By John Burns
Interesting things appear in the Inbox now and then, and this was one of the more interesting ones. Jeffrey Krause’s dad, Darrel W. Krause, was one of the first people American Kawasaki hired when it came to America, at just about the same time the Mach III 500 made Kawasaki a large blip on our radar screen.
Hello Mr. Burns,
I am the son of one of the Kawasaki-USA (KMC/AKMC) founders.
I wrote a few articles regarding the US history of Kawasaki. Recently, I found additional photos, documents and a thank-you letter for my father. These newly-surfaced documents (all in one stash) are Darrel’s records about the testing of the prototype N100 from Japan in 1968. It was the first Kawasaki 2-stroke Triple, which would become known to the public as the 1969 H1-500 / Mach III.
Darrel was (as far as I can tell from research) only the second ‘native’ manager hired by Kawasaki when they established a corporate presence beginning in 1966. Darrel, in turn, later hired Tony Nicosia.
My dad, who was 27, was hired after sacrificing his own job as manager of a brand-new dealership, to prevent Kawasaki from being defrauded by that dealership’s owner, who’d hired him. We were instantly homeless and jobless, and fled the state in fear of retribution from the owner.
I have many original slides, negatives and even a video or two. Darrel’s pre-Kawasaki career was managing his own photography studio in South Dakota, so he wound up also serving as KMC/AKMC’s first resident photographer. Because of this he was only rarely seen in early photos – wrong side of the camera :).
It would simply be nice if people could have a chance to see these photos and some of the key elements of my dad’s story, which is 100% true.
How could MO turn down …read more