Why you should always meet your heroes

We spent a fast and frantic month with Kawasaki’s fantastic H2 SX SE. Here’s what we have learnt


8. The headlight is under par

Which is frustrating when you realise the SX has uber-cool cornering lights! And yes, the cornering lights work a treat, I’d just like to be able to see an extra couple of hundred yards down the dual-carriageway when I’m barrelling along at the speed limit times two.

9. It never fails to draw a crowd

Regardless of where you are, bike parking, café, country pub or traffic lights on the Holloway Road – everyone wants to ask about it. Which is great, because whether the styling is your cup of tea or not, the fact that Kawasaki are going in the direction they are is great for motorcycling. The big manufacturers have sat on their hands for too long, scared to take such a plunge.

10. I’m not sure it’s a sports tourer

Right, put your pitchforks down – I mean you no harm. Look, you can tour on it, you can tour on anything but a sports tourer in my mind should have a tad more comfort and a bit more range between top ups. I think of the SX as a H2 that you can ride every day. It’s a bike that still delivers almost all of the thrills of its bonkers uncle with less of the compromises.

It’s a phenomenally fast bike, that’s not as tubby as the spec-sheet would have you believe meaning you can still do knee skids and wheelies and all the childish things we like to do on bikes. I even think it’d be a more enjoyable and exploitable machine on a trackday than the standard H2, to the less speedy trackday pilot anyway.

So, it’s more like the best all round adrenalin pump that money can buy, that could do some distance work if you wanted it to.

11. I’m seriously going to miss this bike when it goes back on Monday

Regardless of the good or bad bits I’ve mentioned above, nothing takes away from the overall experience of climbing aboard the Kawasaki and heading off somewhere. I get a childish excitement on the morning of a long ride on this thing that I’ve not felt on any other bike, and that’s the beauty of the thing. It provides you with that childish feeling you haven’t felt since you first discovered the joys of riding a motorcycle; I think that’s priceless.

Kawasaki H2 SX and H2 SX SE spec

Engine type

Liquid-cooled, supercharged transverse four

Displacement

998cc

Max. Power

197bhp (200PS) @ 11,000rpm

Max. Torque

102lb-ft (137N.m) @ 9500rpm

Gearbox

Six-speed

Brakes

Front: 320mm, monobloc four-piston calipers

Rear: 250mm, twin-piston caliper

Tyres

Front: 120/70-17

Rear: 190/55-17

Seat height

835mm

Wheelbase

1480mm

Fuel capacity

19 litres

Weight (kerb)

260kg (standard H2 SX 256kg)

Price

£18,099 (standard H2 SX£15,099)

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