Kawasaki managed to break all the barriers of astonishment when it came up with the mighty Ninja H2, what can be termed as one of the most revolutionary machine on two wheels of all the times. For starters, this is the world’s first production motorcycle (and the only one till date even after two years of its official unveiling) with a supercharged engine. And this one fact is enough to boggle many minds, in a positive manner, of course. But then, as motorcycling enthusiasts, we all know from where it sources its genes from, an even more mind-boggling beast – the Ninja H2R
After two years of its first launch on the global platform, Kawasaki has found the Indian market worthy to make the Ninja H2R its new selling market. Now, as expected, the Ninja H2R is a track-only version of the Ninja H2, which features more weight saving measures, even more ballistic performance and a seriously hefty price tag, thus restricting it only to limited numbers. Here’s our comprehensive review of the all new version of the Ninja H2R.
There is no denying fact that the Kawasaki Ninja H2R has been the most futuristic motorcycle on sale today, thanks to its out-worldly design. The overall styling of the motorcycle has been purely alien, which may not to be of everyone’s taste, but it’s definitely one exemplary example of craftsmanship hard to ignore. Unlike its road-legal version, the Ninja H2, the Ninja H2R sacrifices on many road legal bits like headlamps, tail lamps, rear fender, mirrors, et al, which gives this already devilish looking motorcycle an even more sinister appeal to boast of.
For the second year of its existence, Kawasaki has introduced negligible changes on the new Ninja H2R, though that’s not an issue, considering the fact that the motorcycle continues to outrun even the latest of the motorcycle with its out-of-the-world design language.
The front fairing continues to be the same rakish and huge unit as before, with smooth lines flowing from top to bottom. Like as we mentioned above, the Ninja H2R misses out on the centrally positioned LED headlamp of the Ninja H2, which gets replaced here by a small air vent, just like the two large air vents on both of its sides. The mirrors with turn indicator mounted on them too have been replaced here by wing shaped panels, which help a lot in giving the motorcycle a tremendous aerodynamic appeal.
From the sides, the Ninja H2R shares the hefty looking frontal full fairing, muscular fuel tank and chiseled tail section with its road legal version, the Ninja H2. However, the beefy looking twin exhaust pipes here have been replaced by a louder and more performance enhancing single piece exhaust pipe. Out goes the pillion seat as well, which gets replaced here by a pillion seat cowl, while the rear section of the motorcycle consists only the LED tail lamp, with no proper rear fender mounted below it. The fully digital instrument console has been shared with the Ninja H2, and provides all the necessary information you want from the motorcycle on board, like the usual digital readouts of speedometer, odometer, trip meters, gear indicator, along with a long list of tell tale indicators. It also features an indicator of bank angle sensor, which was previously not there on the erstwhile Ninja H2R.
Kawasaki has made two major additions on the new Ninja H2R, when it comes to equipment. Firstly, the motorcycle’s set of electronic riding aids now adds in KQS up and down quickshifter and Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), which only help in handling this beast in an even more simpler manner than before.
Like the overall design, Kawasaki has chosen not to fiddle with the gem of an engine which the previous Ninja H2R came fitted with. It is the same inline four, liquid cooled, 16-valve, 998cc motor which we have seen on its road-legal version, the Ninja H2R, however, given its track-only appeal, Kawasaki has managed to make it as much powerful as possible, which is why it pumps out a whopping 310 PS – full 100 PS more than the Ninja H2. With the ram air input taken in account, this power output increases even more to 326 PS.
The intake system of this engine is complemented with the Kawasaki supercharger which helps the motorcycle to pump out superb acceleration figures. The compact side cowls and under cowl are designed for allowing the easy air flow which helps in cooling the engine effectively. The engine is paired to a six-speed transmission. Kawasaki claims a top speed of almost 400 kmph for the Ninja H2R, making it the world’s fastest production motorcycle.
This is where another slight talked about improvement has been done on the new Ninja H2R. While the new Ninja H2R employs the same 43mm fully adjustable upside-down forks at front as before, the rear now gets a new Uni-trak Ohlins TTX36 monoshok with piggyback reservoir, which only has made the overall riding dynamics even sharper than before. The dual 330mm discs at front and a single 250mm disc at the rear for the braking purposes are the same as before as well.
As expected, the new version of the Ninja H2R too comes fully loaded with electronic gizmos, the list of which includes Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-lock Braking System (KIBS), electronic steering damper, Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM) and Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), which help in taming this stupendous beast a bit easier on hands.
The Ninja H2, when launched, became the most exclusive and expensive Kawasaki motorcycle to be sold in India. However, as expected, like in other global markets, the Ninja H2R is priced almost double of that of the Ninja H2. The motorcycle has been launched at a price of a staggering Rs. 68 lakh, making it a priced possession for only a lucky few. And when we say lucky few, we really mean it – Kawasaki will be selling very few and limited units of the Ninja H2R in India. Also, unlike the Ninja H2, the Ninja H2R is meant only to be ridden on closed tracks and not legally on roads.
Currently, there is no other motorcycle in the Indian market, which can challenge the credentials of Kawasaki Ninja H2R in a head-on manner. The exclusivity of Ninja H2R of being the only supercharged motorcycle on the planet places it in an entirely different category, to which no other motorcycle belongs to. Though considering the electronic systems which it is equipped with and the power and performance it delivers, the Ducati Panigale R is a worthy competitor to the Ninja H2.
Like the Ninja H2R, this flagship supersport of Ducat, too is meant only for tracks and has mind-boggling performance under its skin. Though, if we compare both these motorcycles, we personally feel that the Ducati Panigale R is a more beautiful motorcycle to look at, with a typical Italian flair to its design. Under the fairing, the Panigale R produces 207 PS of power, which is way lesser than what the Ninja H2R makes, but then, the host of electronic riding aids and the dynamic chassis it has been blessed with, the Panigale R does make a strong case for itself against the mighty Ninja H2R
With the Ninja H2R, Kawasaki did up the ante and vision of how far the limits of engineering can be pushed forward. With the new update, Kawasaki may not have completely re-jigged the package of the Ninja H2R, but what it has been successful with it is the fact that the motorcycle is much ahead of all of its peers when it comes to up-to-date technology and kit on board. While the ballistic design still continues to look as futuristic as before, the mind-boggling performance and dynamics of the motorcycle are now enhanced thanks to the additional features and electronics it now gets, though we would have liked to see a bit more comprehensive changes. Nevertheless, a true engineering marvel, the Ninja H2R continues to hold a special place in the hearts of motoring enthusiasts.