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Cadfael Offline

Beiträge: 2.299

31.05.2005 14:34
Estrella History Antworten

Hello, Hallo, Kia Ora + Sayonara!

Thought it might be good to open a thread about the history of the Estrella.
Had never heard anything about the Meguro 250 from the 1950s/60s until Uli posted a photo in the German speaking part of our forum about 3 weeks ago.

As it is no "small talk", I'd like to move some questions and answers from the "small talk" thread ...

Claire wrote:
The guy I bought my bike off told me that the Estrella was based on a BSA design, but a friend of mine has a 1953 Triumph and my bike looks a lot like that too. Does anyone know for sure what the Estrella is based on?

Cadfael wrote:
click and scroll down.
There's the "Meguro 250". Kawasaki bought the second biggest motorcycle producer Meguro in the early 60s. So, the Meguro 250 was one of the first Kawasaki bikes (it's a little bit more complicated - only short version).
But all Japanese bikes in the 50s and 60s were influenced by British (especially "BSA" and "Matchless") and German bikes (especially "NSU").
The Estrella isn't based on any special bike, but she revives the Japanese tradition of copying British/German style and technique of the 50s.

Estrellitan wrote:
I think Estrella is another "Meguro 250". Meguro was a big name, famous brand of motorcycle manufacture. They offered "Police Bike" too. Now, as Andreas say, the fundamental shape and concept of Estrella are from "Meguro 250.... and "Meguro.... " studied British and German bikes. I don't know by when Kawasaki will continue to produce her, and I don't know the reason Kawasaki continue to produce her, but I hope she alives for a long time. I should say
good one should be left.
By the way Estrella is the first kawasaki's and the 7th bike for me. The reason I bought it is I felt nostalgia of her shape and single piston. I may remember "Old Meguro Period" and I thought the base of bike is in "single".

Cadfael Offline

Beiträge: 2.299

31.05.2005 14:51
#2 RE:Estrella History Antworten


I think by reviving and continuing the spirit of the Meguro, Kawasaki revived and continued the history old German and British motorcycles too - because the Meguro was a further developed "copy" of these bikes.

It happens sometimes in Germany that old men come and say, "I had a bike which looked like yours when I was young!" And they smile like small kids when you tell them about the speed and power of the Estrella - because their bikes nearly had the same values.
The same would happen in England.

Even though we live in different countries, all of us live in a "social order geared towards output" (Leistungsgesellschaft). But the Estrella shows that output ain't everything!

Here is a photo of a late Megureo 250 (1663-65 or something like that - you can see this by the Kawasaki logo on the tank)

Achtung, dies ist die Stellungnahme eines notorisch oberlehrerhaften und besserwisserischen Dummschwätzers

Dünnling Offline

Beiträge: 4.289

01.06.2005 18:22
#3 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi Estrellitan, is there a possibility to get pictures of old Meguro signs / logos / patches?
Everyone knowes the Kawasaki Writing on the Estrella, but how did the writing on a Meguro 250 look like?


Andreas (who is trying to import some Japanese customising traditions...)

Cadfael Offline

Beiträge: 2.299

01.06.2005 20:40
#4 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi Andreas,

here is a photo of an early Meguro 250 (or is it a 350?).

You can see the logo there. Seems to be a kind of animal???
I have never seen the sign personally or bigger - so I can't tell which animal it is.
So, we still need the help of our Japanese friends!

Does "Meguro" have any meaning in Japanes???
For instance Volkswagen means "people's car" - or "Audi" is the latin translation of the name of the former boss "Horch" (and both words mean "listen!") ...

Achtung, dies ist die Stellungnahme eines notorisch oberlehrerhaften und besserwisserischen Dummschwätzers

dergelbeUlrich Offline

Beiträge: 383

01.06.2005 22:42
#5 RE:Estrella History Antworten

the name Meguro appears to be written in red directly on the engine - using katakana writing (which is normally used to spell words of foreign origin). I like it this way - looks great.
However you never know with japanese words if you don't know the context - there is a fair chance that it has several different meanings and "spellings" (one particular pronounciation can refer to several different kanjis - these pictograms of chinese origins) .
My best bet would be a reference to a ward in the periphery of Tokyo, called Meguro ("Black Eye" ???), not too far from Kawasaki City.... Did Kawasaki have a subsidiary there or some particular, special relationship with this area ?

But I wouldn't be surprised if it means "grandfather's favourite" or " the "dancing ray of sun on the leaf wetted by the mornig dew" or "yankee go home", just depending on the context. Experts and showa-historians, please HELP .

The logo on the tank ??? ooops - please zoom me in, Scottie !

Cadfael Offline

Beiträge: 2.299

01.06.2005 23:00
#6 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi Ulrich - or should I call you "Yellow"?

Wonderful (and precise!) explanation!
"dancing ray of sun on the leaf wetted by the mornig dew"
Yes, now that you tell me, I remember the Japanese "multiple-meanings"!

Oh, these 3 signs mean "me-gu-ro"?!

Meguro was founded in 1937 as far as I have found out. It benefited from the II. World War and became Japan's number 4. in building motorcycles.
Kawasaki had nothing to do with motorcycles at that time. The KI-61 "Hien" (Tony), other aircrafts and ships were much more important to Kawasaki at that time. Kawasaki thought about motorbikes first after producing planes and other things were forbidden by the Allied Forces. So, the name Meguro has nothing to do with Kawasaki.

Should be about 6 a.m. in Japan now. Maybe we get some respose when he get up next morning?!

Achtung, dies ist die Stellungnahme eines notorisch oberlehrerhaften und besserwisserischen Dummschwätzers

Estrellitan Offline

Beiträge: 12

02.06.2005 15:47
#7 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi! Andreas and everyone.
Meguro is "a place of name" and the company name was "Meguro manufacturing" It's difficult to translate in short time the web site. It's interesting site, so please visit:

Although the text almost is in japanese, you can enjoy the photos of the variation of "Meguro's Emblem" and active Meguro's bikes etc.... You may already know the Site?

Thank you.

Dünnling Offline

Beiträge: 4.289

02.06.2005 16:11
#8 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Thanks a lot.
So the original emblem is a winged and mirrored M.

Cadfael Offline

Beiträge: 2.299

02.06.2005 17:40
#9 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hello Estrellitan,

very interesting site! Even though I didn't understand a word ...

Next question: Does the early Kawasaki Emblem have a meaning or where does it come from?
The two "half circles" (or four quarter circles) with the "open rectangles / squares" might be "Ms" too! Mirrored and 90°s rotated? Maybe the 2 Ms of Meguro - kept alive? Or one M for "Meguro" and the other one for "Meihatsu" (the name under which Kawasaki published its first bikes?

Or is the sign in the middle of the logo (right picture) much older???

Or is this the Japanese short-sign for
"You won the war but we'll win the world market for motorcycles"?

One question causes the next one!
Achtung, dies ist die Stellungnahme eines notorisch oberlehrerhaften und besserwisserischen Dummschwätzers

Dünnling Offline

Beiträge: 4.289

03.06.2005 09:07
#10 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi Cadfael,

I think the Symbol in the right Logo ist simply a turned "double M".
The early Kawasaki Sign semms to be just an "evoluted" Meguro-Sign.

The MW ist still pesent (on the flag) an the wings turned into the well known "open spiral".

Estrellitan Offline

Beiträge: 12

03.06.2005 23:20
#11 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi, Double Andreas and everyone!!

According to explanation of the site:
Regarding the "Meguro's emblem", Mirror "M" means "Meguro Works". It's original Meguro's logotype and The two "half circles" is the logo of "Kawasaki aircraft Works(or manufacturing)"

After Kawasaki Aircraft... absorbed the Meguro, the two "half circles"logo was begun to use.
I didn't know well the details of Meguro nor relation with Kawasaki, but I feel still Meguro's spirit alive in Kawasaki as model: Estrella, W650.
It's interesting isn't it?


Estrellitan Offline

Beiträge: 12

03.06.2005 23:56
#12 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi, everyone!

I've found another "Meguro 250" site. It shows "Restoration of Meguro SG250".
Although the text is all in japanese, you can enjoy the many photos.
If you are interested in, please visit to:

Thank you.


w-paolo Offline

Beiträge: 25.134

04.06.2005 00:02
#13 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Very Nice, that !!
It looks like if it's at BRUNO's...

The Paull.
Der Bundesverkehrsminister warnt: "W-Fahren macht süchtig bzw. es erzeugt suchtähnliche Rauschzustände !"

Estrellitan Offline

Beiträge: 12

04.06.2005 01:01
#14 RE:Estrella History Antworten

Hi, Paull!!

In the side of this site, you can enjoy the short 4 movies of 15th W1 Kawaguchi-lake

If you visit, you find 5 files. For view movies, please click the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th
file. Very short movies, but you can enjoy the W1 and the sound.

Thank you.

emjey650 Offline

Beiträge: 2.218

04.06.2005 01:06
#15 RE:Estrella History Antworten

nice movies

Sonne oder Regen, die W muss sich bewegen...

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