Kawasaki H2 750 Specifications
Engine – air-cooled, 3-cylinder, piston-port, 2-stroke
Capacity – 748cc
Bore/stroke – 71 x 63mm
Power – 74bhp @ 6800rpm
Torque – 57ft-lb @ 6500rpm
Carburetor– 3 x 30mm Mikuni VM30SC
Transmission – 5-speed wet clutch chain final drive
Frame – steel tube double cradle
Suspension – 36mm telescopic forks. Twin shock rear
Brakes – 275mm disc single-piston floating-caliper, 180mm single-leading-shoe drum
Wheels – 3.25 x 19 400 x 18
Weight – 206kgs
Top speed – 120mph
Wheelbase – 1410mm
Fuel capacity – 17ltrs
The H2 750 was introduced in 1972, the culmination of Kawasaki’s two-stroke project.
Its engine displacement of 748 cc (45.6 cu in) produced 55 kW (74 hp) at 6,800 rpm. The engine was entirely new and not a bored-out 500. With larger displacement as well as less aggressive porting and ignition timing,[ the H2 750 had a wider power band than the 500 H1, though Roland Brown said it was still “barely more practical” than the smaller predecessor, because Kawasaki had “done little” to address chassis problems, and so the bike was still prone to speed wobble. The 14 bhp (10 kW) gain over the 500 H1 put the H2’s output well ahead of its close rivals, the air-cooled four-stroke Honda CB750 and the liquid-cooled two-stroke Suzuki GT750.
To help address the speed wobble issue, the H2 came with a friction-type steering damping, as well as a built-in frame lug to attach a hydraulic steering damper. The H2 had a front disc brake, an all-new capacitor discharge ignition system which performed better than cap and rotor type, was virtually maintenance free, and was unique to the H2. The H2 also had a chain oilier, and a steering friction damper. The front disc brake performed adequately, though some riders added a second front disc for more braking performance.
Even with its limitations, the H2 was a success, because there were not many other bikes that could, Brown said, “even approach” the performance of the H2 Mach IV. A standard, factory produced H2 was able to travel a 1⁄4 mi (0.40 km) from a standing start in as low as 12.0 seconds with an expert rider on board, or 0 to 100 mph (0 to 161 km/h) in under 13 seconds.
The H-2 was comparison tested by Cycle magazine in 1973 against the Ducat-i 750, the Honda CB750, the Harley-Davidson 1000, the Kawasaki z1, the, Triumph 750, and the Norton commando 750. The competition consisted of acceleration, braking distance, and road race course lap-times. Each test was run several times including 10 attempts at a fastest road course time. The H2 was the fastest accelerating machine, posting the fastest 1/4 mile run on a drag strip. Experts were surprised at the other results. Despite an uncomfortable feel and slight front wheel hop under hard braking and not giving the sensation of stopping particularly fast it had the shortest stopping distance and highest braking G load of all the bikes. On the road course, despite what had been heard and written about its ill handling, frame flexing and the supposed tendency to Speed wooble exiting high speed turns, it was tied for the fastest lap time with the Kawasaki Z-1 to the tenth of a second. Overall the Kawasaki H-2 750 had the lowest ET, second-highest quarter-mile speed, the fastest lap time, the strongest braking force, the highest torque and horsepower readings on the dynamo meter, the highest power-to-weight ratio, the lowest price and scored by points for performance was by far the least expensive per unit displacement
In 1975 Cycle world tested the H2 Mach IV’s quarter mile at 13.06 seconds 99.55 mph (160.21 km/h), with a 0 to 60 time of 4.3 seconds, 0 to 100 mph time of 13.2 seconds, and a top speed of 110 mph (180 km/h).
Kawasaki’s reputation for building what motorcycle writer Alastair Walker called, “scarily fast, good-looking, no holds barred motorcycles” began with the H1.The H2 was part of the rise of the Japanese super-bikes, contributing to the decline of Harley Davidson, and nearly extinguished the British motorcycle industry in the US for a long period