Collectable: Kawasaki H2-News & Reviews-Motorcycle Trader

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Ducati Mach 1

10 Mar 2014 | Be it on the road or track, one three-cylinder monster reigned in the early ’70s

Words: Ian

When Kawasaki released the H1 two-… triple in 1968, it it was prepared to go beyond traditional in the quest for performance.

While and Yamaha were concentrating on big Kawasaki maintained its faith in the Two-strokes were cheaper to produced much more per litre and, although were thirsty, fuel still wasn’t an issue in the 1960s.

The H1 also offered performance for the dollar. When the H1 to 750cc during 1971 and the H2, for lovers of high performance it was simply more of a good


known as the Mach IV, the H2 was a scaled-up of the H1 but, while the design of the triple was similar, everything was The 750’s port timing was milder to create a broader curve and, with a ratio of 7.0:1 and three VM30SC carburettors, the 71x63mm produced 74 horsepower at 6800rpm.

This may not sound much for a today but, back in the 1970s, most 750s made 60 horsepower and the closest to the H2 was the heavier Honda CB750 67hp.

While the crank and timing made for smoother the H2 was an extremely thirsty beast, earning a reputation for being Also ground-breaking for the time was the CDI system. Powered by a crankshaft-mounted rather than battery, cylinder had an individual trigger, and coil.

Although the frame and gear also followed the of the H1, the mild-steel frame had additional and the front brake was a single disc with a twin-piston This was a far-superior unit to the brake of the earlier H1, but the H2 was still with the skinny forks and shock absorbers that universal on Japanese motorcycles at time.

But the weight was a very moderate and, when it came to there was absolutely nothing could touch an H2 in 1972 and 1973. In Cycle magazine’s 1973 Superbike comparison the H2 demolished a field that Kawasaki’s own Z1, Honda CB750, 750 GT, Norton Commando 750 Combat, 750 Trident and Harley-Davidson Sportster.

The H2 the most rear-wheel power, stopping force (0.922G), quarter-mile and track lap time, and was cheaper. The top speed was in excess of – if you could hold on to the high and control the weaving. High-speed wasn’t a strong suit and one of these early H2s at high required strength and determination.


The early H2A here was arguably the definitive Unlike today, where new provide an improvement over predecessor, this wasn’t the in the early 1970s. While evolution brought improved and styling changes, they complemented by a reduction in engine to meet more stringent and emission requirements.

By 1974, the H2B was stable (thanks to a longer but was heavier. For the H2C of 1975, the power was to 71 horsepower at 6800 rpm and the weight had to 208kg. The H2 lost its performance-king

The H2 was a victim not only of the 1974 East fuel crisis but Kawasaki’s own four-… Z1. Four-strokes more fuel efficient and friendly and, by 1976, were much faster any production two-….

Now the H2 is a remnant of another age. H2s all about engine performance, handling secondary, and convenience such as an electric start absent. Despite its superior – even in 1973 – the H2 wasn’t a Superbike and was never as popular as a or Z1. They’re now cult machines for who appreciate the era of two-… dominance.

with an early H2, four-… Superbikes were simply and boring.


Original price: $1500

Ducati Mach 1

Current valuation for one in average $8000

— Current for one in mint (perfect) condition:

— A H2 ridden by Mike and Dave Burgess won the 1972 Six-Hour production race. In New H2s ridden by Alan Collison and Galbraith were almost until 1975, particularly on street circuits where combination of moderate weight and acceleration was ideal.

— The first racing came to Australia in February and was raced by Ron Toombs. On it he won 12 races 14 starts that year. died after crashing a TZ350 at Bathurst in 1979.

At Daytona in 1973, Masahiro on a factory H2-R clocked a of 264km/h.

— During Team Kawasaki Australia’s Gregg Hansford and Murray won 29 races from 31 starts on H2-Rs and took first and places in the Australian Unlimited

— Even as late as Gregg Hansford was having success with the H2-R. At he was faster than the new, water-cooled KR 750 and TKA was instructed not to race the bike any more.


triples have a huge Check out these sites:

are two triples UK clubs:

Ducati Mach 1
Ducati Mach 1
Ducati Mach 1
Ducati Mach 1


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