Af­ter seven days with nine rid­ers cov­er­ing 1500 miles, RIDE de­liv­ers its ver­dict on the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE

RiDE (UK) - - New Bikes -

WE’VE LEARNT A lot about Kawasaki’s H2 SX SE. And while we’ve iden­ti­fied a few po­ten­tial ar­eas where it may fall short, mostly its tour­ing abil­ity, there are oth­ers where it ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions. And we’ve also pin­pointed who the Ninja will work best for.

A sports tourer is a com­pro­mise. For long dis­tance, the SX SE’S rid­ing po­si­tion is unan­i­mously praised — less sporty than a ZZR1400, though less re­laxed than a GTR. Seat com­fort could be bet­ter and 150-180mile tank range is av­er­age, but it can work for tour­ing rides – even two-up, as the ride qual­ity is ex­cep­tional. Though again, its seat is firmer, the set-up sportier and less roomy than ideal… and the lack of a top­box op­tion could be a deal-breaker.

For the rider, the H2 SX is all about colos­sal per­for­mance with­out any of the sound and fury that nor­mally ac­com­pa­nies a 200bhp mo­tor. Though as its en­gine is de­tuned from a 300bhp de­sign po­ten­tial, it’s not re­ally try­ing – even when you nail it. To make Zzr1400-beat­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion with­out ap­pear­ing to raise a sweat is im­pres­sive. As is the sus­pen­sion: the SX SE sim­ply glides over bumps, com­bin­ing chas­sis con­trol and com­fort in a way few bikes can match.

There’s just the prob­lem of us­ing it all. With such a po­tent pack­age, it’s easy to get car­ried away. Which shows who the H2 SX will suit best: it’s a rider who ap­pre­ci­ates per­for­mance but has the self-con­trol to know when to use it. One who likes tour­ing, but prob­a­bly solo more than with a pas­sen­ger. It’s a bike for the rider who wants pol­ish, power and all-round abil­ity… and is pre­pared to pay for it. Sounds like a lot of us (apart from maybe the last bit).

Over­all, the Kawasaki H2 SX SE is a stun­ning piece of kit

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