1971 Kawasaki 500cc H1

1971 Kawasaki 500cc H1

Honda had opened the floodgates to the lucrative US market through the 1960s, introducing Americans to smaller displacement, attracting the nicest people on finely built and handling machines. Behind them came the onslaught from rivals Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki. By the late 1960s, Kawasaki’s focus was on multi-cylinder 2-stroke bikes with inherently exciting and intoxicating power delivery.

In 1968, the H1, aka the Mach III, was released. A 500cc 3-cylinder 2-stroke with a peaky 60bhp delivered a wheelie-popping, adrenalin-producing motorcycle with the legs of just about everything under 750cc.

The power out-stripped the handling’s capability by quite a long way. Either sports riders back then were more forgiving, perhaps, or maybe the outrageous performance simply muffled any criticisms that should have been directed at the chassis and suspension. Whatever riders may have thought, having sampled an H1, or to whichever degree they had frightened themselves, the majority would usually smile with admiration: Kawasaki had created their first cult machine.

The motorbike offered

The 1971 Kawasaki H1 on offer here has been part of a New England collection for a few years. In ostensibly original condition, the bike was just treated to a full recommissioning and service in preparation for sale, including carb rebuild, new battery, overhaul of the spark system, and fluid changes. Now, in fine running condition, the bike is offered to the next adrenalin-junkie.