From the beginner-friendly Ninja 400 to the track-ready ZX models, there’s a Kawasaki Ninja for practically every kind of rider. And standing at the top of this sportbike family is the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2. But as it’s done with other Ninjas, Kawasaki has let the H2 infiltrate other motorcycle segments. The Z H2, for example, is a super-speedy naked bike/streetfighter. And for 2022, Kawasaki is upgrading the sport-touring Ninja H2 SX SE’s bag of tricks.
The 2022 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE is still a speedy supercharged streak of a sport-tourer
|2022 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE|
|Engine||998cc liquid-cooled supercharged inline-four|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual with slipper-assist clutch|
|Front suspension and travel||43mm fully-adjustable KECS-equipped Showa inverted fork; 4.3”|
|Rear suspension and travel||Fully-adjustable KECS-equipped Showa BFRC mono-shock with piggyback reservoir; 5.5”|
|Curb weight||591 lbs|
Motorcycle companies turning extreme sportbikes into ‘gentler’ sport-touring machines is nothing. Just look at the Ducati SuperSport’s evolution, for example. But ‘gentle’ is a relative term for something like the 2022 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE.
On paper, the Ninja H2 SX SE hasn’t changed much since Kawasaki launched it in 2018. Its supercharged engine still makes 197 hp and it still rocks Kawasaki’s Electronic Control Suspension (KECS) system. However, while the broad strokes are the same, Kawasaki is painting a subtly different picture for 2022.
Firstly, the 2022 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE has a new exhaust and secondary inlet as well as modified cams, Motorcyclist says. So, while the 998cc engine doesn’t make more peak torque, there’s more torque at low and mid-range RPMs. It should be slightly quieter, too. Also, Kawasaki tweaked the hydraulic clutch system to improve stiffness and fluid flow.
In addition, while the outgoing Ninja H2 SX SE had KYB suspension, the 2022 model has Showa units. Plus, the new suspension has updated software for more responsive adaptive damping. And it’s linked to the four available riding modes (Sport, Road, Rain, Manual) as is the adjustable traction control. Also, while the 2022 bike still has an electronic quickshifter and launch control, it gains Brembo front brakes and new Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires.
But the suspension isn’t the only thing on this bike that got a tech upgrade.
Kawasaki puts the ‘cruise’ in ‘cruise missile’ and advances the 2022 Ninja H2 SX SE’s touring tech
Late last year, the Ducati Multistrada V4 introduced advanced driver-assistance systems—or should that be ‘rider-assistance’?—to production motorcycles. And other OEMs have slowly started trickling ADAS tech into their bikes since then. The highest trims of the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200, for example, have radar-based lane-change assist and blind-spot detection. But given that a Japanese car introduced adaptive cruise control, it was inevitable that a Japanese motorcycle would eventually offer it, too.
The 2022 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE is that motorcycle—more specifically, the first such Japanese production bike. Thanks to new front- and rear-facing radar sensors, the 2022 Ninja H2 SX SE has adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring. And like automotive OEMs, Kawasaki has a specific term for these ADAS features: Advanced Rider Assist System (ARAS).
But ARAS doesn’t just include those features. The radar sensors connect to a new IMU, which means the 2022 Ninja H2 SXE has cornering-enhanced ABS and traction control. That IMU also gives the new LED headlight and fairing lights corner-adapting capabilities.
There’s more tech than just the safety-related stuff, though. The 2022 Ninja H2 SX SE also gets standard tire-pressure monitoring, heated grips, hill-hold assist, and keyless ignition with remote starting. Furthermore, the new 6.5” TFT display comes standard with Kawasaki SPIN app connectivity, including the ability to download third-party apps onto your Ninja.
Finally, the 2022 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE addresses some of the things that let the outgoing bike down, Motorcyclist notes. For one, the seats are wider. Secondly, the redesigned windshield and fairing provide more wind protection as well as improved aerodynamics. And thirdly, the bike has a standard USB port at last.
How much does this sport-touring bike cost?
As of this writing, Kawasaki hasn’t revealed when the 2022 Ninja H2 SX SE will arrive in US dealers. However, we do know the starting price: $27,500.
Admittedly, there are cheaper sport-touring motorcycles on the market. The previously-mentioned Ducati SuperSport, for example, is roughly half the price. Even the 2022 Hayabusa is about $9000 cheaper. But then, neither of those two have quite as many bells and whistles. And keep in mind, the Ninja H2 is the only supercharged production motorcycle on sale today.
This spring’s motorcycle tours might just have a bit more forced-induction noise, then.
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