Your Guide to Buying Kawasaki Motorcycle Engine Parts

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Your Guide to Buying Kawasaki Motorcycle Engine Parts

The Kawasaki motorcycle is a very popular choice for riding enthusiasts. There is nothing quite like being out on the open road and travelling wherever your heart desires. One common known fact about a motorcycle, or any motorised vehicle for that matter, is that eventually over time, engine parts begin to wear down and need to be replaced. If you are new to this type of shopping experience, or are even wanting to upgrade your Kawasaki motorcycle engine and do not know what to look for, it is can be extremely helpful to be armed with useful information before you begin the buying process.

Kawasaki motorcycle engine parts can be located at motorcycle shops and online at eBay. Some Kawasaki motorcycle engine parts can be expensive, so it is important to find the right one to begin with, especially if the part you are seeking cannot be returned if it is not the correct one. Knowing what some of the major engine parts are and becoming familiar with them can help aid you in your quest for the right engine parts.

Brief Overview of the Kawasaki Motorcycle Engine

The Kawasaki motorcycle engine is mass produced at plants that are located in the United States, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines by Kawasaki Heavy Industries motorcycle division. During the 1950s, Kawasaki was partnered with the Meguro Manufacturing Co. Ltd, a motorcycle company that had fallen on hard times. Kawasaki Aircraft manufactured their engines under the Meguro name until the company changed its name to Kawasaki Motor Sales. Fuel tanks from Kawasaki motorcycles from this era have the "Kawasaki Aircraft" insignia inscribed on them.

The Kawasaki engine parts are broken down into various components with some of the major components being the cylinder block, pistons, and the head, which is where the valve train is housed. Motorcycle engines function in the same way that many other types of engines do, such as the engine of a car. Every part on a motorcycle engine has its own job to perform, often in conjunction with other engine parts. The cylinder block, the pistons and rings, and the valve train units are common problem areas for many bikers. Knowing more about these units can aid you in choosing the part that is right for your motorcycle.

Cylinder Block

The central part of the engine is the cylinder block. The cylinder block, working in tandem with other engine parts, is what powers the motor. Kawasaki motorcycle engines can operate on anywhere from one to six cylinders, depending on what model of bike it is. One of the most common types of engines designs in the United Kingdom and other countries was the V-twin, which now has phased out of popularity with many riders in favour of the four-cylinder model. Two of the most common reasons why this type of engine design are so popular now is that it runs at a higher RPM rate and offers a much smoother ride than the V-twin models do. The table below lists some examples of the most common types of cylinder engines as well as notable characteristics of each.

Cylinder Type

Notable Characteristics


Horizontal, vertical, or inclined cylinder positioning; inexpensive to construct and maintain.

Twin straight

Transverse mounting typical; parallel cylinder positioning; previously most common in United Kingdom.

Flat twin

Horizontal cylinder positioning; fires at regular intervals; minimal vibration present.

Tandem twin

Cylinder positioning is longitudinal; geared with double cranks; typically used by racers with two-stroke engines.

Inline triple

Transverse mounting typical; some triple cylinder engines were featured on two-stroke models.

Flat four

Horizontal cylinder placement comprised of two rows each containing two cylinders on each side of crankshaft.

Square V-four

Two cylinders placed on each side of U engine; phased out for more economical inline four-stroke engines.

Straight six

Cylinders mounted on crankcase placed in one line; simple engine with few vibrations.


Eight cylinders in two sets of four, often mounted at right angles; less vibrations than V6 engines.

These are not the only types and positionings in use on motorcycles. Some older models have been phased out by the creation of newer models which have a smoother ride and lower emissions. When making a choice between engines that contain the above-mentioned features, always make sure to tailor your choice to the type of use that you are expecting to get out of your motorcycle. Some engines are ideal for taking leisurely rides, but are not necessarily suitable for other ventures, such as racing, unless expensive overhauls are performed.

Pistons and Rings

The pistons are a very essential Kawasaki engine part, and ones that may need to be replaced frequently if the motorcycle is not properly handled and maintained. Although motorcycle pistons and rings typically have a long life span, they are subject to more wear and tear because they are in heavy use as the motorcycle is in motion. That is why it is important to frequently check these parts by measuring the amount of wear on them. This can be done with a feeler gauge and relatively few other tools.

One of the most important things to remember when removing pistons and rings for inspection, is to make sure that they are placed back in the proper location and in the proper order if you find they do not need to be changed out yet. If these parts do need to be replaced, it is a good idea to replace them with high-quality parts in an effort to not have to change them as frequently.

Valve Train

Simply put, a valve train is a motorcycle engine part that controls how the valves function. Combustion in an internal combustion engine of the reciprocating variety, and is achieved by controlling the intake and output of air and fuel by way of the valves. The valve train is made up of valves, lifters, pushrods, rocker arms, and a crankshaft. There are several different types of layout configurations when it comes to valve trains which differ depending on where the camshaft is located within the engine.

Overhead Camshaft

This type of layout can use one or more camshafts, so it is important to make note of how many you need for the job at hand. Depending on the type of design that is used, the camshaft can be located inside the cylinder head above the valves and is responsible for operating the valves either directly or indirectly.

Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC)

Motorcycles that have dual overhead cams are typically one that are part of high performance motorcycle engines. They serve the purpose of providing more power to the engine and can also run at higher speeds than an engine with only a single cam. In this type of cam system, each cylinder is able to have four valves. Two valves are operated by each camshaft with one of the camshafts being responsible for the intake valves and the other handling the exhaust valves. Dual overhead cam engines are often used in racing motorcycles. If your Kawasaki motorcycle is intended for racing, this part might be for you.

How to Buy Kawasaki Motorcycle Engine Parts on eBay

If you have never shopped on eBay before because you thought the buying process would be too intimidating, then you are in for a treat. Shopping for any engine part for your Kawasaki motorcycle could not be an easier process. All you need to do to get started on your motorcycle engine part buying journey is to type relevant keywords into the search query box that is located at the top of the eBay home page. For example, if you want to buy a complete engine, simply type in keywords such as "complete Kawasaki motorcycle engine" and a wealth of items are returned to you in hardly any time at all.

You can also perform searches for parts from the top of any subsequent web page on eBay, so this process could not be easier or more hassle-free. If you find that you have more search results returned to you to peruse through than what you like, try entering new keywords that make the search more relevant to what you are looking for. You may also take advantage of the advanced search engine feature which has filters such as price ranges, location, seller, along with many other categorical filter options.


Although the process of buying Kawasaki motorcycle engine parts might seem daunting if you have no prior experience doing so, the buying process is often made much easier if you are armed with some basic information before making a final decision. There are various options available to motorcycle enthusiasts that can help to make their rides much smoother, as well as make them operate more efficiently. The cylinder block, pistons and rings, as well as the valve trains are areas that are often commonly focused on when a problem is experienced with motorcycle performance.

Knowing what options to choose is as simple as taking the time to perform a thorough inspection of the engine and understanding how the engine part replacement choices you make affect the Kawasaki motorcycle in question. Knowing in advance what you expect as far as performance out of your motorcycle can help narrow down possible engine part choices considerably and save you time as well as money.

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