First released in the US in 1969 is today’s feature bike a classic 1969 Kawasaki H1 Mach III. Manufactured by Kawasaki Motorcycle Corporation this is a high performance two-stroke 500cc production motorcycle.
Starting out as a shipbuilding company, Kawasaki went on to build some of the worlds most renowned motorcycles. In the 60’s the US market was a playground for all the big motorcycle manufacturers with the riders demanding bikes with more horsepower and greater speed. Kawasaki already had its first 650cc Kawasaki W series but it did not fit the niche they were aiming for.
With Honda introducing its Honda CB450 in 1965 and Suzuki appearing with their T500 1 Cobra, Kawasaki knew exactly what they needed to build. It was in 1967 that a Kawasaki development began on the top secret N100 Plan. The goal was to build a motorcycle with 500cc displacement that was able to produce 60hp and lay down 13-second quarter-mile times.
It was finally in 1969 when Mach III was released in the U.S with a white sculpted “egun” fuel tank with blue racing stripes along the lower parts of the tank and the bike featured special Dunlop K77 tires. The Mach III was an extremely successful motorcycle for its time and its speed was what attracted many riders.
The bike you see here was restored by A&H Performance Cycles and was auctioned at Bonham’s with a final sale price of £12,650.