1970 Kawasaki H1 Mach III — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

2 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1970 Kawasaki H1 Mach III — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
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1970 H1 Mach III

Years produced:

Claimed power: 60hp @

Top speed: 119.14mph (period

Engine type: 498cc air-cooled transversely-mounted inline

Weight (dry): 410lb

Price then: $995

Price now: $3,500-$7,000

Silveira started his love with motorcycles early, but many motorcycle-crazy kids, he his bikes, even fast carefully.

In fact, Tony has the Suzuki Hustler he bought in school back in the day — and with two nicks showing on the original That Hustler is now part of his of classic Japanese motorcycles, includes two early Kawasaki H1 revered today as the fastest, powerful and most out-of-control of its day.

Building up to the Kawasaki H1

Heavy Industries really the motorcycle business in 1960, it bought a controlling interest in one of Japan’s first motorcycle Meguro was subsequently combined Meihatsu (a Kawasaki subsidiary had been building small since the mid-1950s), producing and Kawasaki-badged machines.

In 1965, tried exporting the 650cc W1, a BSA originally developed by Meguro in the Unfortunately, the W1 was considerably slower the BSA A7 it had copied, and given a choice the fast and familiar BSA and a slower of unknown reliability, most chose the BSA.

Kawasaki management was quick to that in America, speed bikes, so they designed the Samurai A1 for the U.S. market. A two-…, it did well from its in 1967 and was soon followed by a version.

By this time, the CB450 Black Bomber was marketed and the Suzuki Titan was for sale. Clearly, there was a for mid-size bikes from but Kawasaki wasn’t interested in just another motorcycle. wanted to make a splash, and had the from its ship and bridge operations to fund the research and necessary to build a truly two wheeler.

With engineering from Osaka University, a new code named the “N100 went forward. The goal was a with 500cc displacement 60hp and able to lay down quarter-mile times, then over the achievable limit for a bike.

Two different two-… were considered: a larger of the Samurai twin and a triple. Kawasaki decided on the triple three small cylinders and were easier to keep than two large cylinders and The triple was also lighter the twin, as the smaller individual impulses allowed Kawasaki to shave weight off the transmission and

The triple used a metering to deliver oil to the main bearings and of the art CDI electronic ignition for spark. piston ports metered mix to the combustion chambers, and the mufflers really expansion chambers, found only at the racetrack.

In the triples were exotic. this bike came Tony remembers, “my best older brother bought I was 14 or 15 and I knew it was too powerful for me. It was scary listening to him start it up.

The sound was memorable.” The brother to ride the bike for two years crashing it before he sold it — a achievement. “That bike me from the beginning. The bikes I about had two or four cylinders. mufflers was oddball,” Tony

The three-cylinder Kawasaki H1 Mach III in the spring of 1969. Simply with a blue and white a bench seat and thin its performance was electrifying. “Hottest Bike Yet” blared ’s April 1969 cover.

In the article, “Blue Streak,” Gordon Jennings noted, 60 horsepower and a dry weight of 400 pounds, entirely possible that the new 3 is the fastest production motorcycle put in the hands of an unsuspecting public.” recorded a standing-start quarter of 12.8 seconds and 0-60mph in seconds. Kawasaki had made its

A little racing on the side

A this fast naturally its way to the racetrack. The speedy 500 did well at the strip from the start, but wanted road racing as well. Unfortunately, getting the H1 to and convincing its not-quite-debugged electrical to behave at speed for the length of a race proved problematic.

H1s turned up at Daytona barely a after the bike showed up in showrooms. They did not do well, due to the usual mechanical and electrical that surface when you run a at sustained speed on a race for the first time.

To help put the new on course, Mr. Hatta and Yukio (Kawasaki’s frame and engine respectively) joined talents to the handling and reliability of the H1 race A prototype H1R first appeared at the Sears Point National, by flat tracker Dave Smith put the fastest laps on the that day, but handling dogged him as the rear wheel a tendency to lose traction and around during hard out of corners.

Adding to troubles, the rectifier broke during the race and the started misfiring; the win went to a but more reliable, Suzuki.

In Kawasaki offered 40 replicas of the Point bike — with a frame — to aspiring road The new frame was an adaptation of the 1969 racer chassis with washers between the engine and the frame tubes to dampen and a longer swingarm to fix the traction Jess Thomas, who test the new H1R in early 1970 for Cycle . “The workmanship and finish on the is absolutely first rate.

when one buys a racer, the thing he does is look for the that are obviously going to off on the first lap. The only that looked questionable on the bike are the battery mount, the and regulator mounts, and two right expansion chamber mounts.”

two-strokes remained winless in racing until 1971, they hired a French named Yvon DuHamel. who had made a name for himself 250 and 350 Yamahas, turned out to be one of the few racers who keep the two-… Kawasakis on wheels and headed in the right DuHamel earned five victories for Team Green 1971 and 1973.

H1 road for 1970

Meanwhile, the road were evolving. To differentiate it the white and blue 1969 the 1970 version of the H1 sported a red with white stripes and red covers with “Mach III emblems. A perforated grille the CDI boxes and the seat eliminated a hot spot under the rider.

As on 1969 bikes, the gas tanks impressions for decals accentuating the name: Later H1 tanks smooth.

The 1970 H1 was every bit the burner the 1969 machines In a Cycle Guide test in September 1970, a stock H1 out of the crate turned a 13.10-second mile. A few weeks and a few hundred later, the same bike was 12.72 in the quarter mile.

In a of honesty rare at the time, the pointed out that some were getting bad CDI boxes, in rough idling. Otherwise, the announced that the handling demonstrated by the 1969 bikes had been cured — with a “A great deal of care be exercised when moving from a stop light, once the RPM reaches 4,000 to if too much exuberance is displayed by the it will break the tire instantly. ”

That level of wasn’t to last, however, as started taming the beast in detuning the engine, stiffening the and altering the weight balance to it easier to ride. A disc replaced the twin-leading-shoe front brake in 1972, and other were made over the few years, most aimed at the H1 more rideable. The 500cc went out of production in 1975, a of changing tastes and increasing legislation that favored of four-… engines.

Tony Kawasaki H1

One enthusiast bought a red H1 in 1970 and kept it up over the never putting a lot of miles on but up the maintenance and polishing it a lot. In he polished it so much that the red started to become dingy repeated layers of wax.

the original owner passed his widow decided to sell the The classic bike grapevine this news along, it came to the attention of Tony who is usually in the market for any extra-nice classics, and especially one he feels an tie to. Remembering his childhood friend, went to see the bike. “The showed it to me. I could tell her husband had loved this

There have always people who were respectful of motorcycles. There was not a nick on it. the vinyl on the seat was pristine.

It had the grips and pegs, the original K Dunlop tires, and only original miles. The bones good.”

Tony bought the H1, much of it apart, and started a cleaning process. “I took the off and detailed out years of wax. I all three carburetors and cleaned and I soaked the tank inside and The result is the bike you see here, as as any 1970 H1 you’ll ever across.

Although reassembled, the doesn’t get around much; thinks it’s too much of a capsule to ride to the corner “This Kawasaki H1 is unique — it has kissed the pavement,” meaning never been down, he Tony has a slightly worn and original 1969 that he — carefully — on a regular basis.

Why two Because he gets a thrill actually riding an H1. “It’s an bike,” Tony says. power kicks in and you can feel the Riding one is fun. It will put a on your face.”

Tony that when you ride an H1, you to look straight ahead and not the speedometer or the scenery. “The end comes up too easily. Going a corner takes finesse. You to use caution — you can’t get on the gas in turns.” The vibrates some, but, says, “You don’t the vibration — you’re hanging on for life!”

Yet for all its fearsome performance, the Kawasaki easily. “There’s a thumb lever on the throttle side of the it acts like a choke, you turn on the electronic ignition. You two or three times and it’s Once it warms up, it’s to go,” Tony says.

for its time, it’s also a low-maintenance proposition. “The maintenance is to ride it. I have to the carbs once a year at The CDI ignition does away points and condensers. The drum have easy to operate adjusters, and you replace the shoes you run out of adjustment.”

And as long as you can resist the to nail the throttle, it’s surprisingly docile. “It is fine town and runs well on the The double-leading-shoe front brake well. The large, cushy is comfortable.

The bike is not good in twisties, but on the straights it’s a And that, of course, is a big part of the for Tony, who adds, “You can it coming with its special It’s a thrill.”  MC



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