Kawasaki’s H2R 750 was first raced in 1972 but suffered handling problems due to its scaled up H1R frame. During the first half of the year various frames were tried by Team Hanson riders Yvon DuHamel and Art Baumann before this new design was chosen.
Four were constructed and remained in use until a revised frame was introduced during 1974. This is frame number 1 and was used by DuHamel from late ’72 through ’73 and in some European events in ’74. It is in “as raced” condition following competition in the Transatlantic Match races in the UK and Imola in 1974.
At some point in racing life a motor originally built in 1972 (with revised stud spacing) was installed. Fitted are Morris magnesium wheels, magnesium fork sliders and triple clamps, magnesium carburettors, cross-over expansion chambers with one high-level pipe, plasma-coated aluminium brake discs and alloy tank with factory quick fills.
Output was in the 100-110 hp region and one small item to note is that DuHamel always had his mechanics wrap a small amount of rag around the gear change lever end of his bikes, and it remains there to this day.
The air-cooled H2R motor suffered from constricted port design and excessive width, and had to be fitted high in the frame to provide adequate ground clearance – all due of course to the engine being based on that of the road bike’s.
The relaxing of the Formula 750 homologation rules that called for 200 examples of the basic design to have been available, down to 25, meant that the water-cooled KR750, with its dedicated race design, could be introduced in 1975. The later KR750 can be seen here 1977 Kawasaki KR750 | As raced by Gregg Hansford.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.