Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kawasaki unleashes the insanity, unveils 300bhp H2R Ninja

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The new Kawasaki H2R Ninja. About as powerful than a MotoGP bike. At least they're not letting you ride it on the street...!

Kawasaki have been saying that the H2R will be "Built Beyond Belief," and they're damn right, the machine really is unbelievable. The official pics and specs are out now and the bike you see here - the track-use-only H2R - is powered by a supercharged 998cc inline-four that produces 306 horsepower. Yes, that's about 50-60bhp more than your average MotoGP bike.

"When the Ninja H2R motorcycle was conceived by Kawasaki, the driving concept behind its development was to offer the kind of acceleration most riders had never experienced. Being 'Fun to Ride' is one of Kawasaki’s guiding principles, and while there are many ways for a motorcycle to be enjoyed, strong acceleration was considered to be a major factor in delivering rider exhilaration," says a press note from Kawasaki. Yeah, well, we really don't know what they've been smoking, but the chaps at Kawasaki seem to have figured out that 306 horsepower should be just about enough for a motorcycle that accelerates really hard and which can hit a top speed of 400kph. Brilliant!

The Japanese company makes it clear that the H2R Ninja is a "mass production" motorcycle, but one that you can only ride on a closed course - this is not for the street. The streetbike version, the Kawasaki H2, will be unveiled at the EICMA later this year. "Fitted with slick racing tires, the H2R may not be ridden on public roads and should only be ridden by experienced riders," says the Kawasaki press release.

The H2R's supercharger was designed in-house, at Kawasaki, using technology expertise from group companies like the Gas Turbine & Machinery Company, Aerospace Company and Corporate Technology Division. And that goes for not just the bike's supercharger, but also its bodywork-mounted carbonfibre winglets, that help increase stability at very high speeds.

The use of a steel-tube trellis frame seems a bit odd here, given the high-tech nature of the H2R. We would've expected to see a conventional aluminium beam frame here, or even a Panigale-style monocoque. But Kawasaki claim that the H2R's trellis frame is suitably stiff, yet provides "balanced flex" for sharp handling and high-speed stability, without having to resort to a very long wheelbase. However, it's still probably safe to assume that the H2R won't need a great deal of encouragement for popping 3rd-gear power wheelies...

"More than any motorcycle Kawasaki has built to date, the Ninja H2R is a showcase of craftsmanship, build quality and superb fit and finish, right down to its high-tech mirror-finish black chrome paint that was specially developed for this model," concludes the press note from Kawasaki.

2015 Kawasaki H2R Ninja: Tech Specs
Engine: 998cc inline-four, supercharged, liquid-cooled
Supercharger: Centrifugal, scroll-type
Maximum Power: 300bhp
Frame: Trellis, high-tensile steel
Slick Tyres: 120/60 R17 (front), 190/65 R17 (rear)
Top Speed: 402kph

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