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Anatomy of a winner: Kawasaki's H2

Supercharged high-tech Ninja is mega in both power and price.

Supercharged high-tech Ninja is mega in both power and price.

Published Aug 20, 2015


Johannesburg - Kawasaki supercharged Ninja H2 has been voted the 2015 Pirelli South African Bike of the Year.

The high-performance Japanese motorcycle was announced as the winner of the 2015 competition at an awards function held in Johannesburg earlier this week. With breathtaking power and an eye-watering R310 000 pricetag, the 998cc sports bike got the nod ahead of 15 other finalists that were tested on the roads of Gauteng and Mpumalanga last week by a 15-member jury of motorcycle journalists, including this writer.

The H2 is Kawasaki’s halo model, a technological showpiece for Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which has its fingers in many different technology pies. The supercharged engine was designed with knowhow sourced from many arms of the company, and its aerodynamic mirror stays were designed by Kawasaki’s Aerospace Company. As homage to this collective in-house effort, the H2 is the only Kawasaki motorcycle to wear the River Mark, the symbol of the KHI group.

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The metaphorical horseshoe in the H2’s boxing glove is that the supercharger gives it an acceleration advantage over normally-aspirated rival superbikes at power-sucking high altitude. Included in its high-tech package is a speedshifter that allows clutch-free upshifts to be made with the throttle yanked wide open.

The H2’s thrust is managed by a suite of electronics including ABS brakes, traction control, and launch control which prevents unintended wheelies.

The Kawasaki Ninja H2 scored 76 points to win the competition, with the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx second on 66 and the Yamaha R1 third with 54 points.

The other finalists scored as follows:

Aprilia RSV4 RR - 42

KTM 1290 Super Adventure - 26

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BMW S1000RR - 10

Indian Scout

Ducati Multistrada - 5

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Aprilia Caponord Rally - 2

BMW RNineT - 2

Zero RS - 1

Other competition sponsors included TomTom and Total.

Follow me on Twitter @DenisDroppa

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