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Granville
274 Parramatta Road, Granville NSW 2142

Built Beyond Belief

The launching point for the development of the Ninja H2 was a strong desire to offer riders something they had never before experienced. Convinced that a truly extraordinary riding experience would not be found on a motorcycle that merely built on the performance of existing models, the design team committed to developing the “ultimate” motorcycle from a clean slate. The bike needed to deliver intense acceleration and an ultra-high top speed, coupled with supersport-level circuit performance. To realise this goal, help was enlisted from other companies in the Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) Group, precipitating an unprecedented level of inter-company collaboration. Updated for 2016 with new Assist & Slipper clutch, ECU settings and new Mirror Coated Spark Black finish.

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The Ninja H2

Development pursued two paths. The first was a closed-course model (Ninja H2R) that allowed an unadulterated pursuit of performance free of the limitations that street riding would impose. This was followed by a street model (Ninja H2), based closely on the closed-course model, that would meet all market regulations. The results were incredible, with both models offering a sensory experience surpassing anything that riders can find today.

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The Acceleration

In order to be able to offer intense acceleration and a top speed in a range that most riders have never experienced, it was essential that the engine be able to produce big power. While a large-displacement engine could easily provide a high engine output, to ensure a lightweight, compact overall package a compact engine was also desired. Using a supercharged engine enabled both of these engine design requirements to be met: the Ninja H2 has a maximum output of 200 PS and its engine size is on par with other supersport litre-class power units. Aside from minor differences in the engine unit, and intake and exhaust systems tailored for street use to ensure it meets noise and emissions standards, the supercharged engine is essentially the same as the over 300 PS engine of the closed-course Ninja H2R, delivering an intense acceleration unlike anything you can experience on a naturally aspirated bike. Designed in-house, the immense potential of the highly compact, highly efficient engine is a testament to the technology possessed by the KHI Group.

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The Chassis

A shorter wheelbase was selected to achieve the compact overall package and sharp handling that were desired for the H2. A new trellis frame provides the strength to harness the incredible power of the supercharged engine, and the balanced flex to achieve the stability and pliability for high-speed riding. The frame offers an elegant, lightweight solution to meeting the performance requirements for the chassis of the closed-course model. Able to harness the massive power of its more than 300 PS* engine, it has a balance of stiffness and flexibility that enables a very high level of stability while being able to handle external disturbances at high speeds. Its open design also helps effectively dissipate heat generated by the supercharged engine. Output on the Ninja H2R exceeds 300 PS; output for the Ninja H2 is 200 PS. Pipe diameter, thickness and bend of each piece of the trellis frame were carefully selected to obtain the necessary stiffness for that part of the frame. The trellis pieces are made primarily from high-tensile steel

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Styling and Craftsmanship

Wanting to ensure a bold design worthy of a model that carried both the “Ninja” and “H2” names, the prime styling concept chosen for the Ninja H2 was “Intense Force Design.” As a flagship for the Kawasaki brand, it required presence, and a styling that reflected its incredible performance.But the design is much more than cosmetic. While its edged styling certainly looks the part, the Ninja H2 also possesses a functional beauty: each piece of its bodywork was aerodynamically sculpted to enhance stability at high speeds; the cowling design also maximises cooling performance and heat dissipation, aiding in achieving the engine’s incredible output; and the Ram Air duct is ideally positioned to bring fresh air to the supercharger. More than any motorcycle Kawasaki has built to date, the Ninja H2 is a showcase of craftsmanship, build quality and superb fit and finish—right down to the brilliant silver-mirror paint specially developed for this model.

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The supercharger used in the Ninja H2 was designed by Kawasaki motorcycle engine designers with assistance from other companies within the KHI Group, namely the Gas Turbine & Machinery Company, Aerospace Company, and Corporate Technology Division. Designing the supercharger in-house allowed it to be developed to perfectly match the engine characteristics of the Ninja H2. The highly efficient, motorcycle-specific supercharger was the key to achieving the maximum power and the intense acceleration that engineers wanted to offer.

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Despite it’s familiar In-Line Four configuration, the Ninja H2 power unit is loaded with technology developed specifically for this supercharged engine: some new, others with know-how from the Kawasaki Group. Every component of the engine was chosen to achieve a certain function. In order to accommodate the higher air pressure from the supercharger as well as ensure a high reliability with the over 300 PS output of the closed-course Ninja H2R, the whole engine was designed to be able to handle stresses 1.5x to 2x greater than on a naturally aspirated litre-class engine. In fact, aside from its camshafts, head gaskets and clutch, the engine unit is exactly the same as the unit designed for the Ninja H2R.

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To facilitate smooth, quick shifting, a dog-ring type transmission was selected. This is the kind of transmission commonly found in MotoGP or Formula 1, and was developed with feedback from the Kawasaki Racing Team. Unlike a standard motorcycle transmission in which shift forks slide the gears into position, with a dog-ring transmission the gears all stay in place. Only the dog rings move, sliding into position to engage the desired gear. Because the dog rings are much lighter than transmission gears, this type of transmission offers a much lighter shift effort. Shift touch is also improved, and a much shorter shift time is possible—which facilitates quick acceleration.

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In the interest of keeping the engine compact and simple, a single lubrication system provides cooling oil for the engine components, supercharger and transmission. Oil jets lubricate the supercharger chain at the contact points (two places) where the chain meets the upper and lower gears. In addition to the two oil jets, the supercharger drive train’s lower gear has an oil passage. Inside the engine, there are two oil jets per cylinder to ensure the hot pistons are effectively cooled. Transmission oil jets (first use in a Kawasaki motorcycle) enable a compact transmission with high durability.

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The Ninja H2 is the first Kawasaki motorcycle to be fit standard with a quick shifter. Complementing the engine’s strong power and the dog-ring transmission, a contactless-type quick shifter enables quick upshifts for seamless acceleration

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The Ninja H2 is equipped with all the lights needed for street-legal operation. With the exception of the bulb illuminating the license plate, all lighting equipment on the Ninja H2 is of the LED type. Bright, compact LED headlamp positioned low, at the front of the upper cowl, contributes to the “Intense Force” design. Design of the LED front position lamps brings to mind the sharp fangs of a predator.

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The Kawasaki River Mark is a long time symbol of the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group dating back to the 1870s. Special permission was obtained to use the River Mark on the Ninja H2. Usually, its use on a product is reserved for models of historical significance.

Type Supercharged, Liquid-cooled, In-Line Four
Displacement 998 cm³
Supercharger Type Centrifugal, scoll-type
Bore and Stroke 76.0 x 55.0 mm
Compression ratio 8.5:1
Transmission 6-speed, return, dog-ring
Overall Length / Width / Height 2,085 mm / 770 mm / 1,125 mm
Seat height 825 mm
Curb Mass 237 kg
Fuel Capacity 17 L

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