Kawasaki H2 Mach IV

Fast, loud, rude and a little unstable, the Kawasaki H2 Mach IV was a rebel in its time. Today it’s a prized motoring heirloom.

| July/August 2006

Kawasaki H2 Mach IV
Years produced:
Total production: N/A
Claimed power: 74hp @ 6,800rpm
Top speed: 120mph (period test)
Engine type: 748cc
Weight (dry): 205kg (450lb)
Price then: $1,386
Price now: $3,000-$4,500
MPG: 18-28

The bugs are out in force today, I’m thinking, as I follow Dave Gurry’s 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV 750 along the back lanes of southwest British Columbia. Then I realize the spots on my visor aren’t bugs, they’re oil droplets carried in the blue haze that accompanies the big stroker wherever it goes.

Admittedly, Dave has “improved” the Kawasaki’s automatic lubrication system to allow extra oil into the engine. “I’d rather burn a little more oil than seize a piston,” he says. And given the price and availability of replacement parts should a blow-up occur inside the piston-port engine, Dave’s logic is impeccable.

Read Dave Gurry's review of owning and riding the 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV 750 

Then again, anti-social behavior was part of the H2’s ethos. Designed for straight-shot performance in traffic signal drag races, power was paramount; everything else — noise, pollution, fuel consumption — was an afterthought.

The H2 had “only one purpose in life,” according to Kawasaki’s 1972 sales brochure — “To give you the most exciting and exhilarating performance.” It also mentioned how the H2 “demands the razor sharp reactions of an experienced rider,” and is “a machine you must take seriously.”

6/22/2015 9:22:23 PM

this bike was one of the all time best owned one for many years.As for being not safe thats bunk my bike could corner with no flex in the frame whatsoever with a matched set of perrellis on it and roller bearings in the swing arm instead of bushings it was great . i had the 74 which was 4 inchs longer then the 72 and 73 wiseco pistons bill wereges expansion chambers it was fast indeed had a lot of fun on that bike they were great indeed

7/17/2012 5:49:39 PM

The bike's frame was a wee bit flexible. Eventually, I learned to accelerate in to corners to allow the chain firm up the bike. Paddy

5/14/2012 7:30:50 PM

As the owner of an 72 H-2 in 1974,I can attest to its wheelstanding tendencies whether deliberate or not.I guess the only reason I never had an accident was my extreme fear of this bikes tendency to stand up on its pretty blue tailet.Never had a problem with fowled plugs in the 15000 miles I put on it probably due to the 73 carbs my dealer installed.I have had many bikes since like a 73 Z-1,79 CBX and an 82 CBX that I rode all over the eastern half of the US.Not one of the bikes I had rode since have put such a healthy fear of getting hit on my chin by the instrument cluster as the bike tried to shoot out from underneath me!

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