Kawasaki will unveil a Ninja H2 derived super-tourer at this year’s Milan show, completely transforming the premium fast-touring market overnight.
The new continent-shrinker will be the first production tourer to use supercharger technology to deliver the ultimate blend of explosive torque and power, while also returning impressive fuel economy and Bentley GT levels of smooth refinement.
200bhp of touring punch
Don’t be confused by the name – which we believe will be Ninja H2 SX – this is a touring bike first and foremost, not a biposto version of the formidable Ninja H2R. While it won’t be short of power, the development team have concentrated on delivering incredible mid-range drive and fuel range. That means superbike levels of power and torque, while sipping fuel at the rate you’d expect from the firm’s normally aspirated 118bhp Versys 1000.
MCN’s Japanese source also revealed that the reworked H2 engine, which has been remapped to deliver around 200bhp at peak with a tangible boost to the mid-range punch, could also be the first outlet for Kawasaki’s variable-boost supercharger. The firm showed an engine at last year’s Tokyo show which boasted vanes on the supercharger’s inlet that opened and closed via a mechanical actuator. Rumours suggest this actuator has been replaced by a smaller and lighter integrated electric motor which will power the vanes – tuning the supercharger’s supply of air according to the rider’s throttle inputs.
The ultimate GT
The rest of the bike promises an equally premium experience. That means we’re expecting the next generation of Kawasaki’s huge compliment of electronic rider aids all controlled by an inertial measurement unit to knit together cornering ABS, traction control, anti-wheelie and multiple rider modes. The H2 SX would also be the perfect candidate for semi-active suspension system – something we’ve not seen from Kawasaki yet.
In addition, we’d expect to see class-leading attention to touring considerations, with a full TFT dash and integrated satnav functionality, electronic screen, headed grips and seats, full media connectivity and keyless ignition. Honda are on the eve of unveiling their radically revamped Gold Wing, and BMW have already set the bar high with their ballistic K1600GTL. There’s an increasing glut of super-high-end versatile adventure-sports bikes, too – like Ducati’s Multistrada S Touring – so Kawasaki have to arrive in the market with something phenomenal. And the information seeping out of Japan suggests the H2 will be exactly that.
The Versys 1000 and Z1000SX families will remain, while the 1400GTR, has already ceased production as a casualty of Euro4 regulations.
But with the Ninja H2 costing £25,499, and the track-only H2R a marriage-wrecking £47,000, can the new SX and GT meet market expectations? The indications are that the base H2 SX will start at around £20k, while a fully-laden GT might be more like £23k – putting it firmly in the same realm as the Gold Wing and K1600GTL.
Get the full story from its Milan unveil in MCN on November 8.
- 200bhp supercharged tourer
- SX and GT spec versions
- Class-leading fuel consumption
- High-end spec as standard
- Variable boost supercharger