In May 2011, for the Coupes Moto Légende taking place on the French Dijon circuit, the organizer invited the legendary Canadian racer Yvon Duhamel.
Accompanied by his son Miguel, another renowned rider, winner of the 200 Miles of Daytona, Yvon Duhamel would be able to take the handles of one of the rarest works Kawasaki he ever raced, the 1974 H1RW.
Yvon Duhamel was one of the most striking racers in Kawasaki’s racing history.
From 1970 to 1977 the Japan based racing department of Kawasaki developed several exceptional machines significant of that period: From Simmonds 1969 Kawasaki 125 World Champion bike to the last KR 750 in 1977.
In 1973 Yvon Duhamel, at that time official Kawasaki racer, asked for a bike that should be lighter and easier to handle than the ones he had been racing.
For the 1974 season, the racing department developed two new 500 cc air-cooled three cylinder bikes, called H1RW (W standing for “works”).
The base of the bikes was identical to the 750 H2R, with lower diameter frame tubes (35 mm instead of 37 mm on the 750). The specific front brake callipers were forged in the lower fork part. Finally, the gearbox disposed of six gears (five on the privateer H1R).
Both bikes were sent to the French Kawasaki importer S.I.D.E.M.M., in order to enter the 500 cc World Championship.
The official team riders were the French Christian Léon and Yvon Duhamel. Christian Léon achieved a few results within the first ten of the Championship and Yvon Duhamel didn’t participate in all the Championship races.
In fact, with the arrival of the Yamaha and Suzuki four cylinder, obtaining good results became more and more difficult.
Kawasaki insisted in developing a new, liquid cooled H1RW in 1975, for the British rider Mick Grant.
Finally, at the end of the 1975 season, Kawasaki stopped racing in the 500 category.
Coming back to the two 1974 “air cooled” H1RW, they remained in the workshop of the French importer. Subsequently one bike was dismantled for parts.
Only a single bike survived. In 2010, it was recuperated by Hubert Rigal, former racer of Kawasaki France.
This bike is absolutely unique worldwide, the only “air cooled” works Kawasaki H1RW in existence.
The bike is complete and original (with the typical front brake callipers forged into the lower fork part). The frame corresponds to the KR 750 but with a smaller diameter.
Restored early 2011 in France, with the objective to be ridden by Yvon Duhamel himself, 37 years after, during the 2011 Coupes Moto Légende.
At this occasion, for security reasons (the bike was almost 40 years then), the suspension (the period type Ceriani) as well as the magnesium alloy rims and the faring were replaced by recent replicas.
This is a unique opportunity to own a very rare Grand Prix bike of historic importance.
Aged 73 (in 2011), this is probably the last time the famous Canadian racer Yvon Duhamel was riding a race bike.
This is a true collectors’ piece.
Further information and price upon request.
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