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Kawasaki H1

The Kawasaki H1 was a 500cc triple cylinder street motorcycle manufactured by Kawasaki from 1969 to 1975 (known in cycling circles as "The Mach III"). It was the bike that changed the course of high performance motorcycling.

Kawasaki H1
Also called Mach III
Production 69-75
Successor KH500
Bore / Stroke 60mm x 58.8mm
Compression ratio 6.8:1
Top Speed 125mph [1]
Horsepower 59 HP @ 8,000 rpm
Spark Plug NGK BUHX '69-72
NGK B9HS '72-75 (Also early Euro models)
Battery YUASA 12N9-481 '72
YUASA 12N9-4B1 '69-72
YUASA 12N9-3B 73-75
Transmission 5-Speed Return Shift
Final Drive Chain: 530 `73-75[2]
Front Tire 3.25-19 '69-75
Rear Tire 4.00-18 '69-75
Wheelbase 1400mm
Weight 174 kg
185 kg
192 kg (dry),
Recommended Oil K-tech 10W-40
Related Kawasaki H2
Kawasaki S1
Kawasaki S2
Competition Suzuki T500
Honda CB450
Value $6000 - $8000
Manuals Service Manual

Brochures ·



The Kawasaki H1 Mach III was the result of the successes of the Honda CB450 and Suzuki T500. The United States was the largest market and the public had the desire for larger bore, higher horsepower and higher top speeds from bikes. Kawasaki had the A1 and the A7 which were impressive performers but Kawasaki needed a performance flagship to compete with not only the Suzuki T500 and Honda CB450 but also to take on the established British heavyweight machines. Kawasaki came up with the N100 Plan in July 1967. The target was to create a motorcycle with a displacement of 500cc, a 1/4 mile standing start of 13 seconds, and 60 horsepower. Kawasaki planned to do this by (1) increasing the bore of air-cooled two-stroke parallel twin cylinder Rotary Disc Valve engine on the Kawasaki A7 Samurai, or (2) develop a revolutionary new engine layout. Both twin cylinder and a three cylinder engines were developed alongside each other with the assistance of Osaka University. Kawasaki finally went with the three cylinder.

Kawasaki produced the first ever MACH III in September 1968. In June 1970 Kawasaki launched a candy red bike with white stripes and a few minor changes. In September 1971, the H1A was launched. [3]

The three-cylinder, 500cc two stroke power plant had an impressive 60 horsepower and became the quickest production motorcycle EVER produced as it sped down the quarter mile in an unbelievable 12.8 seconds @ 99.5mph. The H1 retailed for $999.00 it would typify what Kawasaki became known for Innovation and Acceleration! The H1 still creates excitement today. Kawasaki 2 stroke triple.

1969 H1Edit

  • Piston Valve
  • Color
    • Fuel Tank: Midnight White, Peacock Gray
    • Front Fender: Stainless steel
  • Engine No.: KAE-00001-
  • Frame No.: KAF-00001-
  • Parts Catalog No.: 99997-115, @ 99997-1165
  • Shop Manual No.: 99997-711
  • Remarks: Two-stroke, triple-cylinder engine with oil injection. Except for European model, has CDI ignition system. Original H1 features diaphragm fuel tap, separate handle-bar holder, and air scoops on the rear brake panel.

1970 H1Edit

  • Color
    • Fuel Tank: Candy Red
    • Front Fender: Stainless steel
  • Engine No.: KAE-06315-
  • Frame No.: KAF-06727-
  • Parts Catalog No.: 99997-121s
  • Shop Manual No.: 99997-711
  • Major Changes: Color and marking.

1971 H1AEdit

1971 Kawasaki H1
1971 Kawasaki Mach III Triple (H1) in Blue
1971 Kawasaki Mach III Triple (H1) in Blue
1971 Kawasaki Mach III Triple (H1) in Blue
1971 Kawasaki Mach III Triple (H1) in Blue
1971 Kawasaki Mach III Triple (H1) in Blue
1971 Kawasaki Mach III Triple (H1) in Blue

  • Color
  • Fuel Tank: Candy Blue
  • Front Fender: Stainless steel
  • Engine No.: KAE-21876-
  • Frame No.: KAF-23626-
  • Parts Catalogue No.: 99997- 177s
  • Owner's Manual No. : 99995-314
  • Shop Manual No.: 99997-711
  • Major Changes: Color, marking, and fuel tank.

1972 H1BEdit

Though the Kawasaki H2, Kawasaki S2, and Kawasaki S1 had a redesign which included a race tail as opposed to standard rear fender, the H1 Mach III kept the appearance of the previous year with respect to the rear end. Kawasaki, however, saw fit to at least paint the rear fender... the only year Kawasaki would paint both fenders on their street bikes.

1972 Kawasaki H1B

  • Color
  • Fuel Tank: Pearl Candy Orange
  • Front Fender: Pearl Candy Orange
  • Engine No.: KAE-54101-
  • Frame No.: KAF-48763-
  • Parts Catalog No.: 99997-521, (E) 99997-522s
  • Owner" Manual No.: 99997-525
  • Shop Manual No.: 99997-711
  • Major Changes: Color and marking. Battery ignition system replaced the CDI ignition system. Front disc brake and steering oil damper adopted. Spark plugs changed to NGK B9HS.

1973 H1DEdit

The H1D was redesigned to follow the appearance of the Kawasaki H2 750, S2 350, and S1 250 with a 2nd generation race tail partially enclosing the tail light assembly.

  • Color
  • Fuel Tank: Candy Lime
  • Front Fender: Chrome
  • Engine No.: KAE00000
  • Frame No.: H1F-00007 -
  • Parts Catalog No.: 99997-601, (E) 99997-605S
  • Owner's Manual No.: 99997-547
  • Shop Manual No.: 99997-711
  • Major Changes: Color, marking, fuel tank, and seat. H2 type CDI ignition system adopted. Steering friction damper and air scoops on the rear brake panel discontinued.

1974 H1EEdit

  • Color
  • Fuel Tank: Candy Lime, Candy Red
  • Front Fender: Chrome
  • Engine No.: KAE87001-
  • Frame No.: H1F-17001-
  • Parts Catalog No.: 99997-625, (E) 99997-625-01S
  • Owner's Manual No.: 99997-811, (E) 99983-020, (F) 99983-028, (I) 99983-007, (W) 99983-008
  • Shop Manual No.: 99997-711
  • Major Changes: Color and marking. New type of CDI ignition system adopted. Check valve adopted at the crankcase bottom.

1975 H1FEdit

  • Color
  • Fuel Tank: Candy Sky Blue, Candy Green
  • Front Fender: Chrome
  • Engine No.: KAE102400-
  • Frame No.: H1F-32400-
  • Parts Catalog No.: 99997-625-50s (E) 99997-625-51S
  • Owner's Manual No.: 99997-849
  • Shop Manual No.: 99997-711
  • Major Changes: Color and marking.


In 1976 the model designation was changed to the KH500


1969 Kawasaki H1R

In 1970, the H1R was available worldwide as a limited production road racer. The worldwide racing success of the H1R furthered the performance image of Kawasaki. The H1R 500cc triple two-stroke engine claimed 80 hp @ 9,500 rpm. During the 1970 Daytona 200 road race, an H1R piloted by Ginger Molloy was clocked on the banking at an unheard of 159.83mph.

  • 500 cc
  • 2-Stroke, 3 Cylinder
  • Piston Valve
  • 5-Speed Return Shift
  • Maximum Horsepower:
  • 80 HP @9,500 rpm
  • Spark Plug: NGK B10EN
  • Tire Size
  • Front: 3.00H-18
  • Rear: 3.50H-18
  • Color
  • Fuel Tank: Lime Green
  • Front Fender: Lime Green
  • Engine No.: KAE-90001-
  • Frame No.: KAF-90001-
  • Remarks: Road racer version of the H1 with more power. Has forced lubrication, but in addition oil must be mixed with gasoline. Production limited.


  1. Cycle - April 1969
  2. 2019 Western Power Sports Catalog. Western Power Sports. 2019. 
  3. History of the H1 Mach III