with careful gearing, the dual range isn't really necessary, and the fad died out.
The G4-TR was built to the same standards as the F and the rest of the G series, very robust, and well thought out, with good ergonomics, and a great fit and finish. The engine was the typical Kawasaki rotary valve, with the side mounted Mikuni VM 19SC carburetor, and would start with one or two kicks every time. The G4 continued in production through 1975 and was replaced the same year with the G5, which was soon to become the KE-100. With the end of the G4, so came the end of the dual range gear box, chrome fenders, and good styling, because the G5 and KE's restyle was fugly.
The G4 showcased here belongs to Rick, a good friend of mine. He originally had a 1977 Suzuki TC-185, showcased here aswell, but decided the G4 would be a better fit. The bike was purchased from its original owner, in original condition, with very low mileage. Frankly, i went with Rick to see this bike, and made the decision that if he didn't purchase it, i would. Fortunately, he made the right decision. A final thought on the G4....in my opinion, of all the early 100cc bikes, the Hodaka Ace 100 was considered king, and the G4 was on par with it. The grand son of the G4, the KE-100, lived on until 1999, and although it still sported the rotary engine, that was about the only thing it had in common with grampa. The pictures below are of Rick's bike.
Rick took a shine to a 78 Honda xl-125 that i picked up, so he and I made a deal, and this G4 is now part of my collection.
The Showcase >