Kawasaki’s jaw-dropping Ninja H2 and H2R are back for 2017, and joining them is a third member of the family, the Ninja H2 Carbon. While Kawasaki are calling the Carbon a third member of the Ninja H2 family, the title is slightly deceiving as the bike is essentially a standard Ninja H2 with a carbon fiber upper cowl, bringing it visually closer to the Ninja H2R. The carbon cowl will also be available as an accessory from Kawasaki, able to retrofit onto prior H2 models.
Other differences include a matte version of the silver-mirror paint – the same as used on the H2R. Lastly, only 120 H2 Carbon will be made, so each will have its serial number stamped into the supercharger plate on the right side of the engine.
The supercharged Ninja H2 family provides a level of acceleration so far unseen in a mass-produced motorcycle powered by an internal combustion engine, though Kawasaki had to update both the H2 and H2 Carbon versions with revised exhausts to comply with Euro 4 regulations (models destined for the U.S., Canada, and Brazil are not affected).
Besides the Carbon edition and updates to meet Euro 4 regs, the big news for all three Ninja H2 models is that each will now come equipped with an Ohlins TTX shock and a six-axis Bosch IMU. The IMU will work in conjunction with the H2 and H2R’s various electronic rider aids – KTRC (traction, wheelie, and slide control), KLCM (launch control), and KIBS (Kawi speak for anti-lock brakes) – for an even more precise picture of the motorcycle’s orientation beyond what the previous predictive software programming was capable of.
The addition of the IMU also allows for lean-angle sensitive ABS. Says Kawasaki, “Should riders use the brakes beyond the entrance to a turn (i.e. trail braking) or mid-corner (e.g. to avoid an obstacle), brake force is modulated to counter the tendency of the bike to stand up under braking. This assists riders in tracing their intended line through the corner instead of running wide.”
Lastly, for 2017, the H2 family’s quickshifter now also allows clutchless downshifts.
That’s it for the standard updates to the H2 and H2R, however Kawasaki has also updated its list of accessories for the two bikes to include:
- A new Ergo-Fit handlebar kit with a reduced down angle, positioning the handle grips 20mm higher than the standard clip-ons. For shorter riders, or those who prefer a more upright riding position the kit offers increased comfort.
- Heavier (134 g vs 46 g) bar-end weights reduce handlebar vibration, contributing to increased comfort when riding at high speeds.
- Frame sliders