Kawasaki will introduce a new sport-touring model featuring its new balanced supercharger technology next month at EICMA.

The as-yet-unnamed model follows the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R in Kawasaki’s supercharged lineup, but the engine will use the balanced supercharger technology the company presented at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The technology uses an electronically-controlled gate to manage the flow of air into the supercharger.

Along with improved low- to mid-range pulling power, Kawasaki claims the technology will offer better fuel economy, which in turn means a longer range, important for a sport-tourer.

What remains to be seen is whether the rest of the engine will be the same as the H2’s powerplant, or if Kawasaki will be applying the forced induction technology to a new engine. Kawasaki will likely continue to use the H2’s 998cc engine but we can’t entirely rule out a different displacement.

As for the new model’s name, some are guessing it will be called the Kawasaki Ninja H2 GT. The Ninja name,Β however, implies a focus on sporty performance, while Kawasaki is emphasizing the sport-tourer’s fuel economy and low- to mid-range performance. A better fit might be some variation on the name Concours, such as a “Kawasaki Concours H2” perhaps.

We’ll know for certain when the supercharged Kawasaki sport-touring model breaks cover next month at EICMA.

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  • Jim

    I’m excited to see this bike. I wonder which of the three sport-tourers in the current line up will be replaced. The Versys 1000 was updated recently, so I think it’s safe. I’m told the Ninja 1000 still sells pretty well, so maybe it, too, is safe. My bet is that this replaces the Concours for 2019, and I suspect we will see the 1400cc engine dropped from the lineup altogether.

    • denchung

      The Ninja 1000 was recently updated so it’s not going anywhere.

      I too have a feeling this will be a Concours. I don’t believe the current model is Euro4 compliant, so a replacement will be necessary for Europe. That being said, Kawasaki did announce colors for a 2018 Concours14 for the US.

  • 12er

    Blown, light 400 cc ST? One can dream I guess.

  • John B.

    Now this is great news. I have a 2012 Concours and am ready for a new bike. The Concours, though still great for sport touring, needs a refresh.

    Let’s start with a windshield with reduced buffeting, ride-by-wire, cruise control, better integrated brakes software, ride modes, 6-way IMU, supercharged motor (why not?), more comfortable seat, quickshifter, and electronic suspension. Yes, I’ll accept a msrp that pushes 20 grand.

    PS – In my neck of the woods, one can purchase a 2017 Concours for $13,765 out the door, which is a great value IMO.

    • Bmwclay

      Then you need a K1600GTB. Close as your local BMW dealer.

      • John B.

        That’s a great motorcycle, but the Concours and K1600 are not interchangeable. The K1600 is significantly heavier, much more expensive (50% or so), and not quite as fast. Also, the Concours is pretty reliable.

        • Bmwclay

          You were mentioning rider modes, ride by wire, comfort seat and quick-shifter. Electronic suspension, integrated brakes and
          and MSRP of 20K. K1600 just popped into my head.

          • John B.

            Other than a solitary demo model, there are no $20,000 new K1600s where I live. The K1600’s at the two BMW dealerships in my area come loaded and have MSRP’s in the upper 20s, which translates to nearly $30k out the door. Great bike though.

        • tt4tibor

          Actually, unless you are drag racing, the BMW eats the Connie alive. No argument about the price, but in this case you DO get what you pay for. Read this… https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/reviews/bmw-k1600gt-vs-kawasaki-concours-14-vs-triumph-trophy-se-vs-yamaha-fjr1300-conquering-divide

          • John B.

            I wrote, “The K1600 is… not quite as fast.” I based that statement on the acceleration times published in a direct comparison between the two (2) motorcycles. The Concours was 3 or 4 tenths faster in the quarter mile. that said, if the K1600 eats the Concours’s lunch, it’s too fast for me. Nitpick much?

            The Concours is $13,765 out the door and for $300 or so you can buy an extended warranty, that extends the warranty period to six (6) years. The BMW (out the door) costs nearly double what the Concours costs. In addition, Kawasaki always scores higher than BMW with respect to reliability, and service is something like 50% less expensive.

            You will note, I also said the K1600 is “a great motorcycle.” Moreover, I would be happy to own one. Then again, I could buy a Concours and a Yamaha FZ-09 with the money it costs to buy the K1600.

            In short, I’m not sure whether or how we disagree.

          • Jon Jones

            Good call. Euro-bike service prices are often obscene.

          • tt4tibor

            They are obscene, until you get service prices for Harleys or European cars πŸ˜‰

          • Jon Jones

            So very true. The local Harley shop charges $100 for an off-the-bike tire change.

          • Kevin Duke

            I’d be interested in hearing your impressions of the K1600GT and your comparisons with the C14. Have you taken a demo ride yet? There’s less than 50 lbs difference, and the BMW motor handily outguns the Kawi until after 7000 rpm, making it feel much more powerful in normal use, i.e. not a high-rpm dragrace.

            For reference, our S-T shootout from a couple of years ago: http://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/2014-sport-touring-shootout-bmw-k1600gt-vs-kawasaki-concours-14-abs-vs-triumph-trophy-se-vs-yamaha-fjr1300es

          • John B.

            I will go to the BMW dealer near me and do a test ride, but you have to take some of the blame if I come home with a new motorcycle!!! I’m impetuous, and once I know better, I cannot countenance lesser.

            I can’t wait to see what Kawasaki does to update the Concours. Plenty of room for improvement in my opinion.

          • Kevin Duke

            Just take a ride for moto education so you know what’s out there. That said, the BMW Six sweet-talks a brain like almost nothing else on two wheels. Pro tip: Don’t rev up the engine prior to beginning clutch engagement. Better/smoother to first feel the clutch bite point and then apply throttle while releasing the clutch lever. Anxious to hear your report!

          • John B.

            Thank you for the expert advice Kevin. I will let you know how it goes.

            It’s difficult for those of us on this side of the MO bargain to get riding experience on a variety of contemporary motorcycles. This is especially true for those of us who became motorcyclists later in life. Nevertheless, this is a great time to be a motorcyclist!

          • tt4tibor

            Testy aren’t we? What you call nitpicking, I call stating ALL the facts, not just one straight-line drag race. In all aspects of fast, the K16 beats the Connie, except off the line. And yes, I did agree with you on cost. I get the feeling you’ve never sat on a K16, much less ridden one. There are so many aspects to what makes a great bike… and a bike that’s worth a premium. That’s why I gave you a link to enlighten you πŸ˜‰

          • John B.

            Three (3) times I’ve said the K1600 is a great motorcycle. I even said I would be happy to own one even at double the price and questionable reliability http://tinyurl.com/ybx25zn4. What have I said that’s factually incorrect?

            I read the article you sent me (I also read it when it was published). In choosing the FJR as the best in class, then Motorcyclist EIC Marc Cook wrote, “Aside from the soft suspension–easily fixed–and the silly 82-mph limit on the cruise control, I can’t find anything of substance to fault about the FJR.” Is Marc obtuse in your opinion, or can reasonable people differ as to what best means? Did you read the article you sent me? The best choice among the bikes tested depended on riding preferences and bankroll. Not surprising.

            I have sat on a K1600 and it’s awesome.

            As I said in the second sentence I wrote above, the Concours needs a refresh. I’m very much interest to see what Kawasaki does to upgrade the Concours. Perhaps, a supercharged engine will make it the fastest sport tourer on the market.

            It’s meaningless to compare the twice as expensive (out the door) and recently updated K1600 to the long-in-the-tooth Concours. Of course, the K1600 is better. Let’s see what Kawasaki does to update the Concours, and then we can make a meaningful comparison among the motorcycles in this class.

            I have to decide whether I want to have one or two bikes in my garage. If I go with one bike the K1600 would be great for me because I like to ride long distances. If I go with two bikes, I will keep my Concours for long hauls, and get a super naked for around town.

            I think we have beaten this dead horse long enough.

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      • Prefiero Figurados

        The Big Money Waste (BMW) is *far* less reliable and more costly to fix than a Concours. Plain as that. A turbo Concours would smoke any other sport touring rig.

    • Brent

      With the way the market has moved… don’t get your hopes on a Concours replacement ….

      I’m just basing this off all the NEW sport touring bikes on the market. Yet, has anyone noticed the K1200/1600 are no longer marketed as sport touring bikes? Check BMWS site…

      The market for sport touring bikes has changed … all the recent new sport touring bikes are all a lot smaller than the concours …

      • John B.

        Interesting. On thing I don’t like about the Concours is its weight (688 pounds).

        If Kawasaki’s new sport tourer is smaller than a concours and bigger than a Ninja 1000 that may be too many sport tourers for one brand. I’ll leave those decisions to the professionals at Kawasaki.

        PS – I would have bought a Ninja 1000 instead of a Concours if the insurance were not exorbitant at the time.

  • kenneth_moore

    I’m praying it looks like the version MCN.com has put up on their site. I’ve had a chubby the size of Nebraska since I saw it.

    • Douglas

      Heehee….that’s funny. Hope it’s not shaped like Neb.

      • kenneth_moore

        To be clear: the “chubby” reference was a simple but colorful metaphor meant to imply that I find the bike shown to be very (VERY) compelling. So compelling that I would consider going to extreme lengths to obtain one , including but not limited to going into debt, selling motorcycles and other assets, becoming a male prostitute…you get the idea.

      • Jordan Andrew

        that would be more like a chode…

  • TronSheridan

    No cruise control, no sale. Almost all bikes a ride by wire, so this is stupid easy to implement. Just make is smooth, fast, relatively comfy. I don’t necessarily need ESA, but all the other electronic gizmos are good (cruise, heated grips, TFT display, power modes).

    Watching with great interest. I’m ready to dump my Multistrada which has been nothing but a headache for the past 7 years.

    • Jon Jones

      Indeed. A cruise control helps prevent speeding tickets at times. It’s so easy to inadvertently go over the speed limit with big bikes.

  • spiff

    Hope they supercharge a Z1000. Get in the Super Naked game.

  • kenneth_moore

    Who gives a damn about all these details? A new SUPERCHARGED Kawasaki sport-touring bike is coming out! It’s like Michelle Keegan asked if she can come over to spend the night, and you’re wondering if Margo Robbie’s boobs might be a just a little bit perkier.

  • Bob DeMuth

    While I respect both the Kawasaki and the Beemer and have ridden both. The best sport touring bike there is the Motus. Yes it is expensive but it is made in the good ole USA. Till you try one your opinion is mute.

  • Richard Sperry

    Ok, so for the last 13 years, I’ve been riding an Aprilia SL1000r (Falco) When I went somewhere, I bolted on a 45l Givi top case and took off. It’s been to Canada Every year, (from Maryland). Ok, so it’s not really a long haul tourer, but it’s been super reliable, and only needed oil, gas, tires, and a chain. (but yeah, it did get a Ohlins rear shock, and race teck gold valves and springs for my weight upfront)

    Last Augaust, I bought a new C14 thinking that as I get up in age, maybe more comfy would be nice. (I turn 61 next week, been riding since I was about 10) What have I learned? Well… It’s a FAT ninja. It’s a very heavy motorcycle empty it’s probably 250 lbs heavier than the Aprilia. (almost 700 lbs vs 450 lbs) You feel it in everything the bike does.

    The Concours came with a set of Bridgestone bt 021’s and the thing was downright scary. They lasted a whopping 600 mile ride before they were gone and replaced with a set of Pirrelli Angel Gt’s. That alone transformed the bike. No, it’s still a fat ninja, but at least I don’t think it’s going to kill me everytime you look at a corner. (it took a lot of bar pressure to get it to turn, and once into the turn, it wanted to fall over.)

    Anyway, I still haven’t found a comfortable riding position dispite bar risers, and seating positions. My arms are always at a weird angle, or the man package is being crushed by the tank…

    I’ve got a test ride scheduled for a BMW R1200Rt this week. But even that is still more than twice what I paid for the C14. (msrp of 24,530…) The K1600 is right out. it’s WAYYYYYY too big.

    If only Aprilia made a new Futura… (but using the honking V4 engine…)

    Anyway, I’ll hold off buying a new bike until I see what Momma Kaw is up to.

    • Kevin Duke

      Curious to know if your Angel STs are 55 series instead of the stock 50-series tire? BTW, the K1600GT is only about 45 lbs heavier than a Connie. http://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/2014-sport-touring-shootout-bmw-k1600gt-vs-kawasaki-concours-14-abs-vs-triumph-trophy-se-vs-yamaha-fjr1300es

      • Richard Sperry

        It’s a 50, probably should have gone to 55.

    • Ed Norton

      Richard, I was very interested in an Aprilia Caponord but the minimal dealer situation and lack of factory support on the aprilia forum kind of scared me off. The lighter weight appealed to me though. I ended up with a 20

      • Richard Sperry

        Well I wnet and looked a R1200Rt, but damn… They are sure proud of them. Sticker was 24,560, and they weren’t moving off that. I got my 2016 C14 for 13,000 out the door. That’s a lot of chedder. This winter I’m installing AK20 front cartridges and a Penske rear shock. I’ll try to add some rear ride height to get it to turn a bit better and see how that works.

        If it’s still a piggy, I’ll actually test a 1200rt, or see what the K2 holds.

        I’ve got a couple of friends that have Triumph Sprints that they like. I’ve also got several friends that have put mega mileage on Honda VFR’s One had a 96 that he put 208,000 miles on, and another with a 1990 well over 100,000. (but I’m not buying an old bike again….)

        • Ed Norton

          Yep, a new BMW RT is a big financial commitment. That is why I bought a used 2012. I just could not see dropping $25K+ on a bike at this point in my life (I am 66).
          When I was seriously looking to buy a bike last year I passed on the Concours due to the weight. I had a Harley Electraglide 30 years ago and still remember how much heavier it was and handled compared to my ’84 BMW RT.
          The H2 SX appeals to me-one last really exciting bike before transitioning to a walker. I want to at least sit on one to see if the ergonomics are tolerable for an hour or two ride.