Kawasaki H1 and H1R-A 500cc 2-stroke triple
The mighty widow maker
If there was a bike that caused so many broken bones and gravel rash and skin grafts then this is it. Totally responsible for undertakers massive bottom line profit. What a shocker! The engine was a very wide 3 cylinder two stroke engine designed by a psychotic Kamikaze teacher. This bike was a bad handler and a real beast to ride. The engine sat too high, the chassis lacked strength. The brakes were virtually non existent -unless you fitted green linings and even then it was at best marginal. To tame this monster required balls the size of a hot air balloon and a total disregard for ones own safety. It was hellishly fast and handled like a roller skate in a gravel pit. But I loved it. It had style it had presence and everyone admired it. I cut my teeth on bikes like that. It made me appreciate the good bikes when they finally came along. Sadly most of these ending their life with crumpled up front ends laying in wrecker's yards. The 500 Factory racer version of this beast was a HIR-A and it was the only bike I rode that caused me to break a bone. A collarbone! What a bastard of a bike!