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Will the Ninja H2 be Faster than the ZX-14R? Latest Kawasaki Video Implies It

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Kawasaki is coming fast and furious with the video teasers for its Ninja H2, which will be unveiled later this month at Intermot. You can follow along as Kawasaki releases them on the Ninja H2 web site. The latest video is below, and as you will see it implies the new H2 will succeed a long line of Kawasaki models that were the outright fastest production machines of their day.

We have tested the ZX-14R, of course, and find it almost unfathomable that any production bike could eclipse it. Of course, if the new bike features both large displacement and forced induction, the low end power (right off idle) might be entirely unique in the history of motorcycling (and appropriate that it follows the development in the industry of reliable traction control). The video ends with the silhouette above, presumably the H2.

146 Comments

  1. Fabio Quadrana says:

    I’m agree with The Other Bob 99%, but will be better wait and see if Kawasaki bring to us another new marvel.

    • Will2 says:

      The original 900 CBRR didn’t conform to any existing class when it was introduced, Honda just went and built a revolutionary bike, much as Kawasaki did with the original large displacement triple H2. Aheynyway, they’ve basically come out and said it’s a supercharged triple, and from the video two feet off the guard rail at top speed, it looks to be as sharp a handler (sharper?) as the ZX-10, probably weighing under 400lbs wet, with horsepower in the low 200’s… Kawasaki has been well aware that Suzuki, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, and maybe a few others are upping their sportbike game in 2015, so whatever they’ve built will undoubtedly kick proverbial ass. Kawasaki want their mojo back.

  2. sherm says:

    Maybe a street legal two stroke. Very wild guess, but that would be innovation, as opposed to bigger, faster, blown.

  3. pat depp says:

    Does’nt sound like a high revving engine

  4. Joe says:

    The trouble with a production supercharged track-oriented bike is that it won’t be able to race in any class that I’m aware of.
    Most, if not every racing governing body prohibits mechanically-forced induction.
    This will end up being a specialty bike that may well outperform everything else on the road but won’t be permitted to prove it in head to head sanctioned competition.

  5. Greg says:

    I’m curious why no factory has previously offered a supercharged bike. The technology has been around forever, so why now ? Kawasaki sold the original factory GPZ750 Turbo back in 1984 (30 years ago!), but we learned that turbocharging is a bad idea for motorcycles. Supercharging is certainly a better approach, but again, why now ? What’s changed ?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The market shift to chasing guys with fat wallets these days as opposed to guys who couldn’t afford a car.

      I dunno.

    • The Other Bob says:

      In cars, it makes sense for EPA reasons. Normally to get over 100% volumetric efficiency, you would have to have pretty good scavenging going on. Over 100% VE means more power. But to get it that means excessive valve overlap and more radical timing. The more scavenging and radical the timing, the more narrow the powerband. The result is unburnt fuel going out the tailpipe.

      With forced induction, you don’t actually need any valve overlap and can use more conservative cam profiles and lifts and also more retarded ignition timing. Because positive pressure is being forced in all the time no matter where the cam shaft is in its rotation, you get better cylinder fill and more power everywhere no matter the rpms. The powerband is wider too.

      It’s a win-win as far as the EPA is concerned. Smaller displacements making the same power with less emission and less weight (if the number of cylinders is also reduced).

      The downsides unfortunately are on us and the EPA could care less about that. More heat to remove, more complexity under the hood, higher cylinder pressures adding stresses to already “optimized for lightness” components, especially pistons and rods, more heat stress on the lube and cooling liquids and components… The list is long.

      On a bike, it makes zero sense. The addition of the supercharger, piping and plumbing, increased liquid capacities, complexity, more heat and difficulty to package unfortunately means a power plant that may ultimately take up more space and add weight even if the displacement was decreased.

      Not seeing the point. More like an exercise to see how many suckers are willing to part with their cash or credit on a short lived fad.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The technology has been around forever”

      well the general IDEA has been around forever, the ability to do it effectively however has not.

      re: “Kawasaki sold the original factory GPZ750 Turbo back in 1984 (30 years ago!), but we learned that turbocharging is a bad idea for motorcycles.”

      no, what we learned from that brief era was there was still a whole lot we DIDN’T KNOW about turbocharging.

      re: “Supercharging is certainly a better approach”

      try not to think of it as better, just different.

      re: “why now ? What’s changed ?”

      our knowledge of compressor maps, scale fluid dynamics, bearings/ lubrication, and our manufacturing capabilities (ie. multi-axis CNC) have all increased EXPONENTIALLY. observe from 1938…

      http://tinyurl.com/n7dxexh

      a P&W Wasp (yes, the same guys who now power the F22 & F35). this was a double row radial. note the integrated centrifugal supercharger…? this pic i took at a training facility, but if you visit any good civil or military aviation museums, you can see similar cut-aways. these were used in B-26’s, P-47’s, etc. even cooler, they’re connected to electric motors too so you can see them spin.

      it’s literally a clockworks. moving from right to left, while the crankshaft spins at one speed, once you get to compressor wheel, you notice it’s spinning at more than double the speed as a consequence of that central gear pack despite what appears to be a common shaft. it’s actually concentric shafts which would later become a standard design of all modern jet engines.

      see guys, when i tell you I’m a gear head and i listen to a know the sound of motors…? i ain’t kiddin. LOL

      • Greg says:

        Norm – Thanks for your reply, you know your stuff. Didn’t Kawi’s GPZ750 Turbo exhibit turbo lag, which could be dangerous on a motorcycle exiting a corner when the turbo suddenly spools up and you go from a low-compression engine to boosted performance ? I know that car manufacturers have made tremendous progress over the past decades reducing turbo-lag, (witness my 2012 535i with a twin-scroll turbo that has no discernible lag), but some amount still exists in any turbocharged engine. The advantage of supercharging over turbocharging is, of course, the lack of any lag time since the compressor is directly driven off of the engine mechanically, instead of a turbo wheel driven off of engine exhaust that must get to a certain RPM before the turbo effect kicks in. The downside is that it’s not quite as efficient, due to mechanical friction. So on a motorcycle, I think there is a clear advantage of a supercharger vs. turbocharger.

      • Art S. says:

        That would be the sound of engines. Motors run on electricity, engines run on “internal combustion”.

  6. James' Mother says:

    Those things go way too fast. You’re all going to kill yourselves.

  7. PN says:

    Well, I hope this bike is not a blown ZX-14 or a ZX-10 or even a ZX-6 because they’re borderline unrideable already. I suspect it’s a blown Ninja 650. At least I hope so. Kawasaki can see the market’s going towards smaller engines but in typical Kawasaki fashion it’s going to make the strongest mofo motor.

    • Tori Zimbalas says:

      The part of this media build up that confuses me…..is the photo above

      Judging by the seat cowl/tail section…..and the scallops in the front fairing you can just make out the end of the clip ons…..all at or well below the top triple clamp….you can see blinkers etc

      to me I see a small very modern sport bike with moto gp lineage…..I welcome that

      The problem I have is those bikes are running specific classes and to a regulation…..you might do a 675 or special model based on the cooking model…but its all pretty specific….

      A ZX14 is a much larger road burner that is more comfy and fits larger riders….

      I find it hard to believe that bike in the photo above could be any replacement for anything in the ZX14 realm of thinking….

      I see a new sportbike …..but could they be offering two new machines ?

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The part of this media build up that confuses me…..is the photo above”

        +1

        re: “I find it hard to believe that bike in the photo above could be any replacement for anything in the ZX14 realm of thinking”

        +2

  8. Krisd says:

    I read recently that there will also be a all new R1 announced soon- Norm have you heard this?

    After owning various Yamis (including an R1), I have a big soft spot for them and love the “Big-bang” engine, so if this is true it’ll be very interesting what direction they take.

  9. Norm G. says:

    Q: “Will the Ninja H2 be Faster than the ZX-14R?”

    A: no, don’t think that’s the intent. the intent is to parallel the trend on car side of doing more with less. if you notice in euro world very few are doing normally aspirated V8’s (even domestics to a certain degree), they’ve all been exchanged for DI turbo 4’s and DI turbo 6’s.

    the game is reduce the bore size to get all the fuel numbers up, then give the consumers back their power with forced induction. the other benefit of this (at least on car side) is it’s generally cheaper to produce a 4 or 6 cyl (even with the added cost/complexity of a turbo), than it is to manufacture those 4, 5, and 6L n/a V8’s. and of course there’s the weight reduction which also has yet another positive impact on fuel economy.

    so i really think the idea is just to give you ZX14 power (200hp +/-) with less displacement and weight… not necessarily something that’s bigger/badder/faster than the ZX14…? just more efficient.

    • xlayn says:

      Trend that’s wrong by the way….
      Audi Q3 1.2 turbo.. daHeck……
      Smaller engines have to work harder in the bottom for acceleration and turbo ain’t free lunch either… maintenance… oil, smaller pieces = more stress
      I say to people… if you want a Poser Car get it with biggest engine you can

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Audi Q3 1.2 turbo.. daHeck”

        i know, that was pretty much my response when i saw a 2.0L 4 banger in a 5 series saloon stickering for over $65 grand…!? but then i saw GM has the same with Cadillac, a turbo 4 north of $65 grand. oh ok.

        small bore, big prices… daHeck.

    • Blackcayman says:

      as is typical, Norm, I think you nailed it

    • DaveA says:

      Q: “Will the Ninja H2 be Faster than the ZX-14R?”

      A: 100% certainty that it will be faster than the ZX-14R.

      • DaveA says:

        Sorry, I meant to qualify that w ‘higher performance.’ It’s possible that it will be top speed limited, but it will have a higher hp/wt ration 100% for 100% for sure.

  10. Joe says:

    It was just before the latest gen ZX 10R was revealed in 2011 when speculation was that it would have a radical horizontal cylinder bank with the crankshaft positioned above the gearbox according to new patents by kawasaki.
    Just judging from those patents shown in an MCN article http://www.motorcyclenews.com/mcn/news/newsresults/new-bikes/2009/july/jul1609-kawasaki-refines-flattened-engine/. It looks like a large volume air box would be difficult to fit between the carbs and the frame steering head and still be sufficiently compact.
    But with forced induction all that space for a large ram-air system wouldn’t be necessary. Maybe this is what this bike is able to achieve. Their new forced induction supercharger making the horizontal cylinder layout work.

    • Norm G. says:

      that drawing’s like somebody one day said, hmmmn… what if i could race a PW50 in grandprix…? lol. no seriously, that’s basically the douglas, midual, or BMW’s boxer with half the cylinders cut off. that transmission stacks and integrates a new multiplate clutch now in the water boxer much like that drawing. what’s depicted their in a right hand view, is basically what you see from the front.

      • xlayn says:

        there were a off road machine with a single in that configuration… I don’t know if it were sucessful or not.
        BMW had a 4 inline transversal engine…. had…

  11. Michael Watts says:

    The old saying “if you cannot say something nice about somebody or something then don’t say anything at all,” comes to mind when perusing some of the regular commenters. The younger folk like to say “haters will hate.”
    We live in the best of times. The variety and quality of bikes is truly amazing.
    The manufacturers and their engineers keep giving us a lot of high quality choices and keep pushing the limits.
    Thanks to motorcycledaily for keeping us updated and thanks to Kawasaki for this future new bike!!

  12. Dale says:

    When I was in college, I bought a brand spanking new Triumph T160 Trident – the last before the fall. That bike had soul.

    • mickey says:

      In 1969 I bought it’s brother the BSA Rocket 3..it had oil leaks. Leaked it’s “soul” over every pair of blue jeans I owned. Sounded good though and ran pretty fast

      • MGNorge says:

        Almost pulled the trigger on a ’71 Norton Commando but after looking at the engine jumping around in its rubber engine mounts, the rust forming on its iron discs and hearing of carb issues caused by vibration I backed off. I guess I got scared, scared I tell you! 🙂

        Should have bought it.

  13. Gronde says:

    I’d be more excited to see a Motoguzzi V7 make 100 hp than a Kawasaki Turbo Ninja making 200 hp. I would buy the V7, but only enjoy reading about the Kawasaki.

  14. Jdilpkle says:

    It’s always been the same thing since the CB 750, after all the build up, all the chomping at the bit, and all the “I wonder who will show up on one first” questions – one H2 Super Duper Fastest Sleekest Slickest Sound Barrier Breaker finally shows up the meeting spot. Then – ohhhh ahhhhh ohhhhh ahhhhh. Three weeks later it sits in the japanese sportbike row beside all the others. Too bad the payments outlive the plastic personality. I guess I’ll just creep in the back on my lowly Buell and watch it all over again. – just funnin.

  15. frank says:

    Soul? …James Brown had it. So did Beethoven, da Vinci, and so do you. In this regard it’s an emotion, a feeling, not a thing, so hard to define but it does involve a sense of connectedness with something and you do know it when it surfaces. Can bikes elicit it? Sure. Do they need to call for more personal involvement to have soul, be older, potentially unreliable, rare, or expensive to insure and maintain? I’d say that some number of those conditions seem to have attached themselves to what we associate with bikes that have soul. I do know that as good as my ‘semi-modern’ 600 sport bike is, I don’t feel any soulful connectedness with it…at all. But I do feel a very real practical appreciation for it 65,000 miles and no problems later. Is ‘soulful practicality’ possible? With all the many new bikes now available, it’s kind of like the question, ‘is there life on other planets’. More than likely.

  16. ApriliaRST says:

    This H2 thing has me right on the edge of my seat! LOL

    Japanese manufacturers can be as revolting as H-D, but in a different way.

  17. Axle says:

    It has been a long time since there was something really different and controversial on the horizon in the motorcycling world especially from the Japanese brands who traditionally seem to lean on the conservative side. This could be the Japanese exotic bike that we have all been waiting for and hopefully it will be within reach of those of us that aren’t millionaires?

  18. Ken says:

    Who will issue insurance for this bike????

  19. rapier says:

    I haven’t seen the sales numbers but aren’t super sport bikes losing ground? Odd Kawi would go there when they have nothing in the adventure and pseudo adventure market. There is the heritage thing I suppose but nobody is challenging the ZX14. I suppose this may replace the 10R in order to overtake the BMW 1000RR. Would such an investment pay off?

  20. Greg says:

    I, for one, am extremely interested in the new Ninja H2, and think Kawasaki’s PR campaign is pure genius. I grew up lusting after Kawasaki’s 500cc H1 & 750cc H2 two-strokes, Z1’s, GPz’s, and eventually ZX bikes. I lived through the superbike wars in the late 70’s/early 80’s where every month seemed to herald the introduction of something faster and more incredible… Honda’s CBX, Yamaha’s FJ11, Suzuki GS and GSX-R’s, and Honda Hurricanes and Interceptors. I loved the performance numbers of Kawasaki’s ZX-10, came close to buying a ZX-11, was amazed with the ZX-12, and then… felt that the ZX-14 just got too big, heavy and over-styled. So I kept my VF1000F Interceptor for 20 years. Today I ride a 2005 BMW K1200S and a 1997 Triumph T-595 Daytona that I purchased new. But man, I’d love to rekindle the anticipation of seeing the most powerful and fastest production motorcycle the world has ever known, and I love the slow burn that Kawasaki has ignited with the Ninja H2. They definitely have got my attention. And please, Kawasaki, have the guts to ignore the 186 mph self-imposed speed limit. Although I rarely even hit 100 these days, it’d be great to own something that at least COULD break the double-ton if called upon !

    • Starmag says:

      Kawasaki marketing dept is that you?

      • Greg says:

        Lol. I was worried someone might think that. Truth is, I’ve never even owned a Kawasaki, although I certainly came close on several occasions, starting with a used 1972 750cc Mach IV (H2) I test rode in 1976, first-year model in that beautiful metallic blue with the stripe on the tank and tail. I’ve owned three Honda’s, a Yamaha, and today my Triumph and BMW as mentioned above. But I’m serious about loving that feeling of anticipation once again. The Japanese bikes used to inspire me, but for the past 15 years have just been, well, boring. Don’t get me wrong, the high-end street bikes offer mind-altering performance and today’s 600’s run circles around my old VF1000F Interceptor. I just don’t get very excited about them anymore, there are no significant breakthroughs like there used to be on an annual basis. The original Hayabusa introduction was fantastic, loved the ZX-11 and 12, the original GSX-R 1000’s were way cool… but nothing lately. Come on Kawasaki, don’t let me down !

  21. falcodoug says:

    Someone leak a real picture of the bike would ya?

    • Tori Zimbalas says:

      Its a sport bike…4 cyl..180 firing order(normal)…traction control…quickshifter..ABS

      I would suggest its a 600 by the sound as opposed to a liter machine….also more overdue for a update

      time will tell pinky

    • Tori Zimbalas says:

      Two new bikes….judging by the above photo

      A new 600 supersport…..and the H2 will replace the ZX14 as the corporate road burner

      hmmmm……my two cents

  22. Mitch says:

    I may be completely in “left field” on this one but looking at the photo (GP style fairing and slicks) I get the feeling this is intended to be a potential entrant into the horse-power monster super-bike world… Back to the 80’s and 90’s when we competed on horsepower and less on rideability…. hahahahaha.

    Either way, it looks great and should have a shite load of power….. Cant wait……..

  23. Bobby says:

    I might be wrong, but I think it is the Vulcan 2000 motor, retuned for high end.

  24. Vlad says:

    I wonder if it will come in black…

  25. Ed says:

    What if it’s a gas/electric hybrid of some sort, and maybe not even supercharged? I still think that chirp could have been an auto-clutch manual and not a blow-off valve. Kawasaki Heavy builds subway cars – they know about integrating propulsion systems, and not just internal combustion ones!

    • Ed says:

      Now I’m really stretching here but H-2 = a moniker for Hybrid-dual propulsion

    • Tom K. says:

      You may be on to something there….think about it, can you REALLY use more power (anywhere, but especially on the street) than the ZX 1400 delivers? Nah, I think they’re going to shoot for is class-leading power-to-weight ratio. Wasn’t there an article somewhere within the last couple of years laying out the case for a hybrid motorcycle? Hybrid cars exist almost solely for the purpose of better fuel economy. But a hybrid bike, built to provide low weight with peak “intermittent” power, might make an awesome hooligan bike. I’ll dig around and see if I can’t find the article.

      But no matter what technological tricks this thing has up its fender, Kawi would have to employ one heck of a salesman to get me to look at something that would have me hunched over like a pit bull humping a throw pillow. The Coyote, on the other hand, is always willing to cut Acme a bigger and bigger check so he can ride a rocket into a mountainside. Not me – Beep Beep my azz.

  26. Skif says:

    The high back of seat should prevent the bike from launching out from under you, leaving you suspended in mid air for a few seconds with that funny “Wha?” look on your face then crashing to the ground, while the bike is last seen as a blur crossing the county line, riderless. I hate it when that happens.

  27. Jiim says:

    I think it’s patently obvious here…a more advanced rendition of their supercharged technology used in their 1400cc based jet ski machine mated with a 900cc engine as part of the Kawasaki heritage in this class. A 1400cc engine as some have suggested would likely pose overheating issues – one thing to cool a 1400cc SC engine in the water, quite another to have it operating at high temps in a motorcycle application.

  28. daveh says:

    All the bikes in the lead up were designed with a pillion in mind.
    The new one would not appear to be.

  29. GP says:

    Was hoping it would be a super light 600cc supersport bike with 1000cc power. Not so, it looks like Kawi is bringing another bloated slow handling land barge with a blown motor to see how quick it can run into the 186 mph speed limiter. It just does not make sense.

    • billy says:

      Yep. It was called the CBR900RR.

      • Dave says:

        And has since been called 929, 954,1000rr, zx9, zx10, R1, and GSXR (750 & 1000).

      • GP says:

        Nah, I had a 95 900RR, that bike was a 900 with a 600 motor. LOL, 114hp. By todays standards it is a turd! I was hoping Kawi was building a legit 600cc bike with a cool blown motor that could hang with a ZX10R. Instead we are getting another 186mph barge. At least Ricky Gadson will like it.

        • Dave says:

          That silhouette doesn’t look at all barge-like to me. That looks like a super-sport all the way.

          • Norm G. says:

            +1, this thing looks small… VERY small. almost like it’s a blown 400cc or 500cc…? which hints at a bespoke engine.

            ya know, the likes of the small displacement multis of yore that everybody longs for, but nobody in modern day has dared make. i believe there was some talk of Kawi doing a modern 4 cylinder 250 for the Japanese market or something like that…?

            who knows, maybe it was never 250cc’s and this is THAT engine…?

  30. Blackcayman says:

    looka dee slicks

  31. Bob L. says:

    What the heck would I do with that thing?
    Oh well, back to mounting fresh tires on my 98′ VFR.

  32. -D says:

    Just by looking at the silhouette of the new Ninja H2, it obviously has the look of a Moto-GP repli-racer. The question is are they going to do a limited production run ala desmosedici, or is this going to be a “GSX-R” kind of bike with anyone and everyone riding them? As far as how the bike looks like in the shadows of a darkened photo shoot,
    I’m not sure I’m liking the lines too much. Of course its still too early to make a judgment call on the bike. It will be interesting to see Kawasaki’s strategy on how they plan to market the new missile.

    • Asphanaut says:

      It doesn’t look anything like a “Moto-GP repli-racer” to me but what do I know… barely enough to agree with your understatement of the year: “its still too early to make a judgment call on the bike.”

    • Tori Zimbalas says:

      D I think your right…..this is a Moto GP repli racer and doesn’t appear in the “silhouette image” to be a huge long road burner like the ZX14….

      just looking at the short seat cowl and the fairing(rememeber those lol) cut outs for the low clips ons suggest this is a riders bike as opposed to something just for throttle guys to crank open

      confusing……the focus on power…guess we need to stay tuned

    • jim says:

      If Kaw had a MotoGP bike I could see your point.

  33. VLJ says:

    I wanna see mickey, Norm G and Provologna race these things on the Streets of Willow, with the traction control and ABS turned off. And I want those fey Brit announcers who constantly wet their britches with overwrought delirium during the MotoGP telecasts to call all the action.

  34. xlayn says:

    Infinite power two strokes, triple turbo.. doesn’t matter… This bike will get destroyed in every catergory by EBR!!….

    joke aside, do we need more power? really? come on…

  35. beasty says:

    I suspect Kawasaki will disappoint. On the bright side though, it can’t be worse than the original H2……………… It can’t right?

  36. Devlin says:

    Here’s to hoping it’s not too ‘sugomi’d’ out.

    Very strange that there appear to be no indicators or mirrors tho.

  37. Gutterslob says:

    Looks like it’ll slot into the ZX-14’s market segment. Shame. I was hoping for a high performance non-European naked. 🙁

  38. Kevin Zerr says:

    Yawn, I am heading out to the garage to continue building the my cafe racer. I am tired of all the hype these companies do now. So does this thing have any soul? Probably not, just goes fast and most cannot afford the insurance. Why don’t thy offer what most would/could afford and have fun on. This thing could be a flop like Honda’s CBX1000, and just like back then they had to give them away, then what will Kawasaki have to say?

    • Blackcayman says:

      Companies benefit from Halo Models – They get the masses excited about their brand and then the masses come in and buy a Corsica.

    • John H says:

      I don’t think of the CBX as a flop. I bought one in 1979 and absolutely loved it. That thing drew a crowd wherever you parked it. It was no bargain either. Have a look on ebay and see what a nice one sells for these days. I traded mine in for a new 1985 Yamaha FJ1100, which was a great bike too. Had a brand new 1970 Honda CB750. I’ve owned about 20 bikes over the years (v65 sabre, 900 ninja, vmax, gold wing, a few harleys). The one I wish I still had will always be the CBX.

      • Graphic Canuk says:

        I like the CBX, a great bike and one done right, today can fetch lots of money. But to Honda back in the 70’s when it first was introduced they couldn’t get rid of them, they gave them away to schools for kids to learn mechanics. What the initial statement here was saying was that ” more fast” does not really help the whole of the motorcycle industry. Just like back in the 70’s six cylinders was not what most of the consumers were looking for. It will be interesting to see if Kawasaki hype for this bike will really help the motorcycle industry as a whole. Guess we will see.

      • Rokster says:

        Hell no the CBX was never a flop, one of the coolest, smoothest, screamiest bikes ever. All these 4cylinder bikes are so boring, bring back the sixes, like the CBX and the 1300 Kawa.

      • Tom K. says:

        Not that long ago, I watched a CBX with some pretty low-backpressure (read: LOUD) pipes go full bore pulling out of a local drive-in (Duke’s in Bridgeview). I think that was the most awesome sound that ever came out of a motorcycle, it was like being near the track at Indy. The 3/4 view of that engine was true eye-candy. The rest of the bike was just so-so, but that lump…..

      • Norm G. says:

        Re: “I don’t think of the CBX as a flop.”

        correct, just another classic example of something being ahead of its time.

    • Selecter says:

      Ahh… “soul”… what a laugh that is.

      I had a bike that many motorcyclists would say had “soul” – a Moto Guzzi LeMans. By “soul”, of course, this meant that it takes $1500 in fixes to make it operate properly, but doesn’t change the fact that it was overweight, the weight bias was all wrong, it drank gas, it handled poorly, and was *still* a slug. Charming, right?

      My ZX-6R (2011) was faster, handled better, was 130+ lbs. lighter, got 10 miles further per gallon of fuel, stopped as well as any motorcycle on the planet, and yes, was more comfortable as well. And this is usually the type of machine that people say “lacks soul”. It was perfect to ride. I loved it. When I’m in better financial shape, I will have another. I’d have a hole to the head before I have anotehr bike with “soul”.

      Describing a machine as having “no soul” is simply a cop-out to not being able to find any *real* problems with a motorcycle and instead discredit it with emotionally-based touchy-feely-isms. Nothing more, nothing less, and it’s quite disingenuous. Personally, given that I rely on my machines for many thousands of miles a year, I’ll take flawless over “quirky” or “soulful” any day. Lucky for me, how much fun a bike is to ride and flawless reliability are not mutually exclusive.

      On the other hand, I do have to agree with you on the questioning the bike’s sell-ability. I’m not sure that the 14R (simply the best motorcycle I’ve ever ridden, by the way…) is exactly flying off showroom floors in the current economy. None of the Japanese supersports are. So, how wise is it to produce an even faster, more expensive machine? It seems that cheap and cheerful are the trends of the day, and Kawasaki may very well be expending maximal resources for minimal gain in this endeavor. I hope I’m wrong on that one.

      • VLJ says:

        On the other hand, flawless reliability and ‘soul’ are also not mutually exclusive. Any ’94-2001 VFR clearly has soul, and those things are as dependable and well-sorted as an axe handle. The same can be said for my Street Triple R, or most any Triumph Triple. I daresay the KTM Super Duke R has plenty of soul, and I doubt it will be prove to be unreliable or poorly designed.

        I get your point, though, in terms of people excusing and/or rationalizing obvious mechanical shortcomings as “soul.” Just because something shakes a lot and makes loud noises doesn’t necessarily mean it has any additional soul, compared to something that works correctly.

        • Selecter says:

          Soul, in reference to a motorcycle, is contrived.

          Flawless reliability is measurable.

          So, they’re not mutually exclusive because one is definitely real. The other is a manifestation of one of two things – a marketing department, or rose-tinted glasses.

      • MGNorge says:

        Ah soul, how to measure it? Looking back through my driving/riding days I would describe most of those vehicles that were not super duper sanno as having more soul than some others. They had little (or lots) of niggles that never completely were 100% cured. Maybe that’s just it, vehicles that seem to have it all in the right places and don’t leave any doubt that they’ll get you home become too predictable, if not a little boring. Not talking engine performance here. Vehicles that give at least some pause to their overall reliability become closer to one’s “soul” as you take whatever measures needed to keep them going. It’s an endearment because they’re not perfect.

        • mickey says:

          Spoken like someone who rides a moto guzzi lol

          • MGNorge says:

            Somehow I knew I was waking into that? 🙂

            Actually my Norge has been trouble free and doesn’t give me the feeling I’m on borrowed time. But then it’s a newer model and a lot has changed over the years. But it does have character. From blipping the throttle and having the bike react with a slight roll to the right or its sometimes slight popping from the exhaust on trailing throttle, or ergos meant for long-armed, short-legged Italians, which I’m not! Entertaining in its character it is!

        • Eric says:

          Soul is often created when a bike is something less than ‘perfect’. It’s why we ride Guzzi’s. It’s a combination of looks, quirks, attitude and performance.

          Some see beauty in a spreadsheet or mathematical formula. Others find it in the expression of the artist. If you like that artist’s style, you’re hooked.

      • Chaz955i says:

        Nice job. You nailed it 100%.

  39. david says:

    They’ll probably have to offer financing for the cost of insurance.

  40. Eric says:

    Kawasaki is setting the expectation bar pretty high. With all of this hype they are either A) drumming up interest just for the sake of brand awarenes or B) really do have something special up their sleeve.

    Hoping it’s B.

    • Eric says:

      And what’s with this avitar of a bald unhappy person? I think I’m very happy and a delight to be around (did capture the bald tho).

      • Tommy D says:

        Too funny.

        Good point about the hype. It’s working to generate interest. Long time since I bought a new sport bike…

  41. mickey says:

    Is it a MotoGP bike or a street bike? Looks like its missing a few things to be street legal, lights, mirrors, tread on the tires lol

    • mickey says:

      Guess it could have integrated lights/ turn signals. Finally the license plate bracket every one hates may be gone?

    • VLJ says:

      Moto GP bikes don’t have taillights and front turnsignals, both of which are clearly on display there. And that thing is merely a mock-up anyway.

      • mickey says:

        wasn’t so clear on my IPad, a little clearer on my PC.I can see taillights and turn signals now. Still no mirrors, tread on tires or lic plate bracket. Looks like they missed a few things in mock up. Are there handlebars or are they clip ons?

        • VLJ says:

          Definitely no handlebars, and there really aren’t even any visible clip-ons. All we can see is the top of the fork legs, with the ‘Big Piston’ fork damping adjusters. Whether they’re there or not in this mock-up, that triple clamp is certainly certainly designed for use with clip-ons.

          • PABLO says:

            There are two versions of the bike, a track only version and a street legal version. Its safe to assume that this is the track only version.

          • Tom K. says:

            Maybe it’s a drone! Think about it, perfect in every way for today’s 20 year old – you can sit on your couch, smoke some weed, stare into a screen and thumb away at the controls for hours on end – there’d probably be an app to automatically upload your lap or 1/4 mile times right to Facebook. The power-to-weight ratio would be phenomenal without a seat, bars, or 200 lbs. of man-meat to push around. Plus, no risk to your license!
            I can hear the marketing folks now: H2 – a real bike for a real man who lives a virtual life”