Kawasaki have not quoted any power figures for the street-legal Ninja H2, but we think it should be around 230bhp at least. Maybe more. Yikes!
After the track-use-only, supercharged, 300bhp H2R, which was unveiled at the Intermot in September this year, Kawasaki have now unveiled the street-legal H2. The H2 is powered by the same supercharged 998cc inline-four as the H2R, but this time, Kawasaki have not quoted any power/torque figures for the bike. We'd be surprised if it's anything less than 220-230bhp though, which is a hell of a lot for the street.
The supercharger fitted to the Kawasaki Ninja H2's 998cc inline-four uses planetary gears, spins at up to 130,000rpm and develops up to 20.5psi boost pressure. The bike's bodywork has been developed in collaboration with Kawasaki Aerospace and is designed to generate a significant amount of downforce at high speeds. And, according to Kawasaki, the Ninja H2's trellis frame provides strength and controlled flex, while the single-sided swingarm is mounted to the engine, which in turn is used as a stressed member. The other bits are all also there, of course - fully adjustable KYB suspension, twin 330mm front discs with four-piston Brembo calipers (with integrated ABS), digital LCD instrument panel, all-LED lighting, and a host of electronics, including multi-mode traction control, launch control, engine braking control, ABS and a quick shifter.
"Aside from minor differences in the engine, as well as an intake and exhaust system tailored for street use to meet noise and emissions standards, the H2's supercharged engine is essentially the same as the closed-course Ninja H2R. It delivers intense acceleration, unlike anything you can experience on a naturally aspirated bike," says a press note from Kawasaki. "The highly efficient, motorcycle-specific centrifugal-type supercharger was the key to achieving the maximum power and intense acceleration the engineers wanted. The unit is located centrally, behind the cylinder bank, in the best position to evenly distribute compressed air to all four cylinders," it adds.
Apart from its supercharged engine and trick bodywork, the Kawasaki H2 also gets 'dog-ring-type' transmission, which is commonly found in MotoGP and which was, in fact, developed with feedback from the Kawasaki Racing Team. Unlike a standard motorcycle transmission, where the shift forks slide the gears into position, the gears remain in place in a dog-ring transmission. Only the dog rings move, sliding into position to engage the desired gear. Because the dog rings are lighter than transmission gears, this type of transmission offers a significantly lighter shift effort, shift feel is improved, and a much quicker shift is possible, ultimately facilitating quicker acceleration. A hydraulic clutch and back torque limited is also part of the H2's high-tech six-speed transmission.
Coming to the Ninja H2's design and styling, it is perhaps more advanced than that of any other production motorcycle on the planet. "It is no accident that when viewed from the side, the Ninja H2 and H2R do not have the aggressive forward-canted stance of most modern supersport motorcycles.While supersport bikes use their front-leaning attitude to aid quick steering, at the speeds for which the closed-course Ninja H2R was designed, such a posture would create drag, which would hinder top speed potential.Therefore, the H2's stance is very neutral, almost flat – like a Formula 1 car – to make the body as aerodynamically sleek as possible," says the press note from Kawasaki. Scary, huh?
Oh, and if you were thinking of buying an H2 and taking your girlfriend out for a spin, forget that. "As enjoyment of the intense acceleration and high-speed capability was the first priority, a solo seat for the rider is the only seating provided," says a note from Kawasaki. "The riding position was designed for high speed and circuit riding.The rider triangle is similar to that of the Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle, but more relaxed. To help support the rider during intense acceleration, hip-supporting pads flank the rear of the seat.The hip support is adjustable 15mm backward to suit the rider’s size," it adds.
As befits a 220bhp (230? 240?) motorcycle, the Kawasaki Ninja H2 has a tri-mode traction control system and a rain mode, which should help keep riders on the pavement and prevent them from ending up in a ditch. There's also a launch control mode, which optimises acceleration from a standing start, electronically controls engine output to prevent wheelspin and minimize wheelies when launching.
The Kawasaki Ninja H2 even gets special mirror-coated black paint, which is highly reflective, appears black in the shade and take on the appearance of the surrounding scenery once the bike is out in the sunlight. "The stark difference in the way the paint appears in the light and shade emphasizes the beautiful curvature of the bike’s sculpted bodywork. While this kind of paint is similar in appearance to what has been used by top custom builders, this is the first time it has been used on a mass-production vehicle in either the automotive or motorcycle industries," claim Kawasaki.
So after reading all of this, you want one, right? Hmm. "The Kawasaki Ninja H2R and H2 are limited-release production motorcycles, available for a short time in select markets. In order to reserve one of the world’s first supercharged production streetbikes, make a deposit at your local authorized Kawasaki dealer no later than December 19, 2014. Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis and are secured only with a deposit," says the press note from Kawasaki.
The Kawasaki Ninja H2 is priced at US$25,000 which we think is pretty reasonably for such an insane piece of two-wheeled engineering. We absolutely love the H2 and, someday, we hope to buy one.
You're looking at the most phenomenal high-performance motorcycle to ever emerge from Japan. The Ninja H2 is simply monstrous!