The Kawasaki Ninja H2R arrived with all the subtlety of an artillery shelling. Bewinged and supercharged, the track-only sportbike made landfall packing an unprecedented 310 horsepower. Consider it the Bugatti Veyron of the two-wheel world. The sticker shock fit that analogy; at $50,000, the H2R cost three times the average new motorcycle. The plot thickened when Kawasaki promised a more affordable, street-legal variant, the Ninja H2, featuring the same 998cc supercharged engine. Then everybody realized “affordable” meant $25,000, and that the blown four-cylinder was detuned to 210 horsepower. Absent obscene firepower, and tipping the scales at a not-insignificant 525 pounds, the standard H2 felt more novelty act than world-beater.
That all said: The Ninja H2 is still an ignorantly quick motorcycle.
How quick? Consider the 0-60 mph time, 2.6 seconds, enough to hang with superbike elites like Honda’s CBR1000RR, Ducati’s 1199 Panigale, and the BMW S1000RR. But the H2 will dog any of those guys at the drag strip. The ace test riders over at Cycle World managed a 9.62-second quarter-mile pass, a full half-second apace the new Yamaha R1. Incendiary performance, as promised.
But maybe those numbers don’t seem impressive enough. Or maybe you’d just like some more context. Either way, a good ol’ fashion bike-versus-supercar drag race can help. The video below demonstrates the results of a rolling runway pull between an H2, Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 and McLaren MP4-12C Spider. The latter car, according to its owner, has been modified to the tune of 720 horsepower.
Click the play button below to see how it all plays out.