Pretty in Purple – 1973 Kawasaki H2

In Japan, Sport by Tom Wacker0 Comments

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1973 was a very momentous year for me personally. I got married (for the first time) in June and in July I got one of the worst motorcycle injuries of my career falling off an H2.

We were a couple of dreamers. She dreamed that she could drag my country farm boy butt into polite society, and I dreamed that I could convince her to like (if not love) motorcycles. Turns out we were both completely wrong.

The Kawasaki H2, for all it’s ‘widowmaker’ reputation was actually an upgraded and refined bike compared to the H1 that appeared in 1969. The Kawasaki design team really did a lot to fix the obvious flaws from the H1. Head shake was much improved (the H2 came with a stock steering damper), power delivery wasn’t as peaky, and the brakes were much improved.

Three things conspired to kill the Kawasaki triples beginning in 1973. The EPA was starting to make big noise about two stroke motors, the gas crisis hit (the H2 was a high 20s MPG machine) and Kawasaki introduced the four stroke Z1 which took the ‘fastest production bike’ label from the H2.

The 1973 Kawasaki H2 used a 748 CC air cooled two stroke inline 3 cylinder motor that made 74 HP with a five speed transmission for a top speed of 120 MPH. A wet weight of 463 LBS, front disc and rear drum brakes, steel tube cradle frame and good suspension made a very, very fast motorcycle.

This particular 1973 Kawasaki H2 (VIN# H2F24314) is in Chula Vista, California and is listed as ‘carefully restored to as close to original as possible’. The bike has the optional hydraulic steering stabilizer and a 2nd disc front brake, which the listing says was a dealer installed option. The build list on this bike is impressive, and the color is one that can never be unseen. The bike is currently bid at $8,100 with reserve not met

Sources:
Wikipedia
Cycle World
Motor Cyclist
Classic Motorbikes

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