Kawasaki has put something on the wheels with the Ninja H2 SX SE: 200 hp from a compressor engine, 263 kilos heavy and in reality over 300 kilometers fast. In the case of sow weather, we went out for the test – why? Because we finally wanted to experience this.
There it stands, and you don't have that every day: a 200 hp motorcycle. First of all, a brief word on technology: Because Kawasaki wanted to improve the driveability in and out of low speeds, the Japanese opted for a compressor to increase performance. Turbos are driven by the exhaust jet and therefore require speed to get into the gears, or an enormous technical effort that prevents this. Compressors, on the other hand, are driven directly by the engine and come from below. It used to be like this: A turbo started weakly to push the biker's eyeballs backwards when the loader is inserted. Compressors, on the other hand, immediately push off, but eat more and more power of the engine as the speed increases. One of the most beautiful compressor scenes ever in cinema was seen in the first Mad Max movie, when ... I digress.
So the Kawasaki four-cylinder produces 200 hp, and they push ahead with a sports tourer called The H2 SX. Our copy is still a skip and has the SE (for Special Edition) equipment. This has a higher disc, a main stand, launch control, heating handles, blippers, curved light, steel flex brake lines and colour display on board – roughly what you would expect at 22,000 euros anyway.
Clearly, this is a pretty big piece of motorcycle. The full cladding does not make you elegant or petite at all, it fits well with the rest of the bike in its force. Then sit up, which is completely free, but the tank is quite wide.
When driving slowly and manoeuvring beforehand, you can see the 263 kilos total weight very well. Why do we start with this? Because otherwise it never stands out, which is surprising. Only in real borderline situations does the kawa's weight stand out when it pushes outwards in very fast curves. But that's a high level of whining, because the Kawa is actually much more hands-on and light-footed than thought.
The engine is a force of the same kind. Four valves, almost 1,000 cubic metres, that's not bad. The compressor gets the last 50 hp to its predecessor. All this in the memory, one is not particularly surprised that the launch control limits the speed in the two lowest gears to 6,250 tours. No use if the bike is on 100 and you have been dropped yourself.
Surprise: Despite the compressor, the Kawa is not a torque monster that gets the power out of the bottom of the lower basement. It starts naturally confidently, but not breathtakingly. But faster than you can say "breathtaking", the picture sharpens if you keep gasping: the Kawa continues to spin without end, no trace of the drop of thrust in the upper speeds despite the compressor. The fun lasts up to 12,000. For a little over 7 seconds, the Blipper always shot the right gear and it goes ahead with 200 km/h. This is fast, but only 66% of the maximum possible.
We didn't drive it up to 300 km/h, but the road conditions were too miserable during the test. What we can testify to: All electronic helpers from traction control to ABS have worked perfectly.
Also the windscreen is good to very good. You can always feel the wind, but even at very high speeds the protection does not break off. However, this only applies to the pilot: in the second row you sit quite high, you should try this before buying or let it go quietly. If this fits, the travel comfort is a big plus of the SX.
Stable she laces there, by the way also with suitcases. Again, on the joy of cornering: We had already mentioned that one hardly notices the high weight and if only in direct comparison to other mopeds. But also surprisingly much slant-free ness and the spontaneous willingness to corner fit the sporty touring driver. The driving pleasure here is not reduced to the excessive force, but comes from all areas of the Kawa.
In dubious weather conditions, in cold and rain, the Kawa proved to be an unproblematic companion. It is quite astonishing how well the electronic helpers work to tame their power. Almost all of them are needed under these conditions - but at the same time you have a lot of fun with the big SPORTtourer and have to make surprisingly few compromises.
In the city, she is not the first choice – everywhere else she did not afford a single serious nakedness. Rarely have we enjoyed 200 hp so relaxed.
The test bike was provided to us by Heller & Soltau in St. Michaelisdonn.