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Rickey Gadson sets Kawasaki H2 speed record

Published: 26 April 2017

11-time AMA motorcycle drag racing champion Rickey Gadson has set a new speed record on his modified Kawasaki H2, reaching a top speed of 229.1mph.

Rickey set the record on a H2 he has been modifying since 2016 for a customer who asked for the 'baddest H2 in the country'. Rickey put the customer's H2 through 100 runs on the dyno to find the perfect set up, increasing the power output from 187bhp (Kawasaki claim 210bhp) to a whopping 323bhp. An increase of 136bhp.

To achieve such an increase Rickey added a RG62 Performance Plus Supercharger kit, ported the cylinder heads, added custom camshafts and a Woolich Racing gearbox.

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Happy with the power increase, Rickey took the bike to the Texas Mile event with a target of 220mph. Rickey broke the 220mph on the first day, setting a top speed of 224mph despite the rear wheel spinning up through the first three gears and a heavy cross wind. A heavy head wind on the second day meant he was only able to reach a top speed of 222mph.

Rickey's first run on the third day resulted in a top speed of 225.3mph, despite the rear tyre still struggling to cope with all the power. Refitting the aerodynamic wings onto the front fairing pushed the top speed to an astonishing 229.1mph. It took just half a mile for Rickey and the H2 to reach 205mph.

In June 2016 reigning World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu reached a top speed of 249mph across the Osman Gazi Bridge in Turkey on his Kawasaki H2R, which Kawasaki claim produces 310bhp. When we tested a standard H2R we measured 249bhp.

Our own Senior Road Tester Adam Child reached a top speed of 205.7mph on a standard H2R in 2015.

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