Jings! It’s got wings.Aye, it does. Like a child setting fire to the greenhouse or a dog reducing all your shoes to leathery shreds, Kawasaki has created a carbon-fibre encrusted, tech-laden scream for attention. Perhaps it’s from watching its rivals Honda and Yamaha getting primetime MotoGP love – a race series that Kwak pulled out of in order to concentrate on its successful World Superbike and MXGP motocross campaigns. Anyway, it’s more than got our attention now.
Why does it have wings? You weren’t listening to a word of that, were you? Honestly, we try and send you out into the world properly informed and you’re just just dribbling on the pictures… It’s got wings, like an F1 car, for stability. Look at the big words up there, where it says “most powerful”. A 998cc four-cylinder engine is a solid base for a sportsbike, but Kawasaki has gone and done something oft-talked about in the bike business – they’ve supercharged it. The H2R makes nearly 300bhp, which stomps all over the previous “most powerful” badge-holder, BMW’s S1000RR.
How fast does it go? What a terribly inelegant question. And quite unanswerable too. With 300bhp in something that weighs a few hundred kilograms, ask not how fast it goes but how long you might be able to stay on it. Kawasaki has been quiet about the electronics package for the H2R, but it’ll certainly have some level of traction control and probably active suspension. Top speed is kind of a moot point in bikes, though, because of their inherently poor aerodynamics – it’ll likely do over 200mph, but not dramatically more.
Whatever. I am going to look like a king cruising this thing up and down the High Street. Not a king: you’re going to look like a crim. It’s not road legal. No lights or number plate, see? The H2R is a track-day special, and one that’ll probably cost around £50,000. Good news, though, a road-legal H2 will follow, says Kawasaki. It’ll still have the supercharger, with somewhat less than 300bhp to shout about, but it might be priced somewhere nearer our end of the market.