Activities like camping and overlanding show that enjoying motorcycles can be about more than sheer speed. However, sometimes that’s exactly what you need from a bike, even outside of the racetrack. For example, if you need to deliver food like, say, a pizza before it gets cold. And more power, or just more engine, are some of the most straightforward ways of adding speed. The Kawasaki Z H2 knows something about the former, while the Triumph Rocket 3 is definitely a disciple of the latter. But which can deliver a hot pie ASAP? RevZilla decided to investigate.
How do the 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 and Kawasaki Z H2 compare on paper?
Visually, the 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 and Kawasaki Z H2 are fairly different bikes. The Rocket 3 is a cruiser, Cycle World reports, while the Z H2 is a naked bike in the style of the Ducati Streetfighter V4. But both offer impressive levels of power and performance, albeit in different ways.
The 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 has the world’s largest production motorcycle engine, Motorcyclist reports. It’s a 2458cc three-cylinder engine with 165 hp and 163 lb-ft linked to a 6-speed transmission. The latter figure also makes the Triumph Rocket 3 the torquiest production bike, Bennetts reports. Plus, the 2020 model is 88 pounds lighter than the previous-gen model. Though that still translates to a 642-lb dry weight, Cycle World reports.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 takes the forced-induction approach to make impressive power. The bike has a supercharged 998cc inline-four engine with 200 hp and 101 lb-ft linked to a 6-speed transmission, Cycle World reports. Not only is the Z H2 more powerful than the Rocket 3, but it’s lighter, too. With fluids, the Kawasaki Z H2 weighs 527 pounds.
The Triumph Rocket 3, though, makes more torque. And it’s available in 2 different seating arrangements. The GT has forward foot controls and pulled-back handlebars for touring, Motorcyclist reports. The R, meanwhile, has mid-mounted foot controls and sportier handlebars. It’s also a shaft-driven bike, rather than chain-driven like the Kawasaki Z H2.
Both of these bikes have other performance features besides their powertrains. They have fully-adjustable Showa suspension, multiple riding modes, adjustable traction control, and Brembo brakes with ABS. The Kawasaki Z H2, though, also has a slipper clutch, a quick-shifter, launch control, and adjustable power output. Of those features, the closest thing the Triumph Rocket 3 has is a hydraulic torque-assist clutch.
Did RevZilla really test the Triumph Rocket 3 and Kawasaki Z H2 by delivering pizzas?
RevZilla hosts Zack Courts and Ari Henning didn’t start off the 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 and Kawasaki Z H2 comparison by delivering pizzas. Instead, the duo first broke the delivery process and its requisite skills into separate tests.
First, the bikes went head-to-head in a ¼-mile drag race. Once with the Z H2 using launch control, and another time with it off.
Next, the Triumph Rocket 3 and Kawasaki Z H2 were equipped with the necessary pizza delivery equipment. Namely, luggage racks and/or storage containers. Once these were fitted, the bikes competed in an obstacle course combining acceleration, braking, and handling tests.
After that, the hosts headed out into the real world to see if they could deliver pizzas faster than a car. Specifically, a Chevrolet Bolt.
Which is the better delivery bike?
On the dragstrip, the Triumph Rocket 3 gave an excellent performance. Especially when the Kawasaki Z H2’s launch control was disabled. But while the Rocket 3 launched more quickly, the Z H2 beat it to the finish line both times.
However, the Triumph cruiser actually beat the Kawasaki naked bike in the obstacle course. The Z H2 finished in 1:40.42, while the Rocket 3 needed 1:29. Though admittedly, the Z H2’s pizza-carrying system was easier to work with than the one on the Triumph.
Both Courts and Henning faced heavy fog during the real-world delivery race. As a result, they both finished behind the car, though by less than a minute. The Z H2, though, finished ahead of the Rocket 3.
As for which bike is the better delivery machine, that depends on how you ride and your budget. The Triumph Rocket 3’s low seat and high torque make comfortable cruising a breeze. In contrast, the Kawasaki Z H2 is set up for handling, though its clutch is grabbier, and it has a more abrupt throttle response.
However, the Z H2 is noticeably cheaper; it starts at $17,500. In contrast, the Rocket 3 R starts at $21,900; the GT starts at $22,600.
But throw a leg over both, and see which is the best way to get a slice for yourself.
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