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Kawasaki takes wraps off new H2

The street-legal H2 is powered by a supercharged 998cc engine.

The street-legal H2 is powered by a supercharged 998cc engine.

Published Dec 12, 2014


Milan, Italy - Recently we brought you news of Kawasaki’s track-only H2R superbike, a supercharged 998cc beast with a mind-numbing output of 224kW, making it the world’s most powerful production bike to date.

Kawasaki has now pulled the wraps off the much-awaited street-legal version, the H2 Ninja, and revealed that the inline four-cylinder engine pushes out a neutered 147kW (154kW with ram air). That’s about the same output as made by Kawasaki’s existing ZX-10 superbike, and the ZX-10 is also around 40kg lighter than the 238kg H2.

However the magic number lies in the H2’s reputed 140Nm of torque which significantly out-muscles the ZX-10’s 115Nm.

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To facilitate smooth, quick shifting, the H2 uses a motorsport-derived dog-ring type transmission. Unlike a standard motorcycle gearbox in which shift forks slide the gears into position, with a dog-ring transmission the gears all stay in place. Only the dog rings move, sliding into position to engage the desired cog. A quick shifter (a first for a Kawasaki motorcycle) is also fitted as standard.


Unlike the ZX-10, the H2 uses a trellis frame chassis to achieve the necessary strength and flex.

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The H2 street bike lacks the carbonfibre body cladding of the track-only R version, but does come with the single-sided swingarm – a first for Kawasaki. Having a single-sided swingarm allows the exhaust silencer to be mounted closer to the bike centreline, ensuring a high bank angle for sporty cornering.

The street bike carries over the same suite of electronics found on the H2R as well: traction control (KTRC), launch control (KLCM), engine brake control (KEBC), anti-locking brakes (KIBS), and an Öhlins eletronic steering damper.

Passengers won’t get to experience the H2 because there’s no pillion seat; there’s room for only the rider.

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Yes, the H2 will be coming to South Africa early next year at an expected retail price of around R300 000, and around R450 000 for the track-only H2R.

The bike is named after the famous Kawasaki Mach IV 750 of the 1970s (also known as the H2), which was powered by an intensely accelerative two-stroke 748cc triple.

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