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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Kawasaki Debuts 300 HP Closed-Course H2R; Street Legal Model Debuts Soon


Perhaps the most anticipated new model this year is the supercharged Kawasaki H2, which has finally been unveiled with the closed-course H2R. The street legal model will debut in a few days time.

With roughly 300 hp, the H2R, despite all its cutting edge technology, is encased by a beautiful steel trellis frame. The supercharger looks like a simple enough design, residing behind the cylinder bank. It is likely to come with relatively mild, standard boost, even in the H2R, so you can anticipate some more aggressive tuning by owners and after-market companies. Here is a press release from Kawasaki on the H2R:

When Kawasaki first conceived the Ninja H2R, the driving development concept was to offer the kind of acceleration no rider had experienced before.  

That a motorcycle be “Fun to Ride” is one of Kawasaki’s guiding principles.  But while there are many ways for a motorcycle to be enjoyed, it was felt that having incredible acceleration was a major factor in delivering ultimate riding exhilaration.  

Powering the Ninja H2R is a supercharged engine with a design target of 300 PS allied to a compact design on par with power units found in supersport litre-class models.  The key to achieving this incredible performance lies in the engine’s supercharger—a motorcycle-specific unit designed completely in-house with technology from other companies within the Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) Group: the Gas Turbine & Machinery Company, Aerospace Company andCorporate Technology Division.


KHI Group technology was not limited to the supercharger.  Advanced technological know-how shared from other group companies is found throughout the all-new engine and chassis design.  For example, the carbon-fibre upper and lower wings that ensure stability when riding in the ultra-high speed range were designed with assistance from Kawasaki’s Aerospace Company.  This is but one example, and this inter-group collaboration combined with the level of technology poured into this model is the reason the Kawasaki River Mark* is displayed prominently on the front of the Ninja H2R.  

When it came time to name this model, using “Ninja”—a name synonymous with Kawasaki performance and shared by many legendary models over three historic decades —was an obvious choice.  But this model is also named for another epoch-making model, whose 2-stroke 748.2 cm3 Triple gave it an intense acceleration that made it a sensation around the world: the Mach IV 750, also known as the “H2.”  For a model designed to offer “the kind of acceleration no rider has experienced before” we can think of no better name.  

Built Beyond Belief. In 2014, Kawasaki is once again ready to unleash a new sensation upon the world.  

*The Kawasaki River Mark is a long-time symbol of the KHI Group dating back to the 1870s.  As a policy, its use on products is rare and limited to models with historical significance.  But for the Ninja H2R permission to use this symbol was granted.  



Never-before-experienced Acceleration

In order to be able to offer intense acceleration and a top speed in a range that most riders never have a chance to experience, it was essential that the engine be able to produce big power.  While a large-displacement engine could easily provide a high engine output, to ensure a lightweight, compact overall package a compact engine was also desired.  Using a supercharged engine—essentially enabling a high-performance engine to be downsized—allowed both of these engine design requirements to be met: maximum power output has been targeted at 300 PS, and the engine size of the 998 cm3 In-Line Four is on par with other supersport litre-class power units. 

In-house-designed Supercharger

The supercharger used in the Ninja H2R was designed by Kawasaki motorcycle engine designers with assistance from other companies within the KHI Group, namely the Gas Turbine & Machinery Company, Aerospace Company, and the Corporate Technology Division.  Designing the supercharger in-house allowed it to be developed to perfectly match the engine characteristics of the Ninja H2R.  The highly efficient, motorcycle-specific supercharger was the key to achieving the maximum power and the intense acceleration that engineers wanted to offer. 

Chassis Design

The objectives for the Ninja H2R’s chassis were to ensure supreme stability at ultra-high speeds, offer cornering performance to be able to enjoy riding on a closed course, and finally to have a highly accommodating character.  Ordinarily, high-speed stability can easily be achieved with a long wheelbase, but a shorter wheelbase was selected to achieve the compact overall package and sharp handling that were also desired.  The frame needed not only to be stiff, but also to be able to absorb external disturbances—which, when encountered while riding in the ultra-high speed range, could easily unsettle a lesser chassis.  A new trellis frame developed using the latest analysis technology provided both the strength to harness the incredible power of the supercharged engine, and the balanced flex to ensure the stability and feedback for high-speed riding.   



As speed increases, wind resistance increases exponentially.  To be able to operate in the ultra-high speed range, a combination of high power and slippery aerodynamics is needed.  With power requirements taken care of by the supercharged engine, the next step was to design bodywork that both minimised drag and ensured control when riding at ultra-high speed.  Assistance from Kawasaki’s Aerospace Company was enlisted in creating the aerodynamically sculpted bodywork to ensure maximum aerodynamic efficiency.   

Intense-Force Design & Craftsmanship

Wanting to ensure a bold design worthy of a model that carried both the “Ninja” and “H2” names, the prime styling concept chosen for the Ninja H2R was “Intense Force Design.”  As a flagship for the Kawasaki brand, it required presence, and a styling that reflected its incredible performance.  But the design is much more than cosmetic.  While it certainly looks the part, the Ninja H2R also possesses a functional beauty: each piece of its bodywork was aerodynamically sculpted to ensure stability at ultra-high speeds; the cowling design also maximises cooling performance and heat dissipation, aiding in achieving the engine’s roughly 300 PS output; and the Ram Air duct is ideally positioned to bring fresh air to the supercharger.  More than any motorcycle Kawasaki has built to date, the Ninja H2R is a showcase of craftsmanship, build quality and superb fit and finish—right down to the high-tech mirrored-finish black chrome paint specially developed for this model.


  1. Don Fraser says:

    The more I look at this, the more I like it. The way the engine is exposed with the fairing way out in front, the trellis frame. Hope some of this design is passed on to other bikes in their line, could put a serious hurt on everyone but HA/DA.

  2. Norm G. says:

    Q: Kawasaki are busy pounding at a bike that will what? … not be used by anyone except a drag racer on the Bonneville salt flats?”

    A: well healed trackday enthusiast…?

    re: “Another issue has to do with wheelies.
    re: “Unintentional “moonshots” were the norm with my bike(until I lengthened the swingarm).”

    just so we’re clear, I’M THE NORM, but there are no wheelies or long swingarms in this latest video. (there’s apparently no end to them)

    I know, I know, I’m as shocked as the rest of “youz”. it seems their target is in fact unseating the s1000…?

    but then comes the quandary of ZERO tie-in with their WSBK program. is that sykes in the video…? is that Duinkers spinning that T-handle…? is that Yoda on the laptop…? dunno.

    maybe the brochure shots will go down in Cutter once Tom’s standing in front the bike, with the T-shirt, lifting the trophy…?

  3. Norm G. says:

    uh oh, something’s up gents. the proddy version of this bike is supposedly nearly identical to this R…? this does not bode well. well yes and no.

  4. richE says:

    Nothing like the whine of a turbo/supercharger, bought kaw 750 turbo back in the day and miss the whine, a street version will be in my garage when it comes out. So many v twins making that awful noise a little whine will be pleasing to there ear when i blow by them—way to go Kawasaki

  5. larryc7777 says:

    Big Green is taking a big chance with a bike this powerful. Most riders just don’t realize how quickly distances disappear with this amount of power available. What seems like a large space between you & the traffic ahead shrinks at an alarming rate. Plus, the speed that you’re going when that distance ends is probably more than you had anticipated. I recently traded my turbocharged ZRX1200 and I can verify that my statement is accurate. And my bike had a “mere” 240HP. Another issue has to do with wheelies. Maybe that’s why they referenced H2 in the name. Unintentional “moonshots” were the norm with my bike( until I lengthened the swingarm ).
    We all know that a large number of these bikes will end up in the hands of younger, less experienced riders. I sure hope they take the time to learn the capabilities of the bike & themselves before becoming a statistic.
    Having said all that…Damn, I really want one. 🙂

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I sure hope they take the time to learn the capabilities of the bike & themselves before becoming a statistic.”

      good luck. (marko from tropoja)

      see Darwin…? not really a teacher, he’s more of a “hands on” kinda guy.

  6. Chris says:

    Anticipated release price before the stealerships get a hook on it ?

    • Norm G. says:

      they’re only “stealerships” because they have something YOU want, and aren’t inclined to just hand it over to us on our good looks.

  7. Axle says:

    Just the fact that there is this discussion thread means that Kawasaki has created a stir within the motorcycling world. Whether you hate it or think it is a work of art, you have to step back and see it as probably the only Japanese ‘exotic’ bike that has ever been produced. My guess is that the mentioned street version will also be an outstanding performer hopefully in the price range of maybe the MV Agusta, S1000RR and Panigale’s of this world and thus Kawasaki will sell every one they can make.
    Thumbs up to Kawi.

  8. Gronde says:

    Kawasaki is now planning it’s next marketing scheme for the street version that will surely “change the motorcycling landscape forever”.

    • sherm says:

      Or they could be changing their advertising agency forever. The orgasm has already occurred. Now what, light up a cigarette?

      All the bragging about the contributions other “Heavy Industry” divisions have made to H2R development seems pretty flaky. Those same divisions were around when Kawasaki was trying, and failing, to win MotoGP races.

      Maybe they ought to make a charger kit that’s a bolt-on to the 300. In countries where there are different classes of licenses for different bike power levels, a novice starts out with the basic 300. Then when the rider qualifies for a higher HP level, he/she goes down to the dealer and gets the charger kit installed. Of course the dealer will have to “card” the rider to make sure the rider has qualified for the higher HP.

  9. Gronde says:

    I guess Kawasaki is now planning it’s next marketing scheme for the street version that will surely “change the motorcycling landscape forever”.

  10. Ninja9R says:

    This bike just clarifies the old statement: “While the engineers at Honda are home arranging their sock drawers, the engineers at Kawasaki are out in the garage pounding down brewskis”………………

    • mickey says:

      Or the Honda engineers are in their garages pounding out bikes that dominate MotoGP and dominate in showrooms, while the engineers at Kawasaki are busy pounding at a bike that will what? not sell,? cannot be used by anyone except a drag racer on the Bonneville salt flats? Cannot be sold by their dealers? Cannot be serviced by their dealer’s mechanics? Cannot be insured?

      • Ian says:

        As cool/odd as this bike is, wonder what the H2 NonR street legal version will be like.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “wonder what the H2 NonR street legal version will be like”

          like you’ve “Got A Tiger By The Tail”…

          only less.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Or the Honda engineers are in their garages pounding out bikes that dominate MotoGP and dominate in showrooms, while the engineers at Kawasaki are busy pounding at a bike that will what? not sell,? cannot be used by anyone except a drag racer on the Bonneville salt flats?”

        ’tis definitely a tale of two cities… err… engineering philosophies, but I have to score this match in favour of K-Heavy…

        circle gets the square.

        • mickey says:

          Only history can determine who gets the square Norm. Future changer or circus sideshow. Time will tell.

          • mickey says:

            If kn 5 years, all of the big 4 have supercharged offering for the public, I will concede that you are right.

            Hang in there!

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Only history can determine who gets the square Norm”

            too late, I’ve already made the declaration. 🙂

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “If kn 5 years, all of the big 4 have supercharged offering for the public, I will concede that you are right.”

            no no, you’re missing the point. while proliferation may result…? that’s not exactly what I’m after. it’s slightly more complex.

            as of October 1 2014, KHI has what’s known as a Durable Competitive Advantage (Warren Buffet speak). Kawasaki has a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) over ALL other brands by virtue of the fact…

            they’re the ONLY GAME IN TOWN.

            I’d like to seem them (and them alone) reap the rewards for their vision and expertise. quite frankly…? what the consumer wants (or doesn’t want) can pound sand.

            if you’re a VALUING motorcyclist, and you WANT this technology…? (though maybe not your local) you go to a Kawasaki dealer. end of.

            you don’t get to play games of running down the road to the Honda or Suzuki franchises in the never-ending search for the “bigger and better deal” and all that nonsense.

            BREAKING NEWS…!!! the bigger and better deal doesn’t exist, IT NEVER HAS. that’s really just an indicator that YOUR A$$ IS BROKE (not you persay). nature is such that, human beings don’t value things they don’t pay for.

            right then, they either come off the dime…? or they take a WALK.

            if they need company…? they’ll find the rest of the “have nots” co-miserating over on the grassy knoll. I’m sure a supercharged Kawi owner will be along shortly. hey, him (or her) might even wave and beep their horn…? you never know.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I agree it is two very different approaches to selling motorcycles, and I am the kind of guy that gets a rush from Kawasaki’s approach of shock and awe. The ONLY bike that Honda makes that I really wanted was the CB1100, and that was only until I rode it after which I wanted nothing to do with it.

          Is it a knockout punch? It blows me away, but we won’t know the affect on the market until that supercharger starts filtering down to Versys 650s and Ninja 300s forcing everyone else to follow or perish.

          • jeece says:

            Honda’s CB1100 is a real yawner, for sure, and that is coming from one of the old farts that should really dig it. When a manufacturer trys to capture the vintage look, it is odd how hard it seems to be to get it right. A supercharged 650 twin, in a couple or three different styles would be sweet, as you mention. Make mine a very simple standard, but with enough stonk to pop an innocent wheelie or two.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Oh, and no offense to your beloved CB1100 mickey. To each his own! 🙂

          • mickey says:

            No offense taken Jeremy, that why they don’t build just one type of bike. Not every bike suits every person. I can tell you there is no better bike for me.

            I trust from reading your posts you are a lot younger than I, didn’t grow up with these kind of bikes. I’ve been waiting a long time for Honda to bring out another bike that didn’t look like an insect or transformer, had regular headlight, regular seat, regular looking gauges, regular fenders, regular tail light. Etc with the CB 1100 they did an exemplary job, meeting all design goals set forth by the engineers. It could have had another 10 horsepower or so, but it’s a moot point as I don’t use all it has. So happy with mine I bought two of them.

          • Tom K. says:

            Mickey, not trying to be a wise guy here – but why two? Does your
            Significant Other ride? If not, do you put equal mileage on them? Or is one mothballed for “future”? Are they the same color, so you only need one license plate and some velcro?

          • mickey says:

            Tom as soon as the 13 was announced, I bought one. It had 5 speed trans, 4 into 1 pipe, with stainless steel header, 3.9 gal tank, silver side covers, black motor, black wheels. It was a great bike…but…

            In 2014 Honda came out with a deluxe version..4.7 gallon tank, 6 speed trans, 4 into 2 with chrome head pipes, side covers painted to match the tank, a seat patterned like the old 750s, fuel computer, gear indicator, polished master cyl and brake master cyl caps, polished triple tree, polished passenger grab rails, chrome bar ends, silver motor, silver wheels…Just gorgeous. Traded in the 13 and bought the 14 dlx.

          • mickey says:

            Ph and the 14 came with SBS standard too

          • mickey says:

            Jeezalou..that’s supposed to say OH and the 14 came with ABS. Too. The other part of my reply is under moderation…again!

          • Tom K. says:

            As soon as I hit “enter”, it dawned on me that you didn’t necessarily say you owned both at the same time. When Honda announced the upgrades to the 2nd year bike, I too felt that would be the one I’d own if I were in the market (and I will definitely give that model a close look when I am, but from the specs, I initially thought the seat height was a little low, I’m long-legged). But they nailed it in the looks dept., I always thought the 750 Nighthawk was one of the best looking bikes on the showroom floor for years. These days, I’m more into roll-on snort vs peak hp, I hope to Zarathustra I’m done with 150 mph brain-farts for the rest of my career (with apologies to Joe Walsh, “My Kawasaki does 185 – I lost my license, now I can’t drive”).

      • jeece says:

        … I sure don’t see Honda dominating any showrooms in my area, and without their current rider, they would be second best in MotoGP. They don’t sell as many cruisers around here as Yamaha, and Suzuki and Kawasaki flat skin them up in the sportbike categories in this area. I used to be a Honda fan, but they define “asleep at the wheel”, lately, if you ask me. Unless you like weird scooter/automatic urban plastic motorcycle thingies. They are producing a few of those.

        • mickey says:

          Lol all you have to do is check sales figures. And without Marquez, Honda would still have the number 1 rider in MotoGP. All you have to check in that case is the standings.

          And the CB 1100 is arguably the best in it’s category…retro standards. Those that own them will be glad to tell you. Superb motorcycle.

          • jeece says:

            Dude, any half smart motorcyclist knows Honda has the “biggest piece of the pie”, but having been in motorcycle sales for nearly twenty years, I can tell you, without any hesitation, that they have lost their mojo. Even blindly devoted Honda guys like you are grumbling about the complacency and lack of innovation they see from Honda in this space in time. I wont argue the point with you. Maybe I live in a vacuum, or something. You can call it my sole opinion if you like, but I bet Siochiro Honda, or however you spell it is about ready to “roll over” as we are typing. Also, and in closing, if you think the CB1100 is anything other than a snoozer, you are in some way grossly biased against Kawasaki in the first place. Their ZRX1200 is much better looking, faster, and doesn’t get confused about what it is supposed to be. Honda sure got confused when they built that bike. Something like the original CB1100f would have been well received, but they went for some kind of I don’t know what when they styled that heap. My opinion only, of course. PS. Marquez is good, aint he. He would win on a Yamaha, as Rossi says,” for sure”.

          • mickey says:

            Dude? Nobody has called me dude in at least 4 decades. But um ok…. When was the last time Kawasaki sold a new ZRX 1200? Would have loved to have a new one, that’s my style of bike. Air cooled, Inline 4 cyl liter bike, std riding position, more or less bench seat, steel frame, great motorcycle. Just can’t buy them anymore…and I still contend the CB 1100 is a great motorcycle. Owners, the guys that actually live with them day to day almost to a man love them.

  11. Gary says:

    The “Air Wolf” of motorcycles. Hope Kawasaki included that primal wolf scream when you corner it!

  12. sherm says:

    I think the new Ducati Scrambler , with its air cooled 75 hp,terrific looks, and under 9k price, is the real winner of the day. The H2R will be a quickly forgotten mechanical fantasy.

    Walk two hundred riders past the Scrambler and H2R side by side, and I’d bet that 90 percent would oogle the Scrambler more than the H2R. Just my opinion.

  13. falcodoug says:

    Will they be offering test rides in Long Beach this November?

  14. jeece says:

    You know.. after reflecting on this little period of build-up, release, and comments/scrutiny, I have got to say that I am just proud that somebody in the motorcycle industry is grabbing gears and not sitting on the sidelines with a beat down look on their face. Kudos, Kawasaki, you are no doubt gaining my admiration for boldly moving forward with something, even if its not the proverbial gamechanger, or whatever Norm would say. Sure, not everyone is going to like the styling, or the power output, or the amount of cylinders, or something about the machine, but, if you think like a youngster, this thing is pretty darn awesome. Besides, in the thirty years or so I have been a motorcyclist, there have been really no motorcycles produced that were EXACTLY what I would build if I were in charge at Honda, Kawasaki, etc.. So yeehaw, Kawasaki, go on a build something else, and then another…lately it seems you have the floor to yourself, but you are trying, and that’s cool with me. PS A 750cc supercharged motor in the ZRX guise would be the stuff if you ask me.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “even if its not the proverbial gamechanger”

      it is.

      re: “or whatever Norm would say”

      not whatever, the tag lines/buzzwords Norm’s come up come up with (and really don’t know how the KHI marketing department missed?) are…

      “TURBOSUPERCHARGER”, “TURBO-SUPERCHARGER” (all one word or hyphenated)



      these are terms you will be hearing me repeat in the coming weeks and months. as a courtesy, you are advised to up date your dictionaries/wiktionaries, spell checkers and the like. you’ll WANT to be up to speed (pun intended).

      • Norm G. says:

        ps: if you should repeat these terms elsewhere (and you will), I only ask that you credit the source. thank you.

  15. Ninja9R says:

    Back in ’73 at the tender age of 16 I took and passed my motorcycle license test on a ’72 Mach IV, Denco chambers and all. When I saw the first ad for this bike I was interested. After watching the video above I’ve got wood. My wife, bless her, understands.

    • Kagato says:

      What did the trooper have to say about your bike? I bet he wanted to take her out himself ; – )

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “After watching the video above I’ve got wood. My wife, bless her, understands.”

      she’s just wondering what you’re gonna do with that thing…? no, the OTHER thing.

  16. Louis says:

    With the news about all the other new motorcycles from Intermot today, I think Kawasaki should have released this bike a week ago. Then it would have had the headlines to itself. Now, it just seems like one bike among many. I’m talking about us enthusiasts out here in cyberspace. I’m sure it’s the hit of the motorcycle show in Intermot.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Now, it just seems like one bike among many.”

      technically a correct statement, “seems” however might be an operative word.

      re: “I’m talking about us enthusiasts out here in cyberspace.”

      no, I’m afraid you’re talking about your everyday Wal-Mart consumer. ie. people who MASQUERADE as motorcyclists. try not to confuse the former with the latter as these are 2 different groups, with 2 different sets of priorities. one constructive, the other DESTRUCTIVE.

      in contrast, the true ENTHUSIAST knows there’s a distinct difference between what’s on offer here…? and the stuff the other manufacturers brought to play with. oh, and he doesn’t need to be standing in anybody’s exhibit hall to see it either.

  17. Gronde says:

    Anyone figure out what the top speed would be with a sportbike C/D? 250 mph or so?

  18. Tom says:

    I think that aria being sung in the video must be the collective scream of squidberts from around the world.

    • Tom K. says:

      It reminded me of the ceremony in which Hattori Hanzo presents his Greatest Work to the Bride.
      That’s what KHI has done here; they’ve created a Hanzo Bike. Absolutely stunning, in a world with ever-uglier exhausts, they even managed to make that part pretty – but the street version will probably get all Rosie O’Donnell with the addition of a Cat. I dislike all other Optimus Prime wannabee’s from Kaw’s design studio to date, but this bike is so purpose-driven in its styling, it is mesmerizing.
      I wonder if there’s a mounting bracket and pre-plumbing present for the nitrous? And who’s going to be the first here to complain about the absence of ram-air?
      But seriously, folks, does that really look like a 300 hp radiator to you? She may run a little warm during rush-hour.

      • Don Fraser says:

        looks like ram air to me
        nitrous usually ends in tears
        not making HP during rush hour, and probably only making serious HP for short periods of time anyway

  19. Scarecrow800 says:

    A few have speculated on the price … 25K … 30K … what I’m wondering is, how much will the insurance cost? My gosh, they had a hissy fit about that old 500 cc Honda V twin with a turbo, what kind of fit will they have about this little honey bear? Uh, yeah, that’ll be another 25 K please … per month.

  20. jim says:

    An inline four cylinder Ducati.

  21. Tom says:

    As a 63-year-old who used to own an original terrifying “hinged-frame” H2 and lived through it, and who still rides pure sport bikes and would not touch one of those wussy bleeping ADV’s with a twenty foot pole even if you gave me one, I want one of these. My wife always said that I would die from a horrifying airborne cliff-diving motorcycle crash, and I just found my bucket list launch vehicle. Yeeee-haw! Where do I sign up for pre-order?

  22. rapier says:

    I asked why build a hyper performance bike? How many could they sell? Well since it is not a street bike very few, which leaves the question why build it.

    As an engineering exercise it’s great but it doesn’t seem like it is going to do anything to bring forced induction back to the showrooms and streets. Not that there is a need for it triples or four cylinder sports bikes above say 600cc’s. Well maybe 600’s which could eliminate the need for liter bikes. I can envision a do all ‘sport touring’ 600 to 750 that would be wicked, or not,ride control, and just neat.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “As an engineering exercise it’s great but it doesn’t seem like it is going to do anything to bring forced induction back to the showrooms and streets.”

      re: “Kawasaki Debuts 300 HP Closed-Course H2R; Street Legal Model Debuts Soon”

      is it just me…? or doesn’t anybody pay attention any more…?

      • Tom K. says:

        I’m sorry, did you say something? Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. So, do you think it has auto-injection, or do you have to pre-mix the Castrol?

        I’m pretty sure I saw this thing in a movie last night, but the “real” Godzilla was able to defeat it with the help of a Japanese air force spaceship thingy. Gotta love Nippon for their ability to turn imagination into hard parts, and then make them accessible to mortals.

        Since you won the “What do you think it is?” prize, you advance to round 2: What do you suppose represents the optimum torque curve for an engine intended for a sportbike of reasonable proportions, with real-world limitations to chassis, weight, steering, and tire performance? Even given perfectly sorted traction and wheelie control software (or Kenny Roberts behind the bars), beyond what point is additional power “unusable”, and therefore not worth the cost and compromise of engineering it? My guess it is somewhere a lot closer to the current crop of literbikes than it will be to the street-intended version of the H2. Does anybody REALLY wind out a GSXR on the street, get off and say, “Damn, if it only had more power…..” But then again, isn’t it Bugatti that sells a 1000 hp V-12 (or something)? How many brazillionaires can there be, anyway?

        The day the Doc says, “You’ve got six months left, Son”, this thing is MINE. Especially if they take MasterCard.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “What do you suppose represents the optimum torque curve for an engine intended for a sportbike of reasonable proportions, with real-world limitations to chassis, weight, steering, and tire performance? Even given perfectly sorted traction and wheelie control software (or Kenny Roberts behind the bars), beyond what point is additional power “unusable”, and therefore not worth the cost and compromise of engineering it?”

          these are all “practical” questions.

          if I were to hazard I guess…? anyone who tabled practical questions during the R&D process suddenly found themselves “reassigned” to the office of ship building and oil platforms.

          “gentlemen step 1, we are going to set practically out with the rubbish. all those who agree…? show of hands please.” (executive scans room with steely-eyed glare)

          • Norm G. says:

            practically =’s practicality.

          • Tom K. says:

            So that explains why my desk is wedged between the head and a bilge pump….

            One of the things that makes this bike interesting is that the engine appears to have “leapfrogged” what we’re familiar with in the other systems – it may be that catching up the rest of the technology to the engine will just be a set of engineering problems for which solutions will eventually be found, and this level of engine power will become the new open class standard. As another poster said previously, “Come back in ten years and tell us that today’s technology represented the pinnacle of development” (pardon my paraphrase).

            Wasn’t it Norm L. who mused that the streetable version of the H2 may take the form of some sort of quarter-miler? Now THAT would be cool, this engine in a freshened 1985 Eliminator styling package, a V-Max and Diavel killer – back in the day of the original H2, turning was something you were forced to do to get back to the pits; not long before then, the “ton” was the high water mark of high speed (street) performance. Until they figure out a way to keep the squids from mimicking the spring bar on a 55″ wheelbase rat trap, maybe something longer and lower would be the natural home for this powerplant? On the other hand….BMW just announced their halo bike has been bumped to 199 hp, so what’s another 25 hp between friends? Maybe Kaw has got the solutions already sorted out, maybe those downforce wings are larger than they look. No matter what, this is turning out to be the best year for new bike rollouts in a long, long, time.

  23. randy says:

    Yes I am a life long motorcycle nut. But can you imagine this small, lightweight
    engine in something like a Mazda 2 or any similar small, fun to drive car?

    • xlayn says:

      Check for the Skyactiv tech on the Mazda 2, I guess goals are a bit different but they are still loking forward to improve and enhance….
      on the other side… small car crazy engine google fu, smart hayabusa engine and there is a video with a turbo one 🙂

    • david says:

      Yeah, tuck it to the all new 2016 Mazda MX-5! That would be awesome.

  24. Matt says:

    “Perhaps the most HYPED new model this year..”

    There, fixed it. I know I wasn’t anticipating this rocket..

    BUT.. if it weighs 500 lbs and has 300 HP that is 1.6lb per HP. Which means they could make a 116 lb bike with 70 hp. THAT I could anticipate!!

    • xlayn says:

      You are conjuring the Free Lunch powers of ol’ NG…
      By asking how they did not fit some nice tech that some expensive machine has you get: example and classic “no free lunch”
      By asking to make it nicer and cheaper you get: more verbosity, example and maybe a “you’ll need to asume and understand” kind of talk….
      By dividing numbers and ask “116 lb bike with 70 hp” you’ll get: get him mad (his kids never understand why reading bout motorcycles make him mad), plus all above….
      By dividing numbers and ask “116 lb bike with 70 hp” and divide the price you’ll get: NG on emergency because he had a stroke, verbosity… madness… another stroke….

    • Hoss says:

      I am guessing it weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of around 375 lbs……………There is no way this bike weighs close to 500lbs……….

      • Matt says:

        I’m sure you are closer, I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.

        And I know the power to weight is not linear and 116lb with 70HP is not possible.

        My hope is that even though I have no interest in owning this engineering marvel some of the technology trickles down to bikes I do want to own..

        Like a 60HP KLX250 or something..

  25. Kevin says:

    This is the bike the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has chosen for its new Sink-or-Swim Beginner Course.

  26. halfbaked says:

    Waaaay too many teaser videos and this was not worth the wait.

    • Norm G. says:

      maybe a lil’ perspective will help. back at the turn of the century, kawi was the brand everybody blasted for being sedate and the least sophisticated (i know, i was there). (despite an earlier attempt at fuel injection) every model they made was carburetted, the ZX7RR was still being raced, the Zed10 didn’t exist, and they didn’t know from braced swingarms.

      fast forward 14 years and they’re into the 2nd generation of ZX14, they have the Connie, the 6r’s won Daytona, EVERYTHING’s fuel injected, they’ve raced MotoGP, the Ninja moniker celebrates 30 years, and not only did they go and build multiple iterations of liter Zed…? Tom Sykes and the 4th generation are about to be crowned DOUBLE WORL’ CHAMPEENS…

      and here we have before us the 300hp Ninja H2R.

      now we see more clearly why i’m on about paying attention and developing one’s MotoIQ. it’s not anything you’re doing for me…? it’s for YOU.

      • ze says:

        So true. Not only a jump in production, but in quality as well. Hey, i have 2 bikes from them! haha

  27. kjazz says:

    Where ya supposed to put the saddle bags…..!!?? Does it have real world necessities like hand warmers and a latte dispenser….?? Meh, just another landmark motorcycle in a world of landmarks…… jk.

  28. ApriliaRST says:

    Perfect beginners’ bike.

  29. Paul says:

    So they cut a big notch in the frame for the rear brake fluid resevoir. Was the CAD program ok with that ?

  30. sam says:

    i can’t wait for the inevitable car vs. bike youtube videos on this one.

  31. Tommy see says:

    This machine is so beautiful! I can only dream of taking it out for a flight ! Kawi you are extreme in your designs !!!! We are fortunate to live in these times of technology !

  32. sherm says:

    So no two stroke. But stick the supercharger on next year’s ninja 300 ABS, price it under 8k, and see if it sells. Considering that the monied customer base is mainly old farts on big twins and the pavement hating ADV riders, the H2 market looks to be tiny (but enthusiastic). Of course I’d love to take one on a weekend test ride.

  33. VLJ says:

    Kind of looks like a “Transformers” version of an MV Agusta, especially the wheels, but you know what? It doesn’t look bad at all. And for a Kawi, considering their most recent slew of styling abortions, this thing is downright gorgeous. Love the Kawasaki River Mark logo, and all the carbon fiber.

    Pure balls, to create and actually sell such a thing to the public in today’s (overly) politically correct world. Congrats, Kawi, it was no mean feat, and you well and truly delivered on the hype.

    Now, if only Honda would ever wake from their coma and once again decide to flex their own prodigious engineering muscles.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Now, if only Honda would ever wake from their coma and once again decide to flex their own prodigious engineering muscles.”




      • Dave says:

        This motorcycle is not for sale. It’s a working concept/show piece.

        Honda has applied their prodigious engineering muscle – to bikes people actually can and do buy. I’m sure they’re pretty comfortable seeing where Kawasaki has focused their efforts.

    • zuki says:

      Don’t forget the “high-tech mirrored-finish black chrome paint”. Very nice. Brings Catherine Wheel’s ‘Black Metallic’ song to my mind (which is a song about a Porsche 911).

  34. SD Louis says:

    I’d love to have the 500cc supercharged twin version of this engine in a super lightweight chassis. Heck even an ADV version would work.

  35. Vrooom says:

    An amazing bike. The market may be a bit limited as it’s likely to appeal to people who can’t afford it. Would love to spin one around a track a few times at what would surely be half it’s capability, but can’t see owning it as practical applications are limited. It’s nice looking and surely goes like stink though.

  36. sam says:

    its nice, but i’m gonna hold out for the adventure version. upright riding position, more suspension travel, and TKC80s.

  37. dave m says:

    Anyone want to guess what the retail on this thing is going to be? I’m going to say $25k. THis won’t be marketed to E1/E2 military types. This is for the afficianado, the sucessful, late 30’s to early 50’s rider that somehow still has a good back, is in reasonable health, and wants to go out with a bang! Not die, but I mean, “Hey I’m getting older. One last sportbike before I really settle down.”

    Anway, exciting times. We haven’t seen progresion like this in who knows how long! I can’t think of a bike as groundbreaking as this, although everyone including myself will always bring up the 1993 CBR900, the 1997 Yamaha R1, and the 2001 GSXR750, 1999 Hayabusa, In some respects the 2008 CBR1000, and the 2009 BMW S1000RR.(I think I got all those years right). SUre, there have been other groundbreaking bikes in other categories, but as far as all out performance and speed go…the ones I mentioned stick out to me.

    As a sidenote, wondering if the odd looking front wing (where the side mirrors would normally reside) will find it’s way onto a street model. I kinda doubt it. But, I’m sure there’ll be some sort of mirror that may include some aero effect. Prob is a streetbike does need to have signals and mirrors. WIll be interesting to see how it looks. And, when is this supposed to be released as a streetbike?

  38. iliketoeat says:

    This is kinda dumb. That much power is useful only for squids comparing penis sizes over spec sheets. And I guess for top-speed runs on the salt flats. Motorcycles are limited in how much power they can actually use by the fact that they wheelie. Adding more power won’t make a bike accelerate faster unless you also extend the wheelbase, which makes the bike useless in corners. The H2 will be a great drag racer, but useless for anything else.

    • xlayn says:

      not even for drag without extending the wheelbase as you state, and electronics will tame power in all gears to keep the front wheel in the ground and the tire from slip….
      on the other side if you tweak the gears you can use the 1st gear for everything from 0 to 220kph while the machine will stil try to rip your arms…. let’s call that… power touring…. (you hear it first here in MD)

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “power touring”

        xlayn, you’ve officially been bumped rank to (PFC) Private 1st Class E1 with corresponding pay and benefits. the rank of General is within your grasp. reach for the “Stars”.

    • dave m says:

      TRUE. Does not look like the H2 has much of an extended wheelbase at all. Prob less than a Busa. It will be neutered by limiting boost at lower RPMs, and by a ridiculously tall first gear. And of course, by electronics, secondary throttle butterflies, etc. In other words, it will put out ridiculous numbers on the dyno, but on the street, you’ll wonder where all the power is when cracking open the throttle abruptly. At least that’s how I felt with my 2008 ZX-10R I had. I can only imagine the same with the H2.

    • zuki says:

      Kawasaki obviously isn’t stupid. Power delivery is probably very predictable. I’ll bet there’s enough down-force generated by those wings with air speed that you can accelerate from a certain velocity to flatten your eyeballs and make your stomach feel all tight and flighty without focusing all your attention into keeping the front wheel down. This machine is a beast and it does the H2 designation proud. I like it.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The H2 will be a great drag racer”

      this won’t even by a great drag racer as this seems to be purely a “shock and awe campaign”… a design statement. good on ’em.

      however (comma) i suspect (hope) the yet to debut street version employs different engineering. see entry for ally twin spar and DSS.

      • Blackcayman says:

        there will be an aftermarket solution for seeeriously extended swingarm – and it won’t be a SSS

        • xlayn says:

          Great, I no longer have to suggest put the ram air/turbo inducer on the extended beak for the adventure version….
          (latter on the news: the new release of the turbo-touring machine from kawasaki had a recall to put a grille on the bird aspirator…)

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “there will be an aftermarket solution for seeeriously extended swingarm – and it won’t be a SSS”

          no worries, that drag racing chap Brock Davidson is already on the ground in Deutschland…


    • DaveA says:

      Yes, because 54″ MotoGP bikes that weigh 365 pounds and make over 250hp have no demonstrated ability to accelerate without wheelying over backwards.

      I swear this site has the most concentrated group of e-curmudgeons ever assembled. It’s a motorcycle. It makes 300hp. If no part of you thinks that’s interesting, please take up stamp collecting and leave us motorcycle nuts in peace.


  39. TwoWheelsFTW says:

    Cheater bike redefined. I love it.

  40. Hot Dog says:

    450 miles from Fargo to Billings, a little over 2 hours? A down payment will include your drivers license but this machine looks like it’s worth it. WOW!!!

    • iliketoeat says:

      Yeah, no, not 2 hours, even if there were no traffic and no cops. At the power peak and at top speed, what gas mileage do you think you’d be getting? You’d drain that tank in 15-20 min and have to stop for gas.

    • Don Fraser says:

      will need to change rear tire while you fill tank
      Mopar says new 707 HP Challenger will empty 18.5 gal. tank in 15 minutes at full throttle

  41. Selecter says:

    Oh, boy, do I like this!

    I’ll probably be the only one in the world asking for one with handlebars and hard bags, though! I would go *everywhere* on a bike like that!

  42. billy says:

    This is what we’ve been waiting for? Ugh.

  43. Norm G. says:

    right then, for the record what we have here is a 1000cc 4 stroke, 4 cylinder, with centrifugal supercharger…

    it’s not a triple, not a 2-stroke, nor a tumor.

  44. Blackcayman says:


    Because they CAN!

    I’d say the gauntlet has been thrown down…

  45. TimU says:

    Hemorrhoid ugly. I’ll pass.

  46. Skipper says:

    Amazing that all the Moto GP bikes are smoother looking and more traditional…..
    Why do we buy these sharp, angular futuristic looking bikes?
    Make the R1 look like the Yamaha Moto GP bike, then I’d buy a sport bike agIn.

    (Ps- how many track day organizers will allow elbow/ankle chopping wings on the track?)

  47. David Duarte says:

    I’d love to see how it does on the salt, with or without a more aerodynamic shell/enclosure.

  48. Glen says:


  49. Al Pinaweiss says:

    1 Kg = 1.05 HP (incl.rider).

    Jet-fighter acceleration, with a factory warranty.
    Can be probably considered a weapon-grade product
    (in “any language”).

    Good times indeed.

    P.S. and yeah, the supercharger opening seems to be
    roughly the size of the cylinder bores… (a vital fact
    for those IN the know).

  50. Al Pinaweiss says:

    Hello, Audi.
    Your turn now.

  51. xlayn says:

    not sure if styling… but the moment you need to add air deflectors to push the front end down…. you are using some of the last resources to manage power…
    impresive, let’s see how this thing change stuff around itself… (deaths, laws, records, top speed, tunning….)
    I hope to get my 600cc power in 150lbs less in some years…

  52. Norm G. says:

    looks like the body was penned by Lockheed Martin…? and that’s good, ’cause with 300hp and no VIN you’ll be want to scatter and defract Johnny Law’s radar.

  53. Jeremy in TX says:


  54. Starmag says:

    The only question is how will Batgirl keep up on her YDS-5E?

  55. mickey says:

    That’s 40 to 50 horsepower more than Marc Marquez’s MotoGP machine.. That’s astonishing.

  56. USKUSA says:

    Very nice! Has expected something clumsy looking like a ZX 14. This thing looks great and the trellis frame is a nice surprise.

  57. Kevin P says:

    Nice 300hp widow-maker for the modern era. When will a detuned, street legal version be available stateside?

  58. Tom Shields says:

    Mmmm. Mmmmm, Mmmmmm.

  59. Tim says:

    Beautiful, powerful and fast. Can’t wait to see and hear one in the flesh.

  60. skybullet says:

    This bike could be the answer to the question, how much is too much?

  61. Ed says:

    Ahh. Trellis plus carbon fiber. What a beautiful combination.

  62. Gronde says:

    Anyone wanna take a stabat how much this is gonna cost? I’d say $35,000.

  63. MGNorge says:

    “Closed-Course” Does that translate into drag racing?

  64. ze says:

    Amazing. Unexpected trellis frame. Hope to ride one some day…

    • Joe says:

      Did not expect a trellis!
      Thought for sure it’d have to be a twin spar aluminum alloy comparable to MotoGP spec.
      Their press says they’ve employed new technology in design and build for this frame.
      After the early four stroke Ducati MotoGP trellis was abandoned because it was said that it flexed too much, I hope, given the outrageous power this thing has, that they’ve found a way to achieve adequate stiffness.
      Looks kinda spindley.

      • Joe says:

        Correction: “spindly”

      • ze says:

        Ok, the motogp trellis ducati was the 1st thing that passed through my head. Well, i just can imagine that they have tested this thing a lot. A bad chassis would a tremendous flop…

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