tl1000s & an odd question

Jerry Clair darkclarity2k at
Fri Aug 8 18:54:28 PDT 2008

Great story Steve. 
and to think my mom wiped-out on a JC Penny mini bike. I watched her fly by with legs
sticking out because she couldn't stop and her extra hair piece/wiglette [popular in the '60s]
blew off the top of her head. 
Then the noise and scream! Kodak moment.

----- Original Message ----
From: Steven Bixby <steven at>
To: scapco at
Cc: Jerry Clair <darkclarity2k at>; Kawasaki GPZ1100 discussion <gpzlist at>
Sent: Friday, August 8, 2008 9:41:04 PM
Subject: Re: tl1000s & an odd question

I owned a 73 Kawasaki H2 750 2-stroke triple.  These were the original widowmakers.

Charles S.

I was gonna reply about the "original Widowmaker" too.  

Way back when I was a teen, my mom expressed an interest in motorcycling, and my father reluctantly went along with the possibility.   She tried out this sweet little Honda twin, maybe a CB350?  It actually had a fairing or a windshield if I recall correctly.   She rode it home and my dad and I figured out it was only running on one jug, so she took it back and told the dealer a few choice slang words. I'm sure we could have gotten it running quite well, but I think she was mad at the guy for more reasons than just the running status of the bike.

Next thing along was a bike for sale on the other side of town (rural Colorado), so my dad went with her to try it out. He went out along on a backroad 2-lane, no helmet or other protection as was rather common back then, and the bike went down pretty hard; rashed him up pretty good, including his chin and cheek, hip, thigh and shoulder.  He said a few days later that the bike shook really bad when we was slowing down, which I would now interpret to be a tankslapper.  That incident, of course, freaked everyone out pretty badly, especially my mom who instantly gave up the motorcycle bug.  And for many years afterwards, she threatened me and my sisters with dire consequences, both from riding and from her person, if we ever rode on the street.  We did continue to ride dirtbikes, though - but now, wearing helmets.

Well, because my dad crashed the bike, he was obligated (and honorable) to buy it for what the owner wanted, of course.  So a friend went and got the bike on a truck, and brought it back.  The damage was actually quite small, a little rash, bent up bars, levers.  The bike was...  a dark green Kawasaki two-stroke triple.   Yep, the infamous H2 - I can't remember if it was the 750 or the 500, though.

Eventually, a family friend offered to buy it for what he paid for it, so we got off relatively lightly, financially speaking.   Hearing that thing run was a blood-chilling thrill to my 14-year-old ears, and my dad's banged-up state notwithstanding, I *really* wanted to try it out.  Of course, they wouldn't let me go within 10 feet the thing - no-way, no-how, ain't happening, fugeddaboudit.

It wasn't until just a few years ago that I got into modern road motorcycling and read about the H2's reputation as a widowmaker, and realized that's what we had, for a few brief weeks, in our driveway.   Nowadays, I'd love to get my hands on that bike!!!  

I'm sure my Mom would still probably kick my butt if I tried. :)

More information about the GPZList mailing list