The Ram's Eye - A Driver's Blog: Kawasaki Ninja H2R - 300 hp and Supercharged



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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Kawasaki Ninja H2R - 300 hp and Supercharged




Okay, this isn't a car but there's a reason why I'm writing about it. It has a supercharged 1.0 litre engine makes 296 hp. 296 hp may not be too impressive in a car but one has to remember that this isn't a car. It's a bike and it weighs just 476 lb in full trim and a 90% full tank. That's a weight to power ratio of 1.6 lb/hp. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that number.




To put that number into perspective, a 2013 Mustang GT500 has 5.9 lb/hp. A C6 Corvette ZR1 has 5.3 lb/hp. A 2015 Porsche 918 has 4.2 lb/hp and that's with the electric motors running at full song. The insane Hennessey Venom GT with its twin-turbo LS7 7.0 litre engine has 2.2 lb/hp. I can't even begin to imagine what 1.6 lb/hp would feel like.




I would also be curious about how fast you'd have to be going to be able to use that power. I used to have an 09 Cobalt SS. It had GM Stage 1 and a few bolt ons which would put it at very close to that 296 hp figure at the crank. That car had a posted curb weight of around 2,920 lbs - a multiple of over 6 of what the bike is plus it has two wheels to put the power down, yet it struggled to gain traction in first and second gears going in a straight line. I unfortunately don't ride so I don't know what kind of power is useable in a bike and when but my guess would be that it's a struggle to use full power below triple digit speeds but I'm sure seeing how faster the speedometer goes above 150 mph would be surreal.




To make that power, the four-stroke 1.0 litre engine has a redline of over 14,000 rpm and uses an in-house designed Kawasaki centrifugal supercharger that makes 20 psi of boost but Kawasaki says the supercharger is efficient enough to eliminate the need for an intercooler and all associated plumbing. The supercharger uses a CNC-machined aluminum compressor wheel that spins up to 130,000 rpm. All of this does come at a price, though, because the bike costs a cool $50,000 USD.


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