Supersports bikes have been matched up against some of the world’s fastest cars for years, and the results are almost always the same: because of their light weight and relatively high output, bikes can dust some seriously quick cars in short sprints, but ultimately, high-horsepower vehicles overtake bikes in longer runs.
Then Kawasaki put its mad scientist cap on and developed the H2R superbike.
Until this point in time, BMW’s S1000RR has been the world’s quickest production bike, delivering around 200 horsepower at a weight of 458 pounds. The way motorcycle manufacturers have gone about the “horsepower wars” up to this point is by incrementally besting the competition. But not Kawasaki.
No, Kawasaki didn’t say, “Let’s build a 220 hp bike,” or, “Let’s build a 250 hp bike.” The Japanese brand went nuts and built a 300 horsepower, 1.0 liter, supercharged four-cylinder motorcycle. And it’s not just powerful, the H2R makes use of carbon fiber construction and a trellis frame to keep weight down and assist when a bend in the road shows up.
At a wet weight of 524 pounds, that gives the H2R a power-to-weight of 1,145 hp per ton. By comparison, one of the fastest cars in the world, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, only manages 644 hp per ton.
Speaking of the Veyron SS, how do you think a half-mile drag race between the H2R and a quad-turbo W16 Veyron SS would play out? Have a look:
While you might be thinking the H2R’s immense power-to-weight advantage makes the race pointless, consider how much the bike struggles to get traction at the start of the race. 300 hp surging to a single wheel, compared to the Veyron’s all-wheel drive system makes for an initial disadvantage for the H2R … that is until it hooks up and rockets past.
If the H2R can spank a Veyron SS like that, imagine what it will do to a “commoner” sportscar like the MP4-12C.
Fun fact: the Kawasaki H2R can top 200 mph in just half a mile, as you’ll see in the next clip. Too bad it’s being challenged by a 1,300 horsepower Nissan GT-R.
So ultimately, ludicrous power can trump the insane H2R. As you might have noticed, the H2R doesn’t have the essentials to qualify as a street bike (headlight, taillight, etc.), but Kawasaki will produce a road-going version, simply called the H2, and while its output is unknown, we can guarantee it will still be the fastest thing on two wheels you can buy straight from the manufacturer.