The Z brand has a rich history that stretches back almost 50 years. Now with the arrival of the Supernaked Z H2 with its supercharged engine, the second chapter of Z history is about to begin. A distillation of the vast technology possessed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., the innovative Z H2 is a motorcycle worthy of title “ultimate.” This new flagship model will lead the Z Series into the future.
BALANCED SUPERCHARGED ENGINE FOR A SUPERNAKED
The Z H2’s Balanced Supercharged Engine is the product of Kawasaki Group technology, designed in-house not only by the Motorcycle & Engine Company, but also with collaboration from the Aerospace Systems Company, Energy System & Plant Engineering Company, and Corporate Technology Division. Kawasaki wanted the power of its supercharged engine to be manageable. As a result of this pursuit, the optimized engine-supercharger pairing offers smooth power delivery in all conditions, its wide power band delivering exhilarating acceleration at all rpm.
LOW-MID RANGE-FOCUSED TORQUE FACILITATES CONTROL
The Electronic Throttle Valves and FI settings are the prime contributors in ensuring the massively powerful supercharged engine has an easy-to-control character. In addition, short _nal gearing and optimized valve timing help realize smooth acceleration at low-mid rpm, and longer header pipes in the chamberless exhaust system further contribute to low-mid rang performance. While easy-to-manage throttle response and smooth acceleration are prioritized in the torqueful low-mid range, once the rider opens the throttle and the revs climb to high rpm, the power of the supercharged engine becomes readily apparent.
RAM AIR INTAKE WITH MAXIMIZED INTAKE EFFICIENCY
The frontal area of the Ram Air intake is about 3x the area of the supercharger entrance. The Ram Air duct was designed to take the fresh air to the supercharger in as straight a line as possible, contributing to high performance. Positioning the air cleaner just inside the Ram Air intake helps to achieve the ideal power characteristics for the Z H2, while allowing the supercharger housing to be prominently displayed.
SPECIALLY DESIGNED LIGHTWEIGHT TRELLIS FRAME OFFERS BOTH LIGHT HANDLING AND STRAIGHT LINE STABILITY
Able to harness the full power of the supercharged engine, the Z H2’s specially designed frame offers a combination of high-speed stability and light handing that facilitates control when riding in the city or on twisty roads – seemingly contrary characteristics. The compact frame, an ideal basis for the form of a naked model, has a high-level balance of stiffness and flexibility, allowing a wide range of riding situations to be tackled.
The trellis frame combines pipes of high-tensile steel, each with carefully selected diameter, thickness and bend to obtain the necessary stiffness for that part of the frame. The result is a frame with both the rigidity to handle the high power of the supercharged engine and stresses at high speed, and the flexibility to deliver light, nimble handling. The optimized rigidity also makes it easier for riders to feel feedback from the road surface, which makes the Z H2 more fun to control. Another benefit is that the frame’s open design also helps effectively dissipate heat generated by the supercharged engine more easily than would atypical aluminium frame.
For this model, SHOWA’s SFF-BP front fork is used. The fork’s large-diameter piston provides firm bottoming resistance and sporty damping characteristics. Adjustable preload and damping allow riders to easily set up the bike according to their size and the riding conditions.
To be easy to ride at low and medium speeds, as well as high speeds, the Z H2 needed brake system that matches its performance. The front brakes are gripped by Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers. Machined from cast aluminium blocks, their highly rigid one-piece structures boast strong braking force. The calipers are radially mounted, further contributing to their high performance. The Nissin master cylinder, _ne-tuned with Kawasaki original settings, offers functionality perfectly matched to the Z H2’s character, enabling riders to not only control deceleration from various speed ranges, but also to use the brakes to initiate weight transfer to change the bike’s posture on corner entry.
KAWASAKI QUICK SHIFTER
At engine speeds (rpm) above 2,500 min-1, KQS enables clutchless upshifts and downshifts. Complementing the powerful engine and dog-ring transmission, the quick shifter is a convenient feature that can be used not only for sports riding but also for city riding and touring. It enables quick upshifts and downshifts, facilitating smooth acceleration and deceleration. During acceleration, the system detects that the shift lever has been actuated, and sends a signal to the ECU to cut ignition so that the dog-rings can smoothly engage the next gear without having to use the clutch. During deceleration, the KQS system automatically controls engine speed, allowing you to downshift without operating the clutch. The system uses a contactless-type sensor, contributing to its high reliability.
SUGOMI describes the unique aura that radiates from beings possessing overwhelming presence and unrivalled power. It is like the almost palpable energy of a hunting predator intently focused on its prey, its low-crouching form poised to attack, every muscle tensed in anticipation of exploding into action. Its fierce glare pins its prey in place, and we glimpse of sharp fangs. Looking over the body of the Z H2, you will discover that this design concept has been faithfully recreated.