The Kawasaki Ninja H2 - Understanding the Hype

Here's what we know for certain about the Kawasaki Ninja H2: it will be officially unveiled next month at the INTERMOT bike show in Cologne, Germany… that's about it.

Is the Ninja H2 the most-hyped motorcycle in recent memory? The answer is debatable - the cruiser world certainly heard the mysterious phrase "Project Rushmore" ad nauseam before those particular bikes hit the market - but given the Ninja's iconic status the case for "yes" can be made. The marketing team at Kawasaki has been working overtime to prefabricate the Ninja H2's legend before anyone outside of Big Green has had a chance to ride one. The initial press release for the new Ninja contained all sorts of teasers and cryptic language, along with the usual dash of Marketing Speak:

2015-H2
2015-H2

Drawing on skills and experience from experts within not just the company’s motorcycle division but across its aerospace, gas turbine and other high-technology contemporary manufacturing disciplines as well, Kawasaki is anticipating huge international interest in the project that has evocatively been christened Ninja H2. Harnessing the power of the Kawasaki manufacturing group “collective strength”, the H2 will represent a unified engineering and state of the art technology approach. READ MORE: Harley-Davidson Project Rushmore Review Capturing the spirit of the 750cc Mach IV H2 that, along with the 500cc three cylinder H1 and all-conquering 903cc Z1 Super Four, epitomised Kawasaki’s market defining performance image, the Ninja H2 project is set to add yet another name to the roll call of machines that embody Kawasaki’s performance and engineering expertise while changing the motorcycle landscape forever.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.10.53 PM copy

Accompanying that was a new Ninja H2 website featuring a series of videos that give a few glimpses into what the Ninja H2 will be about. One in particular, entitled "Mysterious Sound", seems to have taken a page from the marketing campaign for ABC's Lost. What IS that Mysterious Chirping?

Needless to say, a lot of motorcycle websites and publications are weighing in on what the new Ninja will be all about - specifically, the powerplant. The consensus, based on the language in the presser and the fact that Kawasaki unveiled one at last year's Tokyo Auto Show, is that that the Ninja H2 will be powered by a supercharged four cylinder. One of the videos on the site certainly supports this theory:

But who knows? Based on the music in that last video, it's possible that Kawasaki is just building one of these bikes, and it's for Batman.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.07.11 PM copy

Yes, we're just as guilty of jumping on the Hype Wagon as every other motorcycle site (give yourselves a raise, Kawasaki Marketing Team). It's hard to do any actual reporting on a bike that is still shrouded in near-complete secrecy. But it is fun to think about the game-changing implications of a supercharged 750cc Ninja; if it does comes to market, it would give a new option to buyers who are looking for the power of a full-on literbike. (750cc seems as good a guess as any for the engine's displacement, since the old 750 Mach IV H2 is mentioned in the press release and on that website.) We'll leave it to you guys to give us your best Ninja H2 theories in the comments; your guesses are as good as ours. We do feel confident, however, in our prediction that the Ninja H2 will come in green.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.12.42 PM copy