The Supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 Gets More Power and More Tech for 2019
A revised engine, more LEDs, and a new TFT screen highlight the mid-cycle refresh for this supercharged beast.
The supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 has never been accused of not having enough power, but it’s getting more anyway. What Kawasaki accurately calls its line of “hypersport motorcycles” has been given a pretty generous mid-cycle refresh a few years after its 2015 release.
Let’s start with the engine. The supercharged 998cc inline-four now makes more power, but Kawasaki won’t say exactly how much. The street-legal version of the 2018 H2 claims 200 horsepower and 98.5 lb-ft of torque thanks to the 20.5 PSI of boost that comes from the two-speed centrifugal supercharger.
But there’s a lot more potential there, considering the track-only H2R can reach 310 horsepower or 326 horsepower with ram air. Kawasaki appears to be closing the gap a little bit between the H2 and the H2R with this new refresh. The only updates to the engine that Kawasaki specifies are a new air filter, intake chamber, and spark plugs. Other performance upgrades include Brembo Stylema brake calipers and Bridgestone Battleax RS11 tires.
It might be the loudest, but the more powerful engine in the H2 is hardly the biggest news of what’s new for 2019. The H2 and H2 Carbon are getting a full-color TFT information screen as any flagship sports bike should have. It will have four selectable display modes to show you any information you might need about your bike through a proprietary app, as well as the option to switch between a light and dark background.
This little infotainment system even has smartphone connectivity which is a first for Kawasaki. It also has a built-in GPS ride recorder that can show you information about your trip like how many miles you’ve covered, your mpg, and your top speed. Another set of welcome additions coming to the H2 includes full LED lighting; that means the turn signals, license plate lamp, headlight, and taillight.
A few aesthetic updates for the 2019 Ninja H2 include redesigned “supercharged” emblems and Kawasaki’s “Highly Durable Paint,” now being used on every body panel that isn’t carbon fiber. It has a special scratch resistant “self-repairing” topcoat that keeps your bike looking fresh.
Updates to the Ninja H2R are pretty minor and mostly aesthetic. The one mechanical upgrade the track bike gets is new Brembo Stylema front calipers. The rest of the updates are the new supercharged emblems, new paint, and that’s about it.
We don’t have official pricing or availability info yet on the 2019 Ninja H2 line, but keep a close eye out for when ordering opens if you really want one. Production is limited and ordering is never open for very long before they’re all gone for the year. The 2018 models of the Ninja H2 and H2R started at $28,000 and $55,000, respectively, so we can probably expect pricing for 2019 to be around there or a little higher.
We can’t help but think that this crop of updates is an effort to compete with a new heavy hitter in premium sport bikes: the Ducati Panigale V4. The Italian superbike makes 214 horsepower and 91.5 lb-ft of torque without the help of a supercharger and it starts at a comparatively cheap $21,195. Despite the Ducati being a more affordable and arguably better motorcycle, we have a feeling Kawasaki will have no trouble selling all of its 2019 Ninja H2s in a heartbeat.