2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX |
200HP Supercharged Sport Tourer

Kawasaki has brought its supercharged performance to the sport-touring market with the 2018 Kawasaki H2 SX (black) and upgraded H2 SX SE (green/black). Both were unveiled Tuesday at EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show.

This brings a third model to Kawasaki’s supercharged motorcycle lineup, which includes the full-track Ninja H2R and the street-going Ninja H2. Prices and availability were not yet released.

2018 Kawasaki H2 SX SE horsepowerFollowing are the essential fast facts.

1. The 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX uses the same 998cc supercharged powerplant found in its superbike brethren, but redesigned for streetability and less heat. Kawasaki didn’t simply place a smaller supercharger on the H2R’s engine. Rather, Kawasaki redesigned the supercharger, combustion chamber, cams, intake and exhaust components.

2. The H2 SX’s powerplant produces 200 horsepower at 11,000 rpm, and 101 ft/lbs of torque @ 9500 rpm. To put this into perspective, the H2R produces over 300 horsepower due to 30 PSI of boost; the H2 and H2 SX are likely around 20 PSI of boost, though these numbers aren’t confirmed.

3. The H2 SX’s engine is 6.6 pounds lighter than the H2/H2Rs, and the overall wet weight of the sport tourer is 564 pounds.

4. The Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX features a trellis frame similar to the Ninja H2, but it is redesigned for panniers and passengers. The new frame has additional rigidity and a longer wheelbase for stability on rougher roads at highway speeds. The rake is 24.7 degrees, which is close to the H2.

2018 Kawasaki H2 SX colors5. The H2 SX has a five-gallon gas tank. Kawasaki says its fuel efficiency is “on par” with the Versys 1000, which gets a claimed 36 mpg.

6. For additional protection from the elements and engine heat, along with streamlined aerodynamics, the SX’s bodywork has been completely redesigned. The SE model receives a large windscreen that further protects the rider from the wind blast, offering even greater touring comfort.

7. The ergonomics were designed for comfort in both touring and sport-riding situations. Kawasaki says the H2 SX is not as far forward-leaning as the Ninja ZX-14R, but not as upright as the Ninja 1000.

8. The panniers were designed to seamlessly integrate into the H2 SX’s design. They are close to centerline which helps keep the motorcycle stable at high speed; Kawasaki says it tested this on Germany’s Autobahn.

2018 Kawasaki H2 SX SE cruise control9. A three-mode KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control) offers a selection of intervention to suit a variety of riding situations, from sport riding to touring.

10. Unlike the Concours 14, the H2 SX has cruise control.

11. The 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX has Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), which uses a Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that provides a real-time view of chassis orientation. KCMF monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner – from entry, through the apex, to corner exit – modulating brake force and engine power to facilitate smooth transition from acceleration to braking and back again, and to assist riders in tracing their intended line through the corner

On the Ninja H2 SX, KCMF oversees the following systems:

  • KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control, including traction and wheel lift control)
  • KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System, including pitching and corner braking control)
  • Kawasaki Engine Brake Control
  • KLCM (Kawasaki Launch Control Mode, only on the SE model)

12. The Ninja H2 SX SE is upgraded with cornering lights built into each side of the fairing to further illuminate the road when cornering at night. Each of the three lights has a fixed direction and is activated based on lean angle. As the bike leans over, the lamps come on in order, creating a wider path of light in the direction the bike is heading, Kawasaki says.

2018 Kawasaki H2 SX SE touring13. The Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE also gets a full-color TFT LCD screen compared to the standard LCD screen on the base H2 SX. The SE model’s screen enables information to be displayed graphically. Two selectable display modes (Touring, Sport) allow riders to prioritize the information they want to see depending on the kind of riding they are doing at the time. Compared to the analogue-style tachometer that is complemented by a full digital LCD screen on the standard model.

14. The SE model has a quickshifter that allows for clutchless upshifts and downshifts. The quickshifter only works above 2500 rpm.

15. The SE is also upgraded with Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLMC). This  electronically controls engine output to prevent wheelspin and minimize wheel lift when launching.

Click to page 2 for full specs and a photo gallery