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NGTD UberDork
9/17/18 9:28 p.m.

A two-stroke coming "on the pipe" is truly glorious. . . . . . .

A two-stroke triple coming "on the pipe" will be a glorious adventure!

Think v-tec multiplied by a factor of oh. . . . ten. It'll hit hard.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/17/18 10:23 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

I'm blown away. I though for sure this was going to be long term garage art. Great job. 

That's why I offered it to Chris rather than holding on to the delusional idea of rebuilding it myself. If I had it, "long term garage art" would have been its fate.

Trans_Maro PowerDork
9/17/18 11:42 p.m.

Congrats man, glad to see it running.

ae86andkp61 HalfDork
9/18/18 1:09 a.m.

Wow! Great work so far!

thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
9/18/18 1:52 a.m.

That thing sounds wild. Don't think I've ever heard a 2-stroke triple before.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
9/18/18 7:09 a.m.

Thanks everyone- especially Ian for thinking of me when this thing needed a new home, Seth for being impressed despite having done WAY more intensive repairs than this, and everybody who has chimed in with links or helpful tidbits.  It's hard not to just start ordering parts, but I have a lot of other stuff to do...

I also appreciate the concerns for my safety.  The danger of this thing is kind of the point- I'm not ignoring it, I have a healthy respect for how scary fast bikes can be, and I get that this thing has a bad reputation for a good reason... but I want to know that reason, and I want to get a first hand understanding of it.  I want to be afraid of it when I set off for that first ride and I want to be shaking when I get back.  I'd like to think I've got enough miles under my belt on very powerful bikes and very sketchy bikes to combine the skillsets for this one, but I'll still be very careful when I finally get to ride it, whenever that ends up being.

This bike falls into a special category for me- it was too fast for its' era, and almost a bad idea by choice.  The same space occupied by things like Can-Am and Group B cars, but at a price point that people could actually afford.  It's something that, in today's world of lawyers and safety nannies, where even sportbikes have traction control and ABS, and cars are half way to driving themselves, absolutely should not exist... but here it is, in my garage, waiting for me to get it out there again.

759NRNG SuperDork
9/18/18 1:31 p.m.

Just make it safe to enjoy at FULL TILT while fogging Hayabusa's wink

9/25/18 9:28 p.m.

This brings back memories.Had a 72 h2,added expansion chambers and a barnet clutch,clubbing bars...this was in 1975.It was the most ill handling, evil, wicked, nasty bitch i've ever ridden....but a blast! You'll learn that power band after it jocks you a few times standing up underneath you. Has anyone mentioned the tank slappers she'll give ya too? They added a steering stabilizer a cpl yrs after your bike.add one it's a bolt on.Enjoy that beast!

maj75 HalfDork
9/27/18 9:10 a.m.

I had a ‘75 H2 in original Purple.  It was at the back of the dealership in 1980.  It has a full Windjammer fairing, bags and a 3’ tall sissy bar.  It also had less than 3000 miles.  The dealership said it had been there for almost a year, traded in by a guy for a KZ shaft drive.  I drove to the bank, got money and returned and made a deal.  Part of the purchase deal was that they remove the fairing, bags and sissy bar.  I let them keep all the stuff they removed.


I rode it stock for awhile and the bike was very civilized.  All the horror stories were just not true.  It handled as well as any other early 70’s bike on bias ply tires.  Eventually I added flat handlebars, Wirges chambers, and fooled with the jetting.  Had it lean out and seize the center cylinder on the highway at about 70 mph.  Broke it lose by dumping the clutch at 20 mph and rode it the rest of the way by thumbing the choke lever every 2-3 seconds.  Loved that bike and regret selling it to this day.


I also had 3 H1s. I had one like yours with the front drum.  It had a tranny issue with popping out of second gear.  That year is kind of an oddball ignition wise.  I’ve also owned a ‘71 and ‘72.  Both were painted black.  I eventually had the 71 painted in the correct Orange and bought repro tank decals.  That bike was stolen from my apartment 2 months after moving to Miami.  A few months later I saw a guy riding it and chased him into a gas station and recovered it.  Still had my Indiana license plate and registration under the side cover. Cops let me take it on the spot.


I've had a long relationship with triples and would love to find another.  I just won’t pay the $10-20k the H2 go for these days.  

Best of luck with yours!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
12/9/18 4:50 p.m.

I finally got what I was pretending to wait for to continue working on this bike- a rolling shelf!

And, after a few hours we have what craigslist would call "H1 project 90% finished no lowballers"

A little more disassembly and the bike was ready to get flopped over (very carefully with the frame on blocks and an old tire):  

Then, after some tense moments as I balanced a disconnected motor and Sara picked up the bike, we have this:  

Check out the length of the motor mount bolts!  

So far disassembly has been incredibly straightforward- I love Japanese bikes, the only stuff on this that was difficult was thanks to previous owners rather than design or wear.  Next step will probably be to take the engine apart, although I might build a "clean stuff only" workbench to disassemble it on first.

44Dwarf UberDork
12/9/18 7:37 p.m.

How have I missed this thread? 

There are many systems out there if you're not set on OEM for ignition systems. Kaw's can be made to handle well my friend Vin races a few of them with the USCRA.

My older brothers h1 run a Thor swing arm that helps stiffen.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
12/10/18 5:52 a.m.

In reply to 44Dwarf :

Do you or any of those guys you mentioned have a setup/know somebody they like for H1 crank repairs?  My understanding is it needs to be pressed apart and back together to change the seals, and mine will definitely need that at a minimum.

1SlowVW New Reader
12/10/18 8:53 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Find a shop that works on snowmobiles. They should be comfortable with 3-4 cylinder two strokes.


SaltyDog HalfDork
12/10/18 9:25 a.m.



This is THE GUY for these bikes, IMHO. He did the porting on my H2 dragbike way back when and sold me a whole bunch of parts. He was always willing to take time for my phone calls as well (pre-internet days).

In the early 80's, I was running 6's (1/8 mile), spinning to half track, then carrying the front tire through the traps before I got the chassis and wheelie bar dialed in.

There was a bike with one of his complete motors that showed up from time to time that was running mid 5's with a rider who was a complete tool. Hard to say what a good rider could have done on that bike or a sub 200lb rider would have done on my bike.



stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
12/10/18 9:52 a.m.

Just last night I was looking at the website for Johnny's Vintage Motorcycle in Ohio: https://www.johnnysvintagemotorcycle.com/  They specialize in vintage Kawasakis including the triple two strokes, you could check with them on the crank and seal work.  They also have a Youtube page with some videos.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
12/18/18 7:53 a.m.

In reply to SaltyDog :

I emailed Gast- sounds like $895 for a complete crank service with all new everything.  I have no idea whether that's a good deal or not but he was quick to get back to me, so that's a good sign.

On another note, does anybody have anything they like for bringing old chrome and aluminum back from the dead?  I think I'm going to give the frame and swingarm a fresh coat of black paint, and the blue parts should come back nicely with a good cleaning, but I have to admit I'm in uncharted waters trying to make any of the other stuff look good.  I usually don't care but I feel like I should at least try to bring some of the shine back while I'm fixing this thing.

44Dwarf UberDork
12/18/18 9:05 a.m.

Paul at Gast knows his stuff, you should also call Stanley Gardner  ( GRC) and Rick at Harry's Machined Parts Harry's Machined Parts Address: 15 Belmont St, 
Northborough, MA 01532 Phone: (508) 366-1455.

When i was working at a machine / balancing shop we did lots of work for all three as well as many others but theses are the three I'd use myself.  HMP is good but not if your in a hurry there a two man show and have plenty of work.  I've not seen nor talked with Stanley in 20+ years but know he's still got the best rep for great cranks. (he used to do cranks at HMP)

NGTD UberDork
12/18/18 9:30 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to SaltyDog :

On another note, does anybody have anything they like for bringing old chrome and aluminum back from the dead? 

Autosol Metal Polish


They have products for chrome and aluminum

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/18/18 10:21 a.m.

In reply to 44Dwarf :

Chris - if you want to do anything with Harry's Machined Parts, the shop is close to my route to-from NH so I could drop parts off to them without much difficulty.

rdcyclist Reader
12/18/18 4:04 p.m.
Ian F said:

In reply to 44Dwarf :

Chris - if you want to do anything with Harry's Machined Parts, the shop is close to my route to-from NH so I could drop parts off to them without much difficulty.

My company's home office is in Westborough and I get back there once in a while. Is your office in the area?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
12/18/18 7:32 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

On another note, does anybody have anything they like for bringing old chrome and aluminum back from the dead?  

Flitz or Simichrome.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/18/18 8:02 p.m.

In reply to rdcyclist :

Our regional office is in Chelmsford, although I've never been there. Right now, I'm working out of a client site in Portsmouth, NH (posting from a hotel room).  I normally live in PA.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
12/19/18 1:56 p.m.

Re: chrome refinishing:

I've always had good luck bringing rusty forks and bars back with a green scrubbie/steel wool and WD-40 or the like. Lots of elbow grease, but the motion is quite naturalcool.

Aluminum: aircraft remover, and ever finer sandpaper. I like the big can of goo, as opposed to countless spray cans.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
12/24/18 11:08 a.m.

Continuing my trend of using this project as an excuse to add more storage, I decided to build a big rolling bench to disassemble the engine on.  Steel, casters, and the shipping fixture from the lift:  

Zap zap:  

5 partial cans of leftover spraypaint:  

It begins:  

Left cylinder and head removed:  

Everything looks to be in OK shape, although many of the bolts put up a fight.  I have a feeling this would be a lot easier if the bike were serviced more frequently than once every 45 years:  

The rightmost cylinder was really stuck.  Lots of heat, PB Blaster, and wiggling:  

Eventually it came off, but there was one casualty.  I'll have to drill this out:  

Getting there:  

Things apparently not invented by the early 70s include "a way to actually drain all of the berkeleying oil."  So many shop towels soaked through.  Just needed to flip the engine over:  

Remove clutch, apparently, the manual is pretty vague on whether this is necessary.  My "special holding tool" is one of the steel clutch plates and some vice grips:  

All the other stuff removed from this side of the engine:  

Remove a million nuts, tap with hammer, and:  

Neat!  I would say the crank seals could use replacement:  

I have to figure out how to package the crank for shipping in a way that will prevent damage from even the most careless of post-holiday wiped out deliverypersons.  And clean a ton of oil off of everything.


maj75 HalfDork
12/24/18 12:25 p.m.

This is making me want to find a triple, bad...

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