Maybe some of you experienced a similar story to the one that happened to me a friend of mine many years ago in the mid-nineties. I rode That friend of mine rode one of these early nineties GSXRFZRCBR-supersport bikes with the right amount of power but a kerb weight of a tractor and the handling of a cow. At this time Streetfighters were the next big thing and I ripped my mate ripped every plastic bit off of his racer, bolted twin headlights to it as well as a handlebar the size of a pitchfork. My mate immediately was the local hero and nobody could fool him. Until that day when I rode my friend rode his rolling explosion drawing of a bike on a twisty strip of tarmac and spotted another bike approaching quite fast from behind. Before I could my mate could even understand what had happened he had already been overtaken by someone on a bike that looked like the ones he had seen in a documentary about some bush doctors in Africa. Seconds later there was only a little cloud of sweet-smelling, blue fumes left to be seen. The friend still remembers the rider was wearing rubber boots and had his groceries strapped to the passenger seat of his bike. A few miles later my friend stopped at the same gas station just to see that this maniac of a rider seemed to be a pensioner.
On that day I learned my mate learned a few useful lessons:
1: Riding a motorcycle is no high performance sport. Just because you’re younger and fitter doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the first to pass the finish line. In fact, chance are high it is the exact opposite.
2: Beware of old two-stroke motorcycles. They often look like the postman’s bike but have the temperament of a wild boar.
3: Beware of a Kawasaki H1 or H2. They are nicknamed widow makers for a reason.
Now, after reading that little story have a look at this Kawasaki H1 from MHC Workshop in Marseille, down in the south of France. What do you think this bike could do on a twisty road today?
Roman, owner of the workshop, stumbled upon a batch including a clean H2 and a crappy H1 he used to build this bike.
Early H1 and H2 frames were completely overburdened with the power of the engine so the first step was to reinforce the frame as well as the swing arm. A beautiful Ceriani fork with modified Sportster clamps was added to the mix while 18-inch alloy spoke wheels with Grimecas coming from a Yamaha TZ complete the picture. I think you can guess the price range we’re talking about, don’t you?
The same amount of attention was paid to the engine: ceramic-coated con rods and pistons as well as a reengineered transmission and oil circuit. The bigger carbs combined with a Powerjet produce a more potent gas mixture that is evacuated trough a hand-made (hand rolled) exhaust system.
The small seat combined with a minimalistic tail section is putting the tiny 5 liter Indian racer gas tank in the limelight. Considering a consumption of 20 liters on 100 kilometers one can make the math for himself. Yes, you have to stop a bit more often but you definitely won’t forget a single second of these 25 kilometer stints.
The finish , the quality as well as the components used to build this bike are simply astonishing. Roman says he can duplicate the Kawasaki if someone might be interested but you should bring 20000€ to start with.
By the way, the MHC in MHC Workshop stands for Made in Hell Cycles. This Kawasaki makes that name seem legitimate.
So if you happen to be in the south of France one day you might make the same experience as I did my mate did and end up engulfed in a little two-stroke cloud. But one thing is for sure; you’ll meet Roman at the next gas station.