2020 Kawasaki Z H2 Supercharged Naked Announced

Details on the third H2 model from the Tokyo Motor Show.

Kawasaki Z H2
The Kawasaki Z H2 is the latest supercharged model from Kawasaki.Kawasaki

It's been five years since Kawasaki unveiled the H2 superbike to usher in a new age of supercharged motorcycles. It was followed by the H2 SX sport-tourer in 2018 and now the firm has taken the covers off the third forced-induction model line in the form of the naked 2020 Z H2.

As the bike's name suggests, the Z H2 is a crossover between Kawasaki's "Z" range of unfaired machines and the H2's 998cc supercharged four-cylinder engine, and it promises to be a serious contender for the hotly contested spot as 2020's most insane naked bike.

998cc inline-four powers
A supercharged 998cc inline-four powers the Z H2 with a claimed 197 hp and 101 pound-feet of torque.Kawasaki

2020 Kawasaki Z H2 Horsepower And Engine

With a claimed 197 hp, the Z H2 doesn't quite scale the horsepower peaks of Ducati's new Streetfighter V4 or MV Agusta's Brutale 1000, both of which easily top the 200-hp mark. But the Kawasaki's supercharged engine means it should have far more midrange stomp than either of those rivals. Peak torque is 101 pound-feet, easily beating its normally aspirated rivals. Those figures are the same as the numbers for the H2 SX, but the Z H2 hits its peak torque 1,000 rpm lower than the sport-tourer at just 8,500 rpm.

double-sided swingarm
A double-sided swingarm is used on the Z H2, unlike the swooping single-sided units of the H2 and H2 SX models.Kawasaki

2020 Kawasaki Z H2 Chassis And Suspension

The boosted four-cylinder engine sits in a new steel trellis frame that’s unique to the Z H2. Unlike its supercharged siblings, the Z H2 uses a ZX-10R-style double-sided swingarm; perhaps less glamorous than the single-siders on other H2 models but an indication that this will be the most affordable supercharged Kawasaki yet.

Not that it’s a budget machine. The suspension features a Showa SFF-BP fork and matching rear shock, while Brembo provides its radially mounted M4.32 calipers.

2020 Kawasaki Z H2 Electronics

As usual, there’s a vast array of electronics at hand to help tame the performance. Multiple riding modes are tied into the bike’s IMU-assisted, lean-sensitive traction control, and ABS while also selecting one of three power levels: 100, 75, or 50 percent of the maximum output. Launch control is standard and there’s an up/down quickshifter for clutchless shifts. You even get cruise control and, via Kawasaki’s app, you can monitor information including maximum lean angle.

Z H2 TFT dash
Tucked behind a small fly screen is the Z H2’s TFT dash.Kawasaki

A simple, full-color TFT LCD screen provides information on all those electronic functions, as well as displaying all the usual dashboard information and includes Bluetooth connectivity for your phone.

Z H2 headlight
The headlight on the Z H2 is fixed with only the fly screen above it turning with the handlebars.Kawasaki

2020 Kawasaki Z H2 Styling

The bike’s styling is typical Kawasaki, all angles and edges, but the Z H2 isn’t likely to be confused with any other model in the firm’s range. The front end is particularly unusual, with the headlight remaining in a fixed position rather than turning with the bars. Only the small fly screen moves with the steering. The front end design means Kawasaki has been able to route a ram air duct for the supercharger right up to the nose, with an intake on the left-hand side of the LED headlight unit.

Z H2  chassis
The Z H2 will weigh more than most of its naked competition, but with 101 pound-feet of torque and 197 hp it should be a ripper.Kawasaki

The Z H2 isn’t going to be as light as some of its naked rivals. Kawasaki claims the bike’s curb weight is 527 pounds with a full 5-gallon tank. That’s 3 pounds more than the H2 sportbike, but the tank’s capacity is half a gallon less on the fully faired model.

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