Words by Lester Dizon
Photos courtesy of Kawasaki Leisure Bikes
If you’re Kawasaki, what do you do for an encore when your Ninja ZX-10R is already the king of liter bikes? Staying on top of the horsepower war by squeezing more power from the inline 4-cylinder motor would be the logical thing to do. So, Kawasaki engineers built a new 998cc motor and chained a gear-driven 76mm centrifugal supercharger that spins up to 130,000 rpm.
Then, they added the necessary electronics to easily control the newfound power; a steel trellis frame to make the motor a stressed member of the frame and to control torsional stresses; a single-sided swingarm for improved handling; enhanced ergonomics for improved rider comfort and control, and reduced fatigue; and a futuristic body work for improved aerodynamics and to make sure it stands out in a any crowd.
Built in limited numbers, the result is the new supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 and H2R, where the “H2” moniker evokes the company’s ‘70s high-performance 750cc superbike, the H2 Mark IV. The H2R is a fire-spitting, glowing-red-hot, no-holds-barred, 300-horsepower track-only monster. If you think we went overboard with all those hyphenated adjectives, the H2R’s $50,000 price tag (P2.25M before taxes and customs duties) ensures that we aren’t exaggerating. It also means that most of us mere mortals may never be able to ride an H2R.
However, some of us may be lucky enough to swing a leg over the H2 street version that has a power output of “around 200hp”. Astute readers will note that at a claimed 239 kilograms, the H2 is nearly 40 kilos heavier than the ZX-10R, which boasts of the same power. But remember that the ZX-10R needs aerodynamics at high speeds to feed pressurized air to its ram-air inlet and make 200hp while the H2’s supercharger compresses air even at low speeds and low revs, resulting in increased low-end torque, which gives it crushing acceleration that is a lot quicker than the ZX-10R’s.
If you’re planning to buy an H2, you better hurry because the units are very limited. Likewise, forget about ordering the H2R unless you’re going racing with it because the H2R was never meant for road use. Kawasaki also drafted corporate policies to ensure that street H2s cannot be converted to H2R specs by requiring proof of ownership (product registration, VIN confirmation, etc.) to buy the necessary parts.
The new 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 / H2R remain in a class of one. This model is emblazoned with the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group “River Mark”, their symbol dating from Japan’s own industrial revolution. Its use is limited to models with historical significance, which makes the H2 and H2R very significant Kawasaki models, indeed.
2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2
Price : Est. P1,400,000.000
Classification : Super sports bike
Type : Liquid-cooled 4-stroke inline 4-cylinder with supercharger
Displacement : 998cc
Max horsepower : 200hp
Max torque : 156Nm
Transmission : 6-speed manual
Overall length : 2082mm
Overall height : 1125mm
Overall width : 770mm
Seat height : 826mm
Ground clearance : 130mm
Dry weight : 239kg