This article, originally posted Sept. 2, has been repeatedly updated with new information – including more video teasers from Kawasaki added at the bottom. The most recent updates includes a brief high-speed video image of the H2 on the track, as well as quick shot of the supercharger powering the new Ninja, more engine shots and peek at some aerodynamic bodywork – MotoUSA Ed
The Intermot Bike Show in Cologne may still be almost a month away, but Kawasaki isn’t waiting to create some internet buzz about a new motorcycle set to debut there. The Japanese manufacturer has launched a teaser campaign for the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 at www.ninja-h2.com, stating “It captures the spirit of the 1972 750cc Kawasaki Mach IV H2,” a fire-breathing, wheelie-popping two-stroke Triple it produced from 1972 to 1975.
Kawasaki also stated the 2015 Ninja H2 is a collaborative effort between its other divisions, from aerospace to watercraft and the gas turbines used in its high-powered jet ski. The company released a teaser video showing a sportbike-styled windscreen and tail section along with a glimpse of a sporty tank, but what engine will power the H2 remains up to speculation. Kawasaki will continue its teaser campaign throughout the month until the bike’s official unveiling at Intermot September 30.
Though it’s pure conjecture, the 2015 Ninja H2 could be powered by the supercharged Inline Four it debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last November. Kawasaki already has a supercharged Inline Four in its portfolio, the 1498cc engine powering its Ultra 310 watercraft (KHI mention the project includes many of its disciplines, right?)
Additionally, Kawasaki provided other clues in the press release on its supercharged Inline Four project from the Tokyo Show, when it stated: “Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. also has a long history of developing technologies for turbine engines. The lifeblood of these turbines is their blades, which need to be able to cope with extreme heat and vibration while spinning at high speeds. Know-how from years of designing turbine engine blades was instilled in the first supercharger developed by a motorcycle manufacturer. And of course, designing a motorcycle-use supercharged engine in-house means that maximum efficiency could be pursued.”
Kawasaki’s “Motorcycle with Supercharger” shows a patent-protected layout where the air box intake is located under the motorcycle’s seat and tank, directly behind the supercharger, which also lies behind the engine block. In MotoUSA’s “Kawasaki Supercharged Inline Four at Tokyo” report, we wrote, “The induction system described in the patent routes air through the air cleaner unit into an air control valve unit. There a butterfly valve controls the intake into the supercharger. Unlike a turbo, which runs off exhaust gas pressure, a supercharger gets rotary power from the engine, and the Kawasaki patent confirms its supercharger is powered via the engine crankshaft ‘through a chain or a train of gears.’ A surge tank positioned atop the supercharger (unseen in the Kawasaki engine photo) channels the supercharged air through to the throttle body and into the engine.”
The Kawasaki patent also included a sketch of a motorcycle that has “a profile reminiscent of the ZX-14.”
Will the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 be the latest interpretation of the company’s vaunted hyper-bike, or will it throw us a curve and debut a supercharged 750 Triple. After all, it is called the “H2.”
The teaser clips will continue throughout the month, so stay tuned. UPDATE: On Sept. 3 Kawasaki uploaded a second video teaser with an audio click of the H2, followed by a third and fourth update – the latter including a full profile shot.