Tagged: mach IV

King of the Hill: Restored 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV for Sale

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Front

Nothing the Europeans produced had quite the same character as the big two-stroke triples from Kawasaki. Produced first in H1 500cc form, and then later in S2 and S3 sizes, the H2 750 Mach IV was king of the hill in terms of power and displacement. With a short wheelbase and power that came on like a 2×4 to the back of the head, these developed a reputation for killing their owners, although, unlike the earlier Mach III with its bendy-riffic frame, this was likely a result of new riders not really being prepared for the experience of the two-stroke’s savage powerband.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear2

When the Japanese began their manufacturing onslaught, they were often perceived/portrayed as simple imitators, producers of budget crap that was great, if that’s all you could afford. But as their products eclipsed those produced by European manufacturers in terms of quality and reliability, they became less imitators and more innovators. And while bikes like Honda’s and Kawasaki’s big four-cylinder bikes allowed them to compete in the world motorcycle arena, they were still playing the game that had already existed, just playing it better.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Engine Detail

But the two-stroke performance motorcycles from Japan ushered in a new era of motorcycle performance, and mirrored the musclecar virtues of cheap speed, with frightening fuel economy to match: figures below 20mpg are possible with a heavy throttle hand. While Suzuki’s two strokes were often tamed for the road to smooth the power delivery, make them more four-stroke-like in character, Kawasaki embraced the gnarly character of the stroker, and their killer rep led to success in the showroom.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Dash

Considering the power on tap, these never sound all that menacing in person: the crackle and pop of even a big, highly-tuned two-stroke still sounds like the world’s angriest lawnmower to me. But until recently, the fastest motorcycles in the world were 500cc two-strokes that left an angry, buzz-saw wail in their wake.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Exhaust

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 for sale

This is a 1972 Kawasaki H2 that has been restored to as new condition. The engine number is 22221 and the frame number is 22118. It is a museum quality restoration of every single piece. If the original piece could not be brought back to as new it was replaced with NOS. The seat, pipes, and front foot peg rubbers are reproduction(I installed the foot peg rubbers without realizing they were not NOS and I’m too lazy to change them). All of the metal parts were taken down to bare metal and either re-plated or painted. The painted parts have 2 coats of zinc-chromate primer, 1 coat of sandable primer, one coat of sealer and the correct paint. The hardware is all NOS as is most of the rubber pieces. It was painted with as close a match as I could find for the original Kawasaki Candy Blue, it’s 2 coats of silver-white pearl with 4 coats of candy blue, the decals and then 2 coats of clear. Every single date-coded part that came on this bike is still on it and so are the steel plugged handlebars. The crank has been rebuilt with slotted rods and the pistons are from Wossner pistons, rings and pins. The original CDI’s that are pictured in the bike are not in it now but will be included. I have a Lakeland box installed. It has Continental tubeless tires with tubes installed. The gauges were done be Don Fulsang. This bike is as new right down to the inside of the switch houses and including the original wiring harness. I have installed a lithium ion battery instead of a wet-acid battery. It’s a numbers matching bike and I have put 400 miles on it since the restoration and all the bugs are worked out, it’s ready to show or ride. This bike is tuned beautifully and runs like it should, scary. If you want a new 1972 Kawasaki H2 this is as close as you will get. The only flaws are the candy blue pooled a bit on the top of the side cover so when the seat is up you can see it. After you ride it hard and park it the transmission will leak a couple of drops and quit, I must have roughed up the transmission shaft seal when I installed the shaft, and the tool kit strap is incorrect although a NOS Kawasaki part, it’s the battery strap. If it bugs you it’s an easy fix. I did all the work on this bike myself, it took me 9 months to build and I could not count the hours. I built it because I wanted a new 1972 H2 and this was the only way to get one. I now have other triples to restore and don’t have time to ride this so it’s for sale. This bike has no disappointments. I don’t think you can buy one nicer.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Electrics

The seller mentions that the color isn’t a perfect match for the original paint, but I think he’s being hypercritical: this is a really gorgeous bike, with a price tag that matches the preparation. I wouldn’t normally include a picture of the wiring, but you can see just how nice this example is. These have been steadily increasing in value for quite a while now and, while this is near the top of the range, the price doesn’t seem all that outrageous, since you could practically eat off the engine, it’s so clean.

-tad

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear

 

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 R Side

So if the 500 H1 was  Kawasaki’s original “widowmaker”, what do you get when you stuff a bigger, badder motor into the same bike?  The H2 750 Mach IV was an evolution of the earlier three-cylinder machine, and by “evolution”, I mean “they stuffed a 50% larger motor into the existing bike without really fixing what was wrong with it in the first place.”

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear Full

Kawasaki’s line of 2-stroke triples are all well known to punch well above their weight and have a deserved reputation as “widowmakers”: the motors combine high specific outputs with a lightswitch powerband, primitive suspension, and marginal brakes, all packaged into a frame with the approximate stiffness of al dente pasta.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Dash

So many ways to get yourself into trouble: these bikes were cheap speed, in the true American musclecar idiom.  Except a Chevelle doesn’t fall over if you get it wrong…

Luckily, most of the people lusting after these at this point are, ahem, more mature than the folks buying them when they were new.  Those people are all long dead of course, so the rising prices of these machines must be based on their fearsome reputation, not actual, dewey-eyed nostalgia.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 R Grip

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 for Sale

This 1st model year 1972 Kawasaki 750 2-stroke triple underwent a painstaking, meticulous 12-year restoration. It was finished October, 2012 and has been ridden 107 miles since then.

Several aspects of this bike were not done with 100% originality in mind. It is plated/polished in areas the Kawasaki factory did not know existed. This is an early production H2 which means it has slightly different cylinders/porting from the factory which translates to a more exciting powerband. However, it is not early enough to have a plastic headlight nacelle. Currently it has a period correct Hella H4 headlight upgrade although the stock light is included.

The 2nd disc brake up front is in fact a dealer sourced kit from way back in the day. The extra caliper, 2nd disc, brake lines, hardware, splitter, etc., are all the pieces one would have gotten from the dealer. The master cylinder is the 5/8″ variant that came with the kit.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 R Rear

These are sort of insane bikes, although I guess maybe the second brake disc on this example makes it slightly less so…  Or maybe it just makes the forks and frame more likely to bend when you grab a big handful of whoa trying to scrub speed before a corner…

I’m not a huge fan of the looks, but these triples sound evil and should make for a thrilling ride: note that the seller refers to the “more exciting powerband” of the early H2’s.  Not exactly sure how that compares to later machines, but I do know that sharks attacks are considered by some to be pretty “exciting” as well.

Hopefully this H2 is more fun than a shark attack.

-tad

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear

Purple Widow Maker 1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV

Usually when I see a bike painted purple I try to imagine it in a different color. This is not the case for this H2. For some reason I’ve always like the stock purple color these came in. These bikes were notorious for wheelies when you didn’t want them. What? When would you not want a wheelie? Alright, maybe when you’re going into a curve or in front of a cop. Other than that, bring on the power wheelie. 🙂 Only made from 1972 to 1975 + easy to wreck = theses bikes are pretty hard to find in original condition. I’ve herd of people being scared by them on the way home from the dealer and never riding again. I don’t know if that happened but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it is.

1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV for sale on eBay

The seller is very thorough with his description:

Up for auction a nice 1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV.

It has less than 2,500 miles and the gauges look like new.

It has a clear title.

I believe the miles are accurate, because of the tires that the bike came with were the original ones.

FRAME: H2F-45605
ENGINE: H2E-35482

  • Brand new tires.
    • Balanced
    • New inner tubes
  • Brand new battery
  • It has a $1,000 super nice paint job.
    • No decals – Lines and letters are painted.
    • Gas tank is clean inside.
  • All electric work as they should.
    • Turn signals
    • Head light
    • Stop light
      • Missing plastic base. (refer to picture)
    • Dash lights
    • Horn
    • Left handle switch ok
    • Right handle switch ok.
  • Recently tuned.
    • Starts within the first 3-4 kicks
    • Idles great at 1,500RPM
    • Revs up as it should…….Lots of power.
    • Carburetors were completely inspected and adjusted.
    • Petcock works fine and has new fuel lines.
    • No oil or fuel leaks.
  • Chrome is in great shape.
    • Mufflers have no dents and are original, another indication that confirms low miles.
      • Minor scratches here and there.
      • No silencers.
    • Front fender is nice, no dents or scratches.
    • Original handle bar was re-chromed
    • Front forks have no pitting or rust.
    • Chain cover needs to be re-chromed.
    • Kick start very nice
    • Shift lever very nice too.
    • Rear break lever also nice. No rust or pitted.
  • Seat cover is like brand new.
    • Missing rear grab bar.
  • The frame was cleaned and re-touched but if I had the time I would repaint or powder coated.
    • I think this is something that will make the bike closer to showroom conditions.
    • Center stand nneds to be installed. (I will do it within the next few days)

Note: The clutch is hard to pull, but works fine.

Feel free to ask any questions and look at the pictures for details.

I can coordinate to ship this jewel anywhere.

I can also get good shipping rates.

Even though the seller is very thorough he doesn’t mention a few things so ask lots of questions. Be prepared to open your wallet wide, no, a little wider, nope, still not wide enough. I have seen these going for $2k for a thrashed untitled one to $10k for nice one. I’m gonna guess $6k for this, we’ll see if I’m right in a few days when the auction ends. Click here to see a neat purple H2

In 1974 they tried to smooth out the H2’s peaky power band that came on around 3500 rpms and didn’t stop until you wreck, I mean at 7500 rpms. With 74 HP and weighing in at 460 lbs it doesn’t seem that it would have that great of performance on paper. Those who know two strokes know that the power to weight ratio is offset by the power band. They added a longer sing arm in 1974 as well to help with stability. If I were looking for one of these a 1974-75 would be what I would look for. These bikes were just another nail in the coffin for the British bikes that ruled just a few years earlier. The British just didn’t have a bike that popped wheelies when you didn’t want them, they just didn’t it. Buy it, you know you want it. Just get a big life insurance policy before you crank that throttle.

~Buck