Kevin Duke, Editor-in-Chief
Racing For 200 mph

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Accelerating a motorcycle to triple-digit speeds is simple, and getting a modern sportbike to 150 mph isn’t particularly challenging if given enough open space. But speeding to 200 mph on a production bike is nearly impossible since the manufacturer’s unofficial agreement to limit speeds to 186 mph. Achieving 200 mph in just a half mile from a standing start? Well, that stretches the bounds of what is mechanically feasible.

But that was the challenge in front of me at an airport in Oregon. I was aboard the only production bike in the world that might make it possible: Kawasaki’s H2R, the higher-performance version of the supercharged H2 I rode earlier in the year. The R version of the H2 doubles the MSRP to $50,000, vaults the claimed horsepower to around 300 at its crankshaft, replaces mirrors with a pair of wings, and disqualifies it from street-legal status.

The H2R packs enough power to breeze past 200 mph if given enough room, but the trick was to launch it hard enough to exceed the double-ton speed barrier by the 2640-foot mark. However, the H2R has so much grunt and a sportbike-like short wheelbase that getting to full throttle without flipping over backwards is exceedingly challenging.

The speedo registered 209 mph after the half-mile speed trap, but you’ll have to keep your browser tuned to Motorcycle.com to discover if the official timing system logged a 200-mph run at the trap.

The speedo registered 209 mph after the half-mile speed trap, but you’ll have to keep your browser tuned to Motorcycle.com to discover if the official timing system logged a 200-mph run at the trap.

Another challenge from the event was putting together a video without the benefit of a dedicated onsite video shooter (long story…), but our go-to video producer, Jay McNally, has been able to pull together a kick-ass video showing the challenges and the excitement of our quest to get to the double-ton. At this moment, all I’ll share is that it was one of the most exciting experiences on a motorcycle I’ve ever had. Stay tuned to MO to find out how it turned out!

  • JMDonald

    It’s been a great year. Here’s to the highlights of 2016. I think I went 120 mph once, 200 is beyond the pale.

  • Old MOron

    Well, I can’t say that I’m most jealous about any one story, but I think Evans’ pick resonates the most. That’s because for the last two years I’ve raced in the M1GP24 Hour, having been inspired by Trizzle’s original story from 2013. http://www.motorcycle.com/events/electric-boogie-record-books

    Keep on living the dream, MOrons. We’ll keep living vicariously. And in some rare instances, we may even emulate you!

  • ‘Mike Smith

    Too badabout the Aprilia. Was it totaled?

    • Not totalled, but it was the only 2016 RF in the country at the time. Aprilia USA techs had to use old non-RF parts to fix the cosmetics for our street test the following week. (It wasn’t Troy’s fault at all, he was T-boned by an overzealous civilian in turn-11, but it was way more fun to blame him for it in my little story.)

      • john burns

        too bad we didn’t total it though, since the publication that got it after us DID destroy it at a track day. Only the good die young.

      • ‘Mike Smith

        Blame away my friend. Never pass on an opportunity to bust some chops. 😉

      • TroySiahaan

        Thanks for throwing me under the bus! 😉

  • Old MOron

    Well, I know it’s a marketing tool, and I know it’s a Xmas tune, but it’s still cool.
    Happy New Year, you MOrons! http://seasonsgreetings.bmw-motorrad.com/?c=YUz2Nc8

    • Kevin Duke

      Thanks for your consistent support, OlMO!

  • John B.

    I most envy Tom Roderick’s highlight montage, but for “Most Persuasive Bike Pitch,” I would choose Sean Alexander’s love at first sight experience with the Aprilia. There’s nothing like having one’s soul stirred. Make that almost nothing.

    Congratulations on a great 2015. The MO crew produces consistently great work product, and that’s an exceptional feat.

  • Max Wellian

    Ya gotta like a job that provides so many great highlights!

  • David

    Ahh, I had wondered what happened to Cernickey. Sad to hear about his legs though.

  • ken mcguire

    Oh come on, Tom. You blokes get to ride the latest and greatest… and get to swim with White sharks. Bloody hell I need a new job.

  • kenneth_moore

    I agree with Old Moron: the “24 Hueres de Grom” is the one I’d pick. The similar events in my life, where a close group of pals are pushing themselves and the equipment to the limit are my best memories, even though they were actually miserable at the time. Like a 36 hour sail to the Bahamas in a Northeaster that left every other boat, and even some ships, sitting in port. We broke the boat, I broke my arm, we hated each other halfway through, but none of us would trade the experience for the world.