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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

The Ninja H2 has a Supercharger Developed In-House by Kawasaki


Kawasaki has now revealed that the Ninja H2 features a supercharger. A supercharger developed in-house by Kawasaki based, at least in part, on KHI’s gas turbine experience (KHI is Kawasaki Heavy Industries, of which Kawasaki Motors is a division).  All of this information is in the latest teaser video below.  In the video, the supercharger unit appears quite compact. Supercharged engines develop more heat than naturally aspirated engines, in general, so it will be interesting to see the cooling solutions employed by Kawasaki on the production H2 when it is revealed to the public on  September 30 at Intermot.


  1. paso100 says:

    Oops, never mind, didn’t see the posts, lol.

  2. Norm G. says:

    ok i have seen it, and im not sure what to think. wasn’t expecting the ducati influences i guess. heard the rumors of the frame, but i thought, naw… no way…?

  3. Tom Shields says:

    Lanesplitter has published a picture and there are wings! What’s shown in the picture corresponds with Kawasaki’s latest teaser video.

  4. Norm G. says:


  5. sherm says:$21384346.htm

    Not going to be a 225 cc two stroke turbo diesel, which would break the commuter bike world wide open.

    Carbon fiber Busa/14 beater, $20k?

  6. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    I believe the technical aspects of this bike to be far less important than what it symbolizes for the next ten or so years of motorcycling. This is a major player throwing down the gauntlet that the motorcycle segment is once again worthy of competing for with nothing held back. I came of age in the late 70’s through the mid 80’s and those times were awesome with even midyear updates to protect corporate bragging rights. The original RD’s, H2’s, CBX’s, XS Elevens, Katana’s, and such bikes were highly flawed. They soon led to much better mass production bikes, though. Tires, suspensions, helmets and about everything motorcycling related quickly got a lot better. Heck, even bass-akward AMF Harley needed to figure out gaskets and keeping oil in the bike and off the showroom floor to survive. Lots more kids learned about and followed King Kenny and Fast Freddie. Let another golden age begin.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Let another golden age begin.”

      May we come off the dime with reckless abandon.

      (TWD, Tail Wags Dog)

  7. RichE says:

    This is what motorcycling needs, excitement-ground breaking, not another v twin with a different name aka Indian. If a better product is made Kawasaki will make it. Look at its history and you will see that ground breaking is what makes Kawasaki. Motorcycling is about the wow factor not just to get down the rode or do the next poker run

  8. Norm G. says:

    once upon a time… in a land far away… it was thunk only F1 and Redbull gave us wings…

    boy, they really screwed that one up didn’t they…?

  9. RBen says:

    You know this thing will have to have like 225 HP to even get any body to even look at it. after the likes of the BMW S1000rr and Ducati Panigale 1199 . YOU know I’m just saying.

    • Norm G. says:

      i think you have a point. nobody was ever going to beat the S1’s output. not persuing normal aspiration at least. it’s just too costly an endeavour.

      enter production supercharger stage left. kawi steps up to bring both the crown (and honor) back to the Japanese. once you go forced induction it’s “ball game”.

      lightly boosted is 200 at the wheel (~10 over BMW), plus a warranty, plus room for growth. EAT IT EUROPEANS…! (whatever this looks like in Kanji pictures)

  10. Jdilpkle says:

    I’m 60 and can kick the H2’s butt with 68hp on a twisty road – the radar guns live on the straights.

  11. John says:

    Fixing a non-existant probIem – not enough power. Of course, if it weighs 400Ibs……

    • Motorhead says:

      surely we must say it weighs too much, cost too much, is underpowered, has ugly exhaust, shabby flange and misshapen headlight, and why can’t they make real motorcycles like they used to?

      • PepDawg says:


        and I would like to add some must say “it lacks character, it lacks soul, it isn’t european…”

    • Gronde says:

      John is right. Bikes have more than enough power and are accessable to anyone. I don’t see how more power is going to “change the motorcycling landscape forever”. Pure marketing BS, that’s for sure.

  12. Motorhead says:

    another consideration: I suspect the demographics of this website lean heavily toward riders 40 and older. Not exactly the target audience of such an audacious, iconic racing motorcycle. Riders of the future will say, “The Ninja H2 changed everything.” I’m just too old to accept that today.

    • Tom Shields says:

      I’m 61 and the older I get, the more motorcycle development looks like a continuum. You can point to some milestones along the way but it all adds up to the line in the sand moving with every year. Still, I’m eager to see what Kawasaki has to offer with this bike. And if I think it will satisfy my inner adrenaline junkie…..

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I suspect the demographics of this website lean heavily toward riders 40 and older”

      FISTPUMP…!!! OG’s for the win.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Exactly – Old Guys Rule!

        Which demo has the disposable income to buy such a bike?

        It isn’t the 20-somethings!

  13. Motorhead says:

    we’re gonna need a stronger rider

  14. Tom Shields says:

    I recall back in late 1999 / early 2000 when Kawasaki was teasing the introduction of the ZX-12R in a similar fashion. All the motorcycling media got their teeth into it and speculation built similarly to what is happening with the new H2. The ZX-12R was going to be a decisive Hayabusa-beater, capable of an honest 200mph and would be the most spectacular street legal sport bike ever built.

    We all know how that turned out. The ZX-12R turned out to be merely darned good and very fast, but not supernatural. Initial reviews weren’t particularly flattering – in part because of the pre-introduction speculation.

    Let’s see if the H2 can live up to this round of hype. If so, it will be one hell of a motorcycle.

  15. todder says:

    I’d be impressed if this was technology was used in smaller cc engines and they could make 100hp affordable ultra light commuter/hooligan bikes. Oh well, guess I’ll have to keep holding out for Ducati’s scrambler which should make its debut end of month.

    • xlayn says:

      any possibility were lost on cheap, more power means better components as there is more acceleration, more breaking power, runs faster… better suspension…., of course you can have the monster mottor on a jelly bean frame

      • Dave says:

        Re: “of course you can have the monster mottor on a jelly bean frame”

        Wasn’t that what the original H1 & H2 were most famous for?

    • Norm G. says:

      Re: “100hp/affordable/ultra light”

      See you requested 3 things there. Once we add any 3rd item to our wish list (unknowingly) we screw your ourselves. At that point the chances of successfully getting even a “part” of what we want diminish to ZERO. This of course defeats the whole purpose of wishing for it in the first place, yes…?

      Right then, word from the wise, drop any 1 item and watch 66% of your dreams come to fruition.

      This message of restraint has been brought to you by the desire for lunch.

      • xlayn says:

        short story ask for a nice evolution, disruptive new and incredible it’s almost a miracle

        There is a part of psychology, economy, human nature… etc.
        We humans have been incredible at mastering stuff, from our far related ape friends to bizantine to 1900 guys to us.
        We previously have “no lunch” but eventually by mastering tools and others we got ourselves to kill faster some moving food and bought some time to master something else…. agriculture, this got time to some other stuff repeat ad infinitum.
        The thing is that things that build or help/aid to build other things make build new better things to happen quickly.
        With this said even as incredible as things get next version is probably going to be better, but not incredibly better (put here your i6 comments) because new and incredible is disruptive and history have put just a couple of minds capable of doing that in earth (Jobs and Tesla come to mind…).
        With all that said, motorcycles are already incredible… my father told me about those Zundaps where you had the timing advance in one hand….
        So when you ask for better, ask for a bit better, things are already great… and dream… dreaming of a day when you could enjoy some nice reading in this site instead of dying of hunger while hunting some moving meat where once the dream (Dare for mighty things… in the voice of 7 mins o terror mars lander narrator)

      • todder says:

        Guess I should’ve said something like 50hp. This technology would be cool used against smaller 125-250cc engine sizes is what I was going for. Yeah I know the hp/money/weight combo doesn’t exist.

  16. Mungus says:

    This seems to be an unreasonable amount of horsepower but only because that kind of riding is outside my skill level. I think that the bigger picture here might have to do with efficiency gains that may work their way to small displacement bikes, marketing hype and the benefits that it brings to the table and, with automobile and motorcycle engines being comparable in displacement in some cases, this could be R&D for a line of small engines with real world applications such as economy cars, utility vehicles and the like. The choice between efficiency and power is not a bad choice to have in a vehicle but first… have to get someone’s attention.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “you have to get someone’s attention.”

      Yes indeed. And clearly, Kawasaki are getting a lot of that.

  17. Tom R says:

    What percent of riders (even sport riders) need, can handle, or even want 200+ HP? This seems like an extreme diminishing returns strategy.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t know about the first two, but I am all over the “want” part of that equation.

    • Norm G. says:

      don’t think they’re targeting sport riders, all indicators say they’re targeting drag racers… another segment of the market that honestly even I’M guilty of ignoring (it’s just not my bag man).

      though that’s not to say, I’ve never been spotted at an NHRA or Prostar event.

    • handymann "C-twn" says:

      i agree with Norm G.. i think their targeting both sport and drag if you watch NHRA or any drag bike racing you mostly see Harley’s and just a few inline four cylinders and there are Suzuki so i assumed Kawasaki is or was developing a displacement engine for both sports

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      Not many. I think the more important thing about super- or turbo-charging is the potential for much greater power and torque at the sort of lower RPMs that riders use more, while still allowing a relatively small displacement, lightweight engine. Anyway, it’s not a matter of need – nothing succeeds like excess.

  18. Mick says:

    I wonder when the horsepower race will finally give us an 80-100hp streetbike that is significantly lighter than a 600-1000cc sportbike?

    I all done being impressed by some bike horsepower figure on a street bike.

    • Dave says:

      That comes back to materials cost. The KTM Duke/RC390 seem to have cracked that nut but then we have to wonder if that frame could adequately deal with the added weight/power of a larger/more powerful multi-cylinder engine. I’m guessing the stickier tires and greater power would lead to a much more expensive frame/hardware set in order to meet performance targets at the same weight.

      It is not often that a motorcycle has been successful in the marketplace with a horsepower deficit in category at even money (the Ducati 916 comes to mind).

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Define “significantly”. Yamaha gave us a 100hp+ bike that is AS light as a 600 AND cheap. That is pretty impressive to me.

      If Suzuki produces its Recursion, that would be significantly lighter (~385 lbs. if the hype is to be believed) with 100hp and a boatload of torque. But it certainly doesn’t sound like it could be inexpensive.

  19. Jeremy in TX says:

    I can’t believe there are so many still hoping for and / or are convinced this is going to be a two-stroke.

  20. Ed says:

    H2 sounds like it’s a two-stroke too? That’s do-able for emissions with direct injection. The blower will make it that much more efficient.

  21. EZ Mark says:

    Let the games begin!

  22. Dave says:

    Kawasaki has supercharged, intercooled 1,498cc I4’s in their jet skis. It makes a claimed 310hp. Seems like they had forced induction figured out for some time…

  23. Nigel says:

    And what about this goss:

    Sorta goes with my very first prediction.

  24. Matt says:

    This is most interesting to me if the trickle down someday enables a sub-300lb, 60HP, reliable and inexpensive street legal dual sport.

  25. Provologna says:

    Dirck, when do you get to ride this thing and tell us about it?

    Maybe fear of federal mandated HP limit is baseless. As a general rule the oil industry is quite friendly with our legislators. Certainly the oil industry prefers anything that consumes fossil fuels.

    Chrysler soon releases a 707hp motor! No HP limits for cages!

  26. Norm G. says:

    re: “it will be interesting to see the cooling solutions employed by Kawasaki on the production H2 when it is revealed to the public on September 30 at Intermot.”

    BRING IT…!!!

    now isn’t this better than waiting for the debuts of the i6…? or note4…? tell the truth.

  27. jimmy says:

    It looks like a motorcycle and that is the most important thing of all. Im tired of people complaining. These motor companies are trying. I enjoy the art of the motorcycle, whether or not I would ride them. It’s all about two wheels and propulsion.

  28. Hellcat says:

    I think it is a supercharged 2-stroke. There have been many references to the H2, and sometimes with an H1 in the background. Sound – I used to race marshall for years here in Canada – sure sounds like a 2-stroke on the trackside video. Remember there are a couple of emission compliant 2-stroke outboards out there, for example Evinrude. They are very fuel efficient and light. KHI claims it will be a game changer, well nobody has ever sold a supercharged 2-stroke motorcycle although there were race bikes such as the DKW before and after WW2.
    AND – the 4 cylinder engine with a supercharger shown earlier this year had a Roots-type supercharger, not the centrifugal one now being shown. That I think was just a failed R&D experiment.

    • Tom K. says:

      What intrigues me, is why Kaw would let the “cat out of the bag” ten days early with the confirmation of the supercharger, unless they had something else, maybe something even bigger, up their sleeve for the actual release? Obviously, overall weight, power, displacement, etc. are still unknowns, but it seems they emulated a sixteen-year old boy and his first girlfriend in the backseat with this announcement, it came a bit sooner than expected.

      With no evidence to back this idea up, the marketing aspect has really got me wondering if there is something else still waiting in the wings. I can’t make the leap that they would (or could) make a direct injected, blown two-stroke for a production bike – it is interesting as heck to think about how one would do that, but it seems like the price point and complexity would make the idea prohibitive. However, if not, why the tie-in to the original H2, unless it is a match in displacement (a blown 750 could likely reach the 225 hp widely quoted here). Wasn’t the KZ900 the “true” groundbreaker, with equal or greater power and quickness vs. the 750, and a much better motorcycle everywhere else? Why the hoopla over the H2, when it was so quickly eclipsed by the Z? It would have been interesting to sit around the table listening to the marketing guys debate what machine in their history to tie the new bike to – unless it was so obvious as to be unarguable….we shall see.

      • Norm G. says:

        Q: What intrigues me, is why Kaw would let the “cat out of the bag” ten days early with the confirmation of the supercharger(?)

        A: could it be ’cause they only told us a year ago they were doing this…?

        re: “why the tie-in to the original H2”

        I believe #2 gave the best answer. something to the effect, there are no “sacred cows” in marketing.

        • Tom K. says:

          I must have missed the memo on their intentions to bring out a supercharged bike, I only became aware of the possibility when this site started leaking the “teaser” videos – guess I gotta get out more. This is the only mc related site I read regularly, except I’ve been known to occasionally sneak over to the Frenchie’s to read Kevin C., he can explain stuff in a way that even a knothead like myself can understand.

          I never really saw the need to blow a production bike to begin with (“No, no, that’s just a little ice cream”). Especially when they’re able to build the current crop of literbikes with capabilities that FAR exceed most people’s ability to ride them – what, a buck-forty terminal in the quarter not good enough? I for one don’t have the nads to power-wheelie at 80 mph on the interstate, thank God for old age and self-preservation.

          The trend is for the car mfg’s to add turbo’s, but the way I understood it, it was CAFE driving that, something the mc mfg’s currently don’t have to worry about. So, I’m very interested in the new ground that’s being broken here, if at all – the overall driving force MUST be weight reduction, more-power-only seems like it wouldn’t be worth all the hoopla.

          As to there being no sacred cows in marketing – yes – but on the other hand, Dick Clark never dropped the Times Square Ball at “six”, Santa Claus doesn’t send a text on December 15th telling the kiddies what will be waiting under the tree on the 25th, and if my dentist gave me the novacain after the drilling was done, I’d be looking for a new dentist – all things in their time. I’ll be disappointed if Kawasaki doesn’t still have the Coup de Grace (sp?) still locked in the press kit. Your opinion (as well as others’ here) are both entertaining and enlightening (and likely superior to my own), thanks for sharing.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “if my dentist gave me the novacain after the drilling was done, I’d be looking for a new dentist”

            Just be glad dentists don’t employ large marketing departments, then.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I never really saw the need to blow a production bike”

            good, the authorities have been known to arrest people for lewd and lascivious acts. if you’re in the States…? be glad. ’cause if this were the Middle East they’d drag your arse into town square and cut your head off.

            (those guys need a vacation)

            re: The trend is for the car mfg’s to add turbo’s, but the way I understood it, it was CAFE driving that, something the mc mfg’s currently don’t have to worry about.”

            correct, unfortunately with this particular style of supercharger waste heat (read energy) is still going out the tail pipe. it’s recently come to my attention there’s a new design of supercharger that actually recovers waste energy…? but I digress.

            ICE are only about 20% efficient at converting the chemical energy stored in the fuel into work, hence my love of turbos. they support Natural Law and could even be seen as a GREEN technology (think regenerative braking).

            re: “So, I’m very interested in the new ground that’s being broken here”

            that screenshot above Dirk wisely thought to capture…? yeah, you’re lookin’ at it.

            re: “the overall driving force MUST be weight reduction, more-power-only seems like it wouldn’t be worth all the hoopla.”

            “the best defense is a good offense” – The Wise man

            their only competition in this segment is Suzuki, and some would argue K-Heavy already has them well and duly covered with the normally aspirated Zed14 and Connie.

            however (comma) there’s another over-arching mantra in business that says, “if you’re not growing…? then you’re dying” so adding a line of “Kompressor” models (Mercedes anyone?) addresses this need.

            of course I could be out in left field, and this could ALL just be the DEMON SPAWN of a bunch of bored engineers looking for something to do…? LOL

            boffins can only play so much foosball/ping pong before hell breaks loose…! 🙂

    • Norm G. says:

      careful hellcat. my “detector” has picked up some strange comments in your post…


  29. Gronde says:

    The video uses the word “Supersport” early on, so this would indicate a 600cc machine. I do not know how they will sell a premium 600cc supersport with 600cc bikes languishing on the sales floor due to the high asking price. To get the new H2 to sell in numbers great enough to allow a profit for Kawasaki would be a game changer indeed! Perhaps a “minor miracle” would be a better way to describe it.
    I’ve considered a 600cc bike but declined to buy because of the asking price and insurance rate charged for such bikes. Kudos to Kawasaki if they can sell enough bikes to make it work for them, but history would show otherwise.

    • Dave says:

      The word “supersport” is not indicative of a given displacement outside of sport bike racing. Not enough people in the English speaking world are watching racing to be concerned with a minor association. Heck, a bunch of the older crowd are probably thinking about 67′-73′ Camaros when they read that word.

  30. Vlad says:

    can you imagine the traction control complexity that will be required on a bike WITH a supercharger that already had 150+ hp?
    And the wheelie management in probably the first 5 gears
    And the good relationship you’ll have with the dealer selling you rear tires every month
    And the Dr. bill for figuring out how to wipe the grin off of your face

    I’m not saying I need one, but I have to ride one…

  31. Tank says:

    Japanese companies can make all these high tech, complex bikes. We can build an aircraft carrier, but don’t ask us to build a decent bike that isn’t a V-twin, it’s too complicated.

  32. Sam says:

    The Chevrolet HHR SS is Turbocharged, not Supercharged.


  33. Provologna says:

    Author: “…Supercharged engines develop more heat than naturally aspirated engines, in general…”

    Above does not state approximate difference in heat generated by two engines making similar HP (one normally aspirated, the other supercharged). I’d guess negligible difference, and if correct, the statement above is misleading.

    This is the best demonstration I can think of regarding potential advantage of supercharging: 2008 Chevy HHR SS small station wagon has 2.0L I4 making 260hp with fat and tall torque band. 2014 Chevy SS large sedan has 6.2L normally aspirated V8 making 415hp.

    Supercharged: 130hp/liter
    Normally aspirated: 66.9hp/liter
    Advantage: Supercharged +94.3% hp/liter

    Theoretically, a s/c motor with the same hp/L as the six year old HHR SS requires only 3.2L for the same 415hp. The resulting six or possibly inline-5 cylinder motor displaces 48.4% less cylinder volume, with similar or possibly better torque curve than the 6.2L V8.

    The smaller motor would consume less fuel and weigh less. Less weight improves F/R weight bias, which improves braking and cornering performance.

  34. Joe says:

    Hey Dave,
    That’s probably the most interesting thing I’ve heard in all the responses to the h2 .
    ( motorcycle racing is almost irrelevant to sales in today’s motorcycle market )
    It used to be a “Gospel” mantra spoken by industry and media alike;
    “Win on Sunday sell on Monday.”
    Maybe with the downturn in the economy, the troubles in the AMA and racing in America in general, that’s no longer true.
    Obviously present racing rules bar the h2 from competition. It would require astounding sales success for other manufacturers to follow suit
    and produce their own lines of supercharged bikes to even begin to influence rule changes in racing.
    So you’re probably right. The sales power of racing victory has diminished. But I think, for the sport’s sake, and for sales, it’s still important.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “motorcycle racing is almost irrelevant to sales in today’s motorcycle market”

      just got a text from Sykes, he says “screw the lot of you tossers”, we’ve all been removed from him and Amy’s Christmas card list…

      good job guys, way to piss ’em off. I look forward to my holiday cards in the post.

    • Dave says:

      Sport bikes have become a tiny segment. Motorcycle racing is starting to have a similar relationship to sales as NASCAR has to auto maker’s sales.

  35. MCycle Shop says:

    With all these comments logged – Kawasaki is promoting this new machine very well indeed !
    Looks like an in-line four to me.

  36. Joe Black says:

    I am willing to predict that the new motor won’t be 1000cc but rather a smaller one (maybe considerably so) and will get gas mileage in the vicinity that made by the Honda NC series models while being driven conservatively. There is simply nothing to be gained by introducing a new large displacement motorcycle motor that would get on an average even less fuel mileage than current models, not in our current energy environment.

    The blower on a smaller displacement bike would allow it to achieve performance comparable to current super sport models while at the same time possibly getting mpg in the 70 mpg range when it is being drive conservatively. The technology behind this engine and its accompanying huge development costs also means that Kawasaki went ahead with its development because has already thought of other uses for such a high investment motor, possibly in small planes.

    If it does in fact have 225 hp, it will be banned almost immediately in Germany which is a big market for Kawasaki. Motorcycle manufacturers have been very wary in the past and continue to be so of going over their informal agreements not to exceed 200 hp. because of threats by governments. This wariness remains.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I am willing to predict that the new motor won’t be 1000cc”

      I’ve gotten a loose confirmation from a K-heavy employee here in the states that it IS in fact a 1000, but take this with a grain of salt as this info came second hand. I didn’t do the interrogation.

    • Klaus says:

      I’m old enough to remember when the Europeans tried to curb motorcycle hp at 100 hp in the 80s – it slowed ’em down for a bit, then it was like it never happended.

  37. Sam says:

    I stopped the video and the engine looks like either a V-twin or a V-4. It does sound like a 4 cyl engine though.

    There are some production engines in cars that are turbo charged and super charged on the same engine!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I stopped the video and the engine looks like either a V-twin or a V-4.”

      just an illusion of the extra kit.

  38. mickey says:

    game changer or technology for technology’s sake? Only time will tell. The motorcycles that seem to make the biggest impact in the long run are the simplest ones that get the job done. If you look at all the designs, all the models from all manufacturers that have production runs of 10, 20,or 30 years, there are not a lot of gimmicks involved. Those motorcycles who made their name with gimmicks like turbo charging had very short runs.

    We shall see

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: “game changer or technology for technology’s sake?”

      A: yes.

      re: “Those motorcycles who made their name with gimmicks like turbo charging had very short runs”

      “this time we stick the landing”. (imagine these words written in Kanji on an internal memo)

      • mickey says:

        “this time we stick the landing”. (imagine these words written in Kanji on an internal memo)

        Good one!

    • Tyler says:

      I’m sure the inline four on a Honda CB750 seemed gimmicky back in the late 60’s, but it was a game changer
      Same could be said of the radical GSXR back in the mid 80’s, but it was a game changer

      I don’t think it was gimmickry which shortened the lifeline of the 80’s infatuation with turbo bikes. They were complex for the time, but compared to modern bikes? Practically dinosaurs. I think the rest of the industry has finally caught up with the idea, although frankly I figured it would be something applied to a smaller bike to beat displacement restrictions (where applicable) and still make an appealing in-town commuter capable of freeway speeds. Who wouldn’t love to see a CB350 that can cruise comfortably at 90mph all day? Small, light, agile, good on fuel and the ability to tear it up when the need/desire arises.

      • mickey says:

        It only was a game changer because the other manufacturers followed suit, so much so, that it became the standard.

        Will the other manufacturers follow suit with this technology, making it the standard? Or will it be a one hit wonder? We have to wait a few years to see, don’t we?

        • Tyler says:

          Isn’t that EXACTLY how a “game-changer” works? Something new is introduced to the market, and soon every other manufacturer is making their own version, until it becomes a market standard. So yes, we will have to see how other makers react.

          Then again, there is something to be said for bikes that pave their own way and no one follows. Take for example the VMAX. The whole carb-trick boost was clearly a gimmick, but it worked and people loved that bike. It made the V65 Honda obsolete, and really never had another serious competitor nor any copycat, yet Yamaha made it basically unchanged for over 20 years. Maybe this new machine will carve its own niche and stay there alone for a long while?

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Will the other manufacturers follow suit with this technology, making it the standard?”

          the mickster’s talking to you Suzuki and your turbo Recursion concept.

      • Aussie M says:

        The Honda CB750 did not seem gimmicky. It was quickly recognised as a superior motorcycle compared to what else was available at the time (I was around back then). The same for GSXR. It was very popular because it was virtually a race bike that anybody could buy and legally ride on the road.

        Many riders, including myself, were very excited when we heard about the turbocharged bikes in the ’80s. But we quickly realised that they were just a gimmick. For less money you could buy better bikes with the some power output (because they had bigger engines) that were lighter and cheaper to service, and you didn’t have to put up with turbo-lag.

        Will superchargers on motorcycles be a good thing? We will have to wait and see.

      • mickey says:

        Another gimmicky bike that was supposed to change the game was the RE5 Suzuki Rotary. Collectible now, but no one wanted to collect one when they were new. Game changer? Hardly.

        • xlayn says:

          and sadly not even Mazda got it to work properly (the rotary concept), I confess I do love the RX8 but you have to keep the money and spare motor for every 50k Km change (worst case scenario, the one you have to plan for)

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Who wouldn’t love to see a CB350 that can cruise comfortably at 90mph all day? Small, light, agile, good on fuel and the ability to tear it up when the need/desire arises.”

        we may yet see a whole supercharged line…? but first we have to show them we’re willing to COME OFF THE DIME for the 1000.

        trust me guys, I’m not going to tell you anything wrong, we do that…? and we’ll be parking all manner of supercharged kawi’s out front Alice’s, the Rock Store, Starbucks, etc till the cows come home.

  39. Magic Ed says:

    Looks like a mechanically driven centrifugal supercharger. Normally the boost goes up at the square of the rpm. Doubling the rpm in a centrifugal make four times the boost. So my guess is that there will be a lot more boost in the high rpm range than with a relatively constant boost supercharger such as a Roots or a Screw compressor. These are common positive displacement superchargers. With the Roots or Screw compressor right off of idle the boost is within one or two psi of redline boost. Turbochargers are exhaust gas driven centrifugal superchargers. Most top fuel dragsters use Roots style supercharges. Excluding losses to power the supercharger one atmosphere of boost, or 14.7 psi will double the horsepower of the engine.
    All superchargers compress the air entering the engine. That makes heat. More heat more pre-ignition. Less timing. Cooling the intake charge after it’s compressed allows more timing. More timing equals more power. Nice efficient intercooler means more reliability and more power. When it comes to intercoolers, if a lot is good, more is better and too much is just enough. Hope the Kawasaki is intercooled. ever hear of “turbo lag”? No such thing as Roots lag. It’s now. I wish they made a positive displacement blower.
    Fun to ride one. One last thing. Supercharges seem to smooth out the engine vibration a bit.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “So my guess is that there will be a lot more boost in the high rpm range than with a relatively constant boost supercharger”

      word is they’re gearing the impeller shaft like a procharger. should have at least 2 speeds. what’s saved in regards to manufacturing the turbine is gained back in the transmission, but a gearbox is cake.

      re: “Hope the Kawasaki is intercooled”

      +1, but that animation (just like the patent drawing) still shows the dump is STRAIGHT to the friggin’ airbox/throttle bodies. I still don’t see how they’d handle the heat rejection…?

      well I actually I DO see 2 ways (think EGR cooler from diesel world, or Tornado 900), what I don’t see is them bothering to go through the hassle…? though the Benelli approach is the most viable.

      short of that it seems to imply keep the boost low, and retard the timing. sure, we’d like to think it’s going to be some ridiculous 200…? 250…? 300…? stock horsepower number, but it’s not. at the end of the day, this is production kit with a warranty so I don’t see them “gettin’ crazy with the cheese-wiz”. what we destroy outside of warranty however, is our business. lol

    • Magic Ed says:

      I wasn’t aware of transmissions for a centrifugal. Sounds good. An intercooler is mandatory it is just preferred. I still like a positive displacement supercharger.
      If you want it gives its full boost just off of idle to redline. After driving a roots supercharged 7 psi.1996 Grand Marquis for over 10 years, before and after. I love the difference the Roots made to the car’s drivability. It went from 220 in the chassis horsepower to 291 at the rear wheels, and way more torque. Because the boost stays within 1 or two psi, the chances of over boosting an engine with a roots is unlikely. A centrifugal that has 16 psi at 12000 rpm, has 4 psi at 6000 rpm and 2 psi at 3000 rpm. A Roots or Screw compressor has perhaps 8 psi but it has it just off idle all the way to top end. Way better for the engine. Turbos and other centrifugal superchargers often use blow off valves to get rid of the over boost pressure. More complication and added weight.
      The original H2 was a 2 cycle with an explosive power boost at high rpm. I believe that Kawasaki is trying to replicate the riding experience by producing a 2 cycle power band, hence centrifugal. Hope the new H2 handles a bit better.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The original H2 was a 2 cycle with an explosive power boost at high rpm. I believe that Kawasaki is trying to replicate the riding experience”

        YYYIIIKKEESS…!!! let’s hope not. LOL

        thankfully, BOV’s and all the associated kit and pressure maps of the compressor are pretty well sorted. if it weren’t for the work-a-day world of diesel toiling away (uncelebrated) in the background of society the past 20 years…? we wouldn’t know from any of this. modern diesel’s are only good as their turbos.

        little known fact that I’m sure slipped under the radar of most is the lead engineer for the much lauded, fire breathing, QUAD turbo, 16 cylinder Bugatti Veyron is actually a former engineer for Peterbilt.

        (yes, that Peterbilt)

        this would NOT be a coincidence.

  40. Gutterslob says:

    I’m getting tired of the “epic” classical score they keep using. C’mon Kawasaki, you’re Japanese. Play some Boris or something!!

  41. Michael Watts says:

    Possibly two new Kawasaki’s?…..225 horsepower???….need to set my alarm for early on September 20.

  42. RichBinAZ says:

    Interesting how they claim turbine experience when their smallest turbines are made by others.
    The T55 is a Lycoming design currently owned by Honeywell, the RTM322 is a Rolls Royce – turbomecca unit. The V2500 is a Pratt & Whitney and the Trent another Rolls engine. I didn’t search any further.

    I wonder if Garrett (torrance CA) supplies their supercharger – it would make sense if they did, they know how to design & build one.

    As for the guessing game, I think a 600cc L4

    • bartman50 says:

      The part that is not evident in your post is that although there are many manufacturers making and designing superchargers and turbos, these manufacturers also take design specifications from knowledgeable vehicle designers that suit their specific need. In other words, Kawasaki has experience with many engine designs that use turbos and superchargers. Kawasaki works in conjunction with who is most suitable to help them refine their design for their specicif application. This is the way many automotive manufacturers work as well.

    • bartman50 says:

      That being said, Kawasaki states this design is all in-house design and spec. Kawasaki Heavy Industries builds everything from very large ships to small engine generators.


    • Butch says:

      It is in fact a 1000 cc L4.
      (Insider info).

      • Norm G. says:

        uh oh, someone’s talked to the same source.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Right…and not based on either of the existing motors from ZX or Ninja

        225 is the HP # I heard too

        Hyper-Bike — Halo Bike — High water mark

        • AK says:

          Two versions, a race, and a street, race 307 HP, street 225 HP,
          just what I heard from someone that knows Ricky Gadsen pretty
          well …..

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Two versions, a race, and a street”

            ahhh, not that the silhouette jives, but the so-called “race” then is 1/4 mile and not anything RR/MotoGP… makes sense.

            that race designation also implies “closed course use only” and not registerable, at least not until someone sorts a work around (which they’re sure to attempt if they dare give it a proper VIN).

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “High water mark”

          or River Mark…? talk to me goose.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Interesting how they claim turbine experience when their smallest turbines are made by others”

      that’s because those are full on AERO ENGINES with a lot riding on them (pun intended). it’s best to source/subcontract from those with the knowledge/expertise as it’s VERY specific. getting on the FAA’s or EASA’s bad side is not where you want to be.

      although, Honda certainly has the technical ability to create their own engines for the HondaJet, the engines iirc are actually a joint effort with General Electric.

      when public safety’s the topic (AND IT IS), there’s no need to reinvent the wheel… or “turbine” so to speak.

      • Dave says:

        Honda’s engines are made by GE through a “partnership”. The airframe was designed and developed at Mississippi State University. It’ll be produced in North Carolina.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I wonder if Garrett (torrance CA) supplies their supercharger”

      no, as the heart of this system is just a compresser wheel. you could 3D print your own blisk if you like…? wouldn’t work for shite, but technically you could do it. Garrett btw is also a Honeywell property. went under their “corporate umbrella” (like most things) a few years back. gottdamn corporations.

  43. GT08 says:

    Everybody talk about the new Kawasaki. But it maybe the two new Kawasaki !!!
    A turbine 3 cylinder 600cc and a turbine 4 cylinder 900cc
    Now i’m having your attention !
    Will see in a couple of days.

  44. Martin says:

    I’m a sportbike rider, and I love new tech, so I think it’s pretty cool! I’m wondering how much of a performance gain there will be, considering that a supercharger will need heaps of traction control on at all times. Or, maybe the bike will come with coupons for discounts on rear tires.

  45. TheUsual says:

    I’d like to see this engine in a ZZR type motorcycle as well.

  46. Starmag says:

    If the friend of a friend of my third cousin 225 HP rumors are true, it seems like Kawasaki may be flirting with encouraging restrictive legislation for the whole industry. Some Euro countries have/have had a 100hp limit already.

    I’ve got to stop acknowledging and commenting on these endless BS teasers.

    • xlayn says:

      advertising department did their homework.
      I’m with you about the get-to-infinite power may get the whole industry to get restricted, 225 and lower weight is a low of power in acceleration and makes easier to get in trouble.
      But beside the power-junkie in all of us that may be good.
      (yeah I know, stone him)
      industries are made to make money, and the price you’ll have to pay to insure it represents the risk it has, and this will be really expensive to insure
      on the other hand if the new 600 becomes a 400 triple turbo we all win.

  47. Rocky V says:

    This bike can’t be raced –at least in WSB –i have no problem with the concept –but why not a 6 cylinder –i have no idea what sells the most bikes –but i would think a 6 cylinder Ninja 600 would sell many more units –and keep the 4 cylinder for racing–

    with every one going to 3 cylinders –why not a 500cc 3 cylinder supercharged ? and call it H1

    • Dave says:

      There is no advantage in going 6 cylinder @ 600cc. More drag, more complexity, larger/heavier engine.

      Kawasaki doesn’t care if it’s race legal. Motorcycle racing is almost irrelevant to sales in today’s motorcycle market.

    • xlayn says:

      Buy the H2, you’ll be financing that future H1 I would also really like

  48. xlayn says:

    So there is free lunch (talking to you NG) seems like md readers got their wishes come true… Now to wait for the reviews about it and whre the not free lunch is
    The most interesting thing will be what the other brands com with or their implementations

    • xlayn says:

      k, now that I’m back and have a better keyboard to write with…
      There are several auto brands with turbos and reliability…. turbos help car engines get to the sitius altius and fortius of engines… faster… smaller (rotating parts…)… powerful… and it’s nice to know that now we have a lot of peripherical technologies to aid things to work better (looking to you computers).
      No free lunch will take the form of price (hope not, if it becomes mainstream competition will also have to improve), reliability or technology maturity, I’m hopping pc’s and flashing values and algorithms a la Tesla allows to tune fast grips early adopters find… therefore allowing technology to mature and make the free lunch to be closer.
      some remaining thoughts
      I would like two versions to exist
      1) cheap (and by that I mean relatively to what you are getting)
      2) a-whichever-price-it-takes version with aluminum, carbon, titanium and magnesium everywhere to make some close to 200hp or more 300 pounds racebike setting the new bar of what in-your-face engineering can do (come on, someone spent 200k on the midual….)
      last but not least… I would like to thank my ….. (incorrect speech)… kudos to big K to take the step to risk it do it, hope this time stays 🙂 (hello ninja 300 turbo with 80 hp)

    • TimC says:

      “(talking to you NG)” LOL Norm really is becoming a MD institution!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “So there is free lunch (talking to you NG) seems like md readers got their wishes come true”

      pump your brakes son. (Sgt. Lincoln Osiris voice)

  49. skybullet says:

    Sounds like a good idea. Supercharger/Turbocharger technology has dramatically improved over the past 20 years (especially the past 5). A lighter, more powerful, smooth torque curve, all around performing engine is doable. About heat, it takes more fuel to make more power and therefore more heat. Turbos get red hot at high power settings for a period of time. That could be an issue.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Turbos get red hot at high power settings”

      close, TURBINES get red hot at high power settings. lucky for us this doesn’t have one.

  50. George Catt says:

    There is no end to development. We do not yet know it all. Good on Kaw for pushing forward.

  51. Denny says:

    Turbo charger is intended to improve volumic (filling) efficiency and it is known that engines such equipped work with lower compression ratio and this one will likely be no different. While Kawasaki might have pulled “last ninja” to her disposal it also committed sepuku. There is no more step beyond this left and this engine can be hardly tuned or altered. That’s it – last step. There were turbos before, but never so screeming power packed.

    • Bobby says:

      “last step”? Sounds like “everything has been invented”. Check back in ten years.

    • Lenz says:

      Denny – I tend to think KHI may have the edge on you (and the vast majority of us mere mortals including myself)in terms of technical and design resources.

      In an overall sense, any potential significant reduction of the total weight of a motorcycle is bonus for handling, braking and rider input. Perhaps the advantages of this form of forced induction will result in positive effects on vehicle weight, handling, production material efficiencies, fuel / operating efficiency plus the innovative developments created by private workshop wizards.

      Given the increasing constraints of emission legislation, the easiest way for a manufacturer to boost performance is increased engine capacity. If the introduction of supercharging overcomes the current trend of upsizing engines / increased engine mass / increased production cost etc etc then I look forward to seeing Kawasaki’s product from an engineering and riders point of view.

      • TimC says:

        “…then I look forward to seeing Kawasaki’s product from an engineering and riders point of view” – YES!

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