Who could forget MO‘s exclusive first test of the Kawasaki H2 SX SE way back yonder in 2018? Some of us would like to forget the first couple minutes of the video, but we maybe got carried away, and were forced to wax poetic by what a fantastic sport-touring conveyance that bike was. Is. The supercharger (just as we re-learned with the Z H2 in last week’s big nakeds comparison) imbued that bike with midrange torque far beyond what you’d expect from its 999 cc displacement – 89 lb-ft at the wheel – as well as truly nostril-flaring horsepower – 172 at just 10,300 rpm. Superb suspenders, electronic aids, long-days comfort, and outstanding Rivermark fit/finish put us over the top. It all made very short work of picking MO‘s Best Sport-Tourer of 2018.
We’ve known for some time that Kawasaki is working on a hybrid motorcycle, but a recently published patent suggests it may be combined another Kawasaki technology, a supercharger. More specifically, the patent describes an electrically-powered supercharger, with a motor capable of driving both the motorcycle and the supercharger’s impeller.
Perhaps it’s time to change the category’s name since both bikes mentioned here surely classify as hyper-nakeds. With both of these bikes, you get big, burly engines mounted to aggressively styled chassis. For riders who believe that too much of everything is just enough, 2020 is the year for you in naked motorcycles. To our eyes, the Kawasaki Z H2 embodies the best of this category and achieves it through a unique powerplant, making it worthy of the Best Naked Motorcycle MOBO. When we have one in the MO Garage Complex, the boys are always fighting over it. Here’s why:
Kawasaki is acquiring a stake in Bimota, breathing new life into the Italian brand best known for its hub-steering motorcycle designs. Once the deal is completed and passes regulatory approval, Kawasaki Motors Europe, through its subsidiary Italian Motorcycle Investment, will purchase a 49.9% share in Bimota, with the controlling 50.1% being retained by its current owners (formerly Bimota S.A. but officially renamed B and Motion S.A.).
After a series of teaser videos, Kawasaki has delivered its new supercharged 2020 Z H2, calling it the arrival of a new generation of Z models. Priced at $17,000, the 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 is the least expensive of all the supercharged H2 models, by a significant margin, though it is also a hefty premium over the rest of the naturally aspirated Z models.
We already performed a complete road test with amazing video on Kawasaki’s amazing new H2 SX SE a while ago. But why let that stop us from revisiting the highest-ranked bike I ever raved about, with a 97.5% approval rating, and with the first engine I ever gave a perfect 20?
It’s funny how time’s arrow flies. Seems like only yesterday we were in a chill and rainy Milano for the big international motorcycle exposition, drooling over the showstopping new Ninja H2 SX SE with Sean Alexander and Brent J., knocking out non-award-winning videos and wondering what Kawasaki could possibly be thinking to produce such an outrageous motorcycle? Shirley it will be way expensive and unobtainable like the other H2s?
When Kawasaki introduced the Ninja H2 and H2R, it raised the bar for high performance motorcycle exotica with its supercharged 998cc engine. As impressed as we were by the H2, one superlative we would not use to describe it was “practical.” Kawasaki hopes to change that with the 2018 Ninja H2 SX, a supercharged sport-tourer that sacrifices some of the H2’s high performance aspirations for better everyday usability.
With Kawasaki about to reveal a third supercharged motorcycle, another Japanese manufacturer is working on its own forced induction bike. A couple of patent applications recently published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reveal Honda is working on a motorcycle with a supercharged V-Twin engine with direct injection.
A few days ago, some images began floating around reportedly depicting a supercharged 600cc Kawasaki expected to be called the “Ninja R2.” But just like we did last week with a design patent for a 125cc Honda Monkey prototype, we’re going to explain why these reports probably aren’t true.
Crouched down behind a wing-festooned carbon-fiber fairing about one-third of a mile down an Oregon airstrip, I shifted into fourth gear at wide-open throttle and was both thrilled and alarmed when the front wheel departed the tarmac. I stole a furtive glance at the speedometer and saw three mind-blowing digits unexpected while wheelying: 170.