2023 Kawasaki Z H2

Less beauty, more beast. Kawasaki’s Z H2’s styling won’t please all tastes, but at least it’s not bland.

Much less magnificence, extra beast. Kawasaki’s Z H2’s styling gained’t please all tastes, however a minimum of it’s not bland. (Kawasaki/)


  • Torque “curve” like Uluru
  • Surprisingly reasonably priced for a motorcycle that may draw a lot consideration
  • Excessive-end elements even for the bottom mannequin justify the worth; you’re not simply paying for the supercharged engine. The SE model provides much more toys


  • Styling is even busier than different Kawasaki fashions, with too many disconnected shapes and a large, odd-looking exhaust
  • It’s no light-weight at round 530 kilos
  • Inevitable wind blast on such a quick bare bike; gas consumption may be loopy for those who use all of the efficiency


You realize we’re residing in unimaginable instances when a motorcycle with 197 licensed horsepower (167 on the wheel throughout our exams) and a supercharged 998cc four-cylinder engine isn’t even within the prime 10 strongest bikes in the marketplace. However though the Z H2 doesn’t breach the 200 hp barrier, its use of compelled induction to attain its efficiency means it’s a unique expertise altogether in comparison with its high-revving rivals.

The efficiency expertise is simply as jaw dropping because the supercharged specs recommend, whatever the precise numbers. However what’s maybe most outstanding is that the Z H2 by some means manages to be a usable day-to-day machine. As we head towards the twilight of the interior combustion period, it may properly turn into a future collectable basic, simply as huge two-strokes of the ‘70s and ‘80s are in robust demand at this time.

Colors are the only changes to the Z H2 and Z H2 SE for 2023, with a red/gray theme for the base model.

Colours are the one modifications to the Z H2 and Z H2 SE for 2023, with a pink/grey theme for the bottom mannequin. (Kawasaki/)


Kawasaki first revealed its intention to create a variety of supercharged four-cylinder bikes again in 2013, when a prototype H2 engine was the centerpiece of the agency’s stand on the Tokyo Motor Present, though by that stage rumors of the mission had been already circulating; patents for a supercharged Kawasaki had been showing for a number of years. Twelve months later, the Ninja H2 superbike and its even madder 310 hp track-only H2R sibling had been revealed, with deliveries beginning in 2015.

On the finish of 2015, Kawasaki dropped hints of further supercharged fashions by displaying drawings of the “SC-01 Spirit Charger” and “SC-02 Soul Charger,” one half-faired, the opposite bare. It additionally confirmed off a brand new Balanced Supercharged Engine derived from the H2′s design however aimed much less at outright energy and extra at torque. In 2018, the Balanced Supercharged Engine discovered a house within the new H2 SX sport-tourer, a motorcycle that was arguably loosely derived from the SC-01 designs. For 2020, the identical motor discovered a house within the Z H2, which took its cues from the SC-02 Soul Charger.

By then, the unique Ninja H2′s energy had been raised to 228 hp from its unique 197 hp, making area for the newer, cheaper machines to step in at that sub-200 hp energy level. For 2021, the Z H2 SE was added to Kawasaki’s lineup, taking the bottom Z H2 and slotting KECS computer-controlled damping into the Showa fork  and shock.

Updates for 2023

Paintwork apart, the Z H2 and Z H2 SE haven’t been altered since their introduction. On condition that the COVID-19 pandemic struck simply as the unique Z H2 hit the market, drying up provide chains and gross sales with results which can be nonetheless being handled at this time, they’re nonetheless a uncommon sufficient sight on the road to ensure a second look.

Pricing and Variants

The bottom Z H2 will set you again $18,500 and comes solely in Metallic Phantom Silver/Metallic Carbon Grey with a pink trellis body and wheels in 2023. The Z H2 SE is $20,700 and in addition is available in only one shade scheme, Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Grey/Ebony/Mirror Coated Black, with black wheels and a inexperienced body and graphics. The SE additionally provides Kawasaki Digital Management Suspension (KECS) with Showa Skyhook EERA know-how, Brembo Stylema entrance calipers, and chrome steel braided brake strains.


In the event you’re caught on the thought of a supercharger, then there’s nothing to compete with the Z H2 exterior of its sister H2 fashions within the Kawasaki vary or the frighteningly costly Bimota Tesi H2 utilizing the identical engine. Nonetheless, the choices for highly effective bare bikes have expanded significantly during the last couple of years, with Ducati’s Streetfighter V4, V4 S, and V4 SP setting the bar at 205 hp from its 1,103cc V-4 engine, a determine that’s matched by MV Agusta’s Brutale 1000 RR, Brutale 1000 RS, and Rush.

Step down an influence class to the 170–180 hp area and the market grows; KTM’s 1290 Tremendous Duke R, Triumph’s Pace Triple 1200, and Aprilia’s Tuono V4 all sit right here, in addition to the EBR 1190SX, with BMW’s S 1000 R falling only a fraction behind them by way of outright grunt. In the meantime, consumers who need the Z H2 for its mixture of huge torque and distinctive engineering may additionally be tempted by the likes of Triumph’s 2.5-liter 180 hp Rocket 3 R.

The supercharged 998cc four-cylinder will always be a talking point and marks the Z H2 as a future classic.

The supercharged 998cc four-cylinder will all the time be a speaking level and marks the Z H2 as a future basic. (Kawasaki/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Efficiency

The principle draw of the Z H2 is inevitably that supercharger, spinning at 110,000 rpm and forcing extra air into the 998cc four-cylinder engine than it might in any other case be capable to inhale. Basically meaning it behaves like a larger-capacity motor. There’s a slight hesitation on preliminary throttle openings, however after that the move of torque and energy is sufficient to enable wheelies on demand and sub-10 quarter-mile instances. That energy, all 197 hp at 10,500 rpm and 101 lb.-ft. at 8,500 rpm in keeping with Kawasaki’s spec sheet, or 167.2 hp at 10,580 rpm and 87.6 lb.-ft. at 8,560 on the CW dyno, travels by way of an assist-and-slipper clutch to a quickshift-aided six-speed transmission.

Testing the Z H2 SE for Cycle World, Doug Toland stated: “To say it ‘peaks’ may very well be a bit deceptive; the H2 has an nearly electrical torque really feel ranging from 2,000 rpm and mainly provides 20 hp with each 1,000 rpm.”

Dealing with

Whether or not you go for the bottom Z H2 or the semi-active damped Z H2 SE, you’re shopping for a high-spec set of suspension elements. It reveals in the way in which the bike hides its mass (529 kilos for the bottom mannequin, 531 kilos for the SE). It’s not a track-focused machine, however with a lot energy on faucet, the soundness of the chassis is a blessing. It additionally implies that whereas the Z H2 generally is a top-rate adrenaline pump when required, there’s a smart aspect that lets it swallow miles with out leaving your nerves frayed on the finish of each journey.

The 320mm discs and Brembo calipers are always a solid combination, and Kawasaki’s KIBS system makes the most of them.

The 320mm discs and Brembo calipers are all the time a strong mixture, and Kawasaki’s KIBS system makes essentially the most of them. (Kawasaki/)


Just like the suspension, Kawasaki hasn’t cheaped-out on the Z H2′s brakes. Brembo M4.32 Monoblock calipers seize 320mm entrance discs, assisted by Kawasaki’s KIBS antilock system, which screens brake strain, wheel pace, throttle place, clutch place, and equipment to optimize the extent of braking supplied, limiting rear wheel elevate, and serving to to make any intervention by the ABS to be much less intrusive. The entrance brake could be very robust with good really feel to the purpose of ABS intervention, at which level the rider loses some really feel however no stopping energy, until the ABS absolutely takes over to keep away from what it determines to be impending wheel lockup.

Use the Z H2’s performance to its fullest and you’ll run a tank of fuel to its emptiest  in no time.

Use the Z H2’s efficiency to its fullest and also you’ll run a tank of gas to its emptiest very quickly. (Kawasaki/)

Gasoline Economic system and Actual-World MPG

Throughout testing we managed 40–45 mpg on the freeway and 28–30 mpg on extra involving roads. With a 5-gallon tank, meaning 150–200 miles per tank is feasible relying on how brutal you’re with the throttle. However, as Doug Toland found, you don’t get to make use of all that supercharged efficiency totally free. He wrote, “The H2 can devour gasoline at an alarming charge for those who spend a variety of time deep in enhance. I as soon as noticed 7—that’s seven—mpg.”

Ergonomics: Consolation and Utility

There could also be superbikes that supply much more efficiency than the Z H2, however likelihood is you’ll crawl off them after a day’s driving with a again like Quasimodo. That’s the place one other of the Kawasaki’s strengths shines by way of because it’s a surprisingly comfy, roomy machine. “Vibration is surprisingly low regardless of a high-rpm blower, seat consolation is surprisingly excessive even after many 200-mile days, and seat-to-footpeg distance is nice and beneficiant; I by no means touched a footpeg (or the rest) to the bottom,” stated Cycle World’s check. “The rider triangle is fairly comfy and properly proportioned; the one noticeable quibble was that the passenger seat appeared a bit of shut for my 5-foot-10 body at instances.”

Color TFT display gives access to all the Z H2’s gadgets and settings.

Coloration TFT show provides entry to all of the Z H2’s devices and settings. (Kawasaki/)


Though not fairly as filled with electrickery because the Ninja H2 SX SE, Kawasaki’s first radar-assisted bike, the Z H2 and Z H2 SE aren’t wanting toys. Each variations get cruise management, launch management, traction management, and ABS with an IMU-assisted Kawasaki Cornering Administration Perform (KCMF) that assists braking and acceleration in turns, a number of driving modes, smartphone connectivity, and a normal up-and-down quickshifter. On prime of that, the Z H2 SE positive aspects Kawasaki’s KECS semi-active damping, utilizing a Skyhook algorithm to change the suspension settings as you experience and including a number of modes for various situations.

Guarantee and Upkeep Protection

A one-year, transferrable, unlimited-mileage guarantee is commonplace, with the choice of Kawasaki Safety Plus to increase it.

High quality

All of the H2 bikes are Kawasaki’s flagship fashions, and their construct and spec mirror that. The Z H2 lacks a number of the prime line parts provided on the Ninja H2, resembling self-healing paint, however it’s nonetheless on the apex of the agency’s high quality.

2023 Kawasaki Z H2/Z H2 SE Claimed Specs

MSRP: $18,500/$20,700
Engine: 998cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-four w/ supercharger; 16 valves
Bore x Stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
Transmission/Ultimate Drive: 6-speed/chain; quickshifter
Gasoline Supply: Gasoline injection w/ 40mm throttle our bodies
Clutch: Moist, assist-and-slipper clutch; hydraulic actuation
Engine Administration/Ignition: TCBI w/ Digital Advance
Body: Trellis metal chassis
Entrance Suspension: Showa 43mm SFF-BP fork, compression, rebound and preload adjustable (KECS semi-active damping adjustment on Z H2 SE); 4.7 in. journey
Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak Showa gasoline shock, compression, rebound and preload adjustable (KECS semi-active damping adjustment on Z H2 SE); 5.3 in. journey
Entrance Brake: 4-piston Brembo M4.32 calipers, twin 320mm discs w/ ABS (Brembo Stylema on Z H2 SE)
Rear Brake: 1-piston caliper, 260mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Entrance/Rear: Aluminum, 17-inch
Tires, Entrance/Rear: 120/70-17 / 190/55-17
Rake/Path: 24.9°/4.1in.
Wheelbase: 57.3 in.
Floor Clearance: 5.5 in.
Seat Top: 32.7 in.
Gasoline Capability: 5.0 gal.
Moist Weight: 529 lb. / 531 lb.
Contact: kawasaki.com

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