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New Supercharged Kawasaki Z H2 to be Unveiled October 23

It has been a couple of years since we rode a supercharged Kawasaki, the Ninja H2 SX SE. That bikes makes roughly 170 HP and 90 foot/pounds of torque at the rear wheel (200 HP at the crank), and is certainly de-tuned from the relatively outrageous Ninja H2. In other words, Kawasaki builds some very fast supercharged motorcycles, and it will now add another member to the family in the form of the Z H2.

According to the teaser video below, the silhouette certainly bears a resemblance to the Z Family as a whole. Here is a brief statement Kawasaki posted below its YouTube video: October 23 will be a landmark day in the history of the Kawasaki Z family. Everything preceding will be consigned to the past and a new dramatic Z will herald an eagerly anticipated dawn in the hard fought super naked category.


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28 Comments

  1. Fabio Brady says:

    Just picked up CBR1100XX for 1k and will go thru the engine add a turbo tune it for 300hp and save 20k..

  2. Jmi says:

    Top Fuel plus performance oriented street/strip bikes, anyone know price ?

  3. Tom K. says:

    A supercharged Eliminator or ZL1000 (circa 1986 and 1987)? Should I just take my driver’s license out and burn it now?

    I’ve got a friend that had a VERY nice ZL1000 stored in a “spare” garage, the goofball quit riding and pretty much abandoned it in there almost 20 years ago. The roof got a hole in it, and rain damaged a bunch of stuff in there. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hope it’s salvageable, it was a very nice bike.

  4. VLJ says:

    As cool as this thing will undoubtedly be, I honestly can’t say that my Z900 needs to be any faster. Were I willing to spend more for an upgraded model, I’d prefer the money go towards higher-end components, not more power. Just a few things like LED headlights (both lit all the time), heated grips, plusher suspension, and steel brake lines with radial calipers and sharper pads.

    That’s it. At that point, it would want for nothing. Doesn’t need ride modes, selectable traction control, or any other additional electronics. Doesn’t really need any suspension or brakes help, either. Just add the LED lights and heated grips, and I’d be absolutely fine with her, exactly as she sits.

    • Mark says:

      +1
      I upgraded my z900 suspension to suit my weight and riding style. With the exception of braided lines the bike is now perfect. Great brakes and suspension I can use, more power not really. It’s plenty fast already.

  5. GT08 says:

    On the US Kawasaki site. There still 5 bike to be unveil.
    We already know the Z H2. Next one a new Ninja 1000, the return of the Ninja 250. Hope to be 4 cylinder, but will get the 2 cylinder. Maybe a new KLR. What about the fifth one ???
    A ZRX DAEG, still dreaming. But seriously what it will be.
    Dear Kawasaki, you make powerfull bike, now time to make them look good. (with real passenger seat)

  6. Jeremy says:

    It’s cool to see Kawasaki still rolling with the supercharger. I’d really like to see the concept applied to the 400cc engine at some point.

    • Curly says:

      That would be something nice but I suspect Ninja 650 power at twice the price would keep it just a dream. Maybe a supercharged Z125 too.

  7. Tom R says:

    Is there really a point and purpose to supercharging’s extra parts, plumbing, and mass in lieu of just using bigger cylinders and pistons? It seems like mostly a gimmick to me.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Ditto me.

      Forced induction does (at least generally) allow for easier, cheaper and less invasive tuning. And reversing of that tune. Such that, as emissions regs make power more and more expensive to offer OEM, costs could conceivably be kept down by selling a compliant, low-to-medium power (which, truth to be told, even the H2SX is, compared to the ZX14R) version; with the unstated, nudge-nudge, wink-wink understanding, that another 50-100bhp, instantly reversible if need be, is on tap in exchange for a cheap chip tune or pulley.

    • Superlight says:

      Have you driven any of the turbocharged cars out there? Not only can you get better fuel economy by charging a smaller engine, you can create a very broad torque curve so the grunt is there from low in the RPM band.

      • MGNorge says:

        Much the same with turbos, less some possible lag. For efficiency one has to keep their foot, or wrist, out of it. I have a small turbo engine in the car I drive. Wonderfully efficient cruising down the super slab but racing about town brings mileage down quickly. Power takes fuel and air, no matter how you get it.

      • TimC says:

        I have a Mk 7 GTI (and before that, briefly a Volvo 850 turbo), and am in Denver. The Volvo was the car that woke me up to modern turbo tuning/flat torque plateau/little lag vs. the old days. I will be first in line if someone puts out a modern turbo 400-600cc bike, of any style other than cruiser.

    • Dave says:

      ICE engines are air/fuel pumps. By changing the atmosphere, you change how much air/fuel volume fits in a given space and gain better control over the engine’s output characteristics and efficiency.

      Motorcycles are very late to this game because they’re generally overpowered and acceptably efficient, anyway. Small production volumes make the increased cost of forced induction harder to defray, too.

    • Fred_M says:

      Tom R asked “Is there really a point and purpose to supercharging’s extra parts, plumbing, and mass in lieu of just using bigger cylinders and pistons?”

      Yes. Rotating and reciprocating mass in the engine is much more of a problem. As the
      bore increases, the piston diameter increases as does the mass of the piston. To deal with more massive pistons, you need stronger rods and a stronger crank, which usually means more mass. The more rotating mass you have in an engine, the more the bike tends to resist turning.

      Increasing bore tends to make the engine wider, especially an inline four. That’s a big negative for sport bikes (less so for the gynecological exam riding position favored by cruiser riders with “highway pegs”).

      What I wrote is an oversimplification. You can’t just keep increasing bore without increasing stroke or you end up with a grossly oversquare engine that has no low-end torque and has to be revved to 20,000 RPM to make peak horsepower. That’s fine for an F1 engine, but it’s a disaster in a street-ridden sportbike. Then you can get into volumetric efficiency, valvetrains, cam design, etc. and it all favors a fairly tight window of bore-to-stroke ratios for street motorcycles.

  8. Neil says:

    Not sure a naked will handle all that power without mega traction control but it looks good.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t know whey a naked would handle power any differently than something with body work. I hope they’re working toward using forced induction to make broader power. Imagine a 125hp bike that made 80% of peak torque at 3k rpm. It could have a 4 speed transmission!

      • Neal says:

        It’s not the plastic, its the riding position. Sportbikes have you all over the front end, in part, to have the rider’s weight contribute to preventing wheelies.

        • Fred_M says:

          I think that the sport bike riding position is dictated primarily by aerodynamics. That’s also why the handlebars are narrower than optimal for control. Sport bikes are balanced with the rider having the ability to shift weight forward during acceleration, to keep the front wheel down, and backward during hard braking, to keep the rear wheel down.

          But I agree with you and Dave, bodywork doesn’t really have a lot of significance when it comes to a chassis handling lots of power.

  9. Shoeman says:

    With Kawasaki, KTM, and Ducati all releasing new megabuck high horsepower naked bikes in 2020, those that have big bank accounts will have lots of choices. Can’t wait for Dirck to test all three, including the redesigned 1290 Duke, and the new naked Panagale.

  10. CLB says:

    Well let’s make it happen…. waiting is not popular!!! 🙂