Tokyo Motor Show 2019: 200PS Kawasaki Z H2 first look
We knew it was coming. Kawasaki had been sending out teasers about the Z H2, the naked version of its supercharged litre-class superbike, the Kawasaki H2. And today, the motorcycle has finally been showcased to the world at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. More importantly, the Kawasaki Z H2 is effectively one of the handful sport nakeds in the world to boast a power output of 200PS, a number that was unthinkable even for fully-faired superbikes just a few years ago. In fact, Kawasaki was the first manufacturer to launch a production motorcycle powered by an engine using forced induction a few years ago, when it debuted the hallowed Ninja H2 and H2R superbikes at the Tokyo Motor Show itself.
The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 is the first production litre-class sport naked in the world to use a supercharged engine, borrowed from the Kawasaki
And clearly for Kawasaki, the two faired motorcycles were not insane enough. That's why a supercharged, litre-class, naked streetfighter. And if 200PS at 11,000rpm sounds mental, allow us to also tell you that the Z H2's 998cc, supercharged, inline four cylinder engine puts out a gut-wrenching 137Nm at just 8,500rpm, which again is a number that will put most litre-class superbikes' torque outputs to shame! The Z H2's engine sits in the H2 family's trademark green-coloured trellis frame, which, contrary to popular belief, is a brand new frame and is different from the H2's. Kawasaki has removed some of the braces at the top of the chassis to give it more flex, keeping mind the fact that the bike is primarily intended as a road-going machine. The rake and trail angles are different from the H2 as well for sharper steering and clearly, the Z H2 is not just a Ninja H2 without its fairing.
The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 gets a new frame that is based on the Ninja H2's, but with extensive changes. The rake and trail angle have been changed as well
Kawasaki has also done away with the H2/H2R's single-sided swingarm and has borrowed tech from the ZX-10RR's two-sided unit, which is mounted directly onto the rear of the engine. In terms of styling the headlamp design is not radically different from that of the Kawasaki Z900 or the current Kawasaki Z1000 for that matter, as the headlamp, tank extensions and fuel tank itself have all been styled to look aggressive and give the front end the appearance of a beast sitting hunkered down. Viewed from the front or rear, the Z H2 has a slightly asymmetric design though, as the intake for the supercharger sits on the left side of the motorcycle given the absence of a fairing here. Rest of the design is familiar looking though, including the Z-shaped tail light. The bike tips the scales at a rather heavy 239kg given all the equipment it boasts, and is in fact 1kg heavier than its faired counterpart, the H2 superbike.
The overall silhouette of the 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 is not very different from Kawasaki's current nakeds like the Z900 and Z1000. Note how the supercharger intake sits on the left side, under the trellis, given the absence of a fairing
The biggest highlight of course is the supercharged engine, which has been reworked to offer better low and mid-range grunt for real world duties unlike the track focused H2. And while the exhaust might appear quite large, it looks slightly smaller than the H2's thanks to a new exhaust collection box for the supercharged gases. The Z H2 is suspended on Showa forks at both ends, while braking duties upfront are taken care of by Brembo M4.32 Monobloc calipers while the master cylinder is a Nissin unit.
The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 uses a reworked version of the Ninja H2's 998cc, supercharged, inline four cylinder engine
The Z H2 comes equipped with some serious electronics as well, as you would expect on a 200PS motorcycle. The bike gets four riding modes Sport, Road, Rain and Rider. Power outputs drops from 200PS to about 150PS in Road and further down to 100PS in Rain. The bike gets a Bosch-sourced IMU along with a list of other acronyms KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent Braking System), KLCM (Kawasaki Launch Control), KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control) and KQS (Kawasaki Quick Shifter). The quickshifter functions above 2,500rpm and Kawasaki claims it has been engineered to offer smooth shifts even at part throttle and low revs. Should you care, there's cruise control and a TFT display for the instrument cluster which offers Bluetooth smartphone connectivity too!
The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 is among the only litre-class sport nakeds in the world to breach the 200PS mark
We certainly cannot wait for Kawasaki India to bring the motorcycle here! Coming back to the outputs, the Kawasaki Z H2 is only second to the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 Serie Oro which offers an even more insane 211PS. For that matter, the Ducati Streetfighter V4 that will break cover later today will also join the elite club of 200PS sport nakeds as it is expected to offer 208PS! What a day it is today - two 200PS naked streetfighters breaking cover on the same day!
Also see:- Tokyo Motor Show 2019 | Kawasaki Z H2 walk-around
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