H2 oh! – Snag shoots down the wowsers – By Greg Leech
So, yet another ‘top cop’ is having a whinge about those death-machines. In this case the Kawasaki Ninja H2. You’ve witnessed at least some of the hysteria, I’m sure. The fact that no-one actually has the correct performance numbers seems to matter little in the mainstream press. I’m hearing 197hp, but until I see a real dyno run, I’ll reserve judgement. They are happy quoting the big numbers that the track-only version is supposed to register, giving the impression – especially in Artificial Lakes and environs — that the road-going version will be in similar spec. Around 300hp is the chat. Yep, that’s a big number. Totally irrelevant, but a big number.
Now, Boss Trev has been on the rayjyo, pointing out the Assistant Commissioner’s multiple errors, and I urge you all to do the same. He’s completely wrong (the rozzer, not King Trev). But, you already knew that. Plod’s lips were moving and that’s a sure sign.
Now, just for the record, I did a bit of a wander down memory lane to put this here bloody H2 thingy into context.
Back in 1993 the Kawasaki ZZR1100 came out; you oldies remember that day. A bit like JFK for motorcyclists, that day. Yep, we were blown away with its horsepower and performance figures. All 1052ccs and 256kg (wet) of the Big Beast. All 147hp/108kW at 10,500rpm and 110Nm/11.2kg-m at 8500rpm of angry bison of a motorcycle. 43mm forks, 180 section rear tyre… This thing would surely kill us all. Back then I was at AMCN and, as the Team Shitekicker at the time, well, I rarely got to ride the good stuff. But, one day I was thrown the keys to the ZZR. Oddly, it didn’t kill me and the model went on to become an icon of its time. But, the ZZR was, and remains fast. Very fast.
Then in 2000 dear old Kwaka (bless them) did it all again with the ZX12R. Cop these numbers: 178hp/131 kW at 10,500 rpm and 134Nm/13.7kg-m at 7500rpm. And, holy smoke! With Ram Air the bloody thing was good for 190hp at 10,500rpm
In fact, European governments were keen to ban the ZX-12R altogether due to its top speed and super acceleration. These threats were taken seriously, and Kawasaki released the bike with a slightly detuned engine which failed to knock the Suzuki Hayabusa from its throne (although it was the Kwaka that wore all the wowser-flak, and the Suzi seemed to come through smelling like roses). The adjustment was not enough to satisfy those parties concerned with the ZX12-R’s performance capabilities. Starting with 2001 models, speed limiters were included to reduce the ZX12-R’s top speed to 300km/h.
The fact that the bike proved no more dangerous than any other model plying global streets and thoroughfares dampened down the enthusiasm for all this middle-class outrage. The attention span of yur average fun policeman is pretty short, the world over. They saw somenting shinier and wandered towards it.
And, well the ZX12-R was and is a fabbo bike, and of course it never would become a widowmaker.
And, neither will the H2.
That is of course if we are allowed to ride them. After all, old cranky coppers know more than we do about how to look after motorcyclist’s safety, don’t they?