2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE First Look Preview
We dive into the details of the all-new 2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE.
Kawasaki is adding to its insane H2 line with the 2021 Z H2 SE, which adds Showa’s Skyhook technology, Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension and a set of Brembo Stylema Monoblock brakes to the supercharged hyper naked. Leaving the brand names out of it, that means Kawi is making the bike more mannerly and easier to control.
Skyhook is a seriously trick piece of gear, and it’s not something you’d have imagined on a factory bike even 10 years ago. The idea, Kawasaki says, is to make the bike ride as if the sprung weight—that’s the bit with you on it—was suspended by a hook from above. Hence, Skyhook. In practice, it adjusts the suspension settings in real time to minimize vertical movement as it negotiates bumps, undulations, and imperfections in the road.
The KECS Skyhook system has a regular riding mode, a sport riding mode, and a rain mode, all of which are integrated with the bike’s overall Sport, Road, and Rain settings. The suspension and electronics settings are also entirely customizable.
The Brembo Stylema front brakes don’t employ the same electronic wizardry as the suspension, but they’re highly trick in their own right. The calipers are more compact, and airflow has been improved around the pads to help them cool faster. They also come out of the box with stainless brake lines, which means durability and feel for days.
The rest of the bike will stay as it was for 2020. That’s not a bad thing. The Z H2 bowed last year as the naked, hooligan scion of the supercharged H2 line, which debuted back in 2015 with the track-only, 310 hp H2R. The Z H2 is good for a still-bonkers 200 supercharged horsepower, and a perhaps more astonishing 101 pound-feet of torque at 8,500 rpm.
The 2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE goes for $19,700, or just a couple grand more than the standard Z H2, which foregoes the trick Showa suspension and Brembos.
2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE Technical Specifications and Price
|ENGINE||998cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, supercharged 4-stroke inline-4; 16-valve|
|BORE x STROKE||76.0 x 55.0mm|
|FUEL DELIVERY||DFI w/ 40mm throttle bodies|
|CLUTCH||Wet, multiplate; hydraulic actuation|
|CLAIMED HORSEPOWER||200 hp @ 10,500 rpm|
|CLAIMED TORQUE||101 lb.-ft. @ 8,500 rpm|
|FRONT SUSPENSION||Showa SFF-BP fork adjustable for manual spring preload, KECS compression and KECS rebound damping|
|REAR SUSPENSION||Uni-Trak Showa gas-charged shock adjustable for manual spring preload, KECS compression and KECS rebound damping|
|FRONT BRAKE||Radial-mount Brembo Stylema Monoblock calipers, 320mm discs w/ KIBS ABS|
|REAR BRAKE||1-piston caliper, 260mm disc w/ KIBS ABS|
|WHEELS, FRONT/REAR||Die-cast aluminum; 17 x 3.0-in. / 17 x 4.4-in.|
|TIRES, FRONT/REAR||Pirelli Diablo Rosso III; 120/70-ZR17 / 190/55ZR-17|
|SEAT HEIGHT||32.7 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY||5.0 gal|
|CLAIMED WET WEIGHT||531 lb|
|WARRANTY||1 year, limited|