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Kawasaki S3 400 1974-76

(quick profile, Feb 2022)

              S3 400

Triple-pot stroker

Kawasaki's triple-cylinder two-stroke series from the late 1969s through to mid-1970s garnered more than its fair share of attention over the years. Particularly in early 500 and later 750 form, where the mighty strokers could produce sparkling and, for the time, record-setting, acceleration.

For an admittedly small group of riders, however, it was the middleweight 350 (the S2) then 400 (S3) series that were the pick of the crop. Less likely to bite an unwitting rider, they still nevertheless proved to be a lively ride. Weighing some 160 kilos and claiming 42 horses, they had decent stats and were good for a top speed of 100mph (160km/h) or better.

Owning one now is potentially a mixed blessing. A good one will be fun to ride, and shouldn't be too difficult to maintain, so long as you're comfortable getting your head around mechanical points ignition.

Restoration is more vexed, as these weren't sold in massive quantities outside the domestic market and Kawasaki sopped parts support pretty much the day they came off the market. So if you're in the market for one, it could well pay to find something that's already in top condition.

Not that they appear on the market with any frequency.

Kawasaki S3

Prices are difficult to judge, as this Feb 2022 screen shot from a European site shows. In Australia, we'd expect to have to stump up in the mid teens for an excellent example.

Kawasaki S3 400

See the review by Motorcycle Classics

Kawasaki S3 model progression at Cycle Chaos

Full specs at Motorcycle Specs

More features here

See the bikes in our shed


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