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Kawasaki Mach III in Florida

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Fire-medic

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Not mine, though from reading the description, it belonged to someone I know. The bike is in South Florida.

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1969-kawasaki-h1-500/

This is the real deal, "the Widowmaker," "Death On Two Wheels," "Cemetery Express," or whatever hyperbole you choose to-refer to an iconic part of early Japanese performance motorcycles. Some call it "the first superbike," though greybeards may choose to award that to the Vincent Black Shadow/Black Lightning. Without a doubt, it can lay-claim to the title of the "fastest, quickest Japanese motorcycle for the least-price," as they were $999 when they were released at the same time as the Honda SOHC 750/4. The SOHC inline four-cylinder Honda with a disc brake gave the marketplace something which was essentially unavailable prior to this. With its mild manners and smooth operation, the Honda was the bike for the mature enthusiast with a decent bank account, who enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra, maybe wore a tie to-work, and who enjoyed drinking chianti from a straw-covered bottle, sitting in-front of the console Magnavox TV to watch "The Ernie Kovacs Show."

The Kawasaki Mach III buyer was a different demographic. He was still in school, had a part-time job, saving for a car or a bike, and living at his parents' house. He wore slacks to school, because only the 'farmer boys' were allowed to wear blue-jeans, though outside of school, jeans were his choice, with Jack Purcells or high-top white-canvas basketball sneakers. Out of school, a tie-dye t-shirt was pretty-'out-there,' but so-much cooler (literally!) than the Ban-Lon pullover shits his older brothers wore. Other than the bike or car fund, his net-worth depended on whatever crumpled bills were in his pocket. His musical tastes ran-to Steppenwolf and Country Joe McDonald and the Fish, because the former was so-bitchen,' everybody-knew "magic carpet ride" meant something-else! And parents hated Country Joe yelling-out "The Fish Cheer" from "Fixin' To-Die Rag." "What's that spell? What's that spell?"

What he wore to-work was a uniform shirt, with an oval name-patch sewn-onto the left breast, his name, so that when the customer pulled-into the full-service gas station, they would know at-least the first name of the guy pumping gas. What he drank was whatever beer he could get. For TV, he'd go to a friend's house whose parents didn't care that they watched "Laugh-In" with that ditzy skinny blonde wearing a bikini and body paint, "sock it to me!"

Then upstart Kawasaki threw things out the window by releasing the quickest, fastest thing on two wheels, a wheelie machine in multiple gears, which could leave a fuelie 'Vette behind at any stoplight turning green, along with a cloud of two-stroke oil. This thing had two gas tanks, only one took gas, the other was for the oil. Everyone heard about the kid two towns-over, who bought one of these three-cylinder rocketships from the very-same dealer, and who didn't make it home, before he launched it right-off the road at The Big Curve outside of town, and put himself into the big city hospital, his limbs covered in plaster, and tubes running into and out-of him, to bottles draining into his body, or out of it.

Someone-else bought one, and when they tried to-take their friend for a ride, the Blue Streak reared-up and spit them both off the back, and wheelied-across the street right-into the side of the Smith's new Buick deuce-and-a-quarter. All-this, for nine-ninety-nine. Maybe you should get one of those new-style helmets, that look-like a Chap-Stick cap, and which hide your face. A Bell Star, with the fixed in-place windshield. Just-like Gary Nixon wore! "Hey, Niner!"

This bike was clearly a Killer Motorcycle, evil, wicked, mean and nasty. As Ray Bradbury said, "something wicked this way comes." Its distinctive exhaust not was nothing like the flat drone of the Bonnevilles, or the irregular sound of a Sportster. It was high-pitched and buzzy, and when you let-off the throttle, it made a sound that the four-stroke twin riders derided as "ring-ding-ding." No-matter. Nothing can catch the Mach III.

Mach III.jpg Gary Nixon Bell Star.jpg
 
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