With 300bhp and an estimated top speed of 350-390kph, the supercharged Kawasaki H2R is a speed junkie's wet-dream-come-true. Even the 200bhp H2 is not exactly a slouch. But if you want either of these machines, bring a lot of money and hurry up with it...
Powered by a 998cc supercharged inline-four the 200bhp Kawasaki H2 (and its track-use-only sibling, the 300bhp H2R) remain unique in the world of high-performance motorcycling. It is, of course, the supercharger that makes these bikes unique, as no other mainstream motorcycle manufacturer produces a forced-induction machine. Indeed, the H2R’s 350-390kph top speed (estimated) is so wildly over the top that few manufacturers would even attempt to match its performance.
As they announce the 2016-spec H2 and H2R machines, Kawasaki will again be opening bookings for these limited-production bikes, and we expect buyers to lap up the entire production run in a matter of days. For 2016, the street-legal H2 also gets a new slipper clutch, while both the H2 and H2R get a new “mirror coated spark black” paintjob, which includes glass flakes in the first clear coat. If you like extra-shiny metallic paint, Kawasaki have you covered…
Kawasaki would also like to remind punters that the H2’s/H2R’s supercharger uses planetary gears, spins at up to 130,000rpm and develops up to 20.5psi of boost, which results in intense acceleration – far beyond what normally aspirated engines are capable of delivering. The bikes’ steel tube trellis frame is, according to Kawasaki, specially designed for an optimum balance between stiffness and controlled flex, for a high level of stability at triple-digit speeds, while its open design also helps dissipate the heat generated by the supercharged engine. And the single-sided swingarm allows the exhaust pipe to be mounted closer to the bikes’ centerline, providing a high bank angle for hard cornering at high speeds.
The 2016 Kawasaki H2 and H2R are fitted with fully adjustable suspension front and rear – a KYB AOS-II 43mm front fork and KYB rear monoshock mounted via a Uni-Trak linkage, which provides excellent feedback for rear tyre grip.
Kawasaki have also made sure that the 2016 H2 and H2R stop as hard as they go, with twin 330mm brake discs at the front, gripped by radial-mount 4-piston Brembo calipers. Plus, of course, there’s ABS, multi-level traction control, launch control for quick getaways and a quick-shifter for faster gear changes. An Öhlins electronic steering damper keeps things tidy under hard acceleration and braking.
Kawasaki will accept orders for the H2R from today until 11th December 2015, and a very few units of the H2 will also be available. Contact your nearest Kawasaki dealer for more details.