About That Ninja H2 SX First Ride Story

As the gears of international relations turn, a golden opportunity occasionally gets ground to bits in the mesh. Such is the story of Motorcycle.com’s recently departed world exclusive Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX first ride. We were given an opportunity to sample Kawi’s new sport-touring flagship shortly before the bike was announced as a U.S. model, and we published that ride story and video once it was officially announced for our market. Unfortunately for all of us, it seems other markets around the globe did not look so kindly upon the massive lead that MO obtained, so they probably contacted their respective national distributors who in turn probably contacted the mothership in Japan. It wasn’t long before Kawasaki’s U.S. distributor, KMC, started receiving heavy fire from across the oceans and our editorial phone started ringing…. which brings us to this disappointing void.

Motorcycle.com takes our responsibilities to our readership very seriously which is why we always tell it to you straight, including sharing our negative impressions from first rides along with our excitement over the positives. Likewise, we take our responsibility to the motorcycle industry seriously, and as long as they aren’t asking us to cover-up flaws in a product or otherwise distort our honest impressions, we tend to agree to help them when asked. In this instance, they asked, and out of respect for Kawasaki, we have agreed to temporarily remove our coverage for a few weeks until the rest of the world has a chance to sample the bike. In the meantime, we will continue to work on scoops and exclusive first rides whenever and wherever possible, and you can bet your ass we’ll still be the first publication to have a complete ride review live once the first H2 SX press event gets underway over in Europe. Heck, we might even be able to re-shoot that sub-par first-ride video!

 

Maximum Respect,
Sean K. Alexander
Powersports Editorial Director
Motorcycle.com, DirtBikes.com, ATV.com, Snowmobile.com, PersonalWatercraft.com
VerticalScope, Inc.

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  • First! (literally)

    • Born to Ride

      Perhaps too much so. That’s some bullshit man.

  • spiff

    So what are you doing now, sweeping their shop or cleaning their cars? Quite the coupe.

    So how much does it tromp on the sdr gt?

    • They are different bikes, this is more of a superbike. The SRD-GT will probably be a bit more comfortable, a bit slower in a straight line, and reasonably close in the corners.

      • spiff

        Interesting. I like how manufacturers are skinning the same cat with different types of knives.

        • spiff

          Sean I need you to jump on this. A good ole fashion shootout. O.k. corral style: H2 SX, SDR GT, BMW XR, Veloce Lusso, Multi Strada, and an FJR. Maybe a Motus, any other ideas? Let’s see who’s sport touring concept hits the real world nail.

          • Born to Ride

            And I wanna be a guest tester dammit!

          • Sayyed Bashir

            There is a best bike for everyone.

          • spiff

            That is part of the fun.

        • Eric

          And for cheap thrills, toss in a new Tracer 900GT.

      • DickRuble

        The SRD-GT would be a bit lighter, maybe?

  • Buzz

    I’m really impressed by this machine and even more impressed with your and Evans courage by showing your love for each other on a macho motorcycle blog.

    Mexico? You had the bike for two hours and made it to Mexico for a high speed run? Cross the border on highway 94 at Tecate? That’s the only way you could get there and back in two hours.

    I don’t know why I would need anything this fast but maybe I should downsize from the K1600.

  • Chris

    Very cool. A little pricey (Regardless of some “new” bike prices.), a little heavy, and a little…unproven. Very, very cool, though. How bad was the ground clearance in aggressive riding (Compared to a similar bike, perhaps.)? Also, gas mileage? An ST w/a 5.0 gallon tank better do pretty well on gas mileage to have a good range. I like the idea of this model a lot. I’m interested to see how well all the details, over time, in the real world, pan out. Good stuff.

    • Only had a little over an hour in the actual saddle, so fuel mileage is still a mystery at this point. Ground clearance was roughly comparable to other sport touring bikes but seemed a bit worse due to the sportbike like handling of the H2 SX.

      • Chris

        Fair enough and much obliged. Onward.

  • Born to Ride

    Looks and sounds like it is worth every penny. Maybe I’ll go full ass and make this my new all-rounder…

    *Riiiiing*

    “Hello?”

    “This is Larry with Geico”

    “Uh, okay? I’m paid up.”

    “We have been monitoring your browsing history and we just wanted to preemptively tell you… NO.”

    CLICK

    *solitary tear runs down my face*

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Calling it a Ninja kind of kills it on the insurance side. Should have called it a Eluder or some such.

      • Born to Ride

        The new Kawasaki Geo Metro. It only has a 1.0L engine!

      • Goose

        I don’t know which word will get the insurance companies in a bigger tizzy, Ninja or supercharged. GFL on insurance if you are young enough to be brave enough to really ride this thing.

        I predict all or nearly all sales will be to old farts who are too old and too chicken to really ride the beast but rich enough to pay for the bike and insurance. Oddly, a lot like the people who buy $30 – 40K cruisers and ride them 500 miles a year. Ride to the hangout, let people admire your bike, and carefully ride home. Emerald butt jewelry?

        Personally, I’d love to have a go on race track far from police presence but zero interest in owning the thing today. My interest might increase if I was a multimillionaire and had 10 – 20 other bikes.

        • fzrider

          The good news is the “old farts” won’t hurt them much as they slowly turn them in used bikes…

          • Goose

            LOL, no, really LOL. Glad to know we are good for something.

          • fzrider

            Full disclosure: I’m 67 and currently turning a gorgeous FZ1 into one now. I know because when I visit the mountains of N.C…East Tennessee and the north Georgia mountains I keep getting that wave from the locals…”thanks for not holding me up”…when I’m desperately trying to hold them up. Oh well, when I’m alone I can really fly.

      • DickRuble

        For low rates they should have called it Arthritic Elder.

      • Starmag

        The Kawasaki Boostron. Pressurizer, Velociraptor, etc. That would fool the insurance companies for a few months.

      • Gee S

        Sure does. The insurance price differential between a Ninja 650 and a Yamaha MT-07 makes the Ninja a non-starter. Same here.
        The target market for this bike — folks with the time and $$$ to use it for long distance travel — are used to insurance rates like the $79 a year I pay for full collision, comprehensive and $3K worth of farkle-coverage on my full dress BMW K-tourer.
        Hard to imagine that the Kwaker could be $1200 a year more thrilling, which is about the operations cost differential we’d be looking at.

        • Born to Ride

          Lucky you. I’d be lucky to pay under 3 grand a year for this supercharged Monster.

        • BDan75

          $79 a year for full coverage? No offense, but that’s kinda hard to believe. I pay $110/year for basic liability-only coverage on my older bikes, and that hasn’t changed much from state to state, or company to company, in the 20+ years I’ve been insuring bikes. What am I missing?

          • Gee S

            I don’t crash? 😉

            Seriously, though — 33 years with Maryland M Class license, an insurer who also covers my home and cars, and a multibike policy. I don’t want to make you feel bad/worse, but that policy includes my 20 year old son as a licensed rider, too. I currently have 5 bikes on the policy, but that will go back to 4 as soon as its spring and one bike gets sold off.

            I have 2 antiques — 70s Airhead BMWs with liability only at $75 each, my ‘modern’ bike which is a 2000 K1200LT – full coverage — @$79 — A Buell Blast (For sale!) @ $75 and our ‘high end offering’ a 2016 CB500F, which costs $119 for full coverage.

            Only claims I’ve ever had were towing reimbursements for rear tires failures on the LT that couldn’t be repaired on the roadside.

            So believe what you want, but the insurance on the whole stable is less than the tariff on one station wagon.

          • HazardtoMyself

            Let us in on the secret. Who is your insurance company and better yet what agent?

            At those kind of rates I think we can get you some more savings if your agent will give you a referral bonus.

          • BDan75

            Wow. I’m in MD too. My bikes are newer on the whole, but I’m 42 with zero accidents ever, and no speeding tickets within the past 5 years (none ever on bikes, not that that probably matters). Five bikes total, two cars (want to sell 2-3 bikes). Cars on same policy. Unmarried, no kids. I suppose “single dude” is a red flag no matter what the age.

            The liability on all the bikes is around $110-115 apiece. Total cost for those on which I carry full coverage is between about $250 (’13 CB1100) and I think $450 (’16 S1000RR). This is State Farm.

            I’d feel like I’m missing out, but having heard what a lot of people pay for sportbikes over the years I still feel like I’m doing reasonably well…

          • Born to Ride

            Multi-bike policies sometimes have stupidly low rates on the bike they think you ride the least. I only pay 144$ a year for full coverage on my 2014 Moto Guzzi California. It is by far the most valuable bike in my garage but I pay the least for coverage. Go figure.

          • BDan75

            That’s a bargain. But yeah, sometimes I’ve struggled to find the logic behind insurance rates.

          • Old MOron

            LOL, they figure it’s going to be in the shop all the time!

          • Born to Ride

            Little do they know that I can fix the thing my own damn self!

          • Born to Ride

            Says the guy straddling a Bavarian bearing bazooka!

          • Old MOron

            At least it doesn’t leak oil.

          • Born to Ride

            A drip here and there never hurt nobody.

          • Old MOron

            True, but spraying like a fire hose onto my shins was a pain in the ass.

          • Born to Ride

            Lol which model was that?

          • Old MOron

            2007 Griso. Missed it as soon as it was gone, but only for a while.

          • Born to Ride

            I heavily considered the Griso SE, but I wanted a cruiser because I’ve never had one and the Cali seemed like the ideal machine. 8 months later and 5-6k miles, I don’t think cruisers are for me. The bike has been wonderful though.

          • Old MOron

            I’m guessing cruisers are fine for around town or for freeways, but get them anywhere near a canyon, and you’re going to want for ground clearance. You could hang off like that crazy guy in the MOronic video a while ago, but if you ride at ten tenths all the time, you’re going to crash sooner or later.

          • Born to Ride

            Actually the Guzzi handles quite well and laughs at a Harley’s pitiful maximum lean angle, but the beauty of a cruiser is actually out in the open country road loafing along effortlessly. No better mount to take in the sights in my book. But no fun on the freeway due to the riding position, can’t ride hard in the mountains(but I do enjoy cruising my local sporting roads on occasion), and big and heavy around town. I have found it to be the least versatile bike I have owned from the standpoint of types of rides it excels at. That is why it is likely going to be traded for a roadster next year.

          • Old MOron

            Yeah, and that loafing along is the one thing my bike does not do well. Oh, it has torque everywhere, but the way the I-4 spins and sucks air, it feels like I’m riding a vacuum cleaner.

          • Born to Ride

            I’ve never owned an I-4, that is one of my concerns about the CB1000R. Is she gonna be boringly competent or endearingly dependable?

          • Old MOron

            The only time I notice it is when I’m bimbling along. When riding at 7/10 or better, or when I’m busy paying attention to traffic, the thing’s a dream.

      • Daniel Benjamin

        Kawasaki Comfort+ Longtour DX

    • Fabian

      Just tell Geico; it has traction control. That should do it.

      • Born to Ride

        Larry says NO!

    • John B.

      Your best comment ever!!! My friend was going to buy an H2, but the insurance was $5,500 a year so he backed out.

      • Born to Ride

        Holy crap, I was expecting something more like 3500$ a year. Yikes, Larry was right…

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Basically look but don’t touch. Like some expensive courtesans.

        • Mary

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          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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      • BDan75

        Price aside (and it’s still cheaper than a basic midsize car), where have insurance companies gotten the idea that 20% of MSRP per year is a legit premium for this bike? Just bias based on HP? Confusion with the H2R? They now have a couple years of loss experience under their belts. From that perspective, I’d be very surprised if it’s worse than the average new literbike.

      • Dan

        i would hope if you pay cash you could just get basic liability insurance for a lot less. Has anyone heard?

    • Eric

      I’m sure a Super Duke GT would satisfy your torque needs.

      • Born to Ride

        I’m sure it would, but from a previous test ride of the SDR, I’m also sure it would handle my hand numbness on the freeway issues, and that’s a non-starter for an all purpose bike. YMMV

  • Old MOron

    Hmm, kind of makes me wish I were in this market segment.

    • Born to Ride

      Right? I’ve got ST/All-Rounder covered. I need Roadster, On-off Road, and Track.

      • spiff

        Your track bike should be a 6 year old 600 from a club racer that is no longer competitive. It will have all the cool goodies all ready to go.

        • Born to Ride

          I think I could find a nicely set up 750. I like the idea of more midrange. Never been a fan of the ultra-peaky 600s

          • spiff

            That makes sense. My main thought was buy a track bike and be done. Not a street bike and convert.

          • Born to Ride

            Yeah, the trouble is that you’re gonna end up spending money on suspension anyways because optimal springs and damping rates are never going to identical for 2 riders.

          • spiff

            I would say if needed, springs would be enough. Then start playing with clickers.

      • Old MOron

        I think you’ve got it about right. In order to choose between the CB1000R and the Z900RS, I would go with the dealer who gave me a test ride. No demo ride, no sale!

        • Born to Ride

          Ugh I know. I’m so spoiled by the Ducati dealer. You can ride anything that they sell. They toss you the keys and tell you to come back when you’re ready to buy it.

  • JMDGT

    Thank goodness it comes in a color other than the green. A Kawasaki that has peaked more than my interest. It looks like heaven.

  • AM

    I can see the point. But only if it was light. Concours might feel a pig compared, but it’s only 20 lbs lighter than a ZX14. And that is $4000.00 cheaper, less complicated, just about as fast and good for sport touring if not better I might add. Pipe is all you need to take 40 lbs off. 200 plus HP is easy to achieve on that bike. Just ask Brock.

    • Eric

      Totally agree. What the market needs is something more distant from an overcrowded space, especially in Kawasaki’s own fleet. Something like a 588 turbo Recursion. Anyone at Suzuki listening?

      ZX-14R with ECU flash, full system, and good dyno work can do 205 hp and 122 torque at the wheel.
      http://www.ivansperformanceproducts.com/zx14%20Stk%20vs%20final.gif

      Factor a really BIG weight loss with that mod. It’s been out for years. Proven reliability. Less complicated. Less expensive. Better wind protection. And probably (my estimation) as good fuel efficiency at 1441cc as the boosted 998.

      • 205 STD is about 8.5 hp more than SAE… so in MO numbers that’s about 196 hp.

        • Born to Ride

          Nope, not enough. Need that 300hp turbo kit too.

  • Terry Smith

    Really digging the supercharged speedo that goes all vortex-ey on boost. Have they patented that one?

  • tristan50

    I own a Ninja 1000 that pretty much does it all. But this H2 SX? It’s the unicorn!!!!

  • John B.

    I understand why Sean or any other former racer would love this motorcycle. Sean can ride motorcycles near their limits without a catastrophe. I love the idea of this motorcycle, but the money spent on the extra power is mostly wasted on me.

    A typical road trip takes me from Dallas to Snowmass Village Colorado. The first day involves droning on flat straight highways. The second day involves nosebleed passes with speed limits that range from 5-35 mph. I don’t need much power to drone across lonely highways, and I cannot handle the power in the mountains.

    I might be better off spending the extra money on Sat-Nav and better wind and rain protection. The summer is monsoon season in Colorado.

    Great bike though, and I am always interested in Seans opinions.

    • RyYYZ

      I right with you there. Other than an occasional drag launch or high speed run, I really don’t have any use for this much power. I can’t use the 100 or so HP I’ve got to its full potential. But like you, I can’t say I wouldn’t like to have one of these (even more if the ergos were relaxed a bit more).

  • StripleStrom

    This looks like the bike I’ve always wanted- a fairly light weight SPORT tourer. A little too pricey for me. I still think the ZX14 with some bags and a taller shield would be perfect. I admire the supercharger technology, but at the same time I don’t see the need for it. Kawasaki needs to provide a catalog to set up the ZX14- different bars, different shields, luggage, seats, etc.

    • Alaskan18724

      Concours, anyone?

      • TronSheridan

        150 lb extra weight, anyone?

        • Alaskan18724

          Up 150 on the ZX14? Could be, but would surprise me….I’ve been surprised before. Too lazy to check.

          • Born to Ride

            She’s a big girl, but by all accounts she dances well. D-Sean evidently thinks she’s a whale though.

          • Nah, I love the Concours14, aside from some helmet buffeting on the freeway. It only feels like a whale in comparison to a Ninja H2 SX.

      • StripleStrom

        Too heavy.

  • cmartishere

    Came here looking for HP/TQ numbers. Disappointed.

    • Born to Ride

      Seriously? First ride reports never include Dyno runs because the journos are usually at some exotic location and only have a few hours with the bikes. Your expectations were silly.

      • cmartishere

        You’re acting as if the numbers aren’t available. If the bike is ready to ride, so the torque and horsepower are known. It’s interesting for us to know this information — there are plenty of other statistics noted in the article, but it lacks solid torque and horsepower numbers, which is a sad omission. And your lack of interest in this information indicates that you’re not much into bikes.

        • Born to Ride

          Not much into bikes?
          HAHAHAHAHA

          • Alaskan18724

            Sheesh.

          • Born to Ride

            I had an explanatory response for him. And then I got to that last declaration and died. Lol

        • HazardtoMyself

          320 RWHP, 531 FT LBS claimed.

          0-60 in .0738 seconds

          1/4 mile 2.3 seconds at 345 MPH

          LA to NY in 1 hr 45 minutes (without traffic)

          Or you could watch the video.

        • Kawasaki woulkd not let us weigh or dyno the bike because it was a pre-production unit. It will be about a month before any real production bikes get run on any independent dynos. Sorry you were disapointed.

          • Mad4TheCrest

            Well, that published weight of 573 for the H2 SE was a little disappointing. Maybe they could lose a few pounds in production?

      • Eric

        I’ll give you a flashed ZX-14R instead. Because it makes more.
        http://www.ivansperformanceproducts.com/zx14%20Stk%20vs%20final.gif

        • Born to Ride

          I’m not asking for the Dyno runs, that was the other guy…

          • Old MOron

            This “indicates that you’re not much into bikes.” Ha ha ha!

          • Born to Ride

            Oh the shame!

    • DickRuble

      Well .. go look somewhere else.. Humpty Dumpty magazine has a special for you.

  • mugwump

    I’ll continue to muddle along with an FJR, sadly.

    • Alaskan18724

      Don’t be sad. Great ride.

    • Eric

      You’re much better off, frankly. If you want to drop weight, there’s a lot of very fast ADV bikes for ya.

  • Starmag

    “Comfortable for a sportbike”. Exactly. Comfortable, for an iron maiden.

    I guess we’ll have to wait for the two up 100 MPH 3RD gear wheelies until Duke rides it.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Insurance companies are going to charge out the wazoo for this thing, as they should I suppose. When crashed at any kind of speed, bikes are inevitably a total loss, and this is one big fast and fragile beast. One of those bikes that really only well off people should pay cash for, carry only liability coverage on, and self insure the rest.

    I have always done it that way with my bikes since the late 80s with no incidents, so probably 20 grand ahead in the insurance premium game by now, but not comfortable doing that with $25,000 motorcycles. will stick to my old beaters. Simply can’t afford this thing, probably too much for me anyway…

    • therr850

      Actually, bikes should be insured based on the owners driving record plus a “small” markup based on bike value. I’ve ridden since 1972 with one accident ten years ago and zero tickets. Aren’t I a reasonable risk?

      • RyYYZ

        You’re completely correct, IMO. I have a similar riding record – one at fault claim in 2000, one ticket in 2003 or 2004. I currently ride a ~95 RWHP sub-800cc bike. Do I suddenly become so much more of a risk for killing myself on a bike if I switch to something like this (or even stranger, to a large displacement cruiser than makes less power and weighs more)? No, although that also raises the question of whether I have any use for this much power. It won’t make me any faster in the corners, and my current bike already delivers me to license-torching territory in practically no time. Which isn’t to say I don’t want one, anyway, LOL.

        I’m not sure where you live, but here in Ontario, Canada, motorcycle insurance is pretty expensive. I’m paying about CDN$800/yr with a clean record, 20+ years of experience, and a sub-100HP bike. Most of that cost is from the mandatory coverages – liability, accident benefits, etc – while less than $100 of it is for the optional comprehensive or specified perils, and collision coverage. A new rider on a similar bike (which admittedly is probably a bad idea) could probably expect to pay over $2,000/yr. Insurance policies here include coverage for the rider for death, injury, disability, etc, which is a big reason for the high cost especially for new riders. If only PL/PD was required, it would be a lot lower. The province’s thinking was that people should insure themselves against motor vehicle accident injuries/disability rather than end up consuming publicly funded services (medical care, disability payments, etc).

        • therr850

          I live in southwest Michigan, the state in the United States of America with the highest insurance rates, not that I am proud of that fact.

      • DickRuble

        Riding since 1972? That puts you in a certain age bracket. And you want to ride a supercharged 200hp bike? In the view of the insurance agent you:

        a) must have above average disposable income and
        b) You’re old and will probably crash the bike within a few weeks of owning it. (not my belief, but they are the decision makers)

        These factors both call for very high insurance premiums (again, their take, not mine).

        • therr850

          c) how much profit can we steal for our shareholders?

        • therr850

          Yes, I would very much like to ride a supercharged 200hp bike. I work at a FCA US dealership and I like very much driving Hellcat Challengers and Viper SRT’s. I don’t want to play hooligan with these vehicles but the experience is very enlightening and satisfying, kind of like driving a GT428 Mustang or a Hemi Dodge Coronet in my younger days. Such were the GS1000S Suzuki’s and CBX’s. Fun Fun Fun till my Daddy took my,,,,,,,,,.:}

    • Born to Ride

      How much slower is a Tuono than a RSV4? Because the insurance rates do not reflect the reality.

      • John B.

        The Kawasaki Z-1000 insurance rates were a fraction of the Ninja 1000 rates, and they had nearly identical engines. I do not think motorcycle insurance underwriters spend adequate time assessing actual risks.

        • Alaskan18724

          Keep it in your living room next to the Steinway and insure it as furniture.

        • Craig Hoffman

          True.

          I worked in insurance claims for a long time. The Underwriting side has it’s head up it’s ass even more than the Claims side. They are hiding out in their beige cubicles mini offices with a door, if they’ve really made it to faceless middle management, completely insulated and disconnected from reality but making uniformed decisions with large sums of money. It is scary really…

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I think they also go by model history for number of accidents, age of riders and repair costs. It is possible that a database analysis comes up with the insurance cost automatically after you enter the motorcycle and rider information. On Progressive.com you get the quote within a few seconds even in the middle of the night.

        • Chris

          State Farm has always done me very well. I’ve had several claims over the last 35’ish years and have never paid more than 700/year for full coverage on a bike, to include ‘Busa’s, ZX14R’s, multiple litre bikes, streetfighters, etc. They have evolved over the last few years and aren’t as “naive” as they used to be, but they still offer great deals on motorcycle insurance. Hope it continues.

        • BDan75

          Yep. My Z1000 was almost affordable, insurance-wise, and probably more likely to be wrecked than a Ninja 1000 (admittedly, fewer fairings). I wonder how much Kaw could save its customers by dropping that stupid name. Yeah, marketing….but I think people would still figure out what to buy.

      • DickRuble

        That’s not how it’s done. The way they go about it is:

        What’s price bracket is this bike in? Top 20%? Check.
        What is the estimated discretionary income of the operator? More than $1000/month? Check.
        How desirable is the vehicle? Top 20%? Check.

        Then insurance rate will be 25% of the acquisition cost of the new motorcycle. Check

        • Born to Ride

          I think it works more like: can we classify this as a Sport bike? Clip ons and full fairing? Check. That’s 100% increase in overall premium.

          Does it have the words GSXR or Ninja on the body work? Check.
          That’s another 100%.

          Given prior checks, Is it going to cost us more than 5000$ to cover a total loss? Check. That’s another 100% on the collision coverage.

          • Mad4TheCrest

            Insurance companies are all over the map with these assessments: I downsized from a 170 bhp, 180 mph expensive Ducati 1198SP to a more modest Triumph Street Triple RX 675cc with only 100 bhp and I was actually charged more per year than for the Ducati.

          • Born to Ride

            Ducati superbikes have the lowest insurance rates in their class when I’ve done the research. I’m just not big on Ducati superbikes. I’d love a SS900cr though…

        • TronSheridan

          My Ducati Multistrada full coverage is $300 a year. My Hayabusa back in the day was $300. Depends on the company, your age, where you live, and your insurance history. Some of you people seem to get massively hosed on insurance.

          • Born to Ride

            My multistrada with full coverage accounts for 400$ of my 760$ premium. If I try to replace it with a ninja 1000, my premium hits nearly 3 grand with identical coverage. Getting hosed is right…

          • John A. Smith

            That’s brutal. I’m in my early 40s, been licensed for 25 years or so, and my 2016 ZX-14R is $550 a year for full coverage with 250/500/100. Allstate, for whatever that’s worth.

          • Born to Ride

            26, 8 years M1 licensed, no accidents(as far as they know), one ticket(on bike) for not using my turn signal. Ageism is strong. Allstate wasn’t even close to competitive when I switched from progressive to Geico 2 years ago.

          • DickRuble

            Do you have uninsured motorist coverage? How much liability does your insurance cover? What about your coverage, to what limit?

      • DL Nielsen

        The insurance premium for my 2016 Tuono is lower than the premium for the 2017 FZ-10 I just bought by about $70/yr and lower than the premium for my 2011 Ninja 1000 by $33/yr and has way more horsepower than either one. I also have a 2015 Versys 1000GT (same engine as the Ninja); the premium is $105/yr less than the Ninja.And the premium for my ’09 Speed Triple is $80/yr less than the Ninja. Go figure. I have all my bikes insured through one company and carry the same coverage on each.

        • Born to Ride

          First off, awesome stable. I’m jealous. Secondly, with that many bikes, the waters become quite muddy as they can choose to rate you on the lowest risk bike then tack on the others as add ons instead of the primary bike. It is almost always significantly cheaper to add a bike onto the policy than replace an old bike with a new one. A while back when I was still considering getting a ninja 1000, I was going to buy a cheap enduro and rate as my primary ride. Would have brought my premium overall down by about 500$, but it was still too much for me to justify the ninja. I’m waiting until I can buy one for like 5 grand with low miles and just carry liability on it. I hate insurance.

          • DL Nielsen

            I looked at Geico and Progressive and another company a few years ago. They’d write policies on most of the bikes I had at that time, but not on the ZRX1200R because it was “high risk”. I had the Spd3 then, too. The ZRX belonged to the same person the other bikes did. Why would I be crazy on one but not all? I said it was all or nothing, so they got nothing. I’ve stayed with State Farm. They insure them all (I have more than just fast bikes) along with my cars and house and I get a better rate than the other companies could/would give me. But I have yet to figure out the rate structure. It seems to be all over the place. When I walk into my insurance agent’s office, she says, “What did you buy now?” 🙂

    • StripleStrom

      Insurance rates are probably the only thing keeping me from getting a ZX14. I’ve wanted one for years now. I guess if I take the risk and self insure like you did, I could probably afford it.

  • B.Hoop

    What are the odds of the center stand and heated grips being offered as accessories? Since you’ve got to buy the bags anyway, being able to add the other two items could make the base model a bit of a bargain.

    • TronSheridan

      I believe you can add all the options on the SE to the standard model. But I suspect it will cost you twice as much.

  • Tod Rafferty

    Fast? Way. Fugly? Way more.

    • Born to Ride

      Better lookin than the SDRGT!

      • Baron Samedi

        Like that’s difficult.

  • Steven Green

    Great write up. Mention Ninja to an insurance company and they snarl and snap but say Versys LT and they roll over and ask to have a belly rub. The rates for my Versys 1000 were 38 bucks less than my Tiger 1200 XC.

    • Mad4TheCrest

      Maybe they should have named it a ‘Versys Maximus’?

      • Born to Ride

        I love all the renaming suggestions in this thread.

    • Eric

      Two things leave me cold about the Ninja 1000: insurance rates and 336 watts charging power. And that’s assinine coming from a “touring” category bike. For instance, the Triumph Street Twin 900 street bike cranks out 660 watts. Could heat the grips, seat, two people’s full gear, power a GPS, radar det., charge a couple phones, and run an air compressor on that. The Ninja? not so much.

  • Alaskan18724

    “In fact, it is probably the best motorcycle Kawasaki has ever made.”
    High praise. Takes in some territory, that does.

    • Mad4TheCrest

      That is indeed a bold statement. I’m biased but the ZRX1200R in Eddie Lawson green I’ve had since 2001 seems like a totally fantastic bike still, after all these years, and I’ve also owned two expensive Ducatis, and three really good Triumphs in the intervening years (and tested everything I could get my hands on). I wonder if the H2 SX will seem as good 16 years from now?

      • Alaskan18724

        The ZReX is one of the handsomest motorcycles ever made, to my eye. I hope to find a pristine example and keep it forever. Or a Z900RS Cafe, if those geniuses at Special K send it stateside….

      • Eric

        Nothing full of creases and kinks and points and jagged lines ever lasts after a few years. Notice how immediately the Z900RS Cafe took to most people’s liking? It’s all curvy and swoopy and conservative, with totally modern technology. I personally am tired of everything coming from Japan looking like a cat caught in a Van de Graaff generator; even the automobiles are gaudy.

  • Bubba Blue

    Cruise Control and heated grips? Yipes! Now, all it needs is self cancelling indicators a gear indicator and an oil gauge like my 1982 GS1100E had. THen we’d be gong someplace.

    By the way, the bike you are reviewing – according to the photos- is a SX-SE, not an SX.

    • And it is indicated as such several times in the story.

  • TronSheridan

    Good to see a first video…but the video is kind of bad. I mean, the on board video is 1970s quality.

    • Born to Ride

      Uh, let’s say this very second I could afford to put 5-7 grand down if I actually wanted this monster. 15 grand financed is like 300$ a month. Okay that’s not bad at all. Call up Geico, find out that it’s 4 grand a year to insure? You’re paying more per month on insurance than the bike. Can I afford it? Sure. Can I justify spending more disposable income on insurance than the machine it’s covering? HELL NO.

      • TronSheridan

        If you’re insuring you bikes through Geico…you’re doing it wrong.

        • Born to Ride

          Best price for the 5 major insurers. I was surprised too.

  • Old MOron

    Hey MO, what’s going on over there?
    Poor DC looks away for a second, and you MOrons go and break something.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9bd5c1d60e37befb18eb596d8f3bc2540a55f4a2df5f734728b0686e978f18b.png

    • Trying to scrub it from the system at Kawasaki’s request. Apparently the rest of the world was upset that MO was given such a big lead, so they applied pressure to their respective distributors who applied pressure to Japan… and so on, and so on. In the end, we agreed to take it down out of respect for Kawasaki.

      • Old MOron

        And out of respect for MO, I take down my little screen shot.
        You scooped the whole world, and they didn’t like it.
        Keep up the good work, you MOrons.

      • John B.

        It sounds like you made the right decision. Besides, I already read the article twice and watched the video, so…. sure, take it down. I knew something was up when both the article and YouTube video disappeared. Thank you for giving us the straight scoop.

  • RevD

    Why is there a picture of a MultiStrada below the headline?

    • Old MOron

      Can I get an, “Amen”?

  • Old MOron

    Just for that, I’m buying a CB1000R instead of a Z900RS.
    That’ll show KHI, right Gabe?

    • Born to Ride

      You don’t need another roadster. Unless you’re planning on trading in the Bavarian filling extractor.

      • Old MOron

        Unlike the S1000XR, my bike does not vibrate badly at all.
        I tested both bikes back-to-back, and the difference was night-and-day.

        But you’re right. The S1000R is prolly the last roadster I ever need buy.
        Uh, but that won’t necessarily stop me!

        But in this case I just wanted to say something supportive of MO.
        (The opportunity to have a little jab at Gabe’s cynicism was pure gravy.)

        • Born to Ride

          Ah, I thought all the balancer bereft Bavarian bikes basically shared that feature.

          • Old MOron

            Upvote for alliteration!

          • Born to Ride

            Thank you kindly =D

          • Alaskan18724

            Consonance! Resonance!

  • Eric

    How badly do you need to tour? There’s a ton of ADV bikes for that. How badly do you need to go fast? There’s a ton of lighter and just-as-fast non-boosted bikes for that.

    Purchase price is a little goofy for what it accomplishes. Insurance is guaranteed to be hideous…….almost as bad as the tail and face on this.

    Kawasaki, you already have potentially 3 bikes in the bigger size of power for “touring” in the lineup (Concours 14, ZX-14R, Ninja 1000). Supercharge a new engine, say a 500-550cc Vtwin on a lightweight premium suspension and brakes, quarter-faired sort of VFR-flavored sporty bike with good tank range. Done. Hurry up before Suzuki decides to release the Recursion turbo.

    • TronSheridan

      Concours 14, ZX-14R….not for long.

  • Krusher Web

    What a load of crap that announcement was and is.. I am done with this site and any products it shills to tbe reader.. To pause coverage is a joke and absurd… Imagine a news outlet saying “we will cease reporting on this issue until Fox news and MSNBC has a chance to take a look”.

    • Born to Ride

      They can’t exactly give Kawasaki the finger when they ask them to take down the article. Well, I mean, they could, but then we’d never get a MO review of the Z900rs, and I’m waaay more interested in that one.

      • Alaskan18724

        Hear, hear. And bring in the Cafe model, dadgummit. Rackumfrackum dingbing corporate bureaucratic nonsense.

        • Old MOron

          Ha ha ha:

          “What did he say?”

          “He said, ‘The sheriff is near.'”

          “No, dadgummit rackumfrackum, I said the sheriff is a “

  • Chuck Smith

    Classy way to handle the situation. Looking forward to the full “Kawasaki Approved” test.
    Love me some Kawasaki!!

  • Brian Clasby

    I thought that was the whole point of an “exclusive” first ride, the scoop. It seems like normally the other magazines would have the bike in the next week so I guess the extra crying is because they have to wait longer than normal?

  • Buzz

    Maybe replace it with your engagement photo shoot with Evans until the story can go back up.

  • Craig Hoffman

    How times have changed! I recall when MO 1st came out, when print was King, how it was the red headed stepchild. Now print is dead, Online is King, MO was there first, has paid it’s dues, and is an important player in motorcycle journalism.

    Classy and well handled, respecting Kawasaki’s wishes. Just don’t let this classy thing go to far now – this is MO after all 😛

  • Mark Vizcarra

    So the haters got jealous you were able to review it first. Sounds reasonable

  • Andrew Capone

    It was that forbidden picture with Evans riding pillion, wasn’t it?

  • lennon2017

    I saw the video before it was removed and it looks to me that the bike would be even more fun to ride on the road and magnet for bike fans than the new Ducati V4 Panigale. I’m glad Kawasaki have embraced the angular and somehow without going overboard on discomfort for the sake of the still photo. Shame that superchargers raise all alarms with insurers.

  • Monty Dyer

    Well…I got to see it!Very cool.I’m tryin to get one myself right now.SWEET bike fer sure.Keep up the great work guys!

  • Oh well, and I remember the Honda 450 Scoop that Cycle World did in 1966… we all were amazed at the wonder of it all. A BIG bike from Japan…a serviceman in Japan had one before anyone in the USA and allowed the mag to ride and report on it. Sad story and true story end was the serviceman was killed in Viet Nam shortly after…. So you guys were smart in pulling the story and waiting until the rest of the world catches up. My the 450 Big Bomber rider rest in peace. Look it up it is true…

  • Michael Aron

    Good thing I saved the article!! 🙂

  • spiff

    A new class of motorycle has been invented. Not just a “high speed bagger”, but a “continental ballistic bagger” or “CBB”.