2021 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1974 Kawasaki H1F 500cc Motorcycle
This lot is no longer available
A pioneering industrialist, Shozo Kawasaki’s company was founded in Tokyo and manufactured everything from locomotives to steel components before diversifying into aircraft in 1937 and then, from the end of the Second World War, motorcycle engines. Kawasaki merged with Japan’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer, Meguro Works, in 1960 and the revitalized company’s two-strokes proved remarkably popular for the next decade, the model line-up expanding rapidly to cover a wide range of engine displacements. This culminated in the legendary H1 of 1969, a 500cc brute that, for a time, enjoyed the best power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle on the market. Also known as the Mach III, the H1’s advanced in-line triple featured piston port induction and Injectolube lubrication, plus innovations like pointless electronic ignition. The H1 developed an impressive 60 horsepower at 8000 rpm, more than the original double cradle frame was capable of handling but the sensational speed and fabulous looks helped cement the bike’s reputation as a street fighter capable of beating Japan – and Europe’s – best. Kawasaki gradually improved the H1 into the early 1970s, adding a new fuel tank with the 1971 H1A, a front disc brake and steering oil damper were fitted for the 1972 H2A, a revised tail section and the H2’s CDI unit was adopted for the 1973 H2D. A new CDI unit arrived in 1974 with the H1E before the final derivative, the H1F, appeared the following year.