First Look Review: 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R

After much teasing by Kawasaki, the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R has been released. As expected the new H2R has a supercharged motor designed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ Gas Turbine division.

Utilizing all of the resources of KHI, the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R features carbon-fiber bodywork from the Aerospace division, custom components from the Machinery division and the result is a striking motorcycle. The claimed horsepower of the 998cc H2R is “in the region of 300 horsepower.”

The catch is that the H2R is a closed-course motorcycle, complete with racing slicks, and is not designed for public road use.

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More goodies include a trellis frame, wind-tunnel tested highly aerodynamic bodywork (called “Intense Force Design”), and the retro Kawasaki River Mark logo.

According to Kawasaki, regarding the trellis frame, “Ordinarily, high-speed stability can be achieved with a long wheelbase. However, the engineers wanted a shorter wheelbase to achieve the compact packaging and sharp handling that were also desired. Furthermore, the frame needed to be stiff, yet had to absorb external forces encountered while riding in the ultra-high speed range. Such conditions could easily unsettle the chassis, so a new trellis frame was developed using the latest analysis technology. It provided both the strength to harness the incredible power of the supercharged engine, and balanced flex to help stability for high-speed competition riding.”

Speaking of the Intense Force Design, Kawasaki says, “It has a functional beauty, with each piece of bodywork aerodynamically sculpted to help ultra-high speed stability. The cowling design also maximizes cooling performance and heat dissipation, helping to achieve the engine‚Äôs circa 300hp output. And the Ram Air duct is positioned to bring fresh air directly to the supercharger.”

Why build such an incredible machine such as the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R and not make it street legal? “More than any motorcycle Kawasaki has built to date, the Ninja H2R is a showcase of craftsmanship, build quality and superb fit and finish, right down to its high-tech mirror-finish black chrome paint that was specially developed for this model,” according to Kawasaki.