Looking to the future: Kawasaki Ninja H2-R

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Looking to the future: Kawasaki Ninja H2-R


Looking to the future: Kawasaki Ninja H2 / R

New products: Kawasaki Ninja H2 / R

Actually, we had come to terms with it. 200 HP are enough – according to the tacit agreement between manufacturers and customers. At least so far. With the new Ninja H2, Kawasaki will tear this bar down. An approach to the world beyond common values.

Stefan Kaschel


So much in advance: What can be seen above is not yet the new one Kawasaki Ninja H2, but a computer retouching based on the so far very poor facts available about the non-approved Ninja H2R. Even on this model, which was already presented at INTERMOT in Cologne (see MOTORRAD 22/2014), Kawasaki hardly publishes anything apart from the vague output of 300 hp. But the likelihood that the MOTORRAD design will come very close to the new PS Protz is extremely high. The only uncertainty is how the shape and volume of the exhaust will be and where the central headlight will be located. In addition, slight doubts, whether with or without front fairing – that was it.

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Of course there are people who are already informed about these details. Kawasaki press spokesman Andi Seiler is one of them, but even he is not allowed to answer every question conclusively before the premiere in Milan. For example, which drawer you should put the new H2 in. Sports motorcycles, super sports bikes, speed bikes – not even the creators of the Ninja H2 yourself (see interview).

The new Ninja H2 probably weighs ten to 20 kilograms more

Where is the new H2? Somewhere between the ZZR 1400 speed bike and the ZX-10R super athlete – that much is certain. But where exactly? At least as far as the weight is concerned, you can predict the matter quite reliably even without further information from the manufacturer. You can tell by the fact that the H2 will be well below the 267 kilograms of a ZZR, but above the weight of the ZX-10R. The compressor and its peripherals alone should ensure that this is the case. In addition, there will be a chassis design that is tailored to engine powers of around 300 hp, because the basic dimensions will be identical for both models. And the engine itself – by the way, not an inflated ZX-10R engine, but a long-stroke engine, for which there are no exact bore-stroke data so far – has to be designed more powerfully because of the higher loads of material used. A ZX-10R weighs 203 kilograms with a full tank. Despite its filigree-looking tubular space frame, the new Ninja H2 will probably weigh ten to 20 kilograms more.

It is a little more difficult to wrest its performance data from the engine. Fat 300 PS in the R variant, but only 200 PS in the street branch – so announced Kawasaki in Cologne and earned incredulous looks. Precisely because the 1000 series four-cylinder with compressor should easily shake these 200 horses out of its sleeve. It’s all a question of boost pressure – and that in turn depends on the design of the compressor and its speed. If it is designed for 300 hp, it supplies the pressure for 250 hp more on the side. However: The charger developed in-house by Kawasaki turbine specialists is not quite as variable as it initially seemed. As initially assumed, there is no variable translation. The centrifugal compressor is driven by the crankshaft via a chain and planetary gearbox, with a ratio of a good nine times the crankshaft speed. If one assumes the previously rumored 130,000 to 140,000 rpm of the compressor, one would arrive at an extremely high speed of 14,000 to 15,000 rpm for a supercharged engine. So it will probably be less even for the H2R. For the more than 200 hp of the road variant, less is certainly enough, a bypass valve releases the superfluous boost pressure.

How do you control such a PS monster? Of course, ABS and traction control are compulsory, and anyone who really competes on the drag strip is supported by a launch control on the H2. For everyone else who wants to impress the girls with an over-motorcycle on the autobahn, both H2 variants are not an option. A pillion seat is missing. And the price? You have to assume around 25,000 euros, the R version will cost about twice as much. Naturally, this greatly restricts the number of potential customers, but Kawasaki didn’t want to build a mass-produced motorcycle with the Ninja H2 either. But one with real pressure.

Three missiles

High speed – obviously an original Kawasaki theme. It has a long tradition in the company to be stronger and faster than the competition. Even the historic Mach IV 750 H2 with a three-cylinder two-stroke engine from 1971 drove the competition to the ears, but had none in-house. But which Kawa can it be today? The range for 2015 includes two other models that are bursting with power. For both the ZX-10R and the ZZR 1400, the Greens give 200, under the influence of dynamic pressure even 210 HP. The ZZR 1400 accelerates faster (0–200 km / h in 7.0 seconds) and has the higher top speed (298 km / h), the ZX-10R is a force on the circuit. It will stay that way while the cards are being reshuffled on the drag strip with the H2.

Interview with Andras Seiler

Looking to the future: Kawasaki Ninja H2-R


Kawasaki press spokesman Andi Seiler.

“We show our competence with the H2”

Kawasaki press spokesman Andi Seiler on the classification of the new Ninja H2 in the current motorcycle schemes and on how to deal with 300 hp.

Andi, short question and probably long answer: What is the new Ninja H2 or even the H2R?
The H2 is clearly the new image carrier for Kawasaki, which also clearly shows how the individual areas of Kawasaki Heavy Industries – i.e. aviation technology, gas turbines and motorcycle engines – can be linked with one another. This motorcycle shows our competence. We also wanted to create something new and at the trade fair we saw how enthusiastic people were about the compressor technology.
Nevertheless, the question again: what is it? Is it a super sports bike or a pure speed bike? Where do you sort it – and what can customers expect?
It is – yes, maybe it is best described as “super sporty sports motorcycle”. And it’s a speed king. It’s kind of the continuation of the ZX-12R theme, but it’s a lot more round course suitable. However, it is not as uncompromisingly designed for the racetrack as our ZX-10R, for example, which has clear advantages. We will also do the presentation on a circuit. But on one that sometimes has a couple of long straights to show what makes the performance of the motorcycle. Basically: An H2R – also in the basic version H2 – can also be used for race training.
How was the response from the audience in Cologne to the motorcycle?
Gigantic. Not only with the audience here, but also on all online channels. The H2R was the star of the fair. There were many people – including VIPs – who came to the fair just because of this motorcycle.
Wasn’t there any concern at Kawasaki that this motorcycle would not fit the time?
We have other bikes for the time being. It was just about time that Kawasaki set such a highlight. Of course, the H2 is a motorcycle that is only suitable for experienced pilots. Sometimes you have to go other ways, but we will make sure that the production motorcycle is also easy to ride. The test drivers have also confirmed this. Of course, we also assume that no motorcycle novice will buy an H2 or H2R. The prices alone will probably take care of that.
How expensive is it going to be?
Understandably, I can’t say anything about that yet. The H2 will only be presented in Milan. But of course a motorcycle like this cannot be cheap in this league with lots of high-quality components. Wait a little longer.

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