Throwback Thursday – testing the first Kawasaki H2…

SuperBike Magazine cover January 1989

SuperBike Magazine cover January 1989

Of course, we’re all looking forward to a ride on the new Kawasaki H2 and H2R next week. Yay us! And to kill the time before we fly to Qatar for the supercharged behemoth, we’ve been trawling the SuperBike archive for the original Kawasaki H2 – the three-cylinder 750cc two-stroke. And we came up with this test from 1989 – a comparison test between the H2 and Kawasaki’s GT750 – a four-cylinder four-stroke beloved of motorcycle couriers and tourers.

SB Jan 89 H2 test web

SB Jan 89 H2 test 1 web

SB Jan 89 H2 test 2 web

There was one tasty nugget in the test too – a proper dyno chart for the H2 – something we’ve not seen very often. Back in the H2’s day, dynoes were very thin on the ground, and nowadays, most have been tuned or modified. Seeing the stock bike making 76bhp@6,600rpm kinda takes the buzz out of the old bike’s rep. For all its fire-breathing reputation, you’ll kick its arse on a decent Hornet 600…

SB Jan 89 H2 test 3 web

SB Jan 89 H2 test 4 web

There’s be no arse-kicking of the new bike though we reckon. The new H2R will have FOUR TIMES the power of the old H2, in a chassis that’s not much heavier…


Dyno chart for Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV – 76bhp@6,600rpm