Following on from the recent unveiling of the Ninja H2R supercharged track-only motorcycle, Kawasaki has taken the covers off the street-focused Ninja H2 model.
With the vast majority of engine and chassis components common to both machines, the road-ready H2 has now made its global debut in Milan at the 2014 EICMA show.
Using an entirely “in-house” designed and constructed centrifugal type supercharger, the H2 and H2R are the result of cooperation between some of the major business areas of Kawasaki Heavy Industries including the aerospace, gas turbine and corporate technology divisions. The company first showcased the concept of a supercharger back at the Tokyo Motor Show.
With a power figure rated at 197 bhp for the H2 and 306 bhp for the H2R, each machine is capable of Supersport performance – the H2 on the street and the H2R in its closed-course-only environment.
What Kawasaki says sets these machines aside from other motorcycles in the litre category is the huge wave of torque it is possible to create by use of a supercharger. Delivering a considerable advantage in terms of acceleration across the power range from tick-over to the red line, the supercharger has been tuned to offer the “widest spread of available urge at any revs and in any gear” while the inclusion of electronic rider aids such as KTRC traction control, KIBS anti-lock brakes and switchable engine braking functions, help the rider to control the supercharged machine more effectively.
A quick glance at the specification sheets reveals a list of components and aesthetic features that underpin the brand’s “Intense Force Design” approach to the creation of the two bikes. In terms of firsts, there is a decent list including KYB AOS-II Air-Oil separate inverted 43mm front forks and dog ring transmission – both only previously used on racing machines. Equally, the single sided swinging arm is a first on any Kawasaki production motorcycle, so too items such as KEBC engine braking control, the KLCM launch control feature, the use of an electronic quick-shifter plus, on a more visual level, the mirror coated black paint on the H2 the result of an induced chemical reaction that creates a layer of real silver as a base coat. For the track-only H2R, the use of carbon-fibre not only saves weight but aims to create the look and feel of a stealth aircraft.
One of very few machines in the modern era to carry the historic Kawasaki “river mark”, the H2 road version and H2R track-only machine are set to be produced in strictly limited numbers during the course of 2015 at the company’s Akashi factory in Japan.
The inevitable talk is of both machines being seen in the very near future as Kawasaki icons to be mentioned in the same breath as the 1969 H1 500, the H2 750 Mach IV and Super Four Z1 of 1972 as well as the GPz900R Ninja of 1984.
Kawasaki claims its dealers are already reporting “incredible” demand for both forced induction machines.