1971 Kawasaki MT1A Shift Pattern?

Hi all, new to the forum. I picked up a beat up 71 Kawasaki MT1 A which I suspect may have a later model case cover on it. The cover says 1 down, 2 up, but my bike seems to be more like a Z50. Neutral all the way up and 3 down. Is this correct? There is a false neutral between 2 and 3 so when I first got it running I was taking off in 3rd thinking I was in 1st. That first "upshift" was a little bit of a shock when it was downshifting instead :)

I found a thread on here saying a 74 MT1 B is 1 down, 2 up, but hoping to confirm my gearbox is the correct configuration for a 1 A. Thanks!


Well-Known Member
The 1971 model (the first year for these bikes also referred to as the Parnelli Jones Dynamite) was designated as the "MT1" not the "MT1A".

  • The MT1A designation was for the 1972 and 1973 models
  • 1974 was the MT1B
  • 1975 was the MT1C

In 1976 Kawasaki changed the designation from MT1 (which stood for "Mini Trail 1") to "KV75".

  • The 1976 model was called the KV75 A5
  • 1977 was the KV75 A6
  • 1978 was the KV75 A7
  • 1979 was the KV75 A8
  • 1980 (the final year for this awesome little bike) was the KV75 A9

The shift pattern for the 1971 MT1 was 3-down (just like the z50 Honda).

In 1976 Kawasaki changed the shift pattern to 1-down/2-up for the KV75.

If the side case has the shift pattern on it, it is from a later model KV75. The original 1971 MT1 didn't have any shift pattern marked on the side case - but they all fit every year. The left side cases damaged easier than the right because the chain and sprocket are on that side so a lot of them were replaced over the years.

Let me know if you need any parts or additional help with these bikes. They are my specialty (although I like all minibikes).

I have a '74 and love it. Very cool little bikes, and pretty quick too! You can still get parts pretty easily as well. I also have a '71 Z50 Honda and a '71 Suzuki Trailhopper, and the little Kaw will smoke them both.

You have a nice looking collection there Gatecrasher, like the blown BB too! What's it going in?


Well-Known Member
I have three more MT1/KV75s in pieces not visible in the picture. I'm still working on a show-quality 1971 "Dyanamite". I just have too many projects going on right now.

I'm the guy who manufactures the MT1/KV75 sprockets so if you need one drop me a line. I sell the front and rear sprockets as a set complete with a new RGK 420 chain for $39.99. Can't beat it.

I see you have a Benelli Buzzer. I used to have one back in the 70s as well as a 1971 Kawasaki MT1. My MT1 was the fastest minibike in the neighborhood. Back then the roads were private in our neighborhood so it was legal to ride minibikes on the street. I used to deliver papers on a paper route riding my minibike! Those were the days baby! We also had a bunch of off-road trails nearby we could ride too. Just about every kid in the neighborhood had a minibike.

I had a few friends with Honda z50s and also one with a Suzuki Trailhopper. My Kawasaki would easily eat them all in a drag race. It came as no surprise due to the 25 more cc's plus it being a 2-stroke.

The big block in the pic is a brand-new 510 cubic inch rat with the following:

  • GM Gen VI Block Bored .040" over, studded & O-ringed for forced induction
  • Callies 4340 crank
  • Crower 4340 I-beam connecting rods
  • Arias forged blower pistons
  • Bill Mitchell-prepped Dart 360 heads with titanium valves and Jesel shaft rockers
  • Isky mechanical roller cam (custom BDS Stage III grind) with Jesel belt drive
  • BDS Stage III 8-71 supercharger

This engine was dyno'ed with twin Dominators underdriven on 93 octane fuel at 1,013 HP. I was planning to buy a 1967 Chevelle pro street car and drop the rat in it but the deal fell through. Now I'm not sure what I will do with it.

I have two early Novas (a 1965 Nova SS show car and a 1964 Nova SS pro street project car). I might drop the blown rat in the '64 although I do have a pretty-nice roller-cammed 406 sitting on an engine stand too that I was originally going to use with the Nova. The '64 Nova has a Mustang II front suspension though so a rat will fit right in easily if I want to use it.
The grip ends are even with one another which to me says "not bent" but the grips are pointed up in the air at a weird unnatural angle. I have three other handle bars two lefts and one right
Of course the Rt that I have is bent. So I have the bars on the bike and two unbent lefts that are definitely different than the ones on the bike. All I can think of is some one did a very good job bending the set on the bike to be identical to one another but still not right.

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