Over the holiday period I was given this dark monster to ‘play’ with and I came away with mixed emotions for reasons I’ll get into later. It’s called the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX if you didn’t know and it is, without doubt, the quickest and fastest sports tourer ever made!
Now there’s my first raise of the eyebrow; why would anyone want to tour at 300km/h plus, which this supercharged motorcycle is capable of? I’m sure you’ll agree but, on the other hand, why would anyone want to ‘tour’ in a 300km/h plus car, of which there are many? So maybe I’m just talking bollocks, which I tend to do.
To propel the H2 SX to these outrageous speeds is an in-line, four-cylinder, 998cc, liquid-cooled, supercharged engine producing a claimed 207hp and 138Nm of torque, ‘stolen’ from the original H2 from 2017. Nothing wrong with that because it’s an awesome motor but Kawasaki says the SX is slightly de-tuned for touring, er OK.
Obviously, the engine is the main attraction and it delivers relentless power everywhere, not to mention that intoxicating chatter the supercharger makes when shutting off, very cool that. But at 260kg without fuel, a wide profile and long reach to the ‘bars when astride, it is a big bike on all counts. In fact the riding position is far from touring until you get up to those high speeds, very odd.
Sure it’s very comfortable in the saddle and for the pillion too, but the screen was a bit low for high speeds I thought. Thankfully the KYB suspension copes well with all this mass and power if not a bit too stiff for touring, but that can easily be sorted with the H2 SX’s fully adjustable units. And all of this can be yours for R259,995, not too bad for a big, metallic grey, Space Invader I suppose, and the overall finish and build quality is superb, but…
Kawasaki is their own worst enemy here regarding ‘other’ options. This particular model H2 SX rarely sells in SA, why is that you ask? Well it's far better H2 SX SE is the one people want for R310,995. This is much more of a flagship model with the same engine/chassis but it’s more desirable because it has more, much more. Like a quick shifter, up and down (H2 SX does not have one), LED cornering lights, full colour TFT and programmable dash (normal clocks on H2 SX), electronic adjustable screen and electronic suspension, panniers, and more bling everywhere, to name a few bits. So if you’re spending 26k why not add another 50k and get all of that on a proper flagship. It works as well because all the SE variants have sold out. And if you own the SX and an SE rider comes alongside, you’re going to feel like an inferior little person/dick and go red with embarrassment, maybe?
Also there’s the fantastic R229,000 ZZR1400 which, believe it or not, is faster in a straight line than this. Then, to rub salt into the supercharged Ninja’s slashes, there’s the R165,995 Kawasaki Z1000 SX with 140hp that’s a very, very competent and complete motorcycle, indeed one of our favorites and, for the price, one of the best sports tourers out there.
So back to my first sentence (I came away with mixed emotions), see why? Basically 'a nice bike, shame about Kawasaki’s rest’, if you know what I mean?
Go to www.fire-itup.co.za to purchase any of the Kawasaki’s mentioned in this article.