Over the last six months, it was hard to read a motorcycle magazine without noticing something about the latest Kawasaki Ninja H2 or H2R. A combination of the press coverage and the liberal application of the term ‘hyperbike’ has certainly left many a motorcyclist questioning their size – and understandably so. Both models come equipped with ferocious liquid cooled, 998cc in-line four engines rigged up to mighty superchargers; fortunately the H2R comes with enough carbon fiber and aerodynamic styling to keep it on the ground, which is exactly what you need when the manufacturer promises you 300 hp. Even the H2R’s street legal equivalent, the H2, cracks out 200 hp!
You’d think that the insane price tag of around $50,000 and the fact that the H2R model is for closed course riding only would be enough to turn off many custom and concept designers from the challenge of re-designing the beast but luckily, France’s AD Koncept has risen to the challenge.
The plastics have been stripped down to reveal a street fighter look, showing off the H2R’s sturdy trellis frame, with revised handlebars and a shorter but more aggressive headlight fairing; all complimented with Kawasaki green, of course. The rest of the design is filled with angular details and the perfect mix of sharp and soft curves, keeping with the street fighter standards of the moment.
What really grabs our attention is the exposed and beautifully long air intake, engineered to perfection and highlighting exactly what we’ve come here to see: the supercharger. Designed specifically by Kawasaki and for Kawasaki, the lightweight unit can provide an incredible range of power for any situation. The only question that remains is: how will the H2R handle without any aerodynamic winglets? I think it might just fly away.
The debate is still raging about the practicality of the H2 and the H2R with many critics arguing that the hefty price tag and absurd power output will keep ownership to an exclusive minority (otherwise known as the super-elite), whereas others are happy to see a motorcycle on sale that throws caution to the wind, tearing up the specification sheets and that doesn’t give a flying f*** about miles per gallon and any type of practicality. Personally, I don’t have a spare $50,000 – in fact, I don’t have the cash to make the H2R quiet enough for my local track – but that won’t stop me from appreciating the thing… And admiring what forward thinking motorcycle designers can do with such a beast. By: gearhead