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1976 Kawasaki Ke-175

    Kawasaki have produced several 175cc motorcycle models over the years. The first one that could really be considered a true enduro was the F7. That model ran from the early 1970's and although a bit heavy, sold well and was fairly reliable. When Kawasaki changed their model codes for the 1976 model year they dropped some models completely, and re designed others. In the case of the Ke-175, it was a direct relative of the F7, but a completely new motorcycle. 
    It was produced for North America from 1976 to 1983 and was updated only once for the 1980- 83 years. The original design was a two stroke, oil injected, air cooled engine, with a rotary valve intake. It had adjustable forks, shocks with dual rate springs, and of course, just enough lighting and instrumentation to make it street legal. The second version was a completely different machine with an air cooled, two stroke, piston port reed valve engine, with oil injection. That second model, which were known as d2, d3, and, d4 models, continued to be produced for markets such as India and Pakistan. For North America, epa rules were the death of the two stroke. 
    The story of the 1976 model that is now a part of my collection is a rather twisted one. Earlier this spring I'm pulling into work and see this bike sitting in the back of a truck, so naturally, I took a look. I had been looking for one of these for  a long, long time, with no luck. Many years ago I had a 1982 d4 model, and a friend of mine had one of the earlier ones. Those two bikes bring back some fond memories of trail riding at their camp in Browns Flats. His bike was stolen, never to be found, and I ended up selling mine many years later. Finding one today is no easy chore. Back to the story....I go into the office where four of us work and mention this bike to one of my co-workers, who later tells me it belongs to another employee, who works in a different department at the college, and the bike had already been spoken for. Two months had passed when this same co- worker tells me to call a local auto parts store, and ask for Gerry....he was ready to part with the bike. 
    Phone calls were made, deals were struck, and with the help of my father and his utility trailer, the bike made it back to my place. While the bike is complete, the engine turns and has compression, the rest will be a total rebuild. this bike has lived a very full life and needs a facelift, botox, and a few other things, but I have to ask what is a memory worth? Exactly...priceless. the pictures below are as it was delivered. Notice the chrome luggage rack and tractor light...which have been removed, and the universal ignition, um....paper clip. It will be a while before this bike hits the operating room, but updates will be posted as it happens.