First Year – 1983 Kawasaki KX500

In Japan, Off-Road by AbhiLeave a Comment

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Post Listing Update: This KX500 did not get any interest at the opening bid of $2,800 on eBay.


Introduced in 1983, Kawasaki’s KX500 was the first of the 500cc MX bikes – it would also be the last, staying in production until 2004 (though it didn’t get any significant updates after 1990). When it first came out, Dirt Bike called it “a fuse looking for a light,” “unrideable,” and “violent.” Now they call it “the one bike to ride before you die.”

You should check out the rest of that Dirt Bike story, in which they summarize the first year of the KX500 as “fast, but had a poorly designed combustion chamber that resulted in self-destructive tendencies. The compression had to be lowered, and that killed any performance edge it might have had. The good news was that Kawasaki had redesigned the chassis and, for the first time, had excellent suspension.”

Still, this is a piece of history, and this specific KX (VIN: JKAKXVA19DA000338) has been rebuilt for someone that wants to experience all the descriptions that Dirt Bike editors first uttered some 37 years ago. The seller has owned it since August of 2015, but it sat until 4 months ago as he “accumulated some parts” and then went through it. Highlights of the work include a fresh bore (.050 over) and several new parts: crank bearing/seals, engine gaskets, fork seals, wheel bearings, swingarm bearings, seat cover, new handlebar and grips, new air filter, and more. A few parts (shock, front brake master and caliper) were rebuilt. With that said, a few disclosed issues that prevent it from being a “museum level bike”, in the seller’s words: rear fender has a split, the clutch cover has a JB weld repair, the exhaust flange has been repaired, the exhaust has been repaired, there’s a small nick in each fork tube, etc. It’s not perfect, but it seems like it would make for a fun rider and the seller does a good job detailing everything.

Find this KX for sale in Montezuma, Georgia with bidding up to $2,800 here on eBay.

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