Kawasaki H1 (1969-76)

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

A leg­end. A fe­ro­ciously pow­er­ful 500cc three-cylin­der engine in a frame that re­ally couldn’t han­dle the power. The first one was the fastest ac­cel­er­at­ing stock road bike you could buy, could hit over 115mph and de­liv­ered all its power in a very nar­row band be­tween 6000 and 8000rpm, which (a) made it hard to ride and (b) en­sured you were likely to crash if you hit the power­band in mid-cor­ner. It was pro­gres­sively tamed as it got older, both in chas­sis and brak­ing (which was a good thing) but also in power (which wasn’t). The fi­nal ver­sion was hard put to hit 110mph. Emis­sions killed it in the end. Fuel con­sump­tion was al­ways lu­di­crous: un­der 30mpg, and a 75-mile range be­fore re­serve. Some­thing like a disc-braked B or D model is prob­a­bly the best choice.

What you’ll pay now £2500-£8000 But should you? Every­one should sam­ple a Kawasaki triple, so yes.

And you thought the H2 was a bonkers bike

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