Kicking sand in the face of all other naked machines, the Kawasaki Z H2 and its equally sinewy sibling, the Z H2 SE, are products of a manufacturer at the forefront of the trend for stripped back, naked machines.
But Kawasaki has a trump card in the litre class segment of this popular style of machine, a 100% in-house designed and manufactured integrated supercharger. Calling on the skills of its aerospace and gas turbine divisions, Kawasaki has created a unique range of forced induction machines with Supersport, Sport Touring and, in the case of the Z models, Supernaked focus.
Key to the essential lure of the Z H2 concept is the use of a balanced supercharger application. Prioritising low and especially mid-range pulling power (without completely sacrificing that essential Kawasaki “top end rush”) the two 998cc Supernaked models in the 2022 range are impressively specified.
Sugomi styling dominates making an unapologetic statement where engineering qualities are matched like-for-like by styling features. Allied to this the rider environment is equally impressive featuring fat type tubular handlebars, a large colour TFT meter panel with a variety of settings plus the ability to pair with the rider’s Smartphone and interact with the latest, updated version of Kawasaki’s Rideology App.
The trellis type chassis will be familiar to Ninja H2 fans but subtleties such as the twin spar swinging arm illustrate just how the creation of these dominant Supernakeds was fine tuned to suit the style of riding and performance envelope they would be operated within.
Rider aids abound with up/down quick shifters, integrated braking, switchable launch control, three mode traction control, power modes and even electronic cruise control showing that the seductive raw looks belie a refined rider-friendly personality. LED headlamps and ancillary lighting throughout illuminate what lays ahead while Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers ensure controlled and predictable stopping while the assist and slipper clutch facilitates slick down-changes.
For those seeking the ultimate in naked satisfaction, the SE model offers a degree of temptation that, for many, will be hard to resist. Kawasaki’s KECS electronically damped suspension is the stand-out feature of the SE model offering Showa Skyhook Technology whereby the attitude of the machine remains stable as the road undulates and the suspension reacts updating itself thousands of times per second. Additionally, the Z H2 SE’s higher-spec Brembo front brake package includes Stylema monobloc calipers and a Brembo radial pump front master cylinder, offering stronger braking performance and enhanced control.
The final touch is a special graphics package that sets the SE model apart from not just the standard Z H2 but all other Supernaked machines in the category. There is choice in the upper echelons of naked class, and an array machines on offer so it’s reassuring that once the bare facts are considered the Kawasaki Z H2.
Available from March 2022, colours and prices will be:
– Metallic Graphite Gray/Metallic Diablo Black (Standard £15,999, Performance £17,099)
– Metallic Diablo Black/Golden Blazed Green (Standard £15,999, Performance £17,099)
Z H2 SE
– Metallic Diablo Black/Golden Blazed Green (Standard £18,449, Performance £19,549)
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