Marking a world record of 337 km/h at Bonneville

True value of 2019 KAWASAKI Ninja H2 [Interview with developer]

  • 2019/8/14

Ninja H2 世界最速記録樹立

The KAWASAKI Ninja H2, the overall winner of customer’s vote called “Machine of the Year 2018” held by the YOUNG MACHINE, took part in the Bonneville Speed Week 2018 to achieve a world record of 337.064 km/h in the P-PB1000 class with strict restrictions for modification. We had an interview with Mr. Satoaki ICHI (KAWASAKI Heavy Industries Motorcycle & Engine Company) about his challenge to the Bonneville 2018 and some featured topics of the 2019 Ninja H2.

Text / Photo by Hidetoshi KAWASHIMA

市 聡顕 氏(川崎重工業モーターサイクル&エンジンカンパニー)

KAWASAKI Heavy Industries Motorcycle & Engine Company
Mr. Satoaki ICHI

The Ninja H2/H2R development team leader. He is the important person of the motorcycle company to unite advanced technical capabilities of the entire Kawasaki Heavy Industries into the H2 in collaboration with the aerospace company or the gas‐turbine engine company beyond borders among their units.

The public road model H2 got the fastest world record by its overwhelming power.

“The latest 2019 H2 has increased its maximum output drastically to 231ps after 4 years from its debut in 2015. Since the Ninja H2R, only for a closed course riding, can generate 310 ps, the Ninja H2 might be regarded as a mere downgrade model, but the specifications of some details have been practically changed. It was the Ninja H2 SX, released after the H2 as one of the series lineup, that provided the H2 basic know-how.

The tourer model Ninja H2 SX must pursue obviously not only the power but also the fuel efficiency, so that we had developed a balanced supercharged engine. The SX engine had put the high-efficient technology into practical use, which has been fed back to the H2 power type supercharged engine.

The aluminum intake chamber would be one of these feedback. The former intake chamber had got a high-efficiency by its fan shape, and the latest 2019 one has made it possible to induce a smooth intake by a horn type diffuser inside the chamber. The supercharged air expands instantly in the chamber and generates turbulence, which causes a loss of intake efficiency. This turbulence can be controlled by the new diffuser, so that it is possible to generate the power more efficiently. The fact that the torque increases at over 7000 rpm shows exactly the evolution that allows riders to experience directly the real pleasure of the supercharger. The Ninja H2 has a great increasing power at a high rev, enough to feel more overwhelming acceleration.”

Ninja H2 世界最速記録樹立

The Ninja H2 in the Bonneville Speed Week 2018 had a same specification basically as that of 2019 market model except a meter display, a limiter setting and tires. That is to say it’s almost a normal one! It is just a romantic reality for riders to get a market model almost same as the Bonneville H2.

“We decided to challenge to the Bonneville Speed Week in August 2018 as the in-house Team 38 to prove the H2 spec immediately. Once we had challenged the Bonneville with the H2R which had a supreme specifications only for the closed course riding in order to find out the possibilities of our own machine, then we challenged again with the 2019 Ninja H2 to win the fastest in the public road models. We entered the P-PB1000 class which had strict restrictions for modifying, to establish the fastest world record as 209.442 mph (337.064 km / h). The record on the first day had been over 210 mph, but the second day it had fallen down to 207 mph due to the tire slipping by morning dew. We felt frustrated with the average results. Although the absolute power must be required as a matter of course, the Bonneville Speed Week was too hard to work as we wanted by the difficulties with a surface and a wind of the salt lake. Above all, it was a great achievement for me as a developer to establish a world record with this machine which was still almost same as a market model for public roads.”

市 聡顕 氏(川崎重工業モーターサイクル&エンジンカンパニー)

Mr. ICHI had got together in the Team 38 with Mr. Shigeru YAMASHITA (right) and others and had challenged to the Bonneville with the Ninja H2R in 2015 & 2016 to prove its machine performance he had built. (also they got participated in the Mojave Mile since the Bonneville was canceled in 2015). Mr. ICHI challenged the record with the Ninja H2 in 2018.

市 聡顕 氏(川崎重工業モーターサイクル&エンジンカンパニー)

The Ninja H2/H2R, equipped with an innovative supercharged engine, won not only the first prize of the Machine of the Year 2018 by YOUNG MACHINE but also the Technical Development Award of the 69th Automotive Technology Association Award and even the 2018 Technical Award of the Combustion Society of Japan.

The linkage function with smartphone shows new possibilities

“One of the important topic of the 2019 model is the full-color LCD meter. This equipment is common with that of the Ninja H2 SX, applied the same unit basically with some exceptions about display contents. The greatest feature is its ability to connect with a smartphone application, the RIDEOLOGY THE APP. It seems that a typical application has only such a function to show incoming calls and e-mails on the LCD screen, but this application made by KAWASAKI has excellent advantages of displaying and logging actively even some informations about the electric control system. It can project logged data on the Google Maps by using the smartphone GPS, enough to replay where and how you have just ridden on. The 2019 model has smaller and lighter front brake calipers by BREMBO, the highest grades for streets, of which this app has even a function to display the brake fluid pressure, that would seem to be a little bit overdone. This smartphone app linkage function has not yet reached the level of a GPS data logger for a circuit course at the moment. But we hope to update it to that level in the future.

Although the 2019 model has also a new ECU, it is still a main modification to dealing with the application linkage function. This ECU picks up some informations from the CAN of the motorcycle and transfer them to the smartphone, that would become a core technology for the user interface in the future. Although it is just a tool to know the condition of motorcycle at this moment, the life with motorcycle would be more enjoyable in the future if it has a function to communicate with motorcycle by using the AI perfectly.

The 2019 Ninja H2 has been finally delivered in the domestic market. We are very sorry for waiting because we have built each unit carefully one by one after ordering. Only the Ninja H2 Carbon has been released, which has a spartan styling like a fighter with the matte silver painting. You can ride it around without worrying about even small scratches by the highly durable paint same as that of the former. We will work hard in the future to expand the further pleasure with a supercharged engine expected by everyone.”

The 3rd generation marked 231ps by improving an intake chamber and others.


2019 KAWASAKI Ninja H2 CARBON [Specification] Liquid-cooled 4-stroke Inline 4-cylinder DOHC 4 valve 998 cc 231 ps / 11500 rpm 14.4 kg-m / 11000 rpm Price: 3,564,000 yen

The Ninja H2 made its debut in 2015 with an extraordinary power of 200 ps. The 2017 model slightly increased power to 205ps, and the 2019 model has drastically evolved with the overwhelming 231 ps against the others. The Ninja H2 has been incorporated the know-how acquired from developing a balance type supercharged engine mounted on the H2 SX. The intake passage has evolved with more high-efficient shape. And some specification changes in details have been made such as changing the material of air filter and increasing the plug electrode length by 0.1mm.


The Ninja H2 has an aluminum intake chamber with the same shape of that of the H2 SX. The diffuser inside the chamber suppresses turbulence to induce the supercharged air smoothly.


The highly durable paint has been actually adopted since the 2017 model, that can perform a self-repair of small scratches such as wire brushes.


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