This is a holy grail bike for you collectors of vintage Japanese motorcycles. It’s a 1962 Kawasaki 125 B8, the first Kawasaki made exclusively with Kawasaki parts. The company made its fortune in the aircraft industry and that expertise was tapped to produce motorcycles. This one is listed on eBay with a $2,800 Buy It Now price and it’s located in Schenectady, New York. There are over six days left to figure out if you can swing adding another vintage bike to your collection or not. This one is tempting.
The photos aren’t too good on this one, but it’s such a rare bike that I couldn’t resist showing it. We usually don’t highlight vehicles with “models” showing them. Why the gentleman didn’t just put this Kawasaki on the kickstand and take photos is beyond me, he’s in literally every photo. These are most likely screen-grabs from the video that they shot. Speaking of that, here’s a YouTube video showing our friend starting and riding this B8. Just remember the old saying, “If it ain’t smokin’, it’s broken!” I love two-stroke engines. Parts won’t be easy to come by and you can see that the left-rear signal light lens is missing. Luckily, there are a pair of hands showing a set of replacement lenses and some other parts so all you have left to do is plan your restoration timeline. Oddly enough, there is an eBay seller offering turn signals in case the restorer would rather go that route. This one has a new battery and also comes with “bragging rights”.
This maroon color is one of four offered for the B8, with black, blue, and red being the others. I can imagine that like most vehicles, black would be the most valuable color to have. The Kawasaki B8 was made from 1962 to 1965 and it was based on the Meihatsu B7 which used engines made by Kawasaki. Speaking of engines, the B8 was powered by a 125 CC, two-stroke, single-cylinder that put out 11 hp. This isn’t something that you’ll jump on and ride to Sturgis, but you already know that. There was no Sturgis in Japan and these were made just for normal riding duties, not long-distance touring. My days of riding multi-thousands of miles on a motorcycle are over and all I’d ever want, or need, is something to ride around town, or maybe within 2-3 hours from home on a nice, uncrowded, scenic highway. This one would work just fine for that.
There’s our friend, again, holding this bike up, again. This Kawasaki B8 was imported in 1962 directly from Japan by a Navy Officer. They are a rare sight in the US and are considered one of the must-have bikes due to their status as the first fully-Kawasaki-Kawasaki. And, 1962 being the first year that they were produced, I can imagine that there may be an offer on this one. A totally restored B8 was offered on eBay in 2013 with an asking price of $3,000 and the bid only got up to $887 so maybe I’m wrong on there being any interest in this one? It sure interests me! Is anyone else interested in these vintage Japanese motorcycles?