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2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 & H2R Superbike FIRST RIDE Motorcycle Review

As the only North American motojournalist with an invite to the Ninja H2/H2R press introduction, I felt like a sleep-deprived dignitary upon my 1:30 a.m. arrival to the host hotel check-in desk. In the lobby, I bumped into a couple fellow race-hardened scribes from the German motorcycle press. Still abuzz from the previous day’s track test, my animated associates spoke of how insanely fast the Kawasakis were and wished me well, as one of the riders in their group was spending the night in the hospital!
 

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"As the only North American motojournalist with an invite to the Ninja H2/H2R press introduction..."

Be interested to know what the selection criteria were for being invited to the Press Introduction.

I would think that the other major North American motorcycle publications feel rather left out.

Not as many superlatives to be found in the Cycle World Review of the H2 in comparison to others.

Hopefully, Cycle World will also do a Review on video as well.
 

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I read that cycleworld review this morning.I actually think the Euro guy was much more excited than this US rider.I wasn't very impressed with the Cycleworld reviewer.Sorry.

One thing I've noticed when it comes to Kawasakis and Cycleworld...they don't really give the Kawasaki's props as other mags do....????:confused:


"as one of the riders in their group was spending the night in the hospital!"...from his review,I'd say,he( the Cycleworld guy) wasn't riding at quite the peak those others were...ya think?

We're supposed to assume and 'expect' that our factory speedos are off by 10 mph?Think he needs to recalibrate his GPS deal..or get a new battery.Sorry...I'm not buyin his conclusions.Maybe that's exactly WHY they only invited one US journalist to the running.:eek:Wonder what Rossi or some of those guys would think when hammering the H2/H2R.

I've run my 14R up to the limit...with a GPS deal(it was dead on when I rechecked the top speed display on the GPS after stopping)...it takes some few seconds to get a concise read when you're moving that fast.You have to have it pinned for several seconds at least(usually a bit longer actually)with a stable signal.Which he said himself that he couldn't achieve(pinning it and holding) in the space he had.Satellite reads aren't always in the right position with these things.He should have known that???I mean,WHY even post the speed difference when ya can't even get a true reading?That just seems(to me)...juvenile.

And notice how he talks about the handling and such.The OTHER guys didn't have anything negative to say about it.Unless I misread what they all said?His comments to me seem to point to a guy that was 1:Scared,and 2:worried about crashing.(understandably)


"it became apparent that engine response is very abrupt coming off closed throttle. Removing excess free play in the throttle-cable adjustment prior to my second session helped a bit"...he's the only one who mentioned this...the others all said it was great.Smooth...linear.Allowing for rear tire slip to occur when wanted."Adjusted the throttle free play which helped a bit"...perhaps it wasn't the bike,but the driver?
 

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Makes one wonder if the enthusiasm is saved for the print publication...however, North American publications do emphasize real world riding more than euro's I've noticed.
 

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IDK.It is afterall HIS opinion.It's valid to him.I'm no judge.But I definitely feel that Cycleworld is biased towards Suzi's and Yammies.
 

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Not to be augmentative, all my bikes read faster than GPS speeds.

This high side error is admittedly built in by the manufacturer's, again to save ourselves from ourselves.:(


I did notice the abrupt throttle on some of the track video's. It's a personal thing, I have had the old CV carbureted bikes which were terrible and gotten used to it...:eek:
 

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He was the first to scrape the footpegs around every corner in the circuit :cool:
He was obviously tired and just maybe wasn't getting off the bike and allowing too much lean angle.
 

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There is a variety of opinions about the Review...

Read some of the interesting Comments (they aren't mine) posted on the Web Page of the Cycle World Review...

"I didn’t get anything from that review. Something something meaningless specs and some himblebragging later and the review is over before I knew anything about what the bike is to ride. Thanks professional journalists lol."

and

"To agree with the others, Is there a part two where you actually review the motorcycle?

Other mags I’ve read from visor down to motociclismo describe the bike as if it was the second coming of Jesus Christ and here you only have two paragraphs that actually speak about what the bike was like to ride. I scrolled down wondering if I missed the last few sections."
 

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I really think it's a more of a teaser leading up to the print publication.

They usually don't say hardly anything before the mag comes out...
 

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"Not to be augmentative, all my bikes read faster than GPS speeds."...I should have clarified a bit.All mine had the top speed limiters disabled.My 07 had a healtech V4 speedohealer on it.My 2012(RIP) and 2013 are off by 3 mph(fast)...but the speedo read '190' when in fact,the gps was reading the same thing.Could have been the 'shaking'(wind vibrations) at that speed caused me to glance at a 193 speedo read and not see it correctly...it must have been that.


I'm sayin,CYCLEWORLD does NOT like to give Kawasaki's much credit.IDK why.They did take some nice pics though;)
 

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Speedo accuracy means nothing to me. I could care less if it's a little or a little low. As long as it's close - fine.

I care about how much fun I'll have on the bike and not much else.

Greg
 

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Went and reread his article.Okay...it was overall decent...I think.The comments section on the site were pretty much what I was thinking.So others weren't too impressed with his observations.He rode the bike...and one guy asked"will it fit bigger guys?".His response was "I can't say"..or something like that.Now,anyone whose ridden this bike should clearly be able to say 'yes' or 'no'..or something in between.Some sort of real answer.This was my 'disappointment' with his dialog.For such a 'big magazine',you'd think they'd have a more 'in touch' rider describing this new bike.I'd like to know how it REALLY handles,how it REALLY feels vibration-wise and stuff.I think in there he mentioned something about it out handling a 14 far and away.That was good to hear,since both bikes are about the same length and all.

I've had my 14 down to 520 lbs with half tank of fuel...so I know how that felt.I hope this H2 at 524 full tank will truly handle 'far and away' above my beloved 14R which sits now at about 545 with full tank.Planning on dropping some weight off THIS bike as well.500 lbs wet would be nice.

It appears that some of you guys will be getting yours VERY soon.I'm hoping you'll discuss somewhat the ride feel,suspension feel,vibration levels...smoothness...shift feel.I'm happy for all you guys 'soon to be riding owners'...and the rest of us here...waiting...

My MAIN concern has been..."will I fit on it comfortably?"

I'm 6'1",170 lbs.I'd be heartbroken if somehow I didn't fit.Silly idea I know...but I intend to ride this bike and rack the miles up,like my 14.
 

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Went and reread his article.Okay...it was overall decent...I think.The comments section on the site were pretty much what I was thinking.So others weren't too impressed with his observations.He rode the bike...and one guy asked"will it fit bigger guys?".His response was "I can't say"..or something like that.Now,anyone whose ridden this bike should clearly be able to say 'yes' or 'no'..or something in between.Some sort of real answer.This was my 'disappointment' with his dialog.For such a 'big magazine',you'd think they'd have a more 'in touch' rider describing this new bike.I'd like to know how it REALLY handles,how it REALLY feels vibration-wise and stuff.I think in there he mentioned something about it out handling a 14 far and away.That was good to hear,since both bikes are about the same length and all.

I've had my 14 down to 520 lbs with half tank of fuel...so I know how that felt.I hope this H2 at 524 full tank will truly handle 'far and away' above my beloved 14R which sits now at about 545 with full tank.Planning on dropping some weight off THIS bike as well.500 lbs wet would be nice.

It appears that some of you guys will be getting yours VERY soon.I'm hoping you'll discuss somewhat the ride feel,suspension feel,vibration levels...smoothness...shift feel.I'm happy for all you guys 'soon to be riding owners'...and the rest of us here...waiting...

My MAIN concern has been..."will I fit on it comfortably?"

I'm 6'1",170 lbs.I'd be heartbroken if somehow I didn't fit.Silly idea I know...but I intend to ride this bike and rack the miles up,like my 14.
You should be fine.

All the testers seem to agree it's more "relaxed" than a 10R. I'm 6" 200 lbs and 10R's fit me much better than other "Supersports"...
 
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