New Kawasaki H2 puts fans in a spin

  • AFP
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2014 11:07 IST

The excitement around the official launch of Kawasaki's latest sportsbike, the first to come with a purpose-built supercharger, is also tinged with a sense of relief -- after all the anticipation building up via the numerous teaser videos.

Indeed the company has been uploading cryptic clip after cryptic clip (nine and counting) over recent months. However, now that the wraps are off the closed course ‘R' version at least, we can finally appreciate what all of the fuss was about.

This is a bike that uses a supercharger, a four cylinder engine and carbon fiber wings in order to offer riders 300PS of power that they can actually use.

By developing a blower capable of spinning and forcing air into a high-revving bike engine without spinning off the bike altogether or bursting into flames, Kawasaki has been able to go with a compact, inline four cylinder 998cc engine, yet find more horsepower than that offered by a VW Golf GTI.

And by keeping the block small, the bike itself can stay small too and therefore be easier to handle and maneuver at the limits of grip. Kawasaki hasn't provided all of the technical specs -- they won't be published until the road legal version of the bike is unveiled in November -- but has confirmed that the H2 is shorter than Ninjas of old.

However, shortening the frame can lead to stability problems when powering in a straight line and Kawasaki has addressed those by giving the bike carbon fiber wings. These work aerodynamic magic and the lightweight material is also used copiously throughout the bike's construction to improve heat dissipation and cooling as well as cut weight, increase strength and help the bike slice through the air at speed.

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