Friday, September 18, 2009

Classic Kawasaki Flat Trackers. Carry over post from my 2-stroke site...

Like I've said before sometimes I get stuff over on my 2-stroke blog that's just too good not to "cross-over" to here. Hope ya don't mind..

My new favotite blogger Mike Stuhler of the excellent STUSSHOTS blog sends in these fantastic pics of a bike I've been enamoured with for years. I've actually posted a small grainy version of that beautiful green and white tracker somewhere on here before but it was a really rough shot. These come straight from the source and the detail is revealing. Reverse cylinder top end, big gulping roundslides, nicely tucked in chamber and some sweet fab work.

Mike Writes:

Hey Steve- Here are a few shots for you that might be of interest to you.Back in late 74/early 75 Erv Kanemoto--who went on to tune World Championship teams for Spencer, Lawson, Gardner, Kocinski and several other somewhat well-known racers, put together a couple of H2 triples for flat tracking, in the hopes of trying to compete against the upcoming and omni-present XR750 onslaught that was about to overtake and dominate American Class C flat track as it was known in the day.Kanemoto was a genius in putting together some of the finest, let alone fastest bikes of the day. This particular little gem of a project involved a Champion frame, Ceriani front end w/ what I believe were Akront aluminum rims. The mags were just starting to be regarded as enough of a weight and time savings, but only a few guys were running them, hence the standard spoke rims. As you can see he ran both on this sweet little piece. I'm not familiar enough with the technical aspects of what he did do in the way of porting/polishing this jewel, but it was pretty much a rocket ship. But, like the TZ that Roberts won Indy with--a week later after the Terre Haute shots attached were taken--they just wouldn't hook up on a dirt track real well. And the power band on these were even more of a lightswitch then even the TZ turned out.But man, if you were a 2 stroke head, and I definitely was and still am, these things sounded f...in wicked.These shots attached were a few I took that historical week. Donnie Castro was just out of a contract from the Yamaha super team as they went it alone with KR that first year. So Erv enlisted Donnie at several races--Terre Haute, Indy, and Syracuse--on the eastern swing, and also had Scott Brelsford at Syracuse as well. Neither qualified in at any of those races that I remember.I've attached some shots of Donnie and the H2. The color shot is from TH and in the far left you can see the brim of Castro's hat, and the dude in the sunglasses is former #9, Gary Nixon. The others are of Donnie at TH and Indy during practice/time trials--again in August '75. I've got some other b/w shots of both DC and Brelsford from Syracuse, but I'll save those for another time and another surprise!
Mike

Can't Wait! I always wondered about the timing of these bikes in relation to King Kenny's dream machine. I can only dream what THAT matchup would have sounded like. Thanks Very Much for filling in the history on these awesome rides.





1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing a Kawasaki triple at a mile race in San Francisco about this time, I don't remember who rode it but it was sure fun to watch! He would pass most of the field on the straights and then get passed in the next corner - he didn't place well but as i recall he made the main. Pretty cool!

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