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KAWASAKI NINJA H2 SX SE+ (2019-on) Review

Published: 10 October 2019

Updated: 10 October 2019

They don't get much flasher than the H2 SX SE+

KAWASAKI NINJA H2 SX SE+ (2019-on)

They don't get much flasher than the H2 SX SE+

Overall Rating 4 out of 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 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.

Engine 5 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

Electronic suspension, heated grips, launch control and all the other not-essential-but-desirable bits and bobs mean you’ll need deep pockets for this bike. With the base-model H2 SX already over £16k and the swankier SX SE going for almost £19k, this range-topping SE+ is an eye-rubbing £21,745 on the road.

That’s a few grand more than a similar-spec Multistrada 1260 S Touring. But nothing else offers such a cocktail of usability, quality, comfort and bewildering speed.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Right then, deep breath. The H2 SX SE+ has three riding modes, lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS, electronic suspension, two-way quickshifter, cruise, launch control, lights that look round corners and upgraded brakes.

It’s not all about performance, as the SE+ also has a larger screen, heated grips, paint that swallows scratches and phone connectivity. Leather and suede seat, too. The only thing missing is self-cancelling indicators. The colour TFT dash is as clear and friendly as ever, and now has phone connectivity. Install the Rideology app in your phone and Bluetooth lets you view trip info, adjust dash settings or pre-select a riding mode.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £21,745
Used price £12,500 to £21,000
Warranty term 2 years
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 197 bhp
Max torque 101 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type Supercharged inline four
Frame type High tensile steel trellis
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 262kg
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

History & Versions

Model history

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

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

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

Other versions

The Touring model comes with a GPS bracket, panniers and an engine slide for an extra £454 while the Performance version costs the same but has Akrapovic silencers and a smoked screen. 

The £23,199 Performance Tourer has all of the above!

Other Kawasaki Ninja H2 models

Owners' Reviews

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