Kawasaki triple brought to you by MadaboutMotorcycles

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Kawasaki 500 H1 (Match III) Prototype

Kawasaki triple

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The Triples were a range of to 750cc motorcycles Kawasaki from 1969 to 1980. The were air-cooled, three two strokes with two exhaust exiting on the right side of the and one on the left.

Model history

The Kawasaki Triple was the 500cc H1 III, introduced in late The original H1 was unique for using a CDI which operated through an style distributor. The H1 offered a power to weight ratio for the but had generally poor handling and drum brakes front and It was the quickest production motorcycle at the When motorcycle journalists some disbelief, Kawasaki they take a new H1 to the drag

Using a regular production with only 7 miles on it, Nicosia ran the quarter mile in seconds at 100.7 mph for the press to The official figure was 12.4 by Mike Wenzel — believable on a well run in machine. Nicosia set many world with Kawasaki triples the following years, including land speed records at Salt Flats.

In 1972, the 750cc Kawasaki H2 IV was introduced and was essentially a scaled-up of the H1 500. A stock H2 was rated at secs for the quarter mile. with more power and front disc brakes, the H2 the undisputed king of the streets, beating legendary muscle of the era such as the Dodge Hemi It was notoriously dangerous, being to up-and-over wheelies and speed

The dangerous handling characteristics from its mediocre frame caused it to be nicknamed the Widowmaker by enthusiasts of the 1970s.


A liquid cooled H2 was created in the seventies in either Australia or New

The ability to cheaply modify the for higher performance by porting the milling the cylinder heads, and expansion chamber exhausts their popularity for some in drag racing. An H2 holds the for the first 7-second single two … of any kind, with a quarter-mile of 7.776 secs at (NOS), ridden by Brian of Redline Motorsports, engine by Garth Glumm of Flow also the engine builders of the normally aspirated at 156.79 mph Tn.-1991). The quickest reed-valve normally aspirated 750cc with a standing quarter-mile of secs at 153 mph held by Joe of Fremont Nebraska.

In 1974, the 350cc S2 was expanded to a S3. In addition, the model range was down in performance. The H2 ceased in 1975, and the model line the KH series in 1976.

United production stopped in 1976, the 250cc KH-250 and 400cc continued in Europe and elsewhere 1980.

The S1 was popular for some as a budget performance bike in because of its small size, and the that at this point in it was legal for learners to ride. The S series of motorcycles used point ignition, which was reliable than the early CDI and much cheaper to repair or

Kawasaki Triples were air and the crankshafts were pressed This made it possible to cut an apart, press up extra of the crankshaft, re-weld different of the cases, and make multi-cylindered The ignition system and carburetors had to be

Four-cylinder 1000cc H2s were to exist, but the most common to be modified were the S series, 5 to 7 cylinder models being and at least one V-6 (two three banks feeding into a transmission). There even a 48 cylinder bike made up of parts. These bikes more of a machinist’s skill than a practical development.

were impractical because the was made much wider and the and gearbox were put under strain.

The 500cc H1 also from the marketing genius of They identified their customers perfectly. Many US under 30 years of age simply to be the fastest kids on the block. The of a production of a two … engine was less than that of a … engine, and for many Kawasaki managed to keep the price for the H1 under the magical barrier.

Competing bikes Norton and Triumph were $1,200, and slower. For a while even dropped the CDI and reverted to the contact breaker ignition in to keep the price under

Brief model summary

H1 500cc white w/blue distributor CDI ignition, drum brake, Mach III 500 badge on cover and electronic ignition on oil tank. Early 69 models had port intake design, windowed carbs. Late saw the introduction of the Charcoal Grey but a common misconception is the charcoal model is called a 1969 it is NOT a 1969 model and is indeed a model.

Kawasaki paperwork came with the bikes, and the brochures confirm this. has been spread by many in to add value to their bikes by able to call them a year model when are not. The red and white model the peacock grey model due to sales.

1970 H1 500cc red stripes on the fuel tank. grey model introduced at but is replaced early on in the 70 model year to boost sales.

H1A 500cc, style redesign the Mach III badge, blue stylized stripes on the fuel

1972 Entire line intended to be similar in style, the swooping racing stripes on the that distinguished the triples.

S1 250cc, white with stripes. Also in red

S2 350cc, also in white drum brake

H1B 500cc, orange, front brake, CDI dropped for points, and a front disc

H1C was believed to result from the factory using up its leftover It had CDI instead of the points on an H1B, and a drum brake as opposed to the on the earlier H1B. Also a few changes.

H2 750cc, Blue or — Gold versions in the early production run and went to the market of Japan, Australia / Hemisphere and Europe but not to the U.S.A. disc brake, CDI ignition one igniter unit per cylinder.

S1A 250cc Gold or orange

S2A Orange or Blue.

Kawasaki 500 H1 (Match III) Prototype

H1D 500cc H2’s CDI ignition and the styling would be used on the later models.

H2A 750cc Purple/Gold.

All models restyled with a new design that resembled the Z-1, with an instrument pod than separate instruments. All revised for more civilized at the expense of raw power.

S1B 250cc green, front brake.

S3 400cc blue or disc front brake, cylinder head design for cooling.

H1E 500cc green or

H2B 750cc brown/green.


S1C blue.

S3A 400cc Green or

H1F 500cc brown or Blue.

H2C red/purple.


H2 dropped line, models renamed KH to the KZ line of four strokes.


KH-400 400cc.


1977-1980 Only models are the KH-250 and KH-400.

Kawasaki 500 H1 (Match III) Prototype
Kawasaki 500 H1 (Match III) Prototype


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