Kawasaki Tecate Specs and Review 2022

Kawasaki Tecate: The Tecate was introduced in 1984. Kawasaki Tecate was among the most impressive sport quads ever made by an ATV maker and the fastest four-wheeler with a 250cm3 capacity in its stock version. 

It was not widely known that this quad was among the few that came with both three-wheeled and four-wheeled models. 

Kawasaki Tecate

Learn about one of the obscure, yet most brilliant stars of the golden age of ATVs with this article.

The Kawasaki Tecate is regarded as one of the most popular ATVs for sport ever. The 4×4, manufactured between 1984 and 1988, has a 249-cc power-valve engine, a top speed, a small chassis, and a long-travel suspension. 

This four-wheeler was designed to race on dirt tracks and is a popular choice with MX racers.

With such a powerful high-performance machine, people question why it was only short production runs. 

Could it be that the ATC ban was responsible for sabotaging the Tecate’s progress? or are the Tecate’s capabilities far beyond their time? Find out in this article.

Kawasaki Tecate Specs

The MX Speedster

Kawasaki Tecate Kawasaki Tecate is 6th in the series of Kawasaki all-terrain vehicles since the launch of three wheels in the KLT-200 at the end of 1981. 

The four-wheeled version called the Kawasaki Tecate 4 – followed with seven quads, making it the fifth ATV made by the Japanese company since Bayou 185. 

It was closely followed by industry-leading models such as the famous Prairie and Mojave the Tecate was a beast with an average speed of 75 mph. This was an unmatched achievement in its time.

In addition to being the most powerful 250-class quad available thing that is what makes the Tecate distinctive is the fact that it’s the very first Kawasaki motorcycle that is MX ready. 

The power-valved engine, structure, and design make it ideal for taking on those whoops, ruts leaps, and step-ups. 

It is a high-performance, underrated model. Kawasaki Tecate sits ranked as the top quads and has been acclaimed by ATV Rider Magazine as one of the top 10 ATVs for the sport of all time.

Together as a whole, collectively, the Tecate series was in marketplaces from 1984 until 1988. Its version, the Kawasaki Tecate 3 (T3) was released in the first 3 1/2 years of production, and its four-wheeled counterpart was introduced to the ATV market during the T3’s final year of production.

 Because of its short production, only most off-roaders don’t know of both models – the majority of users are familiar only with that version, the Kawasaki Tecate 4 (T4) that was introduced in the last two years.

Kawasaki Tecate Specs & Features (KXF250 – Tecate 4) Engine

The carburetor in the 1988 Tecate-4 came from a Mikuni VMS34SS which was borrowed from later-year versions from the Kawasaki Tecate 3 (KXT250). 

It was increased by 1 millimeter following the year that Team Green decided to go with the Keihin carburetor to power the 1988 version of the car.

1988 Kawasaki Tecate 4 (KXF250A)
Engine Type 2-Stroke w/ KIPS & gear-driven balancer
Cylinder Arrangement A single-cylinder, 8-petal carbon-fiber piston reed valve
Carburetion System Carburetor, Keihin PWK35 x 1
Engine Cooling Liquid cooling
Engine Fuel Pre-mixed gasoline of at least Antiknock Index/PON 90 or RON 95, containing < 15% MTBE/TAME/ETBE, < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol w/ cosolvents & corrosion inhibitors
Fuel Capacity 9 L/2.4 US gal (0.8 L/0.21 US gal – reserve)
Bore x Stroke Ratio 67.4 x 70 mm (2.65 x 2.76 in)
Compression Ratio 8.9:1
Starting System Primary kick starter
Displacement 249 cm³ / 15.2 in³
Maximum Power 38 – 43 hp/38.5 – 43.6 PS (28.3 – 32.1 kW)
Maximum Torque 39.2 Nm (4.0 kgf-m, 28.9 ft-lb) @ 7,000 RPM
Top Speed 74.75 mph (120.3 km/h) – forums
Lubrication Petrol mix (20:1)
Engine Oil & Quantity 1.15 L (1.22 US quarts) of SAE 10W-30 or 10W-40 2-stroke oil (w/ SJ API grade & JASO T903 MA)


Its Kawasaki Tecate powertrain was highly appreciated in its day, and even to the standards of today. It was the sole model manufactured by the company that came with a motor that was powered by a valve. 

Many off-roaders compare it with the Banshee. The only drawback is Tecate 3, Tecate 3, which was thought to be high maintenance (according to the former owners). 

On the other hand, it was the Tecate 4 drivetrain received more applause and was ranked as the seventh-fastest ATV on the US market at the time of its release.

1988 Kawasaki Tecate-4 (KXF250A)
Clutch Wet, multi-disc type, manual
Transmission Type 6-speed constant mesh, return shift
Gearshift Pattern 5-up 1-down (1-N-2-3-4-5-6)
Drive System Chain drive, 20-link w/ 45 – 55 mm (1.77 – 2.17 in) slack
Overall Drive Ratio 7.440 (top gear)
Primary Ratio 2.818 (62/22)
Final Drive Ratio 3.000 (39/13)
Transmission Gear Ratio 1st: 2.357 (33/14), 2nd: 1.750 (28/16), 3rd: 1.388 (25/18), 4th: 1.150 (23/20), 5th: 1.000 (24/24), 6th: 0.880 (22/25)


The four-wheeler has a two-position, key-operated ignition switch and an electronic-CDI-and-kick-starter combo that makes starting a breeze. 

The YTX20L lithium battery (view at Amazon) with the dimensions of the assembled version below, provides power to electronic gadgets.

1988 Kawasaki Tecate-4 (KXF250A)
Ignition Electronic CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition)
Ignition Timing 20° BTDC @ 6,000 RPM
Spark Plug, Gap NGK B8ES Standard, 0.7 – 0.8 mm (0.028 – 0.032 in) gap
Tightening torque: 27 Nm (2.8 kgf-m, 20 ft-lb)
Battery YTX20L/YTX20L-BS battery formats
Battery Dimensions (L x W x H) 175x87x155 mm (6.88×3.44×6.12 in)

Brakes & Tires

Three hydraulic disc brakes that are fitted with dual-piston brakes and rubbery tubeless Dunlop tires offer to stop power for 4×4 vehicles. 

In the event of damage or wear it is possible to replace the stock tire with Carlisle Trail Wolf ATV Bias Tires (view on Amazon) in the front and slightly larger tires on the back. 

You can also change the recommended tire pressure of Tecate in accordance with the terrain, rider weight, and riding conditions.

1988 Kawasaki Tecate-4 (KXF250A)
Front Tire, air pressure Tubeless, Dunlop KT926 AT20 x 7-10, 31 kPa (0.32 kg/cm2, 4.5 psi)
Rear Tire, air pressure Tubeless, Dunlop KT927M AT20 x 10-10, 27.6 kPa (0.28 kg/cm2, 4 psi)
Front Brake Type Dual discs
Rear Brake Type Single disc


1988 Kawasaki


The key to better control is the quad’s lengthy-travel suspension. Within the two years of making the four-wheeler, Kawasaki improved its suspension to match its top-end performance machine.

The front wheel travel was increased from 7.5 inches (’87 KXF250-A1) to 8.7 inches. In the same way, rear-wheel travel increased from 7.9 inches to 8.9 inches. 

Additionally, the Tecate-4 turn radius increases its stability, stopping slippage and allowing smooth turning.

1988 Kawasaki Tecate-4 (KXF250A)
Frame Type Double-cradle, high-tensile tubular steel frame w/ bolt-on rear section
Caster, Trail 4°, 28 mm (1.1 in)
Turning Radius 3.2 m (10.5 ft)
Ground Clearance 270 mm (10.6 in)
Front Suspension Type, Travel Independent double-wishbone w/ hydraulic shocks, 5-way preload & 4-way rebound damping, 220 mm (8.7 in)
Rear Suspension Type, Travel Bottom-link Uni-Trak w/ aluminum swingarm, remote reservoir gas shock, 5-way preload & 4-way rebound damping, 225 mm (8.9 in)


With its engine’s displacement, The Kawasaki Tecate 4 is considerably lighter than the other 250-class quads due to its small frame and aluminum swingarm as well as other factors. Its middle section is slim and is capable of carrying riders of small or medium build.

But, it won’t be as accommodating to riders who are at minimum 6’0” tall and taller, both in its capacity for the load as well as the seat height.

1988 Kawasaki Tecate-4 (KXF250A)
Length 1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Width 1,130 mm (44.5 in)
Height 1,075 mm (42.3 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 800 mm (31.5)
Track (F/R) 830 mm (32,7 in) / 870 mm (34.3 in)
Wheelbase 1,225 mm (48.2 in)
Dry Weight 149 Kg (329 lbs)
Vehicle Load Capacity Limit 118 Kg (260 lbs)


Team Green’s Fastest ATV features a simple yet sporty design. In 1987, the models were accessible in 3 colors as well as red, whereas the 1988 models came with Lime Green and Polar White body panels. 

The Tecate comes with front bash plates and footpegs that are serrated. Similar to many other old Kawasaki ATV models, the Tecate does not have the right instruments. The Trail Tech 752-115 Black Vapor Digital Speedometer Gauge Kit (view on Amazon) allows you to track the miles and hours. Include an upgraded stator as well as customized mudguards to provide much-needed splash protection.

Cost of a Kawasaki Tecate

The price for 1988’s Kawasaki Tecate cost $2,899 and increased by just $100 for the model of 1988. 

Since the wheeler was on the market for just two years, the possibility of spotting the opportunity to purchase a resale model in the close-to-stock condition is extremely rare or impossible. 

If you search online, you’ll find auction and trader listings. But, the majority are being sold as part. 

The handful of pre-loved bikes that are available is priced between $295 and $1,830. If you’re looking to restore the quad back to its MX-track-ready state it is possible to come up with around $1,500-$ $4,000 in order to do it.

Spark Plug Problem

One of the most frequent issues in this 1998 Tecate is that the spark plug doesn’t seem to last very long. Some owners have observed that it doesn’t take over an hour’s hard cycling before the plug begins to go out. 

When the plug is examined, its edge appears to be either golden brown as well as black with wet. 

It’s also easy to determine when the problem is about to occur because the throttle becoming less responsive or weak is often the sign of it.

Repairs include checking any modifications made to the motor which could have affected the ignition system of your vehicle as well as electrical parts. 

You might also have to check whether the motor was operated with the choke turned on continuously, which makes the device more susceptible to this issue. 

Check that the air-mixture screws are up to specifications as well. The change of the coil on the frame in addition to providing the car with a complete cleaning has been proved to resolve the issue.

If they do it could be that you are experiencing a problem with tuning your carbs. The jetting reeds aren’t metering the fuel in a proper manner, causing your engine to run too light or too rich. 

Check the location that the clips are located, the main jetting, and the size of the carb too. 

It’s not a bad idea to replace the carbs that came with your car with larger ones to increase performance. 

However, doing this without being aware of the size of the carb could cause this problem to persist for the rest of your life.

What is the reason why the Tecate Was Never Accused of

The greatest benefit of having a Kawasaki Tecate (regardless of the year) is its speed. It had the highest speed of any 250 class ATV that was fresh out of the box. 

The carbon-fiber 8-petal piston reed valve, as well as the two-stroke power mill, contributed to its top-end performance that was unmatched. 

In addition, its slim chassis and overall ergonomics created Tecate its wings invisibly on roads and tracks. 

With these features it’s not surprising that the wheeler will last for more than just a couple of years, wouldn’t you?


Its major issues are actually related to the reliability of its engine as well as electronic elements (some are going to be addressed in the following section). 

It is, therefore, practically a requirement to complete an engineering project when buying an old Tecate. There aren’t many owners of vehicles that are in stock. 

The majority of them have quads equipped with Delta 2 Reeds (view on Amazon) as well as the Lectron carb and the top end bored to 300, with full polishing and porting for the cylinders and polishing to compensate for the weaknesses of the factory mill. 

Other issues include a rigid clutch and a sluggish seat height as well as the absence of illumination and instrumentation.

Other than the engine, all issues with the vehicle are minor and are easily fixed with just some tweaks and compatible aftermarket components. 

As with all ATVs of the 1980s, the main reason for Tecate’s brief production was its 1988 Consent Decree.

 Kawasaki is unable to put out a statement in the pile-up of lawsuits and complaints from consumers. 

Therefore, even though it was the case that Kawasaki Tecate 4 had four wheels and offered a lot of promise it was required to put its tail in the sand and move on. 

When the ATC affair was over in the same year that ATVs became the “in” trend, Team Green had to be able to comply with stricter emission regulations and the phasing out of 2-stroke engines. 

In the end, there was no possibility of bringing back the fastest 250-cc ATV on the market.

About Kawasaki

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. is a world-renowned producer and is among the first companies to enter the ATV industry. 

It was founded in 1878. The Kawasaki Tecate 4 maker traces its roots to provide parts to shipping companies. 

In the end, the Japanese company expanded into several sectors, such as automotive, transportation, personal watercraft, motorsport vehicles, hydraulic machinery defense, aerospace, and power systems. 

In the present, Kawasaki has developed into a multi-million dollar corporation with three subsidiaries and more than 34,000 employees across the globe.

Conclusion Kawasaki Tecate Review – Kawasaki Tecate Review

Nowadays, it is rare to find ATVs of the Kawasaki Tecate in good condition. Three-wheel models of dirt bikes and T3 versions are next to being non-existent. 

The T4 models which do exist are treated like the royalty they are, owners shelling out hundreds of dollars for performance components and modifications. 

For the enthusiast, every dime that is put into the machine is a good investment.

On flat terrain as well as drag strips, sand, or even an MX track The Kawasaki Tecate still rides high as one of the top ATVs, not just in its class, but in the history of the sport.

How fast is a Kawasaki Tecate?


The Kawasaki Tecate ATV is considered one of the most popular sports ATVs. The 4×4 was produced between 1984 and 1988. It features a 249cc power-valve motor, 75-mph top speeds, a compact chassis, and long-travel suspension.

What is the fastest ATV?

The 2021 Arctic Cat Alterra 700 EP SE

Thundercat 1000 is their fastest ATV, with top speeds of 79 mph. The new Alterra 700 model is also high-speed, reaching 75mph. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds.

When did Honda make 3 wheelers?


Unsourced material could be challenged and removed. Honda started research on Terrain Vehicles in 1967. They had their first three-wheeled vehicle designed and manufactured in 18 months, the US90. This was a 1970 model.

When did Kawasaki stop making the Mojave?

The Kawasaki 250 Mojave was produced from 1987 to 2004. It was one of the most loved small recreational all-terrain cars throughout its production period.

What do you call a motorcycle with three wheels?

Overview. Various three-wheelers are available as motorcycles are typically referred to as trikes. They usually include a front wheel and the mechanics similar to those of a motorbike and the rear axle comparable to a car’s rear axle.

Which ATV is most reliable?


Based on the votes of consumers at ATV.com, Honda is the most trusted ATV brand. The second place on the list is Yamaha.

Where are Honda ATVs made?

Produced from Timmonsville, South Carolina, Honda’s ATV line is one of the top-rated business offering models designed for work-intensive and intense play, and are so user-friendly, that the riders aren’t likely to want to leave the ride.

Can a 16 year old ride a 50cc motorbike?

The most crucial selling point of 50cc motorcycles is that they can be used starting at 16. Because they’re designed to be low-cost and low-maintenance, it’s not surprising that there’s a minimal selection to pick from. The majority of 50cc bikes are scooter-type or smaller sports-type bikes.

When can I ride a 600cc motorbike?

If you’re older than 24, you can take the test with a 600cc gear motorcycle. After passing this test and being licensed, you can begin to use any bike right away, ride on motorways, and transport passengers.

Does Kawasaki make a trike?

Gorgeous, powerful cruiser trikes, those with 1500/1700 Nomad classic bikes are now discovered Threedom in trikes. You can convert yours to trikes or select from our selection. We build custom to fit your needs.

Kawasaki Tecate FAQ

1. How fast is a Kawasaki Tecate?

The Kawasaki Tecate ATV is considered one of the most popular sport ATVs. The 4×4 was produced between 1984 and 1988. It features a 249cc power-valve motor, 75 mph top speed a compact chassis, and long-travel suspension. This four-wheeler was designed for dirt tracks and is loved by MX racers.

2. Does Kawasaki make a trike?

The 1500/1600 Nomad classic bikes are powerful, beautiful cruiser trikes. They have a newfound Threedom as trikes. We can also provide turn-key brand new trikes for your choice. 

3. What year is my Kawasaki Mojave?

In, type the VIN of your ATV in the box next to “Search by VIN.” Click “Continue.” You will see the next page at the top. Next to the description of your ATV, you will see the year.

4. How do I tell what year my Kawasaki Mojave 250 is?

In the box next to “Search by VIN”, type your ATV VIN. Click “Continue”. You will see the next page at the top. Next to the description of your ATV, you will see the year.

5. Is Kawasaki Bayou 250 4×4?

From 2003 to 2011, the Kawasaki Bayou 250 was a recreational-utility vehicle. This 4×4 is ideal for both work and play. It features a reliable Mikuni VM24SS car, low-maintenance air-cooled engines, and a protective front bumper.

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