Every decade presents us with an instant classic, there’s no shortage of examples that I could use, here’s a few that pop in to my head.
The Honda CBX1000, Suzuki RG500, Honda RC-30, Yamaha OW01 and many more. Kawasaki have had their fair share of gems, from the Z1 of the early 70s thru to the GPz900R and emerging classics like their ZX-7R.
Kawasaki have flirted with turbos in the past, their Z1R T-C never came to the UK officially but we did get the 750E1 Turbo. That was basically a GPz750 uni trak with a turbo slung on, it’s been a while since Kawasaki really flexed its corporate muscle. Enter this!
The Kawasaki H2, it’s a totally fresh design that’s tripping over itself with coolness. I was lucky enough to ride one, here’s what I learned about the mechanical masterpiece.
Something that creates over 200bhp shouldn’t feel so useable, it is also pretty comfy, not the first things I thought I’d be noticing when Wheels Motorcycles chucked me the keys to their demo last summer. With a car park full of bystanders watching on the H2 barked in to life, no pressure then.
Once out on the roads I couldn’t stop smiling, the way the H2 spins its pistons north and south is unlike any other bike that I’ve ever ridden. The temptation to propel myself to the horizon was tempered by the reality that this £25,000 bike wasn’t mine. I looked for a sensible mode on the clock set but buggered if I could find it.
The supercharged engine is magnificent, not just the way it performs but also the noises that it emits. I’m crap at maths but the impeller on the supercharger spins at ratio that equates to it reaching a mind boggling 130,000 rpm when the engine is pushed to 14,000 rpm. I’m dizzy just trying to picture that! This creates an addictive whistle from the supercharger.
The H2 is one of those bikes where everyone looks at you, from little kids right through to elderly folk. Performance is just part of the H2 parcel. It looks so futuristic, from that reflective paint to the distinctive face of that pointy fairing. Kawasaki have even created their first single sided swing arm, it’s almost ironic that the frame is a steel tube trellis item. Up front those 330mm discs are excellent, matched by the massive radial calipers, they realy do flatter your riding ability. My few hours with the H2 are among the most memorable on any bike, it’s not just an exercise in corporate willy waving, this machine is so much more than that. It’s without doubt an instant classic!