It has a reputation, both very good and very bad. Either “The King Of The Road” or “The Widow Maker” or both…It was the fastest thing on two wheels. Faster than any Suzuki. Faster than any Triumph. Faster than any BSA, and Honda, any anything.” The H2 engine was a 3-cylinder two-stroke with an engine displacement of 748 cc (45.6 cubic inches) which produced 74 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, a power-to-weight ratio of 1 hp to every 6 lb of weight. The H2 was designed for one thing and one thing only: speed. Noise, pollution, fuel consumption, even handling were all afterthoughts.
There was just one problem the H2’s lightweight tubular cradle frame was simply incapable of containing the vicious performance of the motor. It flexed under cornering, weaved horribly on uneven roads. Kawasaki fitted two steering dampers (one friction and one hydraulic) but they didn’t make much difference. On top of that, most of the weight was over the rear wheel, which – combined with a short swingarm – caused the front wheel to go skywards, if the rider wasn’t easy on the throttle. This particular time machine has only 4400 original miles and with the exception of the air in the tires and fuel in the tank all else has been untouched since it was ridden home from the dealership. Sold from September 1971 through 1975. (photo @ Doug Mitchel 630-605-6276)