Additional photos of this 1972 Kawasaki H1 are available here for your perusal.
By the mid-1960s, the US had become the world’s largest motorcycle market. American riders were demanding bikes with more horsepower and higher maximum speeds. Kawasaki already had the largest-displacement Japanese machine with their 650 cc four-stroke W series, but it did not fit the niche they were aiming for. Honda had introduced its CB450 in 1965, and four years later the Suzuki T500 Titan/Cobra appeared. Also in development was the Yamaha XS650. So Kawasaki began development on the top secret N100 Plan in 1967.
The goal was to produce a motorcycle with 500 cc displacement that was able to develop 60 hp and have 13-second quarter-mile times, then considered over the achievable limit for a road bike. When announced in 1969, the H1 was factory quoted in the UK motorcycling press as “the fastest and best accelerating road machine ever produced, being capable of 124 mph and 12.4 sec. for the standing start quarter mile“.
This well-preserved 1974 triple has a piston-ported two-stroke engine in a steel-tube cradle frame weighing in at 414lbs wet. The engine is an air-cooled 60hp three-cylinder with a displacement of 499cc, generating 42lbs torque. It also has Mikuni VM 28 mm carburetors, and thyristor-based capacitor discharge. The transmission is a chain driven 5-speed manual. The suspension setup is an Inner spring telescopic front fork, three-position spring preloaded adjustable shock absorber and swing arm on the rear. Front brakes were 296mm disc, with 180mm drum on the rear. In the US, the Mach III proved to be very popular. Motorcyclist magazine said the Mach’s power-to-weight ratio was the “best ever produced in a motorcycle meant to sell to anyone who has the money to purchase it.”
The seller acquired this H1 five years ago and stripped this bike down to the bare frame. He then “re-powdercoated everything, installed new wheels + spokes and tires, re-chromed and polished everything that can be done on the bike. The crank was re-done, it has new pistons and rods, and there’s probably less than 5 miles on it.”
In preparation for the listing, the seller had us clean and sync the carbs. Our technician Josh noted that the #2 exhaust is cracked, the chain has a loose master link, the shock is rubbing on its guard, and the chain is rubbing on its guard. He also recommends new spark plug wires and caps.
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Kawasaki is offered on a clean California title with registration current through October 2021.