Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX – a supercharged tourer, what’s not to like?
Story: Mat Durrans
When Kawasaki initially debuted the H2, we immediately fell in love – not just with the bike itself, but also with the drive, creativity and engineering ambition of the manufacturer. We weren’t the only admirers either, because the H2 easily won the Pirelli South African Bike of the Year competition in 2015.
Now Kawasaki has gone a stage further and introduced the second generation of this supercharged engine into a sport-tourer. You’ll all be familiar with Kawasaki’s Z1000SX, and this H2 SX follows pretty much the same formula.
This second generation of the engine has been redesigned somewhat in an attempt to keep heat down. The supercharger itself has been modified, and there are changes to the combustion chambers, cams and intake and exhaust components. Claimed power is still the same, at 201hp, the same as the original H2.
The SX’s frame is still the H2’s steel trellis arrangement, but there’s now an increase in wheelbase for extra stability (not something we ever noticed was a problem on the H2) and strengthening of the subframe so the extra weight of a pillion and luggage can be accommodated.
Ergonomically the H2 SX lies somewhere between the very upright riding position of the naked Z1000 and the ZZR1400, and extra bodywork and a substantial screen provide, we are led to believe, excellent wind protection.
Along with the extra mechanical stability comes a bagful of electronics, including adjustable traction control, wheelie control, ABS, engine-braking control and a launch control system – standard only on the SE model. Cruise control will also be standard.
The SE version of the H2 will also feature cornering lights that are activated according to the degree of lean angle. This is designed to give better corner illumination at night, and so the further you lean, the more lights are activated along the side of the fairing.
Other extra goodies for the SE version include a full colour TFT LCD screen, compared to the standard LCD screen on the base model. There’s also an auto-blipper gear change for clutches shifts both up and down the gearbox.
We are not yet sure when this model will be landing in South Africa nor the price. See below for the Kawasaki promo video and a full image gallery