You just know I’d have to get a 2 stroke in here. It’s my first passion after all. But this one was really tough for me. Ordinarily it’d be a snap. Just put up a picture of a TZ750 and call it a day. But while the TZ was technically a “production” bike it was hardly common much less street legal. I could go with an RZ500 but it’s a non-US bike. RZ350? Maybe.. I do love them but they’re hardly “iconic” so no. I’m also a huge fan of the Yamaha RD350 and 400 series bikes but they’re not very inspiring when completely stock so in fairness I have to scratch them. Then there’s the entire Suzuki T and GT lineup which is quite impressive and brilliantly engineered but no one bike grabs me.
That leaves the Kawasaki triples which could win as a category but in fairness I should pick just one. I personally own and much prefer the late model H1 500’s to the H2 750’s. And my ideal bike is an H2 engine in an H1 chassis (I’m actually building one). But again that’s not “production”. So which way to turn? It’s very close. While I’m very tempted to go with the gorgeous purple 75 H2 (it is a stunner) I have to go with the first in the series that set the tone. The 1969 / 1970 first generation Kawasaki H1. Just a stunner of a motorcycle for it’s day and indeed,ANY day.