Kawasaki needs a naked supercharged offering. We knew it was coming, but nobody knew when, but now we know. Stepping up the teaser game, Kawasaki has shown two videos picturing what could be a new model, to the H2 family. The line up of H2R (full mad machine), H2 (Road legal mad machine) and H2 SX (mad machine for two people) was missing a naked mad machine. The Tokyo Motor Show is expecting the reveal on the 23rd October.
With Ducati announcing a V4 Streetfighter promising a full fat 200 horsepower engine, this makes 2020 an exciting year.
Kawasaki does have to be very careful when it comes to the specification of the new model. Too high of a spec will make it compete with the H2 SX and the electronic suspension equipped SX SE. So keeping the base cost down would be very advantageous.
Can Kawasaki improve the best selling Z1000?
People I have spoken to at Kawasaki still maintain that the Z1000 is their best seller. The current Z1000 entered the range in 2014. While it has had yearly tweaks and updates, it’s not likely to meet the incoming 2020 Euro 5 rules. Giving the Z1000 an update in styling and equipment is overdue, so expect either an LCI version or a full new rethink. Putting the H2 family’s supercharged powerplant will give plenty of grunt, an exciting soundtrack and importantly that Euro 5 emissions compliance.
I don’t foresee the 2020 Z1000 having electronic suspension in base form. There may be a SE version adding electronic suspension. I think the base formula for the best selling Z1000 will remain the same just with a more flexible powerplant.
Leaked Photo Update!
Having been sent some leaked photo’s of a new bike badged a Z H2 still in its shipping crate, I’m sitting on the fence. Obviously, there is no confirmation from Kawasaki, and the source of the photos has not owned up. I can only imagine somebody has had a peek during transport to the Tokyo Motor Show. While we have to take the spec of this bike with a pinch of salt being a pre-production model, it looks genuine.
The front end retains that aggressive streetfighter styling, with only a small fly screen, added. The lights look very similar to ones see on smaller cc Kawasaki like the Z400, and not the single projector-style on the H2 family. It does have the Kawasaki Hypersport badge on the front which has graced the supercharged models. We also see a hydraulic clutch visible on the upright curved bars.
The rear shows the bike branded a Z H2 or H2Z, and it does show a pillion seat, unlike the H2R and H2. It looks like it is equipped with Pirelli Rosso 3 tyres, which comes as a surprise as Kawasaki previously liked to use Bridgestone rubber.
In the pictures, the bike is painted in grey, with red accents and a gorgeous red frame.
Whether this is the actual bike to be released or just another extravagant ruse by Kawasaki, I have no idea. We will find out on the October 23rd from the Tokyo Motor Show.