Kawasaki KX80, KX85, ​and KX100 mini-class history 1979-2017

Here is another in my series on motocross bike history. This installment covers Kawasaki’s mini class racers from the first KX80 in 1979 through the current KX85 and KX100 models. While slightly late to the mini party, Kawasaki quickly asserted itself as a mini-class power in the early 1980s. Their KX80 and KX60 mini racers have powered countless riders to amateur national titles and the roster of riders that started on Team Green reads like a who’s who of professional motocross.

They were the first manufacturer to add features like a disc brake (front in 1984, and rear in 1988) to their minis and the first brand to embrace the move toward larger “big-wheeled” versions of their 80s. Today, they continue to innovate and support the mini class with new models that can go toe-to-toe with the best from Austria and Japan.

For this post, I have once again placed all the models in chronological order and labeled them by model and year. I have tried to be as thorough as possible, but sometimes it can get a bit confusing in the mini class. Because manufacturers often end up with leftover mini inventory, they tend to skip a year here and there to help dealers move it all out.  Still, I think this is pretty complete and comprehensiveOnce again, I have included the YouTube presentation I produced a few years ago as well if you prefer your minis to roll on by without your assistance. This one was done back in 2015, so a few of the latest models are not included.

I hope everyone enjoys this look at Kawasaki mini-history.

Blaze out.


Kawasaki KX80, KX85 and KX100 models 1979-2018


4 thoughts on “Kawasaki KX80, KX85, ​and KX100 mini-class history 1979-2017

      1. Tony,
        love your vids on the bike history. You mentioned to sub jest any requests or ideas for a topic.
        I have Something a little different but how about the history of Lectron Carburetors./ Power jet tuning fundamentals.? I worked there in 1975-1980 as a test rider / dyno guy , machinist for modifications, and worked directly with the Norm Quantz developing the Powerjet carb , Road race restrictor carbs (Kenny Roberts).
        In 76 I was Michigan State MX champ on a yz250. I could not get a lecton to work better than the mikuni .
        From that feedback i gave Norm , he came up with the contour needles (IE 5-1 thru 5-4) instead of just straight taper rods
        This help on many applications but still didn’t fix my Yamaha for me in 77. I tested them on our test KTM 125,250,and 400 with a lot of success. In 78 I went at it again to get make a Yamaha get the improvements some of the other applications have had.
        I talked to norm and told him i get good response if i lean it out but will ping after a lap or so. If i richen it up, i loose all the low end power. So we talked about adding fuel at the top end when it needed it under higher rpms. So we came up with the Powerjet idea and machined up a post and inserted it on a 38mm carb.
        I tested it and was using very large jets in the power jet and lean rods in the carb and having some midrange issues and planed to keep tuning till it was better.
        we were on to something for sure and contacted or rep we had in California about it and he has been working with Kenny Roberts in factory testing and they had something similar on there works mikuni and we got a sample of it. We copied there design and went on selling a lot of powerjet carbs.
        Any if you have a interest to do something with this let me know ,

        Kirk Bigelow
        cell 586-344-5953

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