2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 First Ride Review - Kawasaki ZX-10R.net
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post #1 of 1 Old 05-21-2015, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 First Ride Review

Last time I was at Auto Club Speedway, the MO crew was testing the three fastest streetfighters, and it was a rush to see speedometers creep past 160 mph on the banked front straightaway. This week I watched numbers rush past 175 mph on the same track, this time aboard the quickest-accelerating production vehicle on the planet, Kawasaki’s 2015 Ninja H2.

Unique is an adjective often misused, but the supercharged H2 certainly qualifies as a proper example. This came into sharper focus when Kawi denied my request to take out a ZX-10R for a couple of laps after sampling the H2 at Auto Club Speedway. Team Green believes the H2 doesn’t compare to a 10R, despite the fact that they are both 1000cc four-cylinder sportbikes produced by the same company.

Okay, I get it when Kawi states the H2 is something different than a superbike – there is no other supercharged production motorcycle on the market. The H2’s 24.5-degree rake and 103mm trail is fairly typical for liter-size sportbikes, but its 57.3-inch wheelbase is an inch or two longer. And the 525-lb claimed curb weight (full of 3.9 gallons of fuel, about 23 lbs) puts the H2 in a different weight class.

Press materials describe the H2 as a hyperbike and “the ultimate road-going motorcycle,” not “the ultimate roadracing motorcycle.” The H2 wouldn’t be an ideal choice for a trackday, as a 10R would likely thrown down quicker lap times while liquefying less rear-tire rubber.

That said, it’s ceaselessly entertaining when you’re swinging the biggest club on any straightaway: (“Buh-bye, S1000RR…”) And, for the right rider, that could be all he or she needs to want to plunk down the $25k needed to purchase the H2. Don’t think of the H2 as a ZX-10 with 80 extra pounds. Best to think of it as a 160-lb lighter VMax with about 20 extra horsepower and vastly superior agility. Or a 60-lb lighter ZX-14R with far better track manners.

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And don’t think of it as overpriced, either. The relentless hype surrounding the H2 might’ve made a few of us a little jaded, but the super Ninja is truly a magnificent machine when seen in the flesh, with fit and finish levels of a lofty order. A close examination makes me think $25k might be a good value.

Two massive intakes flanking the H2’s LED headlight feed air to the supercharger mounted behind the 998cc engine’s cylinder bank. LED lighting also resides in the mirrors and tail lights.
Two massive intakes flanking the H2’s LED headlight feed air to the supercharger mounted behind the 998cc engine’s cylinder bank. LED lighting also resides in the mirrors and tail lights.
Let’s start with the striking paint adorning the H2, which uses a layer of pure silver to create the mirrored finish over the black base coat. Kawi says it’s the first time the paint process has been used on a production motor vehicle.

Kawasaki Japan Tour

Next up is a chassis unlike any previous Kawasaki, using a trellis-style steel frame and a single-sided aluminum swingarm. The frame tubes are works of mechanical art, with laser-cut radii carefully fitting into their mates, then robotically welded before finishing welds are laid down by skilled hands in a special section of Kawi’s Akashi factory. The H2 also boasts some tasty machined nut and bolt finishes, most visible on the steering stem nut and rear hub nut.

Read more and see the video here: 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 First Ride Review + Video

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