Ride or Display? 1969 Kawasaki Coyote MB-1

051116 Barn Finds - 1969 Kawasaki Coyote - 1

This will be perfect for your ride to Sturgis this August! Well, maybe if you start at the edge of town.. This is a 1969 Kawasaki Coyote MB-1 and it’s on eBay with a current bid price of under $700. This is a first-year model and it’s been in storage for years. You can go through it and get it working like new again or just clean it up and keep in your office as a display piece. Even though I’m 6′-5″ tall, I’d rather ride this minibike than just look at it. They only made about 400 of these in 1969 and finding an original one is fairly unusual.

051116 Barn Finds - 1969 Kawasaki Coyote - 3

No starter button needed here, just pull that cord and you’re in business. Kawasaki got into the minibike business in 1969 with the Coyote MB-1, a two-stroke 50cc powered bike with 3hp. Your lawn mower most likely has more power but I’m guessing that you’d much rather ride this around your yard than push your lawn mower around your yard, I know that I would. I’m not one to care what anyone else thinks about what I ride or drive, and it’ll take that same thought process for someone to enjoy riding something this small. If you’re a person that needs to keep up with your friends, tough-motorcycle-wise, this one probably isn’t for you. But, if you have memories of riding these things as a kid, or if you’ve been looking for something like this for your own kids to learn how to ride on, this could be the one.

051116 Barn Finds - 1969 Kawasaki Coyote - 4

Like a microcar, a minibike isn’t for highway riding or long-distance trips, but just for goofing around on in your yard or on trails or something like that. This one looks like it would clean up nicely and even though the seller says that it hasn’t been started in years I can’t imagine that it would be impossible to get it running again.

051116 Barn Finds - 1969 Kawasaki Coyote - 2

Apparently, the reason for the one-year MB-1 is that the two-stroke engines would fail if they were overloaded with two people, and also if folks forgot to mix the oil into the gas. Kawasaki ended up putting out an MB-1A which was basically the same minibike but with a much bigger 134cc four-stroke engine. You can see the difference in appearance between the two models here. I guess that a logical mind would very much prefer the bigger and more-reliable four-stroke MB-1A, but since I like unusual and odd things, I like the earlier two-stroke version. Or, maybe a logical person wouldn’t like either one! What about you, would you ride this mini-motorcycle or would you just clean it up and keep it on display?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Cool find. For a while, mini-bikes were all the rage. They came in all shapes and forms, and many home made ones. Never saw this particular model, but there were all kinds. I had a step-thru Honda 50, but had a friend with a 2 speed Rupp “Roadster”. That was a cool bike too. For many, this was the next step up from pedaling, but before our driver’s license, and usually led to a lifetime of 2 wheelin’. Thanks, SG.

  2. grant

    I don’t know what ours was, looked similar to this but I think it came from a catalog. Awesome find.

  3. Fred

    Never knew these existed because every kid on my block had the kind that came from Sears or Western auto with a 3hp B & S or Tecumseh. Not to be outdone, my dad, the engineer, made me one by building a heavy duty oversize frame, mounting an 8HP Briggs, and designed a variable ratio clutch actuated by foot pedal. Zero to 30 in about half a second.

    • MeToo

      Zero to thirty in quick time? Sure dad wasn’t trying to get rid of you? LOL

  4. Gianni

    I remember seeing these at the Kawa dealer when I was a kid. Never actually saw one in the wild though. Nice to see one again.

    I really wanted their replacement, the MT1.

    • David Stiffler

      I have recently acquired one of these coyotes, would you happen to know of anyone looking for one?

      • Jeff Botka

        I am looking for a coyote.
        Jeff Botka
        864 350 3277

  5. 9k2164s

    I owned one of these in the late 70’s that I bought without an engine. I dropped a 3.5hp Briggs in it, rode it hard then sold it. Very rugged. Never any issues. Didn’t ride as well as the Fox I also owned at the time

  6. Matt Tritt

    These were the deal with the RV crowd. Light enough to lift up on the rack on the rear bumper and better than walking. I like it, but maybe not the pull starter.

  7. scooter8

    had a Wards mini bike in Chi. not legal on the street. little care i for the law then! would lam the cops when i could, except we were the only hooligans in the hood.they new where we lived. they just had to circle the block till it got dark! built my arms up throwing the bike in the squads trunk.gonna impound my bike for ever! tears would flow,they’d get close to the station then tell me to walk it home!!! never happened! early 70s cops were cool! BLUE LIVES MATTER!

  8. Scotty G Staff

    Auction update: this fun little minibike sold for $1,594!

  9. Don O

    My second love is two wheeler with a motor

  10. Dave d.

    I had this exact same model Coyote in 1970 when I was 12. I think my dad paid about $165 from the local kaw dealer. My cousin had the ubiquitous Honda mini trail z50. Yes, of course we raced each other. The Honda was quicker off the line due to its 3 speed trans., but the Kawasaki had better top end, 3hp vs 2hp. The Kawasaki turned better too, you could really lean it over, at least until the non folding foot peg dug into the ground. Had it for about 2 years. Never siezed it or anything. What got it was hard starting due to a weak and eventually no spark. We did some trouble shooting (without benefit of an ohm meter), put in new condenser. No luck. Took it to the dealer, $50 later still no spark. Dad got p. o.’d at the dealer big time. He sold it to someone at his work. Found out later that the points were bad. Unknown what became of it after that.

  11. TC REED

    I had the Coyote in 1969 & it was a blast cruising around the neighborhood.
    It was not that fast as compared to a “Taco” but that was good & helped my survival rate. The hot ticket in 69 was the Honda 50 mini trail that I wanted until my Dad saw the price tag.
    Still in 69 next I got an step thru Honda 90 Automatic that went 65 mph!
    We lived on a hill & I eventually wrecked the trany reving in neutral kick into 1st ,& pop a wheelie. The good old days!
    Thanks for all the info, T

  12. Alan Jones

    Scotty, I’m currently looking for this exact mini bike . When I was 10 years old had a paper route , saved my money and bought one of these for 50 hard earned dollars from a local lawn mower shop. Rode it for two years till it fell apart. If the person that bought this from you sees this I’d sure pay a pretty penny for it!!

    • jason marshall

      I do have one of these exact mini bike.It is mostly complete and can be made to run easily. It is the MB1A version with the two stroke.
      I have had this and enjoyed it when I was a teenager back in the 70s.

  13. Jeff Botka

    The 4 stroke Coyote is the mini bike I learned how to ride on. My brother bought it from the kid that had it(Brady S) with paper route money. He was at Brady’s birthday party next week on a Saturday and I remember calling him asking to ride it, I blew it up and our Father came home with 1970 z50. That was 75+ bikes ago. I have looked many years for a Coyote.

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