Kawasaki’s New Z H2 Is the First Mass-Produced Naked Bike With a Supercharger as Standard

Based off the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX, the model boasts 147kW and 137Nm of torque

By Peter Jackson 30/10/2019

The Tokyo Motor Show, which opened October 24, was the scene for Kawasaki to take the covers off the eagerly awaited third installment in the H2 series—the new Kawasaki Z H2.



Based heavily off the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX sport-touring machine released in 2018, the Z H2 is the first naked bike brought to mass production with a supercharger fitted as standard equipment. The company claims the new bike has 147kW at 11,000 rpm and 137Nm of torque from the 998cc inline four-cylinder motor.



The advent of the supercharger means torque is produced lower in the rev range than a naturally aspirated motor, with the peak number arriving at just 8,500 rpm. This will make the Z H2 a brilliant street bike as the revs normally required to make those high power and torque numbers are not needed thanks to glorious forced induction.

The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2.
The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2. Photo: Courtesy of Kawasaki.



The 238kg Z H2’s chassis is typical H2 fare, with the lurid, metallic green tubular steel chassis on full display beneath a bodywork that’s more Optimus Prime than Picasso.



Kawasaki has chosen not to go for electronically adjustable/monitored suspension, instead opting for Showa’s proven Big Piston Fork (BPF) conventionally adjusted with wrenches and screwdrivers. The brakes are similarly mid-spec, with Brembo donating their M4.32 four-piston front callipers.



The Japanese giant has employed Bosch’s Inertial Measurement Unit for traction control, intelligent anti-lock braking, cornering management function, selectable rider, power modes, and anti-wheelie control, and it’s all accessed via a new TFT display.

The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2.
Kawasaki’s third instalment in the H2 series is powered by a 998 cc inline four-cylinder motor. Photo: Courtesy of Kawasaki.



Kawasaki’s pricing for Australia hasn’t yet been announced although in the U.S the Z H2 quite competitively at US$17,000, which puts it right in the ballpark against machines like the US$18,199 KTM 1290 Super Duke R but ahead of the Yamaha MT-10, which comes in at US$12,999.



Regardless, Kawasaki will be banking on the Z H2 to bring in new riders who may have been on the fence about purchasing a high-capacity naked bike but are after something different. And with a supercharger forcing power up to almost 200hp, something different is definitely what Kawasaki is offering.

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