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He speaks candidly with CycleWorld about the H2 project, his role in development and his own plans for the bike. Fantastic insights and backstory provide some of the missing color. Oh and those of you who've been here for a bit will recognize a familiar name down in the comment section. >:D

On The Record: Rickey Gadson- Project Kawasaki Ninja H2 Hybrid Drag Bike

Look:

On Sunday they brought me back to test the H2R, which is the first time I saw that exhaust and those wings. I had never, ever, experienced a feeling like that. When I first got on the throttle, the front wheel came up instantly. This was not drag racing; this was just rolling on the throttle. These were pre-production bikes with no electronics. No traction control. No wheelie control. Just raw power.
Those wings on the H2R? I can absolutely tell you they work. After 100 mph you can feel the difference. The H2 floats its front wheel, even if fourth gear. The front wheel is light. In fourth gear on the H2R, the front wheel was heavy. It felt firmly planted on the ground, which told me the wings worked. The bike was super steady at high speed.
When I first drag-tested the H2, I really felt like an amateur. It was pissing me off. The bike was so powerful it intimidated me.
For that test, I brought along my 2015 ZX-14R, set up the same exact way, with stock wheelbase and lowered, that’s it. Everything else was factory. Did the same thing to the H2. The ZX-14R ran a 9.16 at 149 mph. The H2, with H2R pipes and ECU tuning very similar to the H2R’s, went 9.16 at 160. That’s 11 mph better!

Most people will say that’s not enough difference given the extra cost of the bike. But let’s not forget this fact: With the 14, I can lock the throttle in first gear. On the H2, I can’t lock the throttle until fourth gear. If you were to do a side by side run, the ZX-14 would pull away from the H2 until the eighth mile, but in the second half of the run the H2 would catch the ZX-14R by the finish line.
Of course, nothing on this bike fits any other bike that Kawasaki has. Not the electronics. Not the wheels. Nothing is the same. It was like a total ground-up restoration. It made for some headaches, honestly.
It makes 292 horsepower to the rear wheel on pump gas. KHI is very smart. They are never going to run anything on the edge. When we checked the air-fuel ratio, it was 11.3 to 11.4. That’s how rich they had it. They had to make sure it’s safe enough for anybody who gets their hands on it to not blow it up. We knew from racing my turbo bike that we can lean it out quite a bit more than that. So we took the air-fuel ratio to about 12.2 and picked up 30 horsepower. With the leaner mixture and improved airflow, we went from 269 horsepower to 292. If you equate that to crankshaft horsepower, that would be around 320 horsepower.
People keep commenting about how heavy the H2 is. They’re appalled that it’s listed as 530 lb. I will say this: I never believed the bike was that heavy, so I pulled it onto a scale. In completely stock trim (no carbon, except where the mirrors and wings are), my bike weighed 475 lb. stock, with a gallon of gas.
 

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That's some great info
 
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this could be promising...

When we checked the air-fuel ratio, it was 11.3 to 11.4. That’s how rich they had it. They had to make sure it’s safe enough for anybody who gets their hands on it to not blow it up. We knew from racing my turbo bike that we can lean it out quite a bit more than that. So we took the air-fuel ratio to about 12.2 and picked up 30 horsepower. With the leaner mixture and improved airflow, we went from 269 horsepower to 292.
 

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First time seeing this review, great review overall and valuable information to be had here.

Thanks for posting this.
 

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If the rules only allow one add on does this mean it could run nitro as well because the sc is not an add on ?

How much power will we see with no class limits?

The most amazing part of all this is that this is just the beginning!
 

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Did i understand the text of gadson?

The changes are ecu -exhaust- "Carbon wings"
For this results at the first Test?
 

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"Did i understand the text of gadson?"


He has an H2R motor in there..not the H2.

The front cowl IS an H2.That's all that is...with the mirrors replaced.His ECU is a factory H2R ECU...tweaked some by a pro.
 

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"Did i understand the text of gadson?"


He has an H2R motor in there..not the H2.

The front cowl IS an H2.That's all that is...with the mirrors replaced.His ECU is a factory H2R ECU...tweaked some by a pro.


If he has an H2R motor, why did his bike only produce 237HP on the 1st dyno pull at Guhl? I spoke with Rickey at the NYC bike show and he said his motor is an H2 with H2R cams, ECU and mapping.
 

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Did i understand the text of gadson?

The changes are ecu -exhaust- "Carbon wings"
For this results at the first Test?
What is certain is H2R G (Gadsons bike ) is running with a H2 upper cowl. One side of the two intakes appears blanked like the street bike. And it has a headlight! Unfortunately except the ecu and exhaust we do not know what cams it was /is running . I suspect the Street H2.

Lets also bear in mind that a drag bike can run a higher tick over than a street which means the compression ratio can be lowered futher to get more jungle juice in.

1397.jpg

I've heard The H2R ticking over and it was around the 1k mark.

Oh, and I took the picture myself,,, how could I not have one ,,H2 I mean.
 

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"ecu and exhaust we do not know what cams it was /is running" .



650ib stated.."I spoke with Rickey at the NYC bike show and he said his motor is an H2 with H2R cams, ECU and mapping."...then it actually isn't an H2 configuration(which means,we DO know what he was running).His clutch most likely is an H2R setup as well...to handle the power.


"If he has an H2R motor, why did his bike only produce 237HP on the 1st dyno pull at Guhl?"Where was this stated?It's POSSIBLE he HAD an H2 motor in there first off,then built it to the H2R specs.Which can be done.No H2R puts out 237HP.It's much higher.
 

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Gadson's ECU had the Kawasaki part number of a US/Canada H2 but had no software ID number in it, something all production ECUs have. It looks like kawi took a stock H2 ECU and flashed it with custom mapping just for Gadson.

Don ordered an H2 ECU from a kawi dealer. That production H2 ECU running on Gadson's motor is what made 237hp

Gadson's bike running the custom ECU it came with ran 277hp The 292hp stated in the article is what they were able to achieve running the Power Commander that the DynoJet guys flew out and put on it.

Don's 301hp was achieved by removing the Power Commander and custom mapping the ECU.

We have as of yet not downloaded a production H2R ECU so there is no way to say how close the Gadson's ECU mapping is to the R.

BTW from now on I going to refer to Gadson's bike as the H2G to reduce confusion.
 

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"ecu and exhaust we do not know what cams it was /is running" .

"If he has an H2R motor, why did his bike only produce 237HP on the 1st dyno pull at Guhl?"Where was this stated?It's POSSIBLE he HAD an H2 motor in there first off,then built it to the H2R specs.Which can be done.No H2R puts out 237HP.It's much higher.

If not mistaken Don said that the 237 hp was with a completely stock H2 ECU (accept for changes to eliminate codes), NOT the ECU that came with Ricky's bike. The ECU that came with Ricky's bike completely stock produced 277.40 Hp and 115.18 ft-lb torque. Which is on par for the rated hp of the H2R.

Read his post at the following link closely. Even Don and Ricky himself are not completely sure what motor is in Ricky's bike. The bike appears to be an H2R with H2 front light.


http://www.ninjah2.org/forum/ninja-h2-general-discussion/5122-guhl-motors-h2-h2r-ecu-dyno-testing-preliminary-results.html


Ooops, posted this about the same time Ridge racer posted his explanation. I like the H2G designation since it is a hybrid and no one really knows what parts from the production H2R and H2 are on this bike.
 

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If he has an H2R motor, why did his bike only produce 237HP on the 1st dyno pull at Guhl? I spoke with Rickey at the NYC bike show and he said his motor is an H2 with H2R cams, ECU and mapping.
The only real difference between h2 and R is yhe ecu mapping, don remapped it to what the h2 would be if it were flashed. So in other words.. The cam not withstanding if you had a regular h2 and pulled the air filter, ran race gas, and had don map the ecu to the maximum allowable timing or max rpm then it should make close to that 237 at tire. The 277ish hp number was what it was with normal R mapping and that 301 hp number is after don bumped the rev limiter to 14800 I think?? It says it in dons post. Imo with air filter on and normal gas and dons flash will do 225 at tire. Which is flocking ridiculous for a reliable, ride every day bike. I have same bike as mustang dame and hate when you beat him with your hp4 (if I have right guy) :D

Link to other thread:
http://www.ninjah2.org/forum/ninja-h2-general-discussion/5098-photoshopped-h2-dyno-sheet.html
 

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...The cam not withstanding if you had a regular h2 and pulled the air filter, ran race gas, and had don map the ecu to the maximum allowable timing or max rpm then it should make close to that 237 at tire.
Actually that is not really an accurate statement.

My understanding was the 237 run was done to get an idea of how much of the increase on the H2G was due to the pipe, filter, and cam (i.e. hardware changes).

It breaks down like this...

G hardware + H2 ECU + H2G fuel maps = 237
G hardware + H2G ECU =277
G hardware + H2G ECU + PCV = 292
G hardware + H2G ECU + Don Maps = 301
 

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Actually that is not really an accurate statement.

My understanding was the 237 run was done to get an idea of how much of the increase on the H2G was due to the pipe, filter, and cam (i.e. hardware changes).

It breaks down like this...

G hardware + H2 ECU + H2G fuel maps = 237
G hardware + H2G ECU =277
G hardware + H2G ECU + PCV = 292
G hardware + H2G ECU + Don Maps = 301
I understand, rev limiter was untouched but the other R parts were included. I tried unsuccessfully to show that that's a big number with difficult to reproduce results ie no air filter and race fuel. All I was trying to say. This is what I was talking about from dons post

Some other details...
The testing was done over the course of 2 very long days with an ice storm rolling in and out.
The fuel used for all of the testing was VP Q16, a high octane oxygenated fuel. Check Q16 Spec Sheet for additional information.
The air filter was removed. This was removed during previous dyno tuning with the power commander equipment. I was informed that the performance improved when it was removed, but no one was sure by how much because several things were changed at one time.
All of the tuning was done in the ECU only. All of the power commander equipment was removed before any testing was done.
 

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Actually that is not really an accurate statement.

My understanding was the 237 run was done to get an idea of how much of the increase on the H2G was due to the pipe, filter, and cam (i.e. hardware changes).

It breaks down like this...

G hardware + H2 ECU + H2G fuel maps = 237
G hardware + H2G ECU =277
G hardware + H2G ECU + PCV = 292
G hardware + H2G ECU + Don Maps = 301
Looking at the 277, 292, 301 rwhp numbers, you must be aware that 1500 rpm shy of whatever max rpms each tune allowed that unless you weigh something like 450 lbs, you more than likely will be spinning the rear wheel in 5th and 6th gears at insane speeds, a tank slapper at those velocities is dancing with the devil and asking to meet your maker, unless of course you are Ricky Gadson. You have milliseconds to react if anything goes foul in that regime.

Rhody...
 

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Gadson's ECU had the Kawasaki part number of a US/Canada H2 but had no software ID number in it, something all production ECUs have. It looks like kawi took a stock H2 ECU and flashed it with custom mapping just for Gadson.

Don ordered an H2 ECU from a kawi dealer. That production H2 ECU running on Gadson's motor is what made 237hp

Gadson's bike running the custom ECU it came with ran 277hp The 292hp stated in the article is what they were able to achieve running the Power Commander that the DynoJet guys flew out and put on it.

Don's 301hp was achieved by removing the Power Commander and custom mapping the ECU.

We have as of yet not downloaded a production H2R ECU so there is no way to say how close the Gadson's ECU mapping is to the R.

BTW from now on I going to refer to Gadson's bike as the H2G to reduce confusion.
Translation; Don Ghul took off the pig and mapped the ECU directly. There you go. :D
 
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