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

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 197 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: High (578 lbs / 262 kg)

Prices

New £21,745
Used £11,000 - £20,000

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.

Ride quality & brakes

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

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

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.

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £300
New price £21,745
Used price £11,000 - £20,000
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

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

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

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)

4 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: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
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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