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Pit Crew

1973 Kawasaki H1D

IMG_0221.JPGIMG_0699.JPGIMG_0701.JPGIMG_0852_Moment.jpgs-l1600 (1).jpgIMG_0946.JPGIMG_1168.JPGIMG_0966.JPGIMG_1584.JPGIMG_1413.JPGIMG_1586.JPGH1D Almost Finished.JPG 

As silly as it sounds I started this project because I had just wrapped up a XS750 triple project, and my brother challenged me to find and restore a Kawasaki triple. I had no idea what the H - scene looked like or how scarce the parts were, so of course I thought I would give it a go. Since May of 2020 only (2) H1s showed up within 500 miles of me on Marketplace, the roller you see here and a somewhat complete but sorry looking bike. (which sold within hours of being posted). I initially thought this black roller was too far gone, and only a fool would attempt to restore it. Every week or so it would pop up on my feed and each week my hubris would convince me to reconsider and eventually justify renting a van to go extract this gem from rural New Hampshire. After a 6 hour drive from Brooklyn, I set eyes on this project; as always it was 10x worse in person. The pictures show the deep crusty grime coating every surface of the bike, but they also show a complete wiring harness, an almost complete set of body work, and somehow original front reflectors still installed!. Grime and textured undercoat paint job seemed to tell a story of hatred for the well being of this machine; the condition illustrating almost endless cycles of abuse and neglect. Oddly, this H1 was last registered in 2013, it somehow served its owner(s) for 40 years before being gutted and left for dead. At this stage I was only thinking how will I approach this, where will the parts come from and who will I be able learn from along the way. I parted with $550 and we rolled it into the van.

As with any adventure, it's the unknown awaiting you on the journey that is most rewarding and at times the most painful. The internet was good for collecting information, but it is good old fashioned networking and conversations that lead me to some of the best people you could meet. People like Bob Mazzoli, who builds the very best and beautiful engines for these rare and unforgiving motorcycles. Bob was able to help me find a true H1D engine core to replace the destroyed engine I bought through Facebook. Kathy and John and LRC Triples in Bridgeport who are one of the last shops that can replicate the factory 7 paint process. It's not just the small shops, but Kawasaki too. They publish all the parts manuals for these 50 year old motorcycles and have them hosted for free download. The Kawasaki national database for spare parts let's any dealer see the inventory of the others. This allowed me to order parts put in dealer inventory 1/2 a century ago and pay reasonable retail. 


The project is almost complete, just a few fasteners and brackets to go.

I tried to document as much as possible, and who knows maybe my YouTube Channel with hit 100 subscribers soon!