Is there such a thing as 'too original'?
There is so much more to this unrestored Kawasaki H2 Mach IV 750cc Triple than looks alone—although it’s definitely a sight to see. As Paul Brace of Proper Bikes mentions in the video, it evokes an incredibly powerful sense of both aural and nasal nostalgia. Nothing, after all, sounds or smells quite like this particular beast of a two-stroke.
Just how ‘unrestored’ is it? This thing still has its original tires, as installed from the factory. A close-up shot in the video shows the cracks of 40+ years of age that you’d expect on the front. Brace reckons that the 10,000 or so miles on the clock were mostly done on the rear tire, so the front isn’t in atrocious shape for its age—or so he says. Originality is one thing, but is this maybe taking it a little too far? Maybe, but I’m not the one riding it, so who am I to say?
In any case, it’s in remarkably good shape for its age, and has clearly been well-cared-for throughout its life. For all its undeniable appeal, Brace readily offers the assessment that it’s certainly not a bike for any kind of long-distance travel. For that, he says, the Z1 would make a much better choice. The H2 was built for fast, spirited sprints, not marathons. To put an extra exclamation point on this fact, Brace even refers to this bike as the Chainsmoker.
Then again, the H2 wasn’t built for any purpose other than speed. In that singular pursuit, it was the world’s fastest production bike in 1972. It put out a claimed 74bhp at its introduction, and could hit a top speed of 126mph. Handling was, of course, questionable—there's a reason its nickname was “the widowmaker.” For those skilled riders who could manage to keep their seats, it was a very special experience—and one that many riders still regard fondly, if just slightly warily as well.