The Kawasaki Ninja H2R is one of the fastest production motorcycles with a claimed top speed of 250 mph. It’s powered by a 998cc, inline-four supercharged engine rated at 326 HP. Unfortunately, this bike is not street legal due to its outstanding performance and the absence of some legally required features.
If you want to find out more about this iconic bike, you’ve come to the right place.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know into this detailed Kawasaki Ninja H2R review!
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Review
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Engine
There’s no question that the power source of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R (a.k.a. Kawasaki H2R, or just H2R) is one of the most exciting motorcycle engines ever built.
This power mill is a 998cc, 4-stroke, DOHC, liquid-cooled, inline-four engine boosted by a centrifugal supercharger.
Yes, that’s right, the Ninja H2R is one of the few factory-built motorcycles with a forced induction (FI) engine.
But unlike standard supercharged machines, this bike surprisingly lacks an intercooler, saving space, weight, and manufacturing costs.
The 2.72-inch forged aluminum impeller features 12 blades at the base and 6 blades at the tip.
This impeller is driven by a planetary gear train powered by the engine crankshaft. Thanks to this design, the H2R doesn’t suffer from “turbo lag,” which is a common problem on turbocharged vehicles.
The gear train increases the speed of the crank almost tenfold, causing the impeller to spin close to 130,000 rpm at an engine speed of 14,000 rpm. Its capacity is a whopping 53 gallons per second, ensuring the best performance.
The supercharger forces air into the 1.6-gallon airbox and increases its pressure by 2.4 times the standard atmospheric pressure.
To withstand this pressure and cool down the heated air, the airbox is made of aluminum instead of plastic. It’s also equipped with a special pressure relief valve, which allows the airbox to breathe when the throttle is closed.
This valve causes a distinctive squeaking sound when shifting gears and engine braking.
The claimed engine power of the H2R at the crank is 310 HP and 326 HP with ram air, but the bike typically does about 240-250 HP on the dyno, MotorCycleNews reports.
Its bore and stroke are 2.99 × 2.17 inches (76.0 × 55.0 mm) while the compression ratio is 8.3:1.
The H2R shares many different engine internals with the street-legal standard H2 models including the pistons, valves, and supercharger. However, the H2R is engineered with a unique camshaft, head gasket, ECU, and exhaust system.
The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual “dog-ring” transmission that transmits power towards the rear wheel via a sealed chain.
The bike also comes with many advanced features, including:
- Casted pistons
- Flat piston crown
- Wet sump (forced) lubrication system
- Polished intake ports
- Stainless steel intake valves
- Straight exhaust ports
- High-lift cams
- Transistorized ignition system
- Electric starter
Kawasaki H2R Frame and Body
The H2R has a thin-wall, tubular steel trellis frame paired with a single-sided swingarm. Just like many traditional sportbikes, the wheelbase of the bike is 57.1 inches and its ground clearance is 5.12 inches.
The entire bike measures 81.5 inches in length, 33.5 inches in width, and 45.7 inches in height.
It comes with super-light carbon fiber bodywork and a pair of aerodynamic wings mounted in place of mirrors.
Thanks to its lightweight features, the curb weight of the H2R is only 476 pounds. This means that this model is 49 pounds lighter than its street-legal brother, the base H2.
These two bikes share their suspensions but the H2R has less weight to manage and comes with stiffer settings.
The fuel tank of the H2R can hold 4.5 gallons while its oil capacity is 5.3 US quarts.
Kawasaki H2R Riding Experience
As you might assume, the H2R is extremely fast and provides an unbeatable riding experience. Its performance and exhaust music are great for a GP bike!
Compared to the street-legal H2, the H2R holds the line better and turns easier. Due to its lighter weight, the H2R also accelerates and decelerates faster.
Regarding numbers, the top speed of the H2R is an amazing 250 mph (400 km/h) and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds, MCNews reports.
Thanks to its supercharger, the bike offers a strong acceleration even in third, fourth, and fifth gear.
There’s no question that the H2R is the fastest and most powerful stock Kawasaki motorcycle ever built.
It is definitely not a beginner bike, which is why the manufacturer only recommends it for experienced riders and racers.
It’s good to know that the H2R is not street-legal, so it can only be used on a closed course. There are many reasons why this machine is a “closed-course only” motorcycle, but the most important ones are as follows:
- It doesn’t meet road noise regulations
- Its top speed is not restricted to 186 mph
- It lacks lights, mirrors, turn signals, and a license plate holder
Although the H2R can only be used on a closed course, it’s banned from many track days due to its noisy exhaust. What’s more, it’s not allowed to race in many competitions due to its supercharger.
It seems the H2R represents a unique “no man’s land” and as such it’s hard to find somewhere to ride it. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many of these end up in private collections.
If you are considering buying a Kawasaki H2R you should consult with your local dealer since this bike is rarely available off showroom floors.
On top of that, the H2R comes with a hefty price tag of MSRP of $56,500, which makes it by far the most expensive Kawasaki motorcycle.
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Specs Chart
As a reference, we’ve compiled the Kawasaki Ninja H2R specifications into these charts:
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Dimensions
|Overall Length||2 070 mm (81.50 in.)|
|Overall Width||850 mm (33.5 in.)|
|Overall Height||1 160 mm (45.67 in.)|
|Wheelbase||1 450 mm (57.09 in.)|
|Road Clearance||130 mm (5.12 in.)|
|Curb Mass||216 kg (476 lb)|
|Minimum Turning Radius||3.4 m (11.2 ft)|
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Engine Specs
|Type||DOHC, 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled|
|Displacement||998 cm³ (60.9 cu in.)|
|Bore × Stroke||76.0 × 55.0 mm (2.99 × 2.17 in.)|
|Starting System||Electric starter|
|Cylinder Numbering Method||Left to right, 1-2-3-4|
|Fuel System||FI (Fuel Injection)|
|Ignition System||Battery and coil (transistorized ignition)|
|Ignition Timing (Electronically advanced)||10° BTDC @1 100 r/min (rpm) ~ 38° BTDC @5 500 r/min (rpm)|
|Spark Plug Type||NGK SILMAR9B9|
|Spark Plug Gap||0.8 ~ 0.9 mm (0.031 ~ 0.035 in.)|
|Lubrication System||Forced lubrication (wet sump)|
|Engine Oil Type||API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2|
|Engine Oil Viscosity||SAE 10W-40|
|Engine Oil Capacity||5.0 L (5.3 US qt)|
|Coolant Capacity||2.5 L (2.6 US qt)|
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Transmission
|Transmission Type||6-speed, constant mesh, return shift|
|Clutch Type||Wet, multi disc|
|Driving System||Chain drive|
|Primary Reduction Ratio||1.551 (76/49)|
|Final Reduction Ratio||2.333 (42/18)|
|Overall Drive Ratio||4.878 (Top gear)|
|Gear Ratio: 1st||3.188 (51/16)|
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Frame
|Trail||108 mm (4.25 in.)|
|Tire Size Front||120/600 R17|
|Tire Size Rear||190/650 R17|
|Rim Size Front||17M/C × MT3.50|
|Rim Size Rear||17M/C × MT6.00|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||17 L (4.5 US gal)|
|Brake Fluid Front||DOT4|
|Brake Fluid Rear||DOT4|
Kawasaki Ninja H2R Electrical Features
|Battery||12 V 8.6 Ah (10 HR)|
|*: LED (Light Emitting Diode) tail/brake light does not illuminate in a factory shipping state. If tail/brake light is used, consult with an authorized Kawasaki dealer.|
Disclaimer: These charts are for informational purposes only! For more information, please check official factory manuals!
Takeaways – FAQs About the Ninja H2R
As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the Kawasaki Ninja H2R!
What is the Ninja H2R?
The Ninja H2R is a supercharged race-inspired supersport motorcycle, representing the flagship bike in Kawasaki’s fleet.
Who invented the Ninja H2R?
The Ninja H2R was invented and is being manufactured by the Japanese Kawasaki Motors Corporation.
Which country made the Ninja H2R?
The Ninja H2R is produced on a dedicated manufacturing assembly line in Japan.
When did the H2R come out?
Kawasaki introduced the amazing Ninja H2R in 2015.
Is Kawasaki still making the H2R?
The H2R is still in production, but it is only available through pre-order.
How fast does the Kawasaki Ninja H2R go?
The Kawasaki Ninja H2R can reach an incredible top speed of 250 mph.
Which engine does the Kawasaki Ninja H2R have?
The H2R is powered by a supercharged, 998cc, DOHC, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, inline-four engine.
How much HP does an H2R have?
The claimed engine power of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R at the crank is 310 HP or 326 HP with ram air, but the bike can produce approximately 250 HP at the rear wheel.
Why is Kawasaki H2R so fast?
The Ninja H2R can reach pretty high speeds thanks to its aerodynamic body, being relatively lightweight, and its high-performacne supercharged engine.
Is the H2R supercharged or turbo?
The H2R is engineered by a centrifugal supercharger driven by the crank via a set of gears.
Can You ride the Ninja H2R on roadways?
Unlike its street-legal siblings, the H2, Z H2, and the tourer H2 SX SE, the Ninja H2R can’t be used on public roads.
How many gears does the H2R have?
The Kawasaki H2R comes with a six-speed, “dog-ring” transmission.
What is the difference between H2 and H2R?
The H2 is the tamed, street-legal version of the H2R. It comes with less performance, but it has all the required street-legal accessories (mirrors, lights, turn signals, etc.).
Does the H2R have a supercharger?
Yes, the Kawasaki H2R comes with a centrifugal supercharger from the factory.
How much does a Kawasaki Ninja H2R weigh?
The curb weight of the Ninja H2R is only 476 pounds.
What are the dimensions of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R?
The H2R measures 81.5 inches in length, 33.5 inches in width, and 45.7 inches in height.
How much fuel does the Kawasaki Ninja H2R hold?
The fuel capacity of the H2R is 4.5 US gallons (17 liters).
What kind of oil does the Kawasaki Ninja H2R take?
According to the operator’s manual, the H2R takes SAE 10W-40 engine oil.
Is the H2R road-legal in the US?
To the greatest regret of many speed junkies, the H2R is not street-legal in the US. Its street-legal sibling, the base H2 comes with moderate performance but it has the required street-legal accessories.
Can you buy the Kawasaki Ninja H2R?
Yes, the Kawasaki H2R is available through authorized Kawasaki dealerships via pre-order.
How much is a Kawasaki H2R?
The MSRP of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R is no less than $56,000.