KAWASAKI NINJA H2 SX SE (2019 - on) Review


  • Supercharged hyper tourer
  • All-singing top spec SE version
  • Automatic high beam added for 2023

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 197 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: High (589 lbs / 267 kg)


New £25,649
Used £11,000 - £22,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+ looks pretty pricey on first inspection. Almost twenty two thousand pounds is a serious pile of cash. Given the most desirable element of the SE is still the glorious, warbling, fluttering, supercharged engine, you could go for the base H2 SX and get the same astounding dynamic for £5000 less.

Festooning the blown sports-tourer with all the bells and whistles has created a bike with a unique medley of speed, quality, comfort and practicality. And, actually, if you can put £3k down on PCP then the SX SE is less than £2.50 a day more than a standard SX. In a world of flash motorcycles, they don’t get much flasher.

For 2023 Kawasaki’s larger than life H2 SX drops the ‘+’ from its name. It’s mechanically unchanged and uses the same supercharged 197bhp, 998cc inline four-cylinder engine, but has more electronic goodies than ever.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE left hand sweeping bend

Cornering traction control, ABS and semi-active suspension are all useful rider aids, but you could easily live without its adaptive cruise control and collision warning introduced in 2022 and its latest auto high beam gizmo.

We reckon Kawasaki should’ve fitted an electric screen, slightly taller bars and lower pegs instead. That said the H2 SX SE is still an endlessly impressive hyper tourer that can devour continents without breaking a sweat.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Although physically large and 262kg (almost as much as BMW’s R1250RT), the H2 SX is surprisingly tossable. Steering is accurate and it flicks into corners more easily than anticipated.

Regular suspension on a base H2 SX is supple and nicely-damped, and the new semi-active on the SE feels similar. Constant tweaks based on wheel travel and road speed are subtle, and the ride is far more predictable than, say, Ducati’s Multistrada 1260 S.

Change mode from Road to Sport and the SE tightens up for even more cornering exactness. The rear shock is shared with the ZX-10R SE, but now has touch-button pre-load too.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE right hand sweeping bend

For 2023 that whirlwind of a supercharged motor and all those electronics are still wrapped in a steel tubular trellis frame with a single sided swingarm and a riding position that’s on the surprisingly sporty side of touring.

The H2 SX isn’t the last word in spaciousness and comfort for a taller rider, like similarly shaped Suzuki Hayabusas and Kawasaki ZZ-Rs of the past, but you’ll get to your destination so fast your wrists, knees and neck won’t have time to ache.

Being so long it’s stable at motorway speeds and through high-speed curves, but still keen and playful in the bends. Best of all its semi-active suspension has the range and easy adjustment to glide over gnarly bumps one minute and offer peg-scraping control the next.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE front brake

Automatic rear preload can be quickly set via the dash to support the weight of a pillion and luggage. Brembo Stylema calipers offer supercharged braking power but have a wooden feel at the lever.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The 998cc inline four used in this model is nicer than the original blown H2. Kwak’s first boosted engine was built to make over 300bhp in the H2R then detuned for the road, but the SX engine is a specifically-designed unit.

While 197bhp is still an awful lot, it’s the mid-range that’s most impressive. Teasing the throttle open in the mid-range is like being fired from a giant catapult in a sumptuous armchair. The quickshifter works cleanly, but never feels entirely natural on downshifts.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE supercharger

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

This bike’s ‘plus’ status is fitting. The Kawasaki shows class in everything from switchgear and ignition key to self-healing paint and ride quality, and overwhelms with features and niceties.

You could argue it wouldn’t matter if it came with Bakelite controls and Raleigh Grifter brakes; it’s got a supercharger, and all the flashing lights and switchable widgets in the world can’t touch the sensation and pleasure from this mechanical treat. It’s the still the star attraction. But swaddling the fabulous blown motor in quality elevates the H2 SX SE even higher.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE left side on the road

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Starting at £25,649 for the base model the H2 SX isn’t cheap by any stretch and costs considerably more than a top spec BMW R1250RT or Ducati Multistrada V4.

There’s also a £26,949 Performance version with a road legal Akrapovic end can, £26,349 Tourer with frameless, quick-release clip-in panniers (56 litres total) and at the top of the tree the £27,649 Performance Tourer tested with the exhaust and panniers.

The base H2 SX with lower spec suspension, brakes and fewer goodies starts at £22,649.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE onboard


5 out of 5 (5/5)

Standard equipment includes electronic suspension, rider modes, lean sensitive traction control and ABS, a quickshifter (that occasionally doesn’t work), decent strength heated grips, keyless ignition, hill hold, tyre pressure monitors and a flawless, luxurious finish.

New for 2023 is a three-stage ‘Forward Collision Warning’ system, controlled by a Bosch radar neatly faired into the H2 SX’s new nose. It operates when the Kawasaki senses something closing in a bit too fast. It doesn’t shake the bars or apply the brakes, but instead lights the dash up with red LEDs and an orange warning message. It isn’t that useful if you look where you’re going, but it might save your bacon one day, so why not?

Its other new toy is an ‘Auto High Beam’, activated by a small camera secreted at the base of the screen. At night it can tell the difference between streetlights and the reflection of its high beam on road signs, to on-coming vehicle lights.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE radar assist

The H2 SX’s restyled headlight automatically flicks between high and low beam as traffic appears and disappears, but like the adaptive cruise control isn’t as nuanced as you’d be. The system doesn’t dip when you see headlights from a distance, or from around a corner. They don’t go back to high beam fast enough after a vehicle has passed, either, leaving you a second longer in the dark than you’d like.

2022 saw a number of electronic upgrades, starting with a Bluetooth-enabled 6.5in multi-function colour dash. It’s crisp, clear and looks particularly snazzy when you set it to a black background with its swirling white and green graphics. It displays all the usual info and serves as mission control for the electronic rider aid settings and its new app-based functions.

You can take phone calls, listen to music and display a full map sat nav. The connectively can be hit and miss, though and your phone needs to stay unlocked to use the nav, which quickly drains its battery, unless plugged into the Kawasaki’s on-board 12v socket.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE front radar sensor

It also received an adaptive cruise control system. It uses radar to sniff out the vehicle in front and automatically uses the throttle to keep a set distance away.

You can choose a ‘near’, ‘medium’ or ‘far’ setting, but resets to ‘far’ after you’ve switched off the ignition, which can be a pain if you forget to reset it. Unlike some rival machines’ systems, the radar doesn’t hold you so far back that you leave big, inviting gaps for traffic to move into on a motorway, which shuffles you back. But it’s slow to reactivate when a vehicle moves out of your way, so you need to help your progress along with a dab of throttle. It will also apply the brakes if a vehicle suddenly cuts across your path.

A rear-mounted radar controls orange lights in the mirrors (blind spot detectors) warning you of vehicles coming up from behind and flash if their closing speed is high. You could easily do without them, but they act as an extra layer of post-life saver safety.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE switchgear


Engine size 998cc
Engine type Supercharged inline four
Frame type High tensile steel trellis
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 267kg
Front suspension 43mm, upside-down fork, semi-active damping, manual pre-load
Rear suspension Single rear shock, semi-active damping, electronic pre-load
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear brake 250mm single disc with twin-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £300
New price £25,649
Used price £11,000 - £22,300
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 197 bhp
Max torque 101 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 180 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2015: Kawasaki H2R introduced. This track-only version of the supercharged machine had 310bhp (claimed) and cost a whopping £48,000.

2015: Kawasaki H2 first introduced before being updated in 2019. It costs £26,499 and makes 206bhp (tested).

2018: Base-model H2 SX introduced in 2018 and costs £16k while the SX SE comes in at £19k

2022: Kawasaki H2 SX gets full colour 6.5in TFT dash, adaptive cruise control and blind spot detectors.

2023: Automatic high beam added. Restyled headlamp and nose.

Other versions

Kawasaki H2 SX Tourer, Performance and Performance Tourer.

Other Kawasaki Ninja H2 models

MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE's final sunset

MCN Fleet: Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE's final sunset

It might seem like a fair amount of riding for nine months of movement, but 9612 miles disappear with no effort whatsoever aboard the Ninja H2 SX SE. If I hadn’t been distracted by other two-wheeled temptations, it would have been a shade under 13,000 miles but one of the most interesting findings t

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI NINJA H2 SX (2019 - on)

9 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI NINJA H2 SX (2019 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KAWASAKI NINJA H2 SX (2019 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
5 out of 5 Extended overseas riding on 2019 Kawasaki H2 SX SE
12 September 2021 by Steve Clinton

Version: SE

Year: 2019

The bike is fairly heavy but this disappears when rolling. It is no heavier than my previous Honda VFR 1200. The acceleration is amazing and takes some time to adjust to so care with the throttle is the way forward initially. I find 4th gear incredible in sports mode with grunt and torque to match. The power in this gear is most useable especially on twist’s and hill climbs. Surprisingly the bike is quite flickable through bends if you set up the corner approach correctly. I rode the bike to Portugal and the seat was comfortable enough. I covered close on 700 miles in two days from Santander to Portimão on the Algarve without any problem. The bike is very stable and capable of sustained high speed cruising and using cruise control is a cinch. I found no bad features at all on the bike apart from the horrific size of the end can which is due to Euro 5 regs. I have now replaced the end can with a Performance Engineering equivalent that not only sounds better but allow the engine to breath and gives a 4 kg weight saving. The engineering and finish on the can is superb.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

This is one of the most comfortable bikes I have owned, especially in view of the ballistic speed it is capable of. The bike is best at high speed cruising on long sweepers and motorways. The cruise control is superb and a first one for me. I fitted a Powerbronze race screen which gives better wind protection at high speeds. The seating position is great and comfortable. The clip-ons are positioned high enough to take the majority of weight off your arms and wrists for sustained riding. As referred to above I covered easily 350-400 miles in one day without incidence only stopping for lunch and coffee break occasionally. It is a cracking all-round bike.

Engine 5 out of 5

Absolutely amazing performance. You have to exercise caution on the throttle and it is worth riding in road mode for the first 600 miles (75% power). In full power mode the bike is ballistic and has enough torque to cruise in top gear in the lower speed limits. Roll-on is fantastic with instantaneous acceleration if required. Can’t fault it!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality is excellent. I had to remove side and top fairings to fit a decat pipe and was amazed to see the attention to detail on the bike with respect to wiring routing and fastening. The connection between looms are very waterproof and well engineered. There was no evidence of corrosion. The bike is built to last. It was easy to replace the OEM oil filter with a K&N equivalent. Removal of the down pipes from the cylinder heads presented no problem. Again over 5 kg of weigh reduction was gained by ditching the catalyser box and cleaning out the upstream internals of the exhaust which are made of fine rhodium mesh, thus causing more restriction to the flow of exhaust gases for the cylinder head. It is worth noting that when the bike was first re-started a enormous puff of black smoke was blasted out of the exhaust system. This illustrates how restrictive the OEM exhaust is and how burnt gases are trapped in the system when the engine is shutdown. The bike has now shed 11 kgs of weight, sounds better even with baffles still in the end can, and allows the engine to breath naturally. There has now been a recent recall to exchange the rear hub needle bearing due to a suspected lube problem. Kawasaki expect the work to take 1 hour to complete FOC. The bike has never broken down, even after sustained high speed cruising.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Apart from the 1st 600 mile service which was approx. £160.00 I have not reached the £7000 mile interval. I have changed the lube oil and filter which I normally do every 3000 miles on any of the bikes I have owned. The cost is minuscule compared to the beneficial impact this gives to the engine and gearbox. My golden rule is “ keep your lube oil clean and the bike will look after itself”.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Comfort for a high performance bike. Accessories have to be to ditch the OEM exhaust and cat box. They strangle the bike. I have seen no difference in mileage on a tank full by doing this, so economy is not affected. Also recommend a Powerbronze screen if you are in the region of 6 feet tall to take the weight off your wrists and prevent wind buffeting. OEM tyres are Bridgestone and ok. But I prefer Michelin road series and will change to Road 5 when ready. There are many favourite features like the quick shifter gearbox but the outstanding one is the cornering lights at night. When all the nearside road is illuminated it gives more confidence. They really work! The paintwork and finish on the overall bike are fabulous.

Buying experience: Bought from Dealer K D Motorcycles, Accrington for £17,500 but part exchanged my 2013 Honda VRF 1200. Net payment was £12,000.00 and I got dealer to fit extras which I paid for FOC, like Datatool Red, Datatag, R&D Crash bungs, etc

4 out of 5 A great bike, let down only by slight shortfall in instrumentation and a slightly low riding position for touring .
09 May 2021 by Pops

Version: SE

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £500

A great bike let down only by instrumentation - no TPM system, no illuminated switchgear and a next to useless method of calculating average MOG and range. High speed touring fuel range is poor compared with the super duke GT that I had before. Otherwise great.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Despite not having semi-active suspension the ride and handling excellent.

Engine 5 out of 5

Awesome. Pussycat at and low speeds and revs and incredible once let off the leash.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

This is a thirsty bike at autobahn (or even motorway) speeds.

Equipment 4 out of 5

No TPM system is major omission on my 20202 registered model. Should have illuminated switchgear and proper TFT programmable screen, hopefully fixed on the latest version.

Buying experience: Excellent - £2000 discount and panniers thrown in as part of Kawasaki UK offer

5 out of 5 Kawasaki H2 SXSE
10 October 2020 by Fraser S

Version: SE Sport Touring

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £300

Superb effortless performance from a great super smooth engine. Lots of useful and worthwhile features, cruise control, excellent pannier system, side and centre stand, realistic tank range. Seat could be better padded. Lever for putting side stand down should be 25mm longer. Overall quite Expensive. Yes would certainly recommend this bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Great all rounder and reasonably comfortable for a pillion.

Engine 5 out of 5

Very powerful, torque available everywhere in the range. Very smooth

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Good quality throughout.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Additional equipment - Radiator guard, Daneli horn, rear hugger

Equipment 5 out of 5

Cruise control, excellent pannier system, side and centre stand. Metzler Roadtec SE 01’s work very well with the bike

Buying experience: Dealer bought. Paid just over £20,000 after a discount from the dealer

5 out of 5 The new do it all package
11 September 2020 by Steve Thorp

Version: H2SXSE Performance Tourer

Year: 2019

Superb do everything brilliantly motorcycle

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes and handling are brilliant, solo, with a pillion and fully luggaged up.

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is incredible, real adrenaline inducing and addictive motor

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

It’s Japanese and it’s a Kawasaki, say no more!

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Parts prices are fine but the labour is what costs!

Equipment 5 out of 5

It’s got everything you need on a 200bhp motorcycle and more besides

Buying experience: Brought it new from a dealer, brilliant experience.

4 out of 5 Superb but slight room for improvements.
05 September 2020 by Ninja Lemon

Version: SE

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £120

Power very smooth but the only gripe is juddering at low revs on full power.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very comfortable and good brakes. No issues.

Engine 5 out of 5

Performance is excellent and very smooth power delivery. Only issue is juddering at lower revs.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Owned two, no issues in 2.5 yrs.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Bought at a bargain price £3700 less than RRP. Very good offers to be had.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Quick shifter up and down, cornering lights, colour tft display, heated grips, everything works fantastic.

Buying experience: Dealer £3700 less than RRP.

5 out of 5 Ultimate Hyper Tourer
22 May 2020 by Andy Sharp

Version: SE Plus Performance Tourer

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £300

The absolute pinnacle of a hyper tourer, this machine will trickle around town, handle sweetly on sweeping A and B roads, and then rearrange your internal organs when you open the throttle hard. Although expensive, you get what you pay for... and you only live once!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

This version comes with adaptive electronic suspension that you can feel adjusting to different road conditions and can be tailored to individual preference. From motorways to Dartmoor twisties, it is always composed even when pushing on a bit. The ride position and the decent sized tank allows long periods in the same, a ride up to the NEC from Devon being done with 2 stops for petrol and chips. The brakes on this are top of the range Brembo, which they need to be for a heavy bike that always wants to go faster than you realise.

Engine 5 out of 5

The beating heart of this machine, it is simply phenomenal. Smooth linear power with almost perfect fuelling, except at low revs and speed less than 20mph when slightly snatchy, this engine redefines what can be achieved in a bike and makes everything else feel disappointing. It accelerates so quickly at any speed that very few other bikes will be able to keep up. It’s even reasonably economical, but again you don’t buy this bike for high mpg figures! I tested the same engine in the Z H2 and is also brilliant in that machine, but that’sa different review.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

This is a top of the range Kawasaki and is put together with appropriate high quality parts and attention to detail, from the self healing paint to the Brembo Stylemas; nothing has failed and I don’t expect it will.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

I bought a service plan that averages out over 3 years to about this, but that doesn’t include all the tyres you will need! Then again, you don’t buy a bike like this and expect cheap servicing, but the costs are favourable when compared to other litre bikes... and they don’t have a supercharger!

Equipment 5 out of 5

Think of a toy, this bike has it. However, does it need them all? You could probably do without some, like perhaps the launch control, the ride log or the ability to change all the settings on your phone, but they just add to the overall experience of this ultimate hyper tourer. I’ve used the launch control twice on a quiet public road just to see what it’s like; ridiculously quick and brilliant electronics to keep everything pointing in the right direction. Also, you need to roll off after only a couple of seconds to stay legal, so not that useful on a daily basis! The Bridgestone S21s fitted as standard went off by 3K miles but did work well after they warmed up. Pirelli Angel GTs seem to be the choice of the forums so they are getting fitted next. One thing to change if you can is the standard, unattractive exhaust. However, if you get the Performance upgrade, a beautiful Akrapovic will be fitted for you.

Buying experience: Bought privately from the main dealer in Exeter, the experience could not be faulted. Bridge know what bikers want and need, and deliver extremely well. Their staff are universally knowledgable and friendly, and they cater for all tastes in bikes. An outstanding offer they do is a lifetime warranty on all new bikes purchased from them providing they service your bike; for a complex supercharged machine, this makes a lot of sense.

5 out of 5 H2 SXSE review
17 April 2020 by Steve Thorp

Version: H2 SXSE performance tourer

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £300

The engine is silky smooth, it has awesome performance and brilliant at two up touring. We did 3000 miles in Northern Spain over a three week period, it’s an awesome piece of Japanese engineering.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Superb all round and the brakes are superb too

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is a masterpiece, incredibly quick when you want it to be and will tootle along in towns and cities if needed. Gearbox is sublime and the quick shifter blipper has just got better the more miles you do.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Service times/mileage are now 7600 or yearly.

Equipment 5 out of 5

All the electronics are brilliant, but I’ve got to say, the Launch Control, although totally mad on a road going bike, it’s an absolute blast!

Buying experience: I purchased the bike from OnYerBike in Westcott. I had a two hour demo on one before I decided to have one. Several weeks later my bike was PDI’d, registered and ready for me to pick up. As it was raining that day I rang them to arrange that it was delivered to me. Nothing was too much trouble...

4 out of 5 Why is Kawasaki the only sport tourer manufacturer left
04 April 2020 by Spannerman

Version: SE

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £400

could do with better lights especially High Beam

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

seems well made and has had no problems

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Good Buying Experience from Branson's Yeovil

5 out of 5 The Beast
25 October 2019 by Steve

Version: +

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £190

Best bike I've owned. Had Hayabusas, Blackbird, FJR1300s before but this is better than all of these, for me. Good points:- Staggering acceleration, even with luggage. Looks Engine and exhaust noise, deep rumbling at tick over, intake roar & chirpy supercharger Very smooth Bad:- Insurance costs 2,500 miles out of rear tyre (OE) Bluetooth stopped working - entire instrument panel needs replacing - £1,600

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

I can manage about 1.5 - 2 hours before I need to stop. Very comfortable riding position for someone 5' 8"

Engine 5 out of 5

Smoooooooth and scary Accelerates in a way that you imagine a very powerful electric bike would (but sounds way better) Rain mode takes the edge off when conditions are slippery

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues, other than Bluetooth Great quality

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Not had a full service yet MPG is about 38-40

Equipment 5 out of 5

Everything you need, with a few extras that you don't. Heated grips, cruise control are welcome for me. OE tyres are bad. Swapping to Michelin Road 5s next week. Other owners I've met have done the same. I've just fitted a top-box and you can still fit the panniers (even though Kawasaki don't support this)

Buying experience: Dealer bought on PCP £22,000 for the Performance Tourer version

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