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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First and foremost, I had a great time! The H2R is definitely the most visceral experience I have ever had. That beast has all the finesse of a ‘roided-up street mugger.

I came to Auto Club Speedway with only 5 mile on the odometer, so I did a break-in procedure of 30 minutes below 4K, 20 minutes below 8K, changed the oil, then held on for dear life. The manual recommends 30 min below 4K and 30 min below 6K but I believe my procedure was conservative enough. The first half hour was painfully slow, with my top speed limited to about 70mph (ugh!). What surprised me was when I was limiting to 8K RPM and maybe 1/2-3/4 throttle. I found myself catching some liter bikes under acceleration, ominously foreshadowing what this thing could do when fully unleashed. As expected, after the oil change, this thing had downright scary power, breaking the rear loose down the front straight in 4th gear! I have never experienced anything like it before.

It also had some glaringly bad problems, compounded by its tremendous output. The throttle map was some kind of sick joke. It’s like an on/off switch and I could not modulate properly mid-corner. It was absolutely unusable in 1st or 2nd gear, and even just attempting to cruise at 50MPH down pit lane resulted in all kinds of surging and bucking. Who the **** at Kawasaki let this go into final production?? The other major problem was headshake under hard acceleration. On my Ducati, for example, I could induce some headshake going through the back straight chicane and just power through it, allowing me to really attack that section. The Kawasaki, on the other hand would get worse and worse, turning into a tank slapper until I chopped the throttle. Doing a Google search, I've discovered that this seems to be a common problem with all Kawasakis over the decades. I remember my '94 ZX6 having a similar issue as well. Heck, even my ‘99 R1 sans steering damper wasn’t this unstable.

So my next steps are to flash the ECU with a more usable throttle map, then delve into the chassis and suspension tuning to tame the headshake. I'm open to any feedback others have, and what has worked best for them. In the mean time, wish me luck!
 

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First and foremost, I had a great time! The H2R is definitely the most visceral experience I have ever had.......

It also had some glaringly bad problems, compounded by its tremendous output. The throttle map was some kind of sick joke. It’s like an on/off switch and I could not modulate properly mid-corner. It was absolutely unusable in 1st or 2nd gear, and even just attempting to cruise at 50MPH down pit lane resulted in all kinds of surging and bucking. Who the **** at Kawasaki let this go into final production?? The other major problem was headshake under hard acceleration. ................
They all have that ultra-sensitive throttle to some extent, as you say like an on/off switch. I've got used to it on my H2, learning to open it just a fraction and covering the clutch and rear brake when in traffic but it's only at low rpm. There's a switch point just below 3,000rpm and you need to keep away from it to avoid the "surging and bucking" you describe. It seems worse if you jump onto an H2 after riding anything else. It's a characteristic of the H2 that's been worked on by people offering ECU flashing and mods, probably more than anything else.

I've had no headshake at all and haven't heard anyone else mention it. In fact it's a very stable bike at all speeds.
 

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When I had my H2 flashed, remit was to settle the "snatchy on/off" throttle down, as you say, mid corner on the throttle is where you want control, prior to re-flahing mine actually felt dangerous

Rob
 

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I've had no headshake at all and haven't heard anyone else mention it. In fact it's a very stable bike at all speeds.
Bob that's because you're strictly an LSR guy, not an issue in just straight-line running.
As you know I've done extensive chassis setup to my bike just to work at Willow Springs, not only to be stable and turn in but also to bet drive grip coming out of the corners. We've had so much success with this setup as I was getting tremendous drive grip it led to a new problem of violent head shake as I'm coming out of turn 9 onto the front straight, the front end is so light up in the higher RPMs and and any bit movement trying to straighten the bike up or shifting up the gears etc.. can throw it into headsake. I've had some scary moments shifting into 6th gear there at about 170. We have gone to a manual steering damper to compensate for this 1 area of the track that throws the cassis off.
 

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The other major problem was headshake under hard acceleration.
Throttle mapping is the key here, get her smooth as butter BEFORE you start messing with the chassis setup.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The other major problem was headshake under hard acceleration.
Throttle mapping is the key here, get her smooth as butter BEFORE you start messing with the chassis setup.
I 100% agree here. Especially given the amount of HP I’m dealing with, everything else is meaningless if I can’t confidently modulate the throttle.
 

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I 100% agree here. Especially given the amount of HP I’m dealing with, everything else is meaningless if I can’t confidently modulate the throttle.
It is very easy to make the throttle far more usable. I did it in 2 stages, I first tried just taking a throttle tube and grinding it down to a much smaller diameter (I bought a cheap one from banggood.com) and it proved that it would make the throttle much more controllable, but it had you twisting a bit more to get it to full throttle. So then I took another throttle tube and ground it down so that only the transition from off to on was on the smallest diameter, then after that it goes to full diameter. It is spectacular. I ride 85% twisty roads and I can concentrate on the road instead of firing a hand cannon each time I twist the throttle. But when you want it, you are hammering the throttle like normal when you get beyond the off to on.
To experiment go to banggood.com and look for a dual cable throttle tube. They are $2.99 each with free shipping. That way if you don't like it, your old one is untouched. I recommend you get a couple of them and experiment like I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It is very easy to make the throttle far more usable. I did it in 2 stages, I first tried just taking a throttle tube and grinding it down to a much smaller diameter (I bought a cheap one from banggood.com) and it proved that it would make the throttle much more controllable, but it had you twisting a bit more to get it to full throttle. So then I took another throttle tube and ground it down so that only the transition from off to on was on the smallest diameter, then after that it goes to full diameter. It is spectacular. I ride 85% twisty roads and I can concentrate on the road instead of firing a hand cannon each time I twist the throttle. But when you want it, you are hammering the throttle like normal when you get beyond the off to on.
To experiment go to banggood.com and look for a dual cable throttle tube. They are $2.99 each with free shipping. That way if you don't like it, your old one is untouched. I recommend you get a couple of them and experiment like I did.
That is a fantastic mechanical solution to the problem. Personally, I’d rather take advantage of the drive-by-wire system and go the electronic route, but I’m impressed regardless.
 

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That is a fantastic mechanical solution to the problem. Personally, I’d rather take advantage of the drive-by-wire system and go the electronic route, but I’m impressed regardless.
Thanks, I think the ultimate solution is both mechanical and electronic, It still can be harsh if you aren't careful.
 

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I did both. We installed the Graves throttle tubing which gives a tamer response on the initial crack of the throttle, and then we spent 4hrs doing throttle mapping till throttle response was smooth as butter coming out of the corners. It takes a lot of work. Makes you wonder why Kawi didn't do this work before delivering the bikes..
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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