First Look: Supercharged 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX

When Kawasaki introduced the Ninja H2 and H2R, it raised the bar for high performance motorcycle exotica with its supercharged 998cc engine. As impressed as we were by the H2, one superlative we would not use to describe it was “practical.” Kawasaki hopes to change that with the 2018 Ninja H2 SX, a supercharged sport-tourer that sacrifices some of the H2’s high performance aspirations for better everyday usability.

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From the outside, the supercharged 998cc Inline-Four looks the same as on the H2. The inside, however, is a different matter. The pistons, cylinder head, cylinder, crankshaft, camshafts and throttle bodies are all new. The impeller is the same size as on the H2 but its blades are angled differently, while the intake chamber was reshaped for higher efficiency. Air entering the chamber passes through a new diffuser which improves fuel efficiency while helping prevent engine knocking. Intake funnel lengths were optimized for low- to mid-range performance.

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