‘Nasty surprises? DIY piston repairs’ Kawasaki H1A 500 With one Kwaka H1 restoration under his belt, Dave Riley took on another
A discovery of Kawasaki H1A parts, disregarded as a pile of neglected boxes for 17 years, left Dave Riley from Lancashire with no choice but to purchase the lot and form a flat-track project. It’s probably not the ideal way to pick up such an iconic motorcycle, but that didn’t stop him from buying the neglected containers that housed just twothirds of an actual bike. Deciding what to do with it was a bigger challenge, but with a restored H1F already in the garage, customising it seemed the obvious step.
“I’ve always liked the look of flat-trackers, so I thought I’d have a go at building one,” Riley recalled. “I had a basic vision of what I wanted to achieve, but I wasn’t entirely sure if it would work.
“A few nasty surprises were found, including an ingenious piece of work where a previous owner had gone to the trouble of welding a broken piston back together along with welding the barrel skirt back on.”
The forks were in poor condition with rusty stanchions, so an alternative set were purchased from the States. With the assembly progressing well, the next port of call was the bodywork.
Riley ordered a front number board and a seat unit from Redmax for the classic tracker stance: “The seat unit was really an inch too short, as it exposed the rear frame rails, so I extended it and had a custom seat pad made up to match.”
The electronics proved to be a problem, although an ignition system from Electrex seemed to sort out the gremlins. “I run the electrics on a total-loss system now, and recharge the battery when it’s needed, as it’s only got a small drain off it from the LED neutral and brake light.”
What Riley’s ended up with is a stunning Kawasaki H1A flat-tracker. The finish and attention to detail on the machine really are fantastic, and beautifully complement a keen attention to detail.