This performance data alone: four-cylinder, compressor charge, 200 hp. Kawasaki gives 267 km/h as the top speed. And all this in a Naked Bike? How and if this goes together, the test clarifies.
There is always air up. At the very top, where the Hyper-Naked bikes for adults are going, Kawasaki wants to go with the H2. Since 2020, the naked H2 has been available alongside the Racer H2/R and the Sporttourer H2 SX. 200 hp and no windscreen? But this recipe has already been successfully put on the road by Ducati Streetfighter V4 and MV Augusta Brutale RR, Kawa is now showing his own interpretation of the extremely powerful Naked Bike.
At first glance, one thing becomes clear: the comparatively high handlebars, which are tilted backwards, lead to a rather upright sitting position. The test drive will show that the footrests are also so attached that it is more casual than sporty.
The strongest of all Z-Kawas to date achieves its performance via a compressor. Once again, it turns out that PS is not the same as PS. In contrast to turbochargers, compressors are not driven directly by the exhaust gas stream, but mechanically directly from the engine. This costs top performance, but has a big advantage: the charging is immediately and always available, the turbo-typical commemorative second is omitted. This is how the engine shows up with very high power, but otherwise undramatic. The maximum power is at a comparatively moderate 11,000 tours (Ducati Streetfighter: an incredible 14,500 tours), the maximum torque of 137 Newton is already 8,500 tours.
It is not an extreme lightweight: it weighs 239 kilos ready to drive. The chassis is fully adjustable, here Kawasaki has spared nothing. A Bosch IMU controls all driving assistance systems, so that ABS and traction control always work on the optimum. The TC can be adjusted in three stages and completely, the ABS does not. Both systems work depending on the inclination.
Compared to the technical donor, the H2 SX, the Z is translated shorter.
Then go to the test drive.
The first impression was not deceived: the Kawa is not a nervous racehorse, but can be moved unspectacularly. No one has to play with gas and clutch to get a clean start – the Z just starts. The sound is also moderate, and the typical expressions of life of a Japanese four-cylinder are accompanied by the siren of the compressor. Excess pressure is emitted twitchingly through the Wastegate valve, which is also clearly audible.
And the performance? Brutal. In the lower aisles she likes to lift the front wheel, whoever puts it on it can force this in the fourth without much effort. As initially suspected, the force is always and immediately retrievable and pulls one's arms long. And yet the Kawa doesn't look like the performance monster it actually is. It's not as animating as the Ducati, which is constantly brushed on riot. This is good for safety (and your own driving licence), yes, it is cultivated.
After a short acclimatization, it turns out that a gear higher is always a good choice. Thanks to the short translation and the suddenly blowing compressor, high-speed driving leads to a hustle and bustle that is not appropriate for the Kawa. Not to be misunderstood: The Z is a real superbike and can only use its power on the race track or a free motorway – but it is an everyday and confident companion.
The chassis fits this. As already mentioned, it is fully adjustable, especially the front fork keeps threatening inconvenience away from the driver. Surprise: Seat position, torque, driving comfort – the Kawa Z H2 is by its very nature a tourer. The power in abundance is sufficient for all situations of life, it does not have to be constantly at the limit. The performance is just there, no one feels challenged by it. If you want, you can tear through the corridors and enjoy the experience of seemingly infinite power – but it's like a good red wine: interesting, rich, but you don't want to drink it all the time.
200 hp and the resulting driving performance want to be used responsibly. The Kawasaki Z H2 is a master at supporting the driver. Sovereign performance? Always. A lawn-animating device for potential suicidal people? Never. The fact that she can walk well is undeniable, but it can be above all good.
Turning up, the testosterone in the body celebrates assembly and the innards of the body are pre-tensioned. Whether one likes this or not is a subjective and therefore incapable of judging opinion. Whether the Kawa is doing everything it can to make this manageable is objective – and that's what the Kawa does. test passed.
Thus, the Z is the best solution for all those who are looking for a touring Naked Bike with full performance level. However, the space for the socius is there, but it could be better. Why are few Naked Bikes suitable for the tour for two? The lack of performance at full load will not be due to ...
The test bike was provided to us by Heller and Soltau in St. Michaelisdonn.