Kawasaki's new Ninja H2R looks like something out of a science fiction movie, a cross between an angry transformer and a futuristic jet fighter. It is real, however, and it's got a lethal dose of horsepower (300!) to go along with a seriously good frame and...wings?
Wings! Wheelies might be fun at slower speeds, but with 300 hp on tap, the slightest twitch of your throttle wrist could kick the wheel up into the air, like a PLANE. If that happens at 150 mph and you're not a professional, you're in trouble. These wings help keep you alive by preventing that.
Now, about that engine. Kawasaki didn't build this bike to conform to any racing series. Take a look and you'll see it's a 998 cc four cylinder that's been supercharged. The net result is 300 hp. That's not a bad number...for your father's sports sedan. Put that in a bike that weighs about one sixth of that, though, and you'll experience mind-boggling acceleration.
We could go on about how light, rigid, and effective the braking system is, but more importantly, take a closer look at the tire tread, or lack thereof. That no rules aspect to the design included ignoring what the NHTSA thinks you should have, so you can only buy this track-only beast with racing slicks.
Strip away all that beautiful bodywork, and you really get an idea of what this bike's all about. That frame is made from steel tubes of various sizes and is ridiculously rigid...which it needs to be to handle that power. You probably won't find a nicer carbon fiber ram air intake than what you see wrapping around the front, either.
The dash is beautifully simple. Only the information you need is displayed, unless you start messing with the settings. Don't mess with the settings at speed, though—it'd be a shame to see such a wonderful bike destroyed.
Ultimately, this is what you'd call a halo bike, something that Kawasaki's engineers had fun building, and that the marketing team sees as a way of showing off the brand's technical prowess. In a sense, it only exists to get you into the showroom when the street version comes out in a few months.