Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Kills More Slowly: 1972 Kawasaki S2 Mach II

Kawasaki is known for it's H1 Mach III triple that was nick named "The Widowmaker" for it's outrageous two-stroke power and diabolical handling.  But lesser known is that Kawasaki had a full line of evil two stroke triples that could kill you just as dead.  Find this 1972 Kawasaki S2 Mach II for sale in Campbell River, BC for $5,000 via craigslist.

The S2 Mach II was introduced in 1972 and lasted until 1974.  Powered by a 346cc air-cooled two stroke triple, it produced 45 hp at 8,000 rpm.  It would kill you in a cloud of blue smoke on the quarter mile in 14.67 seconds at 89.46 mph according to Cycle World.  This bike was rebuilt by a retired cop from the crankshaft up.  The pipes aren't new, but don't look dented, probably a couple of evenings with some Simichrome would do a world of good.

The S2 was said to be not as bad as the H1 in the flexible chassis department.  The '72 S2 also came with drum brakes front & rear that were nothing to write home about.  This bike has been upgraded with a front disc from a '73 S2 and the rear shocks have been replaced with something else.  Whatever they are, they can't be any worse than the originals.

Lest you think I'm down on this bike, I'm not.  It's a cool piece of history.  A window into a time where the space age may have been winding down, but ordinary people didn't want to live in a risk-free virtual world.

Hat tip: Curbside Classic / Kawasaki

See something that might just kill The Stig? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent and in-house two stroke zealot.


  1. Some say he survived a first job as test driver for deadly Kawasaki bikes of the early 1970s... all we know is, he's called the Stig.

    Love bikes but never got into them since I trust neither my self-restraint nor other drivers...

  2. Tangentially related - I was surprised on the number of interesting classic bikes I saw whilst perusing Toronto CL over the weekend. Then I looked on Kijiji and who the hell designed that search interface?

  3. I can still viscerally recall the wobble at 80mph. PTSD on 2-wheels.

  4. Pretty sure these have either a hinge in the backbone under the tank, or perhaps the backbone is made of a pasta-like substance.


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