Fast Bikes - - LONGTERMERS -

With the mighty H2SX pass­ing the city rid­ing tests with some ease it was time to hit the open road for some proper tour­ing. The day’s ap­point­ment wasn’t un­til after lunch so I de­cided to set the sat nav to avoid mo­tor­ways and tolls and added in the ‘ad­ven­tur­ous routes’ set­ting. The south of Ire­land has some stun­ning roads which pass through some to­tally un­spoiled sleepy vil­lages; many of them seem to have about ten houses with dou­ble the num­ber of drink­ing es­tab­lish­ments, usu­ally start­ing with an O. What bet­ter place to nail the big Kawasaki?

Once out of Dublin I set­tled in to back roads rid­ing with the sat nav tak­ing me down some roads even a Land Rover De­fender would think twice about but then, at the next turn­ing there would be an ab­so­lute belt­ing road wait­ing; twist­ing, turn­ing, up­hill, down­hill, blind crests and just about any­thing you could ever want. And what’s bril­liant about Ire­land is there’s no traf­fic and when there is, they move out of your way. These roads were built for the H2SX, or is it the other way round? Ei­ther way the su­per­charged Kawasaki felt in con­stant con­trol.

Per­form­ing well on the twisties, I wanted to give the H2 a proper test on the long slog. At over 6ft I of­ten sit above the screens of most bikes but with the last cou­ple of hours on the mo­tor­way, I could re­ally test the wind pro­tec­tion – and to be fair, it’s ac­tu­ally pretty good. On some bikes at the higher end of mo­tor­way speed lim­its I feel like I’ll get blown off, but the screen on the H2 of­fers enough re­sis­tance for me to be cushty… and that’s a tall or­der.

Upon my re­turn from Ire­land, and as with ev­ery bike I test, I al­ways bang the mis­sus on the back of it; not lit­er­ally. I ride with her on a reg­u­lar ba­sis so it’s good to have her opin­ion, but she found it’s a pretty tight fit and she wouldn’t want to be strad­dled on it for too long, so that’s one thing that I’ve found needs some improve­ment.

But there isn’t a lot else; the sign of a good bike, in my opin­ion, is one that’s gets me out of trou­ble just as quickly as I’ve got my­self into it, not just from rid­ing too fast, but those mo­ments when you’re rid­ing roads you’ve never seen be­fore – the cor­ner tight­ens up, or un­ex­pected bumps and un­du­la­tions ap­pear from nowhere. The H2SX just deals with it. It doesn’t moan, grum­ble or protest, it just takes it all in its stride. If the mis­sus fit­ted on it, I’d be very tempted to trade in my GSA for one and for any­one that knows me, that’s a big state­ment.

With so many dif­fer­ent needs and wants of riders no bike can be per­fect, but the H2SX is about as close as you’re ever go­ing to get. It’s one extremely ac­com­plished mo­tor­cy­cle.

The calm be­fore the storm!

We’ve seen much worse.

Tall screen pro­tected tall Gaz.

Power with com­fort.

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