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First Look: Kawasaki's 300 Horsepower Ninja H2R

Chaparral Motorsports
September 30, 2014
H2R left side beauty

Shut up and hold on, is the first thought that came to mind when Kawasaki Motorcycles finally pulled the cover off its new beast, the 2015 Ninja H2R. This morning in Cologne, Germany, after weeks of hype and anticipation, Kawasaki blew the doors off the facility of the INTERMOT show with the unveiling of its new two-wheeled missile, the 300-horsepower Kawasaki Ninja H2R. The super-bike of all superbikes, the 998cc, supercharged, H2R has blazed a path to the top of the podium as the most powerful production bike ever-it should be noted however, that the Ninja H2R is a limited mass-production, closed-course only bike. Word is, Kawasaki will be releasing a DOT, road legal version, the Ninja H2, in November at the EICMA show. So, odds are that even the detuned version will still beat out the 199-horsewpower output of the 2014 BMW S1000RR, which is an astonishing concept to think about. Another interesting thing to think about is that the 998cc H2R makes more than 110 more horsepower than Kawasaki's big dog, the 1400cc Ninja ZX-14R.

H2R engine cutawayKawasaki tapped various divisions within its organization to help with different aspects of the bike, with its aerospace division spending considerable amount of time in the wind tunnel, resulting in what they call Intense Force Induction design. The concept equates to wings and points extending off the front of the bike to help improve handling, balance, and stability when taking full advantage of the high speeds produced by the centrifugal supercharger. According to Kawasaki "the design also maximizes cooling performance and heat dissipation, helping to achieve the engine's circa 300hp output. In addition, the Ram Air duct that is incorporated is positioned to bring fresh air directly to the supercharger." Kawasaki's Heavy Industries' (KHI) Gas Turbine division developed the centrifugal supercharger, which, while specifications are still sparse, some say has multi-speed gearing connected to the supercharger to allow for the supercharger to deliver a smoother and more manageable power output throughout the RPM range.

H2R rer exposedThe Ninja H2R is full of new concepts for Kawasaki, such as outfitting the machine with a steel tube trellis frame as opposed to the more common twin-spar frame. The new frame design allows for a tighter/narrower profile around the drivetrain, helps with overall cooling with less material to block the wind, and aids in harnessing flex and torsion from the supercharged engine. Also from the pictures shown, it appears the rear section is supported on its own, as there is no subframe to help support the tail. Along with the steel tube trellis design, Kawasaki incorporated carbon fiber throughout, with a carbon fiber fairing and seating area/tails section. Another first for Kawi is the single-sided swingarm which is mounted to the bike at the rear of the crankcase.

H2R left side exposedOutfitted with 17-inch racing slicks and devoid of any mirrors, turn signals, or any other bits that might even hint that this is a street-legal machine-even the headlights have been omitted and in their place are vents - the left side has a carbon fiber Ram Air Duct that's routed directly to the supercharger to help feed it fresh air and provide cooling. Track rats will be fawning over this bike left and right just itching to knock down lap times, that is if they can hang on.

So while there's still a lot of information to be released about the new Ninja H2R, we can only assume that Kawasaki will continue to build upon the anticipation and hype leading up to the introduction of the version that will be more attainable and practical for a wider audience, the street-legal, H2. It's still a little more than a month away. WE CANT WAIT!!!

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