Boom! Here Comes the Mach IV

Much more than just a Mach III 500, the 1972 Mach IV 750 was a smoother, more comfortable superbike. But it was also very, very fast.

Kawasaki Mach IV 750 H2
Kawasaki Mach IV 750 H2

Irvine, CA -( The launch of the 1969 Mach III 500 H1 motorcycle vaulted Kawasaki from its position as an aggressive upstart motorcycle company to the zenith of the sport almost overnight.

Yet, Kawasaki’s ambitions that spawned the H1 were hardly quenched by its success, particularly since the motorcycle industry was also growing at a rapid pace. In addition, the arrival of a certain Japanese competitor’s groundbreaking four-cylinder 750 bike in 1969 had admittedly set a benchmark of its own. So what to do? Take the H1 and amplify it. This was war.

That’s exactly what Kawasaki did for 1972. With 50 percent more displacement than the H1, the all-new Mach IV 750 H2 superbike substantially raised the bar for performance as Tony Nicosia set a production-bike ¼ mile record of 11.95 seconds at 115.38 mph at Fremont Dragstrip in California on March 11, 1972. Quite literally, the new H2 put on two wheels the company’s tagline, “Come out ahead on a Kawasaki.”

The specifications were impressive: three air-cooled cylinders displacing 249cc each and fed by individually tunable 30mm Mikuni carburetors. Instrumentation included a 12,000-rpm tachometer and 140-mph speedometer that meant business. The big airbox and triple chromed exhausts delivered a wail at full throttle audible clear across town on a Saturday night. No wonder the H2 instantly owned the 750cc production class in both drag racing and road racing. In fact, on September 12, 1971 Ralph White had already given the H2 its first roadrace win, taking the checkers in the AFM Open Production class at Orange County International Raceway in California. Amazingly, this early-production machine was totally stock, having just been flown in for a dealer meeting!

Beyond once again blowing the roof off streetbike performance with the H2, Kawasaki sought civility with a roomier cockpit, wider seating, more compliant suspension, reduced vibration and more cornering clearance – all for just $1,395. While much bigger and badder, the H2 was also more refined, a philosophy that would define the four-cylinder, four-stroke Z1 juggernaut the next year.

With its production run lasting from 1972 to 1975, the Mach IV 750 H2 eventually became the leader of Kawasaki’s five-bike “Tri-Star” lineup that also included the 500cc H1, 400cc S3, 350cc S2 and 250cc S1 models.

Now in keen demand by collectors, the H2 has earned its rightful place on Kawasaki’s performance pyramid – crowding in at the top!


Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, side x sides, and Jet Ski watercraft through a network of approximately 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,700 retailers specializing in general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with approximately 300 of them located at KMC’s Irvine, California headquarters. Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles.

Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at

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Your photo though is of a 1969 500 H1? While I have nothing against the Mach IV (yes I have ridden them), the 500 H1 and the 903Z1 were far more significant. The 500 came first and for 2 1/2 years it reigned supreme in street legal acceleration. It could outrun ANY current street legal vehicle for just $995. It was scary around corners, the brakes only served to keep rain off the axles, there was almost no power below 5,900rpm but at 6,000 it took off for the sky and you had to fight to stay on the seat.… Read more »


If any manufacture built a line of motorcycles like this today they would have constant back orders. No Ninja style No crotch rockets just a plain old fashioned get on sit up ride the wheels off motorcycle like what is pictured. These styles were and always will fill the right portion of the motorcycle riding market. Sadly the manufactures believe they need the monkey over the football style of motorcycle design today. Go back to where you all came from motorcycle styling wise….See what got here not where we are but that bike we all long to ride again…..Try it… Read more »

Willard Walker

And the track where the record wAs set was Baylands Raceway park in Fremont California. I know I grew up racing there


Maybe Kaw should start making them again, just sayin.


Actually they have a new H2, it’s 200hp for the street and the track version is 330hp.


$53,000 MSRP PLUS $360 destination charge. I’ll buy a brand new Ford F-150, King Ranch Edition instead, thank you very much. However, if this unit blows up your skirt….go for it. One person’s crotch rocket is another person’s 4X4.


Back in the day, the riders were known as the quick and the dead. Sitting at a stoplight one day on my 1950 Harley, I was challenged by one of these hotshots to a race. I laughed at him saying that he would be at the next stoplight before I was across the intersection. I said how about a real race from where we were (Florida) to the west coast, he declined. The light turned green, he gunned it, across the intersection faster than you could think, straight into a car coming out of the gas station. He made it… Read more »