From Feral to Fine-Tuned

The Most Powerful Motorcycle Kawasaki Ever Built Makes Its Return


Cars : Motorcycles By Photo by Kawasaki
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Today at the 2017 New York International Motorcycle show, Kawasaki had on display, the return of the 210-horsepower, supercharged Kawasaki H2. But there’s a twist. Kawasaki took the beast of a motorcycle, fine-tuned it, added a seat and made it easier to live with day-to-day.

The H2 SX and H2 SX SE retain the same 998cc supercharged engine but get a reinforced trellis frame to support a passenger and more comfortable ergonomics: the foot pegs have moved forward and the handlebars are raised. The engine, the intake and the supercharger have all been re-tuned and reworked so that the bike doesn’t try to kill you every time you look at the throttle.

When I first rode the H2 back in November 2015, the one thing that stood out was how instant the power was — the term “breakneck speed” comes to mind. For it to be relatively manageable on public roads I ran it a gear higher than what I would have initially chosen just to rein in all that torque. Kawasaki claims to have smoothed out the power band, down low in the rev range (because clearly, they want your passenger to actually stay on the bike), they also gave the new generation H2 a host of electronic enhancements as well.

Those enhancements (plus some others) include ride modes, multi-level traction control, intelligent ABS, adjustable suspension, adjustable engine braking, a quick-shifter and optional hard saddlebags for the SE model. The old H2 started at $26,000; even with all the refinement the SX and SE are tagged at $19,000 and $22,000, respectively. It’s still a hefty number, but you are getting a whole lotta bike.

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