The 1970s were a pivotal decade for motorcycle manufacturers in terms of engine and emissions technology. Motorcycles had to be more modern, safer, but still powerful. While Honda was focused on 4-strokes, especially inline four cylinder motors as equipped in the CB750, Kawasaki was splitting their time with 4-strokes like the Z1 and with 2-strokes like the big triples found in the 500cc H1 and the H2.
The H1 was already some kind of crazy, a 500cc monster that was scary fast and hard to ride, and now Kawasaki was going further with 750cc! People couldn’t believe it. Urban legends were born around the “H” bikes, with people claiming third and fourth-gear wheelies, top speeds over 150mph, etc. Of course, the bike was fast, probably the fastest around at the time. It was shaky, loud, and smoky, but knowing that the bike “only” produced 74 hp, the legends were just legends. Still, the 423 lb could reach a top speed of about 120 mph. At the time, H2 riders were enjoying what it was built for – speed – and they didn’t really care about the rest – like handling or braking. Unfortunately, EPA measures and a shift in customer demand put an end to the H2 in 1975. Decades later, the H2 is still considered one of the craziest bikes ever made, and they are popular choices for most collectors. Take the time to read to great article of Motorcyclist magazine about the H2.
The bike featured in this article (VIN: H2F25564) is in excellent shape thanks to a “frame off” restoration. During its restoration, the bike got new pistons/rings and a total rebuild of the brake system, calipers, and master cylinder at the front and drum at the rear. The odometer is showing a reasonable 16k miles. Find this Kawasaki H2 in Phoenix, Arizona for $13,500 here on Craigslist.