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RideFast Nov 2019

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N E W K A W A S A K I Z H 2 SUPERCHARGING AHEAD! OK freaks, here’s your naked, supercharged Kawasaki Z H2. Design Concept: SUGOMI & Minimalist The styling of the Z Series flagship Z H2 was shaped according to its SUGOMI & Minimalist design concept. Its dynamic crouching form, which calls to mind a predator poised to attack, and the asymmetric Ram Air intake on its left side are elements of its fiercely intense and highly individualistic SUGOMI design. Its compact chassis is the product of a minimalist design philosophy, with all functional parts shown simply, without flourish, and made as small as possible. Conversely, the prominent display of the new steel trellis frame its aluminium pivot plate only underscores their importance – both functionally and as styling elements. Finally, when discussing the Z H2’s styling, the significance of the Kawasaki River Mark emblem displayed on the headlamp cowl should not be forgotten. Its use, an honour permitted only for machines powered by supercharged engines, confirms the Z H2 as a flagship model. Kawasaki has finally dropped the supercharged super-naked it’s been threatening to unleash for several months now. The Z H2 melds the looks of recent Kwaka nakedbikes with the 197-horsepower lunacy of the blown H2 motor, and it’s not for the timid. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, the new Z H2 will be an absolutely wild machine to ride. We still giggle to ourselves, sometimes in public, thinking of what the original H2 did to time and space when we held the throttle open. The first half of the tacho was butter-smooth and manageable, and the top end was a crazed slingshot rush of lunacy. Well, the Z H2 (terrible name, by the way), has had its motor slightly remapped from the way it appeared in the H2 SX, resulting in a good thick dollop of extra torque below about 7,000rpm, and a slight dip in power at about 8,500rpm before the slingshot action kicks in to take you to the same 197-horsepower peak just before the redline. At this point, you’ll either hit the standard quickshifter for another wild race to the redline, or button off for a breather and enjoy the chittering chirp of the supercharger winding down. As far as looks go, it’s probably about what you’d expect, retaining the Transformer robot looks and gogglelike headlight mask of bikes like the recent Z1000, but beefs up the frame with extra lurid green trellis lines. The H2’s signature mirrored grey paint 30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 31