S-SERIES 250/350/400 S1/S2/S3

250/350/400 TRIPLE MODELS 1971-1975

The A1-250 and A7-350 twins were good for Kawasaki but everone else now had sports two stroke twin. Kawasaki needed something a little different - the result was the three cylinder S-series. 
S1-250 1971/1972
This stunner of a bike was available in pearl white with the stripping copied from the larger H2-750. In some countries a red option was offered. 32 bhp was claimed for this model. It was a learner legal model here in the UK, commonly known as the 'White Swan. The performance of this bike in the hands of the in-experienced resulted in an interesting situation. The UK press were quick to point out that S1 owners could only boast 'six brain cells', this was empty headed motorcycling at its best! The quality and finish of the S1 put all other 250's to shame and the almost 100mph top speed was more than adequate. The twin leading front drum brake was ok if set up correctly but next to useless if not. The handling was good, at least good for a Kawasaki triple that was! 

 S1-A 1973
Quite a few differences for 1973 along with a decrease in power to 28bhp. While the S1 was really a sleeved down S2-350, the S1-A was designed as a 250 using different porting, jetting and different silencers. The 'KH' type of clocks were used for the first time and the bodywork was slightly re-designed. Three colour options were offered, gold, blue and orange. The front fender was now chromed instead of painted and the seat was shorter. Top speed was now around 90 mph.  

 S1-B 1974
Once again the bodywork was changed to a more rounded design. Only one colour was offered, candy green with a lighter green stripe on the tank. This design was also used on the 400-S3 and 750 H2-B. The friction damper from previous models was dropped and the seat was once again re-designed. The rear shocks were modified to give a more rigid ride, alas not to everyone’s taste. The fuel cap from the Z1 was now fitted and the switch gear was changed to allow the choke lever to be fitted to the left hand unit. 

 S1-C 1975
This 1975 model was offered in one colour, halibut blue with a decal was now applied to the tail fairing. The shapes of the decals on the tank were changed to a pointed design. This model was very popular in the UK which was going through a 'biking boom'. The side panel badges were changed from chrome items to white.  

The 350 S2 was introduced late in 1971 to replace the A7-350 twin. It was basically an overbored version of the 250 S1. Kawasaki claimed a healthy 45bhp at 8000rpm for this new and exciting model.
1971/1972 S2
The first model S2 was very similar in appearance to the bigger H2-750, utilising the same bodywork and decal design. It was offered in the UK in one colour option, pearl candy red. Some other markets got it in the white of the S1-250. It was sold under other names such as 350-SS and the 350 MACH II. It was renown not for its performance but more for its incredible fuel consumption. You were lucky to get more than 20 MPG! The S2 was not a great seller in the UK, our 250cc 'learner law' saw to that. It was popular however in the USA and many used models have found their way back to the UK. Actual capacity was 346cc and Kawasaki claimed a top speed of 112 MPH with a S/S of 13.6 seconds. This was perhaps a bit optimistic but there was no doubt that this relative lightweight sports bike was more than fast enough, especially for the rather weak front drum brakes. The overhaul finish of the S2 was excellent giving Kawasaki a reputation for fast classy motorcycles.  

 1973 S2-A
For 1973 Kawasaki made the same changes to the S2 as they had done for the S1. The bodywork was inter-changeable and offered in the same three colours. Orange, gold and blue. However the front fender on the S2 was chrome plated item. Most models were to be found in the blue colour although orange was popular here in the UK. The biggest difference over the S1 was the use of a disk brake at the front. This was a very welcome modification and made the S2 a much better, safer bike. 

S3-400 and KH400 1974 - 1977 In 1974 Kawasaki replaced the 350 S2 with a more sedate 400 version - the S3. Power was down to 42bhp but Kawasaki claimed the S3 was a much nicer bike to ride. Unfortunately Kawasaki owners did not buy triples to be "nice".
1974 S3-400
The S3 was the same shape as the S1-B 250 but with a disk brake at the front. The overall styling made it look like its bigger brother, the H2-B. It was offered in two colours, candy red or candy sky blue. The engine was rubber mounted into the frame to help reduce vibration and the mufflers were one piece having no connector rubber between the silencer and down pipe. The finning on the cylinder heads and barrels were squared off to give a completely different look from the S2 and the outer engine cases were highly polished. The S3 was probably the best triple that Kawasaki made being a good blend of performance, weight and handling.  
1975 S3-A 400
For 1975 Kawasaki did very little. They changed the colour options to candy red or candy green and the shape of the tank decal was changed to keep it the same as the S1-C, H1-F and H2-C. A small decal was added to the tailpiece like the others bikes as well. The side panel emblems were changed from chrome to white and the headlamp brackets were now chromed.  

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