2020 KAWASAKI Z H2 MOTORCYCLE
Supernaked Just Got Supercharged
Kawasaki’s legacy of creating motorcycles that have unrivaled performance, excitement, and Sugomi™ styling continues with an all-new flagship model of the Kawasaki Z line of naked motorcycles, the 2020 Z H2. With the arrival of the hypernaked Z H2 and its powerful, balanced supercharged engine, the second chapter of Kawasaki’s Z history is about to begin, marking the beginning of a new era.
Featuring a powerful and balanced supercharged engine, performance can be enjoyed across its entire rev range while still offering superb fuel efficiency. The innovative new Z H2 offers refined naked styling, a high level of handling and comfort, and the latest technology worthy of the new Z series flagship model.
The Z H2 was developed to deliver the power you desire on-demand, a chassis that delivers superb maneuverability while harnessing the engine’s incredible power, comfort that enables you to ride for long distances, and a host of advanced features designed for maximum functionality. The Kawasaki Z H2 is a truly unique motorcycle and offers a glimpse of the future.
Highlights of the 2020 Z H2
- Powerful 998cc Balanced Supercharged Engine
- Dog-Ring Transmission
- Specially Designed, Lightweight Trellis Frame
- High-Performance Showa Suspension Components
- Brembo® Monobloc Brake Calipers
- Aggressive Sugomi™ Styling and Minimalist Bodywork
- LED Lighting
- All-Digital TFT Color Instrumentation
- Smartphone Connectivity via RIDEOLOGY THE APP
- State-of-the-Art Electronics (IMU Electronics Package, Integrated Riding Modes, Power Mode, KTRC, KCMF, KIBS, KLCM, KQS, Electronic Cruise Control, Assist & Slipper Clutch)
The Z H2’s Balanced Supercharged Engine is the product of Kawasaki Group technology, designed in-house not only by the Motorcycle and Engine Company, but also with collaboration from the Aerospace Systems Company, Energy System and Plant Engineering Company, and Corporate Technology Division. Kawasaki created a supercharged engine with high output, yet manageable power delivery. The water-cooled DOHC 4-valve parallel 4-cylinder 998cc supercharged engine of the Z H2 has been tuned to showcase high-performance throughout the rpm range. Its wide powerband creates optimal low-mid range torque for light handling and all out supercharged performance on the top end. Smooth acceleration in the low to mid rpm range was achieved by shortening the second reduction ratio and optimizing the valve timing. In the chamberless exhaust system, an increase in the tube length of the manifold assembly further improves the output in the low to mid rpm range. Where torque is more apparent, in the low to mid rpm range, the supercharged engine emphasizes easy-to-handle throttle response and smooth acceleration, while in the high-rpm range as the speed increases, the power from the supercharged engine is brought to the forefront. The Z H2 also features a ram air intake. The air duct provides a clean path for air flowing linearly from the ram air intake to the supercharged engine, contributing to higher performance.
The street specific Z H2 supercharger design and tuning were developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) showcasing the in-house knowledge of forced induction engine performance. The supercharger’s high efficiency and minimal heat gain meant an intercooler was unnecessary, allowing savings in both weight and space. The supercharger is located centrally in the best position to evenly distribute the compressed air to all four cylinders.
The supercharger is driven by a planetary gear train, which runs off the crankshaft. The gear train increases the impeller speed up to 9.2x the crank speed (1.15x step gear with an 8x planetary gear).
The Z H2 uses a dog-ring transmission that has been developed through feedback from the Kawasaki Racing Team and utilizes optimal gear ratios for street performance. Rather than shifting the gears into place, the gears in this configuration stay in place, with the lightweight dog-rings moving to engage the gears. This design allows the shifting effort to be lighter and shorter for quicker acceleration.
Assist & Slipper Clutch
Complementing the transmission is an Assist & Slipper clutch, race-inspired technology that offers both a back-torque limiting function as well as a light feel at the lever.
The Assist function is noticed by the lighter pull at the clutch lever, helping to reduce rider fatigue especially in stop and go traffic situations.
The Slipper function is noticed when excessive engine braking occurs as a result of quick or accidental downshifts. The slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart, which relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and help prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding.
A specially designed, lightweight trellis frame delivers both light handling and excellent straight-line stability. The chassis offers excellent maneuverability while harnessing the massive supercharged power of the Z H2 engine. The compact naked model frame has a high-level of balance between flexibility and toughness so that you can ride on a variety of roads.
The new high-tensile steel frame utilizes wheelbase and caster angle dimensions that showcase the light, sporty handling unique to the Z H2. By achieving the desired riding position and center of gravity, the frame and suspension of the Z H2 performs well across a range of speeds.
A double-supported style of swingarm was chosen for the Z H2, similar to those found on Kawasaki supersport models. It offers the high rigidity and lightweight construction necessary for high performance. The swingarm mounting plate is located on the back of the engine, enabling it to play the role of a cross member in the frame, contributing to rigidity and weight reduction.
Complementing the chassis design, the Z H2 motorcycle is equipped with the Showa SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork – Big Piston) fork. Combining the concepts of Showa SFF and BPF, this advanced fork offers both racetrack performance and everyday usability.
The Showa SFF-BP offers smooth action at the beginning of the stroke that contributes to excellent composure under braking. The large-diameter damping piston is much larger than what is found in a cartridge-type fork of the same size. The result is greater control as the fork begins to compress and a very calm attitude change as vehicle weight shifts forward when reducing speed, offering greater chassis stability on corner entry. The settings can be adjusted according to the rider’s size and the riding conditions.
The rear is held up by a Uni-Trak® swingarm system and Showa shock. This combination ensures performance in all speed ranges and achieves a strong withstanding force by maintaining hold in the suspension stroke even under high-adrenaline riding.
Brakes & Wheels
The Z H2 pursues ease of handling from low and medium speeds up to high speeds, and for that reason, a high performance brake system is required. On the front, Brembo monobloc calipers are used and consist of a highly rigid one-piece structure that is machined from a cast aluminum block, boasting a strong braking force. Radially mounting the caliper provides even higher levels of performance.
Nissin master cylinders provide excellent functionality suitable to the characteristics of the Z H2 by applying Kawasaki’s unique settings. Deceleration can be controlled from various speed ranges as well as controlling the starting point for changing body posture when needed.
The lightweight 17” wheels are equipped with Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires, front and rear. The front tire is a 120/70ZR17 M/C 58W; the rear tire is a 190/55ZR17 M/C 75W.
A relaxed riding position has been created by a combination of an upright handlebar shape and a seat with an optimized base plate and cushion thickness. This design provides a high degree of freedom for riding posture and low vibration, allowing for a pleasant and comfortable ride. Adding to the Z H2 motorcycle’s comfort and strength is a fat-type handlebar and handle switches.
Electronics & Rider Aids
The strength of Kawasaki’s cutting-edge electronics has always been the highly sophisticated programming that uses minimal hardware to give the ECU an accurate real-time picture of what the chassis is doing and what the rider wants, to best support the rider’s inputs with a natural feel. Using the latest evolution of Kawasaki’s advanced modeling software including input from a compact Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF) monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner to assist riders in holding their intended line through the corner. The Z H2 utilizes the input from multiple sensors to optimize ride quality via the Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM) and the Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-Lock Braking System (KIBS).
Electronic Cruise Control
The Z H2 is equipped with electronic cruise control, which improves the overall comfort for those long days on the road. The cruise control system enables riders to set and maintain their desired speed with the simple press of a button. Once activated, the rider does not have to constantly apply the throttle to maintain speed. The cruise control helps to reduce ride fatigue when traveling long distances, allowing the rider to relax and enjoy cruising, contributing to a high level of riding comfort.
KQS (Kawasaki Quick Shifter)
The Z H2 features a highly reliable contactless-type quick shifter that allows for ultra quick, full power upshifts and seamless acceleration. The system detects that the shift lever has been actuated, and sends a signal to the ECU to cut ignition so that the next gear can be engaged for clutchless shifting.
Power Mode Selection
Riders can set power delivery to suit conditions and/or preference, choosing from Full, Middle and Low. Middle Power is 75% of Full Power, while Low Power is 50% of Full Power.
The styling of the Z series flagship Z H2 has been shaped according to Sugomi design concept and the minimalist bodywork that Kawasaki’s Z series lineup of motorcycles is known for. Sugomi describes the unique aura that radiates from beings possessing compelling presence and unrivalled power. Featuring a low crouching stance and the asymmetry of the air intake duct installed on the left side of the vehicle body, the Z H2 intensely and aggressively emphasizes the identity of Sugomi design. Only the air intake duct and the under cowl are asymmetrical, all other design work represents accurate symmetry, giving the Z H2 a well-balanced and highly harmonious design.
The supercharger housing is visible from the outside thanks to the naked model concept that does not have a cowl covering the motorcycle’s body. Providing a glimpse of the supercharger between the frame makes for a more impressive appearance.
The Z H2 is equipped with an LED headlight and taillight. The bulbs low power consumption and high durability improve maintainability while providing high-light intensity and high illumination. A clean headlight beam spread contributes to visibility of the rider’s surroundings. The frame-mounted headlamps also influence the styling around the front and create an innovative look that is different from previous naked models.
TFT Color Instrumentation
The 4.3” all-digital TFT color instrumentation gives the cockpit of the Z H2 motorcycle a high-tech, high-grade appearance. The full-color display features TFT (thin-film transistor) technology and delivers a high level of visibility. Display functions include: digital speedometer, gear position indicator, shift indicator, odometer, dual trip meter, fuel gauge, remaining range, current/average fuel consumption, outside temperature, coolant temperature, clock, Economical Riding Indicator, IMU indicator, KIBS indicator, boost pressure and boost temperature.
Kawasaki continues to offer its Z lineup the addition of Smartphone Connectivity. A chip built into the instrument panel enables riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly. Using RIDEOLOGY THE APP*, a number of instrument functions can be accessed, logged, and reviewed contributing to an enhanced motorcycling experience. The following information can be viewed:
- Vehicle Info
- Check latest status update
- Riding Log
- Can be logged in detail, and played back for review
- Route, Distance & Time traveled can be logged for review
- Riding conditions can be recorded in detail
- Telephone Notifications
- Provides a notification on dash when a call or mail is received by smartphone
- 4. Tuning
- General instrument display setting changes can be made on your smartphone
- Kawasaki Riding Management modes can be set
The app can also be used when away from the motorcycle. When riding (with the app ON), the bike and smartphone are always connected and riding log data is being recorded by the app. After ride is complete, the latest riding information is stored by the app and may be viewed on the smartphone. Any changes made via the app while the engine is off, or while out of range, will be implemented as soon as the ignition is turned on and the smartphone is in range with the app ON.
* RIDEOLOGY THE APP is not intended for use during vehicle operation. Only use RIDEOLOGY THE APP when the vehicle is not being operated and it is safe to do so.
The 2020 Kawasaki Z H2 is available in:
Metallic Spark Black/ Metallic Graphite Gray/ Mirror Coated Spark Black