2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE First Look Preview

We dive into the details of the all-new 2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE.

2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE First Look Preview

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.

For 2021, Kawasaki has added a trick electronic self-adjusting suspension package from Showa to the already impressive Z H2 hyper naked.
For 2021, Kawasaki has added a trick electronic self-adjusting suspension package from Showa to the already impressive Z H2 hyper naked. (Kawasaki /)

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.

In SE guise, the Z H2 comes in Golden Blazed Green paired with Metallic Diablo Black.
In SE guise, the Z H2 comes in Golden Blazed Green paired with Metallic Diablo Black. (Kawasaki /)

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 Z H2 brought Kawasaki’s supercharged bikes into the naked category. For 2021, the naked bikes are getting a serious suspension upgrade with the addition of Showa’s Skyhook technology.
The Z H2 brought Kawasaki’s supercharged bikes into the naked category. For 2021, the naked bikes are getting a serious suspension upgrade with the addition of Showa’s Skyhook technology. (Kawasaki /)

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.

Skyhook adjusts to conditions as you ride, and aims to calm down the bike’s vertical movement over undulations in the pavement.
Skyhook adjusts to conditions as you ride, and aims to calm down the bike’s vertical movement over undulations in the pavement. (Kawasaki /)

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

PRICE $19,700
ENGINE 998cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, supercharged 4-stroke inline-4; 16-valve
BORE x STROKE 76.0 x 55.0mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 11.2:1
FUEL DELIVERY DFI w/ 40mm throttle bodies
CLUTCH Wet, multiplate; hydraulic actuation
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 200 hp @ 10,500 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 101 lb.-ft. @ 8,500 rpm
FRAME Steel trellis
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
RAKE/TRAIL 24.9°/4.1in
WHEELBASE 57.3 in
SEAT HEIGHT 32.7 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 5.0 gal
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT 531 lb
WARRANTY 1 year, limited
AVAILABLE TBD
CONTACT kawasaki.com
The 998cc four-cylinder breathes through a centrifugal blower and acts as a stressed member of the steel trellis frame.
The 998cc four-cylinder breathes through a centrifugal blower and acts as a stressed member of the steel trellis frame. (Kawasaki /)The Z H2 SE gives the likes of KTM and BMW stiff competition in the unlimited naked bike class.
The Z H2 SE gives the likes of KTM and BMW stiff competition in the unlimited naked bike class. (Kawasaki /)For 2021, a Brembo radial master cylinder pushes radial Brembo Stylema calipers that clamp 320mm front discs.
For 2021, a Brembo radial master cylinder pushes radial Brembo Stylema calipers that clamp 320mm front discs. (Kawasaki /)At a quick glance, you might not pick up how special the Z H2 SE truly is.
At a quick glance, you might not pick up how special the Z H2 SE truly is. (Kawasaki /)The Z H2 SE’s 4.3-inch TFT dash has all the information you need, and can be adjusted to your liking.
The Z H2 SE’s 4.3-inch TFT dash has all the information you need, and can be adjusted to your liking. (Kawasaki /)The Z H2 SE has three set rider modes as well as the ability to customize electronics settings to your liking.
The Z H2 SE has three set rider modes as well as the ability to customize electronics settings to your liking. (Kawasaki /)The Showa Skyhook suspension system and its electronic brain.
The Showa Skyhook suspension system and its electronic brain. (Kawasaki /)The Brembo Stylema Monoblocks provide performance and feel that are hard to match.
The Brembo Stylema Monoblocks provide performance and feel that are hard to match. (Kawasaki /)
Source : Motorcyclist More