Kawasaki’s New H2/R: What you need to know.


There are, without a doubt, two clear front-runners this year with regards to new machines and technical innovations brought to the motorcycling community. It’s no secret that the new R1/M from Yamaha (which we will discuss in a later post), and Kawasaki’s new H2/R have made drastic statements about how much power can be squeezed between two wheels.

There is lots of information swirling about the new H2/R. Torque curves, dyno numbers, specifics on the new design, and what kind of crazy person decided that their 998cc Superbike-class ride needed a supercharger? This great article from Cycle World breaks down the essentials you’ll need to know for the next local bike night:

  • The DOT approved, street legal H2 comes in at 210hp/98 ft/lb, while It’s track-only brother on steroids sets new precedents at 326hp and a reported 115 ft/lb of torque.
  • With the H2 tipping the scales at 526 lb, shes a bit heavier than the former 1000cc class Kawi offering, but the R version drops 49 pounds.
  • At an indicated speed of 203mph in testing with more revs to spare, you will run out of road before you run out of speed on this bike.
  • Both bikes feature Kawasaki’s KTRC Traction Control system, featuring 9 levels of intervention, not including “off”. Both versions also offer Kawasaki’s versions of launch control, engine braking control, built-in quick shifter, ABS system, and an Ohlins electronic damper.

With the H2 starting at 25K and it’s track-star big bro breaking the bank at 50k, you can bet your dollar buys you loads of the most cutting-edge technology you can get. And the noise….well, let’s just say it’s music to the ears. Fortunately, Lean Angle got to check out this beast a bit this year at the DC International Motorcycle Show, so we have a few pics of our own to share. 


4 thoughts on “Kawasaki’s New H2/R: What you need to know.

  1. You’ve got to remember kawi is still making their beastly ZX-10R, so its difficult to compare it to the H2 as far as weight and specs go considering that the two bikes are meant to be in different classes. Even though the H2 is currently in a class of its own coming with the supercharger and whatnot…


    • While the H2 isn’t meant to replace the ZX-10R, we wouldn’t quite say it’s in a class by itself. With the street version putting out 200hp, the all new 2015 R1 unleashes roughly the same amount, without the use of forced induction (Yamaha even claims 200 can be seen without any ram-air effect).

      The question we must then ask is: Does having forced induction instantly create a “new class”? Well, this one is more of a matter of opinion. It’s fairly common for racing bodies to separate FI and N/A classes. But in the end, both bikes are 1000cc, supersport-class, road legal machines.

      Thanks for the comment Chris! We appreciate your continued support of Lean Angle.


  2. Thats fair enough, and I would agree about it being a matter of opinion. In my mind I’d group the 10r with the CBR, GSXR and R1 as the traditional “jap 4” liter bikes. I kind of feel like the H2 should be treated differently because of the forced induction. The acceleration from the H2 is far ahead of the other 1000cc race bikes out there. That doesn’t mean it’s a “better” bike, it just means that it gets to its limited 186mph faster than the other big boys do. I only wish they’d spent more time developing the electrical magic required to ride the damn thing. Personally, I’d prefer the advanced adjustability, and even more so, the multiple gyroscopic sensors that come with the new R1 over the forced induction of an H2. We’ve both said it before that anyone can twist a throttle, the turns is where you sink or swim. I get the impression that I’d be able to do more damage on that R1M (and have more fun) in the turns than I ever could on the H2, although I’d happily take either if someone was handing out free bikes. For the price, and the experience, I think I’d rather have the Yamaha.


  3. Pingback: The R is For Respect: The 2015 R1/M | Lean Angle

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