Akashi Ghost Bikes

Rather like the ghost ships that are supposed to drift eternally in the world’s oceans, motorcycle manufacturers also have models that are either fictitious or almost ghost like.
Kawasaki has at least three, the lime green H1D 500, the earlier H1C 500 and the X99 Rotary.

After the Mach III 500 H1B of 1972 it seemed logical for Kawasaki to market an H1C but instead they jumped straight to the H1D with its modern styling, long teardrop fuel tank and seat cowl. Trouble is they jumped too soon and there were a lot of H1A and H1B parts left in the warehouse. No problem, the Akashi factory simply made a very short run of machines that looked like and H1B but with an H1A drum braked front end and electronic ignition. Although sold in USA dealerships, Kawasaki never really recognized the C as a model and many have been misidentified as “specials” when in fact they were standard.

For the lime green H1D the story is more simple yet no less intriguing. For sure there was a green H1D model that went into production but the lime green “ghost bike” version only ever appeared in a brochure and none were made – despite the fact that many owners have since had their machines resprayed to look like this unique machine.

And speaking of unique, how about an watercooled Wankel rotary engined X99 based around Z1 900 chassis technology. Kawasaki took out a license to investigate the potential of rotary power but only one test mule has survived which now resides in the factory museum in Japan. Unlike the often talked about square-four two stroke 750 that never went beyond a prototype, the Wankel was only ever an evaluation test bed and did not even reach a styling and paint stage but, like the two H1 500’s, it did and does exist. Myth-buster or Ghost-buster, you decide but dark manufacturer back rooms still hide some fascinating machines...

#cmsnl #cmsnlparts #Kawasaki #kawasakih1 #twostroke #classicmotorcycle #japanesebike.

image from instagram

source: https://www.instagram.com/p...
issued: Tuesday, November 09, 2021
updated: Tuesday, November 09, 2021

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