Kawasaki Ninja H2—Turn & Burn II Video

The supercharged Kawi is hard to launch well, but it's explosively quick to 180 mph

Kawasaki Ninja H2
Price: $25,000
Weight: 501 lb.
Horsepower: 189.8 hp @ 11,090 rpm
0–180 mph: 16.04 sec.
Distance to 180 mph: 2859 ft.

While launching the Yamaha YZF-R1M was a relative walk in the park, the supercharged Kawasaki H2 was entirely different. "It's hard to feel what it's going to do because of the nature of the engine and the boost," Canet remarked after a few practice runs in which he experimented with the launch, traction, and wheelie control systems. On some runs, the H2 felt planted in third gear, able to take full throttle. On others, Canet said the bike wanted to snap its front wheel up way too high for comfort.

After working with the Kawasaki tech on how to best set up the H2, Canet decided to launch the heavy 501-pound machine with all electronics off. That way, he’d have full confidence for the whole run and not worry about how much front wheel lift would be allowed in each gear by the particular settings he had chosen for that run.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 and McLaren P1 action

Action combo #1

Kawasaki Ninja H2 and McLaren P1 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Barry Hathaway

With everything switched off, he launched the H2R at only 5,000 rpm, leveraging the supercharged four-cylinder’s midrange power. It worked. Canet’s runs looked much smoother, with the rear hooking up beautifully and the front barely aloft, both under the control of his skilled right wrist. What can we say? With a full day of testing on a bike as electronically complex as the H2, we might have found an ideal setting for the conditions. Or we could simply hand control to Canet and watch a human computer handle it with the aplomb of a guy who’s been testing bikes for decades.

The choice was easy for us, and at the end of the day, the H2 was quickest bike to 60 and 100 mph. And it hit 180 mph in only 16.04 seconds, 1.2 seconds more quickly than the winning ZX-10R in our first visit to Lemoore. Impressive. One can only imagine what the track-only H2R, with 100 more horsepower, would have managed on this glorious runway.

Check out more Turn & Burn II Videos:

Kawasaki Ninja H2 on track action

Action #1

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Barry Hathaway
Kawasaki Ninja H2 close up action

Action #2

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 on track action

Action #3

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 track action

Action #4

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 static front 3/4 view

Static.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 instrument details

Details #1

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 badge details

Details #2

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 seat details

Details #3

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 and mclaren p1 action

Action combo #2

Kawasaki Ninja H2 and McLaren P1 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Barry Hathaway
Kawasaki Ninja H2 and mclaren p1 static

Static combo #1

Kawasaki Ninja H2 and McLaren P1 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 and chevrolet corvette z06 static

Static combo #2

Kawasaki Ninja H2 and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 with don canet

Don Canet.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 and McLaren P1 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen
Kawasaki Ninja H2 preparing for track action

Don Canet.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 at our 0-180 MPH Ultimate Performance Shootout.Jeff Allen