Mitch Payton, the owner of Pro Circuit and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki motocross and supercross teams, has another Kawasaki in his stable—the 1971 Kawasaki 75MT Parnelli “Kawasaki” Jones Dyna-Mite.
Vintage dirt bike aficionado will remember that automobile-racing legend Parnelli Jones endorsed the 1971 Kawasaki Dyna-Mite in print ads, and Kawasaki promoted the model as Parnelli “Kawasaki” Jones edition. As Jones was quoted as saying in the ad, “You want a machine that you can have confidence in…a machine that gives you all-around action and total performance. The Dyna-Mite is just such a machine and that’s why I put my name on it.”
After securing a Dyna-Mite, Payton tapped Norm Bigelow to restore the vintage Kawasaki to showroom condition. It is difficult to imagine a better choice, as Bigelow worked in the Kawasaki R&D Racing Department for 30 years, is a member of the Pro Circuit Race Team, and is the curator of the Kawasaki Heritage Hall Corporate Museum. Bigelow does all this, and calls himself “semi-retired.”
Someone remembered the Jones connection to the 1971 Kawasaki Dyna-Mite. The Dyna-Mite’s gas tank and brochure were sent to Jones, who provided his autograph to the historical vehicle and document.
The Dyna-Mite was a family-oriented mini. The fold-down handlebars made it possible to transport the motorcycle in the trunk of a car—leakproof gas and oil tank caps helped, along with it weighing just 121 pounds. The diminutive Kawasaki had full suspension, with external-spring fork legs. A centrifugal clutch made it easy for new riders to get going, and the three-speed transmission gave the street-legal Dyna-Mite a top speed of 40 mph. The 75cc two-stroke motor featured oil-injection, which Kawasaki dubbed Superlube.
Next up on Payton’s to-get list for the 1971 Kawasaki Dyna-Mite is the autographed photo of Jones and his Johnny Lightning car that dealers were handing out to prospective buyers. If you have one, you might let Payton know!