READER AD: 1970 Kawasaki H1 MACH III Triple 6

When this Kawasaki was new, it was a serious performance machine with a top speed of 120 mph and the capability of running a 13-second quarter mile. All that performance came from a 500 cc 3-cylinder engine, triple Mikuni carbs and a dry weight of 410 pounds. Reader Carrie S is trying to find a new home for this H1 Mach III barn find. It’s covered a little over 9k miles before being stashed away. There’s some work to be done to get it back on the street, but it looks like a great find. If you’re interested in buying it, you can contact Carrie via here Facebook ad here.

What Makes It Special? It’s a rare vintage motorcycle that is in good condition and low miles. The bike is an awesome project and a great investment.

Body Condition: The tank was replaced with a 1971 model and has a few cosmetic dings but everything else is good and original. Needs spark plugs and possibly a coil.

Mechanical Condition: The bike has compression, it gets fuel, but no spark. The CDI box has been replaced. Still needs the spark plugs replaced and could possibly need a new IGN coil. The title is in the works, but there is no info on any prior registration and doesn’t seem to have ever been registered.

Seller’s Listing: Here on Facebook marketplace

Hopefully, Carrie is able to get a title for it right away, that way the next owner can start enjoying it this summer! Getting it running shouldn’t be too difficult, these are really simple engines. A quick search found replacement CDI ignition units for under $100 and there are a number of parts suppliers that carry just about everything else it might need. This could prove to be a really fun bike to zip around town on and should provide brisk performance for its age. So, do you have any fond memories of these motorcycles?

  • Asking Price: $4,500
  • Location: Rayville, Missouri
  • Mileage: 9,573
  • Title Status: Missing
  • VIN: KAF-16503 KAE-16489

Do you have a motorcycle in your barn that needs a new home? Please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!


  1. canadainmarkseh

    I worked with a guy when I was just out of high school that had one of these. I’d watch him leave work each night putting a 10′ to 15′ black streak on the road. For there size these were an absolute screamer on the road. I think a lot of that has to do with being a 2 stroke short stroke engine. Most of these are gone now because they were driven into the ground by there owners. This bike would make a nice winter project for some one next year, after riding it a bit this summer of course.

    Like 11
  2. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Those are aftermarket pipes, and I am wondering where the third one is? Factory pipes were pretty straight, without expansion chambers, and two were on the right side.
    The mini-air filters, along with the pipes, tell me that this bike was hot-rodded, and could probably have been capable of 12’s when it was ridden by a testosterone-overburdened youth. Ahh, the things we did back in the day….

    Like 9
  3. michael streuly

    The kawasaki triples where bad fast for there day but they did not handle very good. Yes there should be 2 pipes on the right side. They also sounded very cool with expansion chambers.

    Like 3
    • 87Ragtop

      I had 2 of these a 70 and 72 500 both were extremely fast for the time both of mine top end was 110 mph ! I had a speed addiction back in the 70s I had to see 100 or all it would do on the way to work or home! Couple of guys at work that I rode with had bought new 900 Kawasaki’s they would blow me off the road! Just when I thought I was FAST!

      Like 2
  4. Suttree

    1972 fuel tank. The original air breather box is going to tough to find or tough to find at a reasonable price. Same for the exhaust pipes and correct gas tank.

    Like 1
    • Steve Park

      I’ve owned one of these since about 1970 (I have 3 now). I was too stupid apparently to realize they didn’t handle well, although I had better shocks on the back. I loved the original one and did things on it can’t believe now. Probably time to sell as I’m getting old.

      Like 5
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        “You don’t quit riding because you got old-
        You get old because you quit riding!!!!”

        Like 9
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Definitely looks like someone tampered with the exhaust system. These were potent bikes but all they were was horsepower. 60 hp out of 500 cc. My Norton was 60 hp out of 750 cc. There was a guy who showed up in my hometown on a ’69 model. He could beat just about anyone but a guy with a Norton Commando; that Commando was fast. But speed wobbles plagued the guy. He lost control of it (going too fast) and went through a stop sign to T-bone the local judge in his new Cadillac. The boy’s riding days were over…

    Like 4
    • Howard A Member

      We can’t see it, but I believe the center cylinder exhaust is siamesed into the right chamber under the bike. They made all kinds of aftermarket exhausts for these. Chambers really add some zing on a 2 stroke, for sure. Thing I’d like to know, is how it got almost 10K miles, ( 110? never) and was never registered. Sumting fishy there,,,

      Like 4
      • jeff

        a siamesed pipe doesn’t work. doubt it is been done that way.

        Like 2
  6. whmracer99

    Rightfully called the “widow maker” by some as the explosive bump on the torque curve around 5k rpms caught lots of folks by surprise and the high end handling was suspect at best. But oh yea, they would fly and in the right hands would whip just about any other vehicle on the road at the time. My brother in-law had one, drove it about a month and scared himself so badly that he never rode it again. I would take it out on occasion and the first time out I turned left out of a stop street and it picked the front end off the ground half-way through the turn. I learned quickly that acceleration runs were best done in a straight line on level straight road. There are a couple of great videos on youtube show these running at speed — the noise alone when it “climbs on the pipes” brings back great memories. Can’t see this being worth what he’s asking but the market will let him know.

    Like 8
  7. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    The engine was scary fast, but the frame was reputedly made by Rubbermaid..
    If you hade a Harris frame though it’d corner with the best and kick @$$ coming out of the corners-provided you were very brave or changed the wheels to something more accommodating of discs; the center cylinder could be an issue on a long ride if was left stock (jetting and plug).
    How did the previous owner(s?) put 9K on the odo without registration?
    This is a good price if it’s as good as it looks and is written. Great find, well written! Love to have this one..

    Like 5
  8. irocrobb

    I almost bought a H2 750 Kawasaki but decided it was just too fast for a 17 year old. I had a RD350 Yamaha and it was easy to get into trouble .I know the Kaw’s are bringing big money restored but this one needs alot in my opinion.

    Like 6
  9. mark

    These were scary fast. Friend of mine had the 400 version of this. They briefly made a 750 as well. Most of these ended up on the drag strips. Rare bike now due to that. They were very good in a straight line. Turning was another matter. Great find.

    Like 3
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I understand that the 750 version was for someone with death wish. I often heard it referred to as a ‘Kamakazi.’

      Like 7
  10. On and On On and On Member

    Rode one a couple times. Straight was all it could do. Did not handle at all. Scary fast. You could pick them up for nothing back in the late seventies. Nobody wanted them. Best left in the garage I think these gave motorcycling a bad reputation.

    Like 2
    • whmracer99

      Yup, but these weren’t the only bikes during that time that the engine development out-ran the chassis design.

      Like 5
      • Tirefriar

        Back in the day Japanese bikes were known to have wooden brakes and spaghetti frames

        Like 1
      • treg forsyth

        My 1977 GT750 Suzuki 3cyl. 2 stroke is quick but handles like crap if you push it too hard as well.

        Like 1
  11. Steve

    I knew someone that bought one used back in the day. First ride it conks out after awhile. Turns out it was getting 18 MPG and he ran a full tank dry on one ride. He didn’t keep it long.
    But it seemed pretty fast at the time

    Like 1
  12. GAS2HI

    I had a 69 500 Kal.. I ran 12.70’s at the local drag strip. The key was keeping the rev’s up coming out of hole.. would not even come alive until 5k.. also helping with my runs in the 12’s was that I weighed around 120lbs.. Young and amazed that I came out alive riding that bike.!! It was a scary bike best for straight lines..Also I had a 67 Yamaha 305 that I ran in the high 14’s!.. Best bike I ever had…

    Like 5
  13. Howard A Member

    A neighbor across the alley from me in HS, bought this exact bike, a ’72, I think. He actually let me ride it, and it was a fast bike, no doubt. It wasn’t the “widowmaker”, that was the 750. It really was a poorly engineered bike, fast in a straight line, so-so brakes, and ear splitting noise, and vibrated like a “Magic Fingers” mattress. It’s simply amazing, they came out with the Z-1 next, which was everything this bike wasn’t. Good luck finding a good CDI box, as I heard they were junk from new. These had a nasty habit of the middle cylinder running hot, causing them to stick. Sitting this long is the kiss of death for a 2 stroke, and crank seals are probably shot. Big job. Cool bikes when new, nothing I’d stick thousands of dollars into, just get a Z1 if you want to go fast, dependably.

    Like 6
  14. flatblackdave

    scary fast……..they would do anything except turn or stop….

    Like 3
  15. Paul

    The world is full of dreamers.

    Like 3
  16. Healeymonster

    My buddy has a nice scar up his leg from this beast kicking back during a kick start. I remember prefering bikes with electric start after that. Lol

    Like 1
  17. Steve

    Owned one of these growing up in Brooklyn ny. Never registered mine ether. Cops would confiscate it and mom and dad would go pick it up.

    Like 2
  18. Butchb

    Very sought after bike by collectors, although she may not get her asking price it will definitely sell. Jay Leno has a Youtube video of him riding one. Everything said about the speed, handling and braking is spot on. I have a 1976 KZ900 LTD another game changing superbike that I love to ride.

    Like 3
  19. lc

    I had a 1977 Yamaha 500cc in 1990 that looked very similar to this bike. I don’t recall the model, but it was red with a black decal on the tank. The bike was like new condition. That was my first bike then I bought a couple of more street bikes about the same size after that – a Kawasaki and Suzuki. Shortly thereafter, I went to the Navy, and never owned a bike again. But that first one, I wish I would have keeped.

  20. Terry Bowman

    I’m sure I’m wrong, but I recall them as Mach I, for the 500 and Mach II for the 750’s. They were the fastest thing at the drag strip, including many HiPo cars. The Yamaha 350, torque inducted with a oil reservoir that automatically mixed the oil and gas was fast enough for me. Never took it to the strip, but I could do 90 in two blocks. Looking back, I was not very smart doing so. I don’t recall a Yamaha 305, but do a 350 and a 360 as a dirt bike, but do a Honda 305. Ok, I had to look it up, mid 60’s, before my time.

    Like 3
    • stillrunners Stillrunners Member

      Yes….just sold my 1972 – running – with title , with a complete 72 drag bike for $2500….but still have years of memories!

      Like 2
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Good recall, although Kawasaki wanted to call it the Mach 1 but FoMoCo already had that so they went with the Mach II for the 400, Mach III for the 500 and Mach IV for the (Widowmaker!) 750..

      Like 2
      • stillrunners Stillrunners Member

        They made a 250 and 350 triple also…had the all at one time. The 350 was s fast little bike – think they went to 400 like Yamaha did. My 400 triple was a nice stock cruiser.

    • gijoe47

      My brother-in-law had a Yamaha 350 and it was fast enough for me too. He had the pipes cut off at the front foot pegs and when you started it up you better have some ear plugs in, I guess that’s how I lost some of my hearing riding that dang thing. He also had a Honda 750Four, that was one heavy @$$ bike. Can’t remember what year, it was maroon color, I think. The ‘70s & ‘80s were fun.

  21. Bobror

    I bought a brand new one in ‘72. It had no guts at all under 6000 rpm. But then, when the tach hit 6000 it was like it hit an electric switch and it came to life and took off like a rocket! Rode it from New York to the west coast and back. Not exactly a great touring bike but what did I know?

    Like 2
  22. Chuck

    In the spring of ’74, I went into Proffer’s Cycles in Flint, Michigan to buy a new Kawasaki 750 triple. The bike was priced at $1995, but he also had a ’73 Z-1 with just 4K on the clock for the same price. I took the Z-1, and never looked back! The only thing better than that Z-1 was a KZ-1300. Ah, those were the days! The Z-1 was rated 82HP, but it was controllable! I also built a ’65 Honda Super Hawk for the strip. The best ET was12.34 @ Detroit Drag Way. Not too shabby for 350cc’s. It was also ridden on the street every day, and I cruised Woodward Ave with it. Surprised the living daylights out of a lot of people with it! I still enjoy speed, but sanity set in, and I don’t have anything fast like that anymore!

    Like 2
  23. Dave Mazz

    Isn’t this the bike that earned the nickname “The Triple with a Ripple” for it’s less-than-stellar handling?

    Like 1
  24. Harry Kritis Member

    Scary fast. I bought mine in 1976, the first equipped with front disk brake and stabilizer. In the 70’s neither the drivers nor the pedestrians could appreciate that in a few seconds it could ‘jump’ from traffic light to traffic light. The engine noise above 5k rpm was reminiscent of anti-aircraft siren. It was 5kX2 because of the 2 stroke engine, up to 10kX2 totally unheard of at the time. U could never get used to it, it pushed u further. A few deadly mishaps, neighborhood asking my father if i’m still alive. I gave it as an advance payment for an Autobianhi Abarth, father put the rest. Too many stories with it, all scary (X)

    Like 3
  25. Bodyman68

    Rare ? Not quite ! Nice bike i had many 500s and a few 750s . Fast oh hell yeah and unpredictable as power band kicked in 4500 up and 120 ? Try again thats where they come alive 140 is hairy on one and as mentioned they were straight line bikes ! In the mid 90s we used to put bigger tires on them and lower them . Better handeling after that . We also ported the cylinders and added danco chamberd pipes . Never had problems with the middle cylinder as long as the plugs were one size cooler then recommended . To this day these bikes will do damage to new ones . Keep in mind power to weight and no frills or added accessories . They were built for speed and they did that well . 4500 is too much , not running and no paperwork and its a 500 ! 750s bring way more cash . Seals are easy to do on these bikes and parts are around so nothing rare here .

    Like 1
  26. pacekid

    Great story on these bikes. When I was 18 (1970), I worked at a Hess gas station in Jersey. three bikes pulled in for gas there was a triumph trident a 650 BSA and a Kawasaki, The Kawasaki sounded like a crappy little dirt bike. The three of them pulled out on to the street lined up to race. I thought it was a joke, then one guy said go and the BSA and triumph took off, the kawasaki just sat there. The other two bikes then hit second and the kawasaki just sat there. I though what the heck was wrong with the kawasaki, All of a sudden the Kawasaki it took off and flew by the triumph and bsa, I learned to respect what became known as a crotch rocket!

    Like 3
  27. Doug

    I had a ’69 that was one of the first in the US- it was a dealer demonstrator bike. When the dealer took it out for his first test ride, he decided to weld on a sidecar and go racing. ( He was a former German national class racer. ) When I bought the rig in 1977, it was outpowered by all the other rigs, but it handled so sweetly that we were able to beat several of the other teams, especially at Sears Point.
    After our first full season in 1978, we were getting false neutrals in turn 11 at Sears Point – it turned out that the frame was flexing enough to cause issues with the rear set gear linkage, so we bought a newer rig for 1979, one with a Suzuki GT750 Water Buffalo engine. I tried to attach a photo of the Kawie at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1978 for some reason I was unable to rotate the photo correctly . Click on the link at the topp of this post to see.

    Like 2
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      Here ya go!

      Like 2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Being the “monkey” is not for the faint of heart-kudos!

        Like 2
  28. Jack Kudary

    Had a 71. It was blue all 71’s were blue. The term “croutch rocket” was borne. Bike stood tall. With my 28 inch inseam it was a chore to “Hole Shot ” but with full throttle and a dumped clutch it was hold the hell on and catch second gear as fast as l could. After second the rest was I
    easy. Oh yeah. Forgot to tell. Had a 350 Kaw counter sprocket [one tooth less] which really gave it a bottom but limited the top to 95mph.

  29. Butchb

    Seller’s Description

    1970 H1 Mach III 500
    9573 miles
    Gas tank has been replaced with 1971 model
    Motorcycle was found covered in a barn. Does not run currently but wouldn’t take much to get it going.
    I checked with the Kawasaki dealers and they have no information on the title. It has never been registered . It was not necessary in 1970. I do not have a title yet.
    I want to TRADE this collectors bike for a dependable 4×4 truck that will fit 5 people. Or $4500 CASH firm! I want a fair trade.
    SCAMMERS, DONT WAIST YOUR TIME!! My husband was a motorcycle mechanic. I may be a woman, but I know this is a collectors bike and how much it’s worth so stop waisting my time and don’t bother wasting yours!

    • Tirefriar

      wording in the ad gives me such a warm feeling… can’t wait to see the bike and meet the seller in person…

      Like 3
  30. Tom S.

    Mach III: The bike that brought us the two-up, third gear, one-handed, peace sign wheelie.

  31. michael streuly

    The pipe for the center cylinder is missing. All triples had 1 pipe on the left side and 2 on the right side.

    Like 1
  32. 9K2164S

    I rode a ’74 S3 400 through my Junior and Senior years of High School from ’78-80. Very light bike. Could lift the front wheel with just the throttle in either first or second gear. Topped out at 110mph due to gearing, not lack of power. I didn’t appreciate it at the time but the frame was quite rubbery. Handlebars went into harmonic tank slaps at 80+ more than once but always calmed down on its own. Perhaps why the 500 and 750 had steering dampers?
    Glad my kids have no interest in owning one of these.

    Like 1
  33. Suttree

    To make these bikes even more of a beast I used to install a front sprocket that was one tooth smaller.
    The small loss of top end speed was more than made up for with even more blistering acceleration.

  34. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    And safer without as much top speed ‘cause they all would start shaking like a dog poopin’ Peach pits when you got up to the triple digits!

    Like 1
  35. xrotartguy

    My Dad was racing a Wasp Motocross sidecar back in the 70s and early 80s. His used the Kawasaki 750 triple 2 stroke. He got ahold of a program for making expansion chambers and made two sets of pipes for it, one for power and high rpm and one for torque at low rpm. Depended on the track. I got a ride on it when I was 5 years old. FRIGHTENING!

    My mom was the monkey on another sidecar team as well – the only female motocross sidecar team in the US to my knowledge at the time, maybe ever.

    My parents both sustained various injuries. My Dad eventually shattered his knee and that was the end of that! Lots of fun while it lasted though!

    Like 2
  36. xrotaryguy

    And one of Mom And Margie! (Not a Kawasaki triple)

    Like 3
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Very cool, Xrotaryguy. The photo’s a little fuzzy on my screen but it looks like Margie is pushing an old Brit bike with an Earles-type front fork! Major kudos to your folks-you must’ve had a blast during that time of life.

      Like 2
    • xrotaryguy

      They both loved it and they still tell stories! They also both paid the price! Broken bones are no fun…

      Funny side story, my parents eventually divorced (that’s not the funny part heh) And who did my mom remarry? A guy with a BMW sidecar. She has a type! 🤣

  37. Doug

    I discovered that the fastest way to get the sidecar off the line was when the one minute sign went sideways , signifying less than 20 seconds to green flag, shift into 1st gear from neutral ( had a Barnett clutch with an extra plate -could not stop from creeping after about 45 seconds as the clutch plates heated up ). Rev to 8,000 rpm. When the green flag starts to move, go to full throttle, easing clutch out, using it to hold the engine at 8,000 rpm until it starts to rise towards redline, shift into 2nd at about 9,000 This uses ALL the power to get the rig moving forward, rather than spinning the rear tire- if the rear tire spins and then grabs, it will often cause the engine to bog down out of the power band.

    Like 3
  38. Will Irby

    I still have an old Cycle World magazine with the first road test of the ’69 Mach III. I will post the article with the test if anyone is interested.

    Like 2
    • xrotaryguy

      Love to see it, Will!

      Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I remember actually reading it, in Cycle World, then Cycle. I’d love to have a chance to read those articles again…

      Like 1
  39. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Here Ya Go!

    Like 1
  40. Will Irby

    Okay, here is the article; I’m posting it as four separate attachments.

  41. Will Irby

    second attachment

  42. Will Irby

    third attachment

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