Kawasaki KH 500

Kawasaki KH 500

Kawasaki KH 500: Unleashing Power and Performance in Two Wheels

The Kawasaki KH 500, produced in the mid-1970s, stands as a testament to an era where two-stroke motorcycles reigned supreme on the roads, delivering an exhilarating blend of power and agility. This model, part of the Kawasaki H series, has earned its place in motorcycle history for its distinctive design and formidable performance.

Engine and Power

At the heart of the KH 500 beats a robust two-stroke, transverse three-cylinder engine. With a displacement of 500 cc, this powerhouse generates a thrilling rush of power that was characteristic of the era. The engine’s bore and stroke, measuring 60 x 58.8 mm, contribute to its impressive performance credentials.

Cooling System and Compression Ratio

Keeping the engine at optimal temperatures, the KH 500 features an air-cooling system, ensuring reliability and efficiency during dynamic rides. The compression ratio of 7.0:1 enhances combustion efficiency, making every twist of the throttle a symphony of power and precision.

Induction and Ignition

Fueling the beast are three Mikuni VM28SC carburetors, showcasing the meticulous engineering aimed at achieving optimal fuel-air mixture for combustion. The CDI ignition system ensures reliable sparks, synchronizing with the precision of a well-tuned orchestra, and enhancing the overall riding experience.

Transmission and Drivetrain

Riders can command the KH 500 through a 5-speed transmission, providing versatility for various riding conditions. The chain final drive transfers power from the engine to the rear wheel, delivering a direct and responsive connection between the throttle and the road.

Chassis and Suspension

Nestled within a double tubular steel cradle frame, the KH 500 boasts a sturdy and reliable chassis. The front suspension features telescopic hydraulic forks, absorbing undulations on the road with finesse, while the dual shocks at the rear, coupled with a swingarm, contribute to a balanced and comfortable ride.

Brakes and Wheels

The braking system on the KH 500 is a combination of a single disc at the front and a drum at the rear, providing ample stopping power. The wheels, equipped with a front tire of 3.25-18 and a rear tire of 3.50-18, strike a balance between stability and agility.

Dimensions and Weight

With a length of 2020 mm and a width of 820 mm, the KH 500 presents a sleek and streamlined profile. The wheelbase measures 1374 mm, contributing to stability during high-speed rides. The bike’s dry weight of 157 kg ensures a nimble and responsive feel on the road.

Fuel Capacity and Efficiency

A 14-liter fuel tank provides an ample range for long rides, and with an average consumption of 43 mpg, the KH 500 balances performance with efficiency.

Performance Metrics

The KH 500 doesn’t just look the part; it backs up its aesthetics with impressive performance metrics. A top speed of 90 mph and a standing ¼ mile time of 15.8 seconds showcase the bike’s prowess on both straight stretches and in acceleration.


In the realm of classic motorcycles, the Kawasaki KH 500 stands out as a symbol of an era defined by the spirit of exploration and the pursuit of speed. Its combination of power, design, and agility continues to captivate enthusiasts, making it a revered gem in the rich tapestry of motorcycle history. Whether for collectors or riders seeking a vintage thrill, the Kawasaki KH 500 remains an icon of its time.

ModelKH 500
EngineTwo stroke, transverse three cylinder, piston valve
Capacity498 cc / 30.4 cu-in
Bore x Stroke60 x 58.8mm
Cooling SystemAir cooled
Compression Ratio6.8:1
Induction3x Mikuni VM28SC carburetors
Max Power52 hp / 38.7 kW @ 8000 rpm
Max Torque5.4 kgf-m / 39.0 lb-ft @ 6500 rpm
Transmission/Drive5 Speed / Chain
Final DriveChain
FrameDouble tubular steel cradle
Front SuspensionTelescopic Hydraulic forks
Rear SuspensionDual shocks, Swing arm
Front BrakesSingle 296mm disc
Rear Brakes180mm Drum
Front Tyre3.25-19
Rear Tyre4.00-18
DimensionsLength 2085 mm / 82.1 in, Width 785 mm / 32.9 in
Wheelbase1490 mm / 55.5 in
Ground Clearance145 mm / 5.7 in
Dry Weight192 kg / 423 lbs
Wet Weight205 kg / 452 lbs
Fuel Capacity16 Litres / 4.2 US gal
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