‘Nasty sur­prises? DIY pis­ton re­pairs’ Kawasaki H1A 500 With one Kwaka H1 restora­tion un­der his belt, Dave Ri­ley took on an­other

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

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.

H1A flat-tracker looks the dog’s dan­glies Red­max sup­plied num­ber board and seat unit; lat­ter has been ex­tended Project started with boxes of parts that amounted to two-thirds of a bike

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