1982 Kawasaki SR500
Dave Thorpe raced this beautiful factory Kawasaki during his first full season of Grand Prix Motocross racing in 1982. Arguably one of the most unique looking motocorss models of all time, the green machine stood out with its cool gold rims and rear number plate incorporated into the mudguard.
Unlike today, when Grand Prix machines have to be largely based on the production models with few modifications allowed, in 1982 manufactures were free to build bikes that resembled production models but were in effect fully blown prototypes. Trick parts are everywhere on the SR500, which sports billet aluminum triple clamps, sand cast magnesium wheels, an aluminium fuel tank and a seriously massaged 500cc engine.
Thorpe was 6th in his debut year on the GP scene whilst American Brad Lackey finally claimed his and America’s first 500cc World Title. The Suzuki rider beat Andre Vromas and the Yamaha mounted Neil Hudson.
Sadly, despite years of trying, Kawasaki was never able to win the 500cc World MX Championship, whilst British superstar Thorpe moved to Honda in 1983 and went on to win three world titles in 1985, ’86 and ’89.
You can join Dave Thorpe’s Facebook group here.