Kawasaki Ninja H2 – A Supercharged Ninja

Yesterday, Kawasaki teased everyone with a cryptic new website which showed very little of a new Kawasaki Ninja H2 motorcycle. Some became giddy with excitement as the H2 moniker harks back to the 750 Mach IV H2, a two-stroke triple which earned the nickname “widowmaker” by enthusiasts in the 1970’s. So is this teased a Kawasaki Ninja H2 a modern two-stroke? No, it’s not. But what it actually is may be just as exciting.

The answer to what the Ninja H2 is can be found both on the teaser website and in what Kawasaki unveiled at 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The new Kawasaki Ninja H2 will feature an inline four-cylinder supercharged engine. This was the press blurb released at the 2013 motor show:

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. also has a long history of developing technologies for turbine engines. The lifeblood of these turbines is their blades, which need to be able to cope with extreme heat and vibration while spinning at high speeds.

Know-how from years of designing turbine engine blades was instilled in the first supercharger developed by a motorcycle manufacturer. And of course, designing a motorcycle-use supercharged engine in-house means that maximum efficiency could be pursued.

Patent filings later discovered showed that the engine features a variable gear for the supercharger, optimizing the boost produced at differing crankshaft speeds – perfect for bikes where you don’t want a surge of power.

So we know the Ninja H2 will be a bike with a supercharged engine. We also know that as it’s a Ninja, it will be a faired sports bike. But what will the capacity of the engine be? Will this be a track weapon or a tourer? That we don’t yet know, but given a supercharged bike won’t be allowed to enter any sanctioned races, it’s unlike this will be a ZX-10R replacement. Thus, it’s likely this will be a long range tourer that not only features great performance but with a supercharger, probably excellent mileage as well.

The official unveil of the new Kawasaki Ninja H2 will happen at INTERMOT, which with the Ducati Scrambler, new Yamaha R1 and other and now this is shaping up to be one of the biggest bike shows in many years.

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