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KAWASAKI NINJA H2 (2015-on) Review

Published: 02 July 2015

The Ninja H2 redefines superbike acceleration

KAWASAKI NINJA H2  (2015-on)

The Ninja H2 redefines superbike acceleration

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

It looks like it’s doing 200mph at a standstill, it’s visually awesome and sounds incredible. The level of finish and quality on the H2 is some of the highest I’ve ever seen on a production road bike. Some won’t like the aggressive fuelling and power delivery in the first few gears, but then those people shouldn’t be considering a £22,000 supercharged sportsbike. If you want to chase lap times get a ZX-10R, but if you want one of the most exciting road bikes ever built, then step forward, and get in the queue.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

You notice the weight on fast direction changes, and you can’t just bury the front into the apex as hard as you would on a full-blown race bike, and if you roll off the power and head to the apex on a closed throttle it will run wide slightly. If you want to chase the stopwatch on a track, this isn’t the weapon of choice. 

The more you get used to the speed, the more friendly the H2 feels. You soon realise you can lean on the excellent traction control and let the clever electronics work out the available grip, and you start to dial in all that power with far more control. You feel the chassis flex slightly, as the shock is compressed and the electronics do their thing, and it starts to become addictive. Get the bike buried into the turn, clip the apex, stand it up on the exit and hold on tight as the rear breaks traction by a few inches, in third, fourth and even fifth.

It is aggressive, but it’s also predictable and consistent, and the feedback gives you the confidence to keep pushing harder.

Engine 5 out of 5

As the supercharged motor barks into life you already know there’s something different going on beneath the minimalist fairings. Blip the throttle and the supercharger whirs as the induction pressure sucks the landscape towards its nose, along with every curious human within its vicinity. It sounds like nothing else on the road – and feels like nothing else, too.

The aggressive power pushes you to use a higher gear, for example taking the last corner in third instead of second, even using third for the hairpin. It has so much power and torque to pull you from low down, that being at the top of the rev range just isn’t necessary. Even short-shifting between corners delivers incredible drive. It’s like nothing else you can buy, especially in third and fourth gear where you’d expect the brutality to wane a little – but it doesn’t. It’ll eat every other road bike for breakfast in these two gears. Never challenge an H2 rider to a roll-on shoot-out, unless you’re on an H2R. 

The engine is very similar to the 326bhp H2R, with the same bore and stroke, think of the H2 has a watered down version of the H2R rather than the H2R being a tuned version of the H2. The supercharger was made by Kawasaki, it’s not a bolt on extra made by a third party. This means the supercharger works in perfect partnership with the 998cc motor. The impellor speed is 9.2 times the crank speed, this means at 14,000rpm the impellor shaft is spinning at almost 130,000rpm. After passing through the supercharger, air pressure in the aluminium airbox is 2.4 times atmospheric pressure. 

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Build-quality is superb, and while this is a very new release, there have been no reports of any initial issues.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

There's no avoiding the fact that the Ninja H2 is at the very pinnacle of superbike excess, and that comes at a price. Beyond the initial £22,000 purchase price, it will need meticulous servicing, and if you're keen on feeling the full force of the stunning acceleration, you better ringfence a good tyre budget, too. 

On the bright side, the level of finish and quality is exceptional, and it’s already an iconic machine. Its specialness isn’t going to fade.

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

Equipment 5 out of 5

The H2 comes with a plethora of control systems to keep it under control, the highlights are: 

KTRC (Kawasaki TRaction Control)

The new KTRC system’s multi-level modes give riders a greater number of settings to choose from. Mode 1 is for the track, Mode 2 for the street, and Mode 3 for wet conditions. A Rain Mode is also available separately, which limits power by more than 50%.

KLCM (Kawasaki Launch Control Mode)

There’s no need to fear the supercharger for fast getaways, as the H2’s launch control will prevent wheelspin and minimise wheelies off the line. Riders can choose from three modes, each offering a progressively greater level of intrusion. Simply hold the throttle wide open, and let the clutch out. KLCM can be used concurrently with KTRC. 

KEBC (Kawasaki Engine Brake Control)

The KEBC system allows riders to select the amount of engine braking they prefer. By selecting ‘LIGHT’ in the KEBC settings, for example, the engine braking effect is reduced, providing less interference when riding on the circuit. 

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £22,000
Used price £15,100 to £39,000
Warranty term 2 years
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £180
Performance
Max power 210 bhp
Max torque 98.1 ft-lb
Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 9.87 secs
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type Supercharged inline four
Frame type High tensile steel trellis
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 238kg
Front suspension KYB AOS II 43mm fork, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Fully adjustable KYB Uni-Trak mono shock
Front brake 2x 330mm discs, Brembo radial calipers
Rear brake 250mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 R17
Rear tyre size 200/55 R17

History & Versions

Model history

None

Other versions

There's also a track-only Ninja H2R, which gets an unlimited power version of the supercharged inline four motor, developing a claimed 326bhp. It also boasts twin air intakes, a carbon air tube to the supercharger, carbon fairings, aerodynamic wings, a differenct exhaust system, and myraid other detail changes. It costs a whopping £41,000.

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their KAWASAKI NINJA H2 (2015-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 (2015-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

10 July 2015 by Twobike

It stands in a class of it's own. Trying to compare it with Sports bikes or Sports Tourers makes no sense. Accept it for what it is, i.e. a unique piece of engineering excellence.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
The very best Brakes and lots of adjustment on Suspension makes the ride what ever you want it to be. I run tyre pressures lower than recommended around 34 PSI Front and Rear.
Engine
5 out of 5
Nothing compares with the way this bike delivers it's power and I mean nothing. Experienced riders only should consider this bike.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
The over riding feel you get when piloting the H2 is build quality, it's like a two wheeled Bentley.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Value for money on purchase, I feel is good when you consider the Quality of the components used not just those you can see but also the ones you can't e.g. Engine and Gearbox. By far the greatest cost is tyres, I have covered 2500 miles and I am on my 3rd Rear. Fuel consumption if you use the power is about 30 Mpg, can get more if you go steady. But who is going to do that on a Supercharged bike.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Gearbox, quick shifter, brakes and traction control all work hand in hand to make the bike feel very safe and stable. Oh and did I mention Fast, very very Fast.

Photo Gallery

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  • KAWASAKI NINJA H2  (2015-on)
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