Kawasaki Ninja H2R


Make Model

Kawasaki H2R Ninja / ZX 1000




Four Stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 16 valve, Supercharger Centrifugal, scroll-type


998 cc / 60.9 cub in

Bore x Stroke

76 x 55 mm

Cooling System

Liquid cooled

Compression Ratio



Forced lubrication, wet sump with oil cooler




50 mm x 4 with dual injection,





Max Power

310 hp / 226.3 kW @ 14000 rpm

Max Torque

165.0 Nm / 121.7 lb-ft @ 12500 rpm



Final Drive



Trellis, high-tensile steel, with swingarm mounting plate

Front Suspension

43mm inverted fork with rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability and top-out springs

Front Wheel Travel

119 mm / 4.7 in

Rear Suspension

Uni-Trak® with gas-charged shock, piggyback reservoir, dual-range (high/low-speed) compression damping, rebound damping and preload adjustability, and top-out spring

Rear Wheel Travel

135 mm / 5.3 in

Front Brakes

Dual 330 mm discs, radial-mount, opposed 4-piston calipers, dual semi-floating

Rear Brakes

Single 250mm disc, opposed 2-piston calipers,

Front Tyre

120/600 R17

Rear Tyre





101.6 mm / 4.0 in


Length 2083 mm / 82.0 in
Width 770 mm / 30.3 in
Height 1125 mm / 44.3 in


1,450 mm / 57.1 in

Ground Clearance

130 mm / 5.1 in

Seat Height

826 mm / 32.5 in

Wet Weight

216 kg / 476.2 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

17 Litres / 4.5 US gal


It’s been a long time coming, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that Kawasaki’s new Ninja H2R has been worth the wait.

The sharp eyed will already have spotted the lack of headlamps, a numberplate hanger, indicators and mirrors (not to mention the fitment of slick Bridgestone V01 rubber), but don’t despair, the H2R is the track-only version of this incredible new Ninja – there’s a road bike in the wings, too. Called the Ninja H2, it will be unveiled at the Milan show in four week’s time.

The H2R you see here is the very pinnacle of what Kawasaki can do. The development concept was ‘to offer the kind of acceleration no rider had experienced before’, and with 296bhp available at your right wrist, it’ll certainly deliver that for the first time from a production bike.

While Kawasaki hasn’t given any indication of the bike’s acceleration capability or top speed, we believe this track-only unrestricted version of their new flagship could easily force its way through the air at well over 200mph.

At the heart of this all-new bike is a supercharged 998cc inline-four capable of developing 50% more power than its next nearest superbike competitor, BMW’s new 199bhp S1000RR (see over).

This intense power output could easily upset the dynamic performance of a normal superbike, so Kawasaki have drawn on all their different divisions to ensure that the chassis and aerodynamics are capable of coping with the power output, and resultant high speeds.

Using the Ninja name was an obvious choice, it’s a Kawasaki sportsbike after all, but the decision to use the H2 name shows how much reverence the firm has for its epoch-making 2-stroke Mach IV 750 triple, which was known as the H2.

In its day it delivered acceleration like no other, and with that being the goal for the H2R, it became an obvious choice. It also led to most of the world’s media claiming the new supercharged Ninja had to be a 750, also citing the other H2 – the ZXR750 H2 – but MCN has always maintained the new bike would be a litre class machine.

As well as carrying the Ninja moniker, Kawasaki have also graced the new H2R with their ‘River Mark’, a rarely used piece of branding which dates back to the 1870s, and reserved by the company for products they consider to be of particular historical significance.

 Bespoke supercharger
The supercharger has been developed completely in-house with assistance from other the Gas Turbine & Machinery Company, Aerospace Company, and the Corporate Technology Division, all parts of Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI).

While the supercharger itself is entirely conventional, optimising it for use on a motorcycle meant that in-house development was essential to achieve the maximum power and acceleration characteristics the engineers wanted to offer.

That trellis frame
While everyone knew the new H2R was going to be supercharged, the trellis frame was far more of a surprise.

Developed using the latest analysis modelling technology, it has been designed to balance the huge power output of the motor, with enough flex to ensure the stability, mechanical grip and feedback needed for high-speed riding.

The primary objective was stability at ultra-high speeds, which usually means a long wheelbase, but Kawasaki didn’t want to sacrifice corning performance, so it had to be compact. The firm then looked to the aerodynamics to boost the H2R’s high-speed stability.

Slippery operator
As speed increases, wind resistance increases exponentially, so Kawasaki needed to make the H2R as slippery as possible, meaning that aerodynamics would play a crucial role in the bike’s top speed and stability.

With all but 300bhp on tap there’s clearly no deficit in the engine output, so the design team enlisted its Aerospace Company to help develop the dramatic sculpted bodywork to let it cut through the air.

The fairing design also maximises cooling performance and heat dissipation, helping the 998cc supercharged engine to operate in its ideal temperature range, while the Ram Air duct is ideally positioned to direct airflow to the supercharger.

Intense-Force Design & Craftsmanship
Kawasaki say that the styling concept for the Ninja H2R was defined by a three-word label: ‘Intense Force Design.’

This is the firm’s halo product, and every element is Kawasaki at its very best, from the engine and aerodynamic development, through to the mirror-finish black chrome paint specially developed for this model

Kawasaki confidently states that it’s the best bike they have ever built. So how much will all this cost you? Kawasaki won’t say yet, but expect this track-only model to be up there with Ducati’s Superleggera, while the road-going H2 is more likely to be around £20,000.

The carbon bodywork was designed with the assistance of the firm’s aerospace division to ensure optimum aerodynamic stability. The black chrome paint was developed specifically for the H2R to help reduce drag.

Designed completely in-house at KHI, this is no parts-bin bolt-on. Conventional litre-class sportsbikes can currently develop up to around 215bhp reliably, the H2R will be topping out at almost 300bhp – while the H2 road version is expected to be around 80bhp less.

A trellis frame? On a Japanese superbike? It was certainly a surprise, but it’s the best packaging solution for the engine and chassis components, the ducting needed to the supercharger, and providing the blend of strength and flexibility needed.

Kawasaki have given no indication of the electronics package fitted to the H2R, but there is a clearly visible quickshifter fitted to the selector arm, and its size suggests this will be for both upshifts and downshifts.

There is also a KISS sticker on the front fender, suggesting the firm’s in-house traction control system is present, and the steering damper clearly has electronic control. There’s no visual hint of the suspension being semi-active or electronic.


Engine Supercharged, in-line Four, liquid-cooled
Displacement 998cc
Supercharger Centrifugal, scroll-type
Maximum Power approx 300hp
Frame Trellis, high-tensile steel
Tires F: 120/600 R17 (racing slick)
R: 190/650 R17 (racing slick)