Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Andy Downes

Given the ex­otic na­ture and high prices of the two su­per­charged Kawasaki mod­els cur­rently avail­able, it’s easy to be­lieve that forced in­duc­tion is just a van­ity pro­ject. But that would be a mis­take.

Kawasaki’s R&D depart­ment has al­ready poured years of re­sources into de­vel­op­ing its su­per­charged en­gine tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing cre­at­ing its own su­per­charg­ers and ded­i­cated en­gines to bolt them to. If the firm just wanted to make a splash with a lone su­per­charged model, it would have been eas­ier to buy in a su­per­charger and bolt it to an ex­ist­ing mo­tor. In­stead there’s a pa­per trail of pa­tents dat­ing back nearly seven years, long be­fore the H2 ap­peared, which show var­i­ous vari­a­tions on the su­per­charged theme.

Last year the firm hinted at two pos­si­ble di­rec­tions. First it showed sketches of the ‘SC- 01 Spirit Charger’ – a half-faired, retro-styled su­per­charged bike that the firm de­scribed as “just one of the fas­ci­nat­ing di­rec­tions Kawasaki’s de­sign team is con­sid­er­ing for the fu­ture of the forced in­duc­tion mo­tor­cy­cle line.”

The Spirit Charger was an ex­otic take on the theme, an­other high-end bike like the H2. But its fol­low-up, shown only weeks later, was even more ex­cit­ing. Called the ‘SC02 Soul Charger’ it was again just a sketch, but this time showed a smaller-ca­pac­ity naked bike, with a hint of retro café racer to its styling. In­tended as a more af­ford­able take on the su­per­charged theme, it’s closer in spirit to the R2, even if the styling is some­thing that will come later.

In its flurry of trade­marks, all filed at the same time as its ap­pli­ca­tion for the Ninja H2 and H2R names, Kawasaki also grabbed rights to the Ninja R2, Ninja R2-2, Ninja S2, Ninja S2R, and Ninja E2 and E2R ti­tles. Some, or all, could be ap­plied to th­ese su­per­charged projects, al­though the E2 ti­tles are un­der­stood to be re­served for a fu­ture elec­tric bike pro­ject

also un­der de­vel­op­ment.

There’s a pa­per trail of pa­tents dat­ing back seven years

MCN’S spy snap­per scooped th­ese shots of a KTM 390 Duke test mule in Spain, which re­veal vis­ual changes in­clud­ing a re­shaped fuel tank and side pan­els, an up­dated seat unit and a re­vised rear light. How­ever, be­neath those re­vised cos­met­ics MCN be­lieves there’s also a host of en­gine up­dates to sat­isfy new Euro 4 reg­u­la­tions.

KTM re­main tight-lipped about the changes but MCN un­der­stands this bike will be re­vealed of­fi­cially later this year be­fore go­ing on sale in 2017.

The up­dates to the 390 Duke are not en­tirely un­ex­pected. Not only is the bike go­ing to have to meet the 2017 Euro 4 reg­u­la­tions, but as it was in­tro­duced in 2013 the 390 Duke is also due a mid-life re­fresh to keep it com­pet­i­tive against in­creas­ing sub­500cc com­pe­ti­tion.

The 373cc sin­gle-cylin­der mo­tor cur­rently pro­duces 43bhp and this may well go up slightly be­cause of changes made for the new reg­u­la­tions, as more sta­ble com­bus­tion and more ef­fi­cient fuel de­liv­ery with the lat­est


Prospect of su­per­charged café racer-style Kawasaki is mouth­wa­ter­ing


Half-faired bike was first of the new su­per­charged con­cepts re­vealed

Spring­field’s screen and bags have been de­signed to be quickly re­moved The Tyco Race Replica fea­tures cool fac­tory-spec parts like HP rearsets Bag your­self a Tyco BMW Race Replica and be just like Hutchy (TT wins not in­cluded)

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