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Latest Kawasaki Video Erases Any Doubts About Performance Intentions for New H2


Here at MD, we like to think we are not suckers for running promotional videos thrown at us by manufacturers (remember the Yamaha video with Ben Spies and Colin Edwards  going on their “mancation” – Team Texas Road Trip? … yeah, we are still trying to forget that one as well — We didn’t run it.).  These Kawasaki H2 video teasers are something else,  however.

When you already manufacture the fastest production motorcycle available (the ZX-14R) and you make no bones about the fact that the H2 will eclipse every production machine ever made, you get our attention.  Here is the latest video from Kawasaki, and bonus points to the reader who can figure out how fast that H2 was going in the “fly by” recorded near the end


  1. dave m says:

    THis bike like all others, will be neutered. Mega tall 1st gear (100mph) to prevent wheelies, and dual throttle butterflies to prevent sudden accel when whacking open the throttle, as well as timing retard on throttle opening. Such B.S.

    My last ZX-10R (2008) had to go 1 down 2 up on the sprockets so first gear made sense, also had a healtech XTRE (timing retard eliminator). Only thing I didn’t do was remove the secondary butterflies (because their was much debate and frankly the other two improvements made it likeable enough).

    Anyway, seeing as this bike has little competition, it will be interesting to see what it will be priced at. I’m thinking Kawi will price it significantly higher than other 1000cc sportbikes, and higher than it’s own ZX-14. Only thing is, I paused the flyby as close as I could and the bike looks to be compact like a current 1000cc. It really needs some wheelbase a la busa/zx-14 to put the power down. SO, hopefully I’m wrong. Bikes don’t really need anymore power than the current crop. Only thing I can see this bike doing or being good for is acceleration in higher gears (4th, 5th, 6th) where timing retard is not an issue. So in that regard, roll ons in 4th and 6th gear should be EPIC!!!

  2. Mich says:

    300 lbs,100 hp min., lightly faired, tiny. That would be a bike worthy of the H2 name… Top speed not so important. Getting to it faster would be. That would be a fun bike.

  3. WaterBuffalo says:

    My 1974 Suzuki GT750 two-stroke triple is, and always will be, one of my favorite bikes. It was fast, had plenty of torque and a pleasing, distinctive sound emanating from the water-cooled triple cylinders. I, like many responders here, would love to see two-strokes come back. Their inherent simplicity, lightness and unfettered drivetrain would be an advantage in this day and age of dual-overhead camshafts, timing chains and four-stroke complexity. My GT was a beautiful, smooth, reliable, and efficient machine and I miss it terribly.

    On the other hand I also owned a ’02 Hayabusa and that machine had it’s charms as well. Even with all the power (I remember the dealer warning me over and over about it being to much to handle for some riders) it was a pussycat when you wanted it to be and I am assuming this H2 will be as well. Probably have the selectable power settings like most hyper-bikes have now so even in rain it will be docile and predictable.

    I think I will be sorely disappointed though. This bike, while supercharged, will be just another crotch-rocket, albeit with hyper ridiculous performance potential. Kawasaki bring back the damn two-stroke. The technology is there for clean-burning two-stroke engines, so why not?

  4. Gutterslob says:

    Looks a tad too small for a ZX-14/Hayabusa-esque top-speed bike.

  5. carl says:

    Here in the great white north communist Ontario, my 20yr old wants to move from his 250 Honda to 600. Insurance is roughly $7000 for a year and with our seasons that means 4 or 5 months decent weather. Insurance has killed young market here for bikes, after I sold my ZX14 for a touring bike, this would be fun again but would need help getting off with my tired old bones.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Insurance has killed (the) young market”

      insurance are the murderers…?

      or might there be something that WE did (or didn’t do) over the past 5, 10, 15 years that’s begat this crime scene/chalk outline we now see laid out before us…?

      just asking, for this might be one those “chicken vs. egg” conundrums.

      • Gutterslob says:

        So my generation pays the price for the moronic acts committed by your generation. Way of the world, then. Move along. Nothing to see here.

  6. Gronde says:

    To keep tempting us with a two-stroke and then offering a four-stroke should be a criminal offence! We already have bikes with too much power already. Another fast bike would be just another fast bike, but a two-stroke would indeed “change the landscape of motorcycling” as
    Kawasaki says in their ads.

  7. John Z says:

    I don’t think that Kawi in necessarily introducing a new bike like this to recapture a top speed record (that incidentally its own ZX14 already holds). While people are undoubtedly impressed by the bragging rights generated by high speed capabilities, the fact is that they aren’t actually interested in buying the fastest bikes around since they invariably turn out to be big and clumsy most of the time). If people were that interested in sheer performance I would be seeing ZX14s or Hayabusas on a daily basis rather than weekly (or even monthly) basis as is the case now.

    It’s not as if the new bike can be road raced either considering current AMA/AFM rules regarding blown bikes. It, unlike the current ZX10, would be without a class to race in. Rest assured that it will never be allowed to be raced against normally aspired bikes either. This is because it is too easy to get massive amounts more power out of a blown bike by just some virtually impossible to detect, relatively low effort often just electronic fiddling. As a result a blown bike would also be a nightmare for race tech checkers since it would be far easier to cheat with them. Its not as if a conventional tear down will detect any electronics modification. This ease of cheating will result in blown bikes only being allowed to race other blown bikes.

    Rather, I think that that this particular new bike is coming out because the Japanese motorcycle makers are becoming increasingly nervous about the fact that many of their faster motorcycles now get worse (often far worse in the case of certain Italian bikes) fuel mileage than any number of cars that are increasingly getting fuel mileage in the high 30s mpg or(increasingly)low 40 mph range range while at the same time carrying four passengers with luggage.

    I am willing to bet that bikes like this is being introduced to simply head off potential threats from governments (who hate motorcycles already) which have recently started noticing the comparatively dismal fuel mileage of the current crop of big bikes.

    The use of a turbo or supercharger on a smaller displacement bike will allow the new bike to get substantially greater fuel mileage while at the same time offering performance similar to the older, larger displacement bikes.

    The Japanese manufacturers have a right to be nervous. American pickup truck manufacturers are already experiencing just how onerous (and monumentally expensive) government imposed fuel mileage mandates can be.

    Government imposed mandates can be funny things. Mandates that started off being based on improving fuel mileage can can easily be expanded to include prohibitions on horsepower with just the stroke of a pen once the government safety nannies get involved.

  8. James says:

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

  9. Juan says:

    I only see a fast motorcycle. hopefully not just another fast bike

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “bonus points to the reader who can figure out how fast that H2 was going in the “fly by” recorded near the end”

    bob, I bid 189 for this showcase.

    given K heavy’s skill at aerodynamics, looks to be around the speeds Duhamel and Zemke would exit the high banks of Daytona on a works 1L.

  11. Mars says:

    Kawasaki Panigale. See y’all at Starbucks. Will someone buy me a latte though? Insurance costs. Ya know?

  12. Norm G. says:

    ok, not sure why they’re dating this video with 2014, when everything’s M.Y. 2015…? but whatever.

    wow no pretensions in that video, they are really not f@#$%g around.

    btw, did anybody see the classic K-heavy logo this bike is supposed to be branded with…?

  13. Glen says:

    Cool promo. There, I said it.

  14. Doyle Gaines says:

    I’m 60 years old and I’ve been riding since I was 13. I like old and slow bikes, partly because I’m old and slow. But I also appreciate the very latest technology. I can’t afford it – but I’m glad the option exists. It’s a bit disheartening to see negative comments aimed at Kawasaki for seeking to sell motorcycles based on performance.
    If anyone feels like a certain motorcycle may be to too fast to ride on the street then don’t ask your mommy to buy it for you. Kawasaki has been thoughtful enough to provide us with the W650 and the W800 also. Who knows, someday I may be able to own a W800 AND a new Ninja H2. I kinda like the fact that the possibility exists…

  15. Jdilpkle says:

    Hey Heavy Industries –
    I had a ’69 H1 myself. In 1974 I flung it off the road into a freeway bridge support and then it cartwheeled into a field where it burst into flames. Ahhh – the best of times.
    Most of us riders are all for a nice powerful ride, but I too see the max speed thing as pretty much a dead-end road. Many of those young guns who will exploit it will die.
    Come on Kawasaki, most of us riders who survived the “old days”, grew up. Maybe you, to some degree, should do the same. Build us some powerful, yet beautiful rides. You catch more riders with honey than blood. Think about it.

    • Denny says:

      Wise and true, it takes experience and time to mature. Racers for regular roads make no sense.

    • Denny says:

      Btw, it is my opinion that HP rating for motorcycles for street use should be subject to limit enforced by law. Lure potential users to purchasing outlandish power motorcycles is insane and irresponsible. There are other ways to make profit and stay in business.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I disagree completely. I wouldn’t be opposed to that kind of law for beginning riders or teenagers, but the rest of us know exactly what we’d be getting into with a bike like that.

        Kawasaki has made a living by selling itself as a horsepower lord. Ironically, that image also sells slower bikes for them as well. Harley Davidson can make a profit and stay in business selling nothing but slow bikes, but I am not sure sure Kawasaki could. They are producing what their customers have come to expect from them.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “it is my opinion that HP rating for motorcycles for street use should be subject to limit enforced by law.”

        STONE HIM…!!!


      • Pistoldave says:

        HECK YEAH!!!! More nanny state laws are exactly what we need. In fact, if you look at accident statistics, I think motorcycles should be outlawed completely. But why stop there, we could also outlaw skydiving, rock climbing, fatty foods, snow skiing man the possibilities are endless!!! I’m going to call my congressman right now!

      • Denny says:

        It looks like I hit nail’s head; wannabes and hyper-hungry-consumers. As expected.
        I promise to continue the trend.

        • Jdilpkle says:

          Ok boys – dont get yer panties all in a bunch. I think HP limits for beginners is a wise move, but lift it with some miles under their belts. i think the UK does something of that sort.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I think HP limits for beginners is a wise move”

            i do too. problem is the “relative ease” with which suggestions flow.

            it’s one thing to “suggest”…? however (comma) formulating a workable plan that dot’s I’s and crosses T’s, is where the men get separated from the boys.

            as i understand it, human beings don’t take kindly to having their freedoms curtailed. one only need look at the raging debate over gun control and 2nd amendment rights here in the US to get some idea of the SH#TSTORM you’ll ultimately need to fly through

            right then, Top Gun Aces only.

    • Daimyo says:

      It is precisely this attitude of “i’m an old person and I don’t think these young rascals on their japanese manga bikes need a 220hp engine! I mean in my day we rode iron horses with the brake pads made of sawed down coffee cans etc”

      Motorcycle technology moves on, engines become faster and more efficient, leading to higher top speeds etc..

      It’s a fact of life, all this talk of ‘give me a good old classic bike with classic lines and that’ll sell instead of these new bikes with their new engines and newfangled technology”

      The sport is dying and this piss poor attitude is what’s causing it, move over grandpa, it’s a new digital age and the peak of internal combustion technology before the fall, enjoy it while it lasts.

      • Fred M says:

        You wrote: “Motorcycle technology moves on, engines become faster and more efficient, leading to higher top speeds etc..”

        But human reflexes, coordination, strength, and judgment are no better now than when people in the 1960s were on Triumph Bonneville 650s and Harley Sportsters.

        I don’t care how much better today’s brakes are — if someone’s reflexes don’t kick in until the moment of impact, the brakes aren’t going to do any good.

    • billy says:

      That’s hideous. A poor computer mockup to be sure.

      • Starmag says:

        That doesn’t look like a mock up. I think that’s it. All that hype for yet another race replica that’s going to “undoubtedly change the motorcycle landscape forever” just because it has a blower and runs into it’s limiter a little quicker. A shame about the silver too. Zzzzz.

        • Norm G. says:

          uggh, I was thinking mockup also, but I think starmag may be right. i hope not, but that’s def the Tenner’s swingarm plopped in there. what it may be, is an edited version of the REAL bike. edited because they can’t publish the real thing just yet. we saw a similar pic like this before the panigale came out as the 1199 had actually already been around (fully fleshed out) for some time.

        • joe b says:

          so if not silver, what NEW color should it be? Green? White? Blue? maybe plaid?

          • Starmag says:

            Well, since they saw fit to use the “H2” name without a shred of mechanical connection to the original, they could have at least used the original color. Or not called it an “H2” with zero connection.

            “maybe plaid?”

            So you’re upset I don’t like silver?

          • mickey says:

            Starmag.. do you mean like Indian did? Lol

    • Daimyo says:

      This is just a mock up, based on what snippets of information can be gleaned from the teasers released thus far, no colors or final design specifications have been released.

  16. Michael Watts says:

    “Haters are gonna hate,”…..thanks again for motorcycledaily for keeping us posted.
    And a big thanks in advance to Kawaski for moving forward and giving us an early Christmas present.
    If you are in the market for a new motorcycle there are so many great choices of high quality bikes!
    We live in the best of times!

    • Stratkat says:

      Haters gonna hate? what are you a 12 year old girl? man up!

      • Guzzisti says:

        I think what he is saying that closed minds will remain closed. I have an open mind, but not SO open that my brains fall out.

      • MG3 says:

        ++ Stratkat. More corruption of the old English Language. Can’t we all just stop the ‘HATE’ comments? Unless, of course, you ARE a 12 year old girl, in which case I say ‘whateverrrrrr’.

      • Michael Watts says:

        Thank you for illustrating my point.
        The internet is a great place for haters to hide.
        A nice right hook might hammer home the point.
        But I am busy now playing with my Barbies.

  17. Rocky V says:

    I would think a ZRX 14 would sell many more units

  18. Motorhead says:

    Kawasaki is not likely planning to sell a million of these. But to sell several thousand will still make a statement and create a legend to discuss for years. Will likely send a couple thousand riders to hospitals and graveyards, too. That’s part of it. Good marketing move.

  19. JPJ says:

    My guess 180+mph. 600 to 800cc forced induction motor by the sound of the revs. Electronic adjustable suspension, priced $27,000+. Limited build numbers for first year maybe. How will a young person be able to afford or insure it here in the good ol’ USA. How does this get customers into your showroom? Motorcyclist need to expand there ranks. We are aging, and young people don’t see the enjoyment of our sport, or means of transportation. Even H-D has lowered the age of buyers of there machines / motorcycles.

    • Tank says:

      Do you really want a “young person” on a 180+mph bike?

      • JBoz says:

        I wouldn’t want a young person on a 100+ mph bike. The FZ09 my 24 yr old nephew just bought for his 1st street bike is way too much for a 1st time rider. And I’m betting that FZ is a whole lot cheaper to buy that this new Kawi.

  20. Don Fraser says:

    3rd bike was ’72 H2, rode it 8000 miles in a year, wheelied every time it passed anything, it wobbled, but it never fell down, sold it to a friend for $200 less than I payed, moved on to motoX, only other bike I wish I still owned was an RZ350.

  21. roy damron says:

    i have never heard so many haters at once! by the way the gen 4 zx10 turns and stops very well

    • Starmag says:

      roy damron says:
      September 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      i have never heard so many haters at once!

      You’ve obviously never been to one of my family reunions.

      • Randy says:

        I’m not hating on the new bike, I just think it’s a bit pointless. The manufacturers should listen to what we want (and don’t want). I still can’t hear this deafening roar of the over-200hp-ers that the marketers hear.

  22. Randy says:

    I was a teenager when the first H2 came out. The world was different then. Sitting at a light in my Mustang Mach1, the local cop pulled up beside me and said, “Wanna RUN it?”
    I’m sorry, Kawasaki. I’ve been a lifelong fan. I’ve bought a dozen of your bikes. It’s great to puff out your chest and show your stuff. But you could show your stuff to the larger market that is just waiting for the ‘stuff’ to show up on the average guys bikes. This new bike will blow the doors off anything under an F-16 and your market share nudge up won’t even make a blip on the proverbial market meter. I thought the point was making money and bringing happiness to the masses.

  23. JR says:

    Along with it’s price you can also let us know what the average yearly cost will be to insure it. That should be enough to kill it before it even starts.

  24. Starmag says:

    A quicker ZX10 which already can’t be ridden anywhere near it’s limits on the road without loss of life, limb or license. Thankfully, it’s got miles of plastic and ridiculous ergos for street riding to make up for that. Kawasaki might as well make it really expensive because it won’t matter to those who can afford the the insurance from Red Bull.

    I hope the longer and longer intro hype periods have diminishing returns because they are becoming tedious. Pardon my yawn.

    Kawasaki needs to switch it’s focus from speed to beauty. They’ve got plenty of the former and little of the latter. They could start by looking at the pic at the top of this article.

  25. Buzz says:

    I’m guessing a re-branded ZX10.

  26. Blackcayman says:

    Let’s argue about something really important…

    Like; What percentagte of owners will remove the limiter?

    My guess: 90%

    Fanatical Purests who are intent on preserving resale will not dream of touching that…

    • xlayn says:

      How easy is to remove the limiter on the ZX14? and what’s the top speed of it without it?
      And you are right, I’ll never buy a machine from which the rev limiter were removed.
      (In my list 600 will always be misshandled as they need to rev to high and the sound is addicting, 1000 on the other side I’ll think make way more power more easier therefore the engine will be put under less stress)

      • xlayn says:

        nevermind, seems like you have to grind a piece to fool the speed mechanism…
        on the other hand on that video the bike is way to close to the road side guard….

  27. mickey says:

    SO…they ARE building another bike that goes amazingly quick, but won’t turn or stop! Lol

    I sold Kawasakis when the H2 s came out. I do believe every one I sold came back in wrecked.

    What do we have, 13 more days until we finally find out?

    • zuki says:

      Wow. Must have been a lot of inexperienced riders with cash to burn where you were at selling them. My dad bought a ’72 H2 new. Low serial number too. He didn’t crash it and of course a few years later fathered me! Lucky me I in turn am the caretaker of his beautifully kept, all-original H2. It’s so entertaining to ride, and the snarl that emanates from those three pipes is addicting. I love the raw, musclecar-like power and torque it has… 74 hp and 57 ft lbs. seems really conservative! They are torquey even in the lower rev range. Not really pipey like the H1 was. Overall I think the original ’72 H2 is my favorite not only for sentimental reasons but because they are so narly and full of character! Can’t forget that beautiful candy blue paint scheme either!

  28. Brian says:

    It wouldn’t be very hard to figure out if you knew the length/spacing of the white marks and put the vid in an editor so you could figure out exactly how long it took to cross them….but I’m going to be lazy and just say that it was probably in the low 200 mph range.

    So in the real world, it’ll probably just run into 186mph limiter faster than anything else (for those willing to risk life and license).

  29. Rick says:

    Yeah, well try grinding 5mm of the back of the pistons and raising the exhaust the same and take 2teeth of the countersprocket. At mile-high Denver it ran 12.20s, and was not so much the pussy cat on the street (but a lot of fun 🙂

  30. david says:


  31. Curly says:

    Wasn’t that AKA ‘Widow Maker”? In reality the H2 was not that scary. I got to ride Kawasaki Support rider Dave Stanton’s H2 at Roebling Road one day and it was actually a big pussy cat with none of the peakiness of a TZ250. Of course I didn’t come anywhere close to Dave’s speed with it but I was surprised by how mellow it was. I had expected it to be a wild beast under me but it was easy to ride on the track. The street H2s I got to set up for our dealership were also not all that bad but they did eat asphalt quick enough to make you cautious because the brakes were just so-so.

    As a guess on the fly by speed I’d say 177. Sounds great too.

  32. Curly says:

    Run Team Texas Road Trip!

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