Kawasaki unveils bulky new hydrogen motorcycle

The first Kawasaki hydrogen motorcycle has been revealed at an event in Japan, with the bike taking on a distinctive new colour

Kawasaki Ninja H2 HySE. - Kawasaki Group Channel/YouTube

The Kawasaki hydrogen motorcycle project has been no secret for a while now, with the company itself showing some renders of a prototype last year. Finally, the real thing has been unveiled, albeit still very much as a prototype.

Revealed at the Akashi marque’s Group Vision 2030 conference on 12 December, the new Kawasaki hydrogen bike makes quite the impression.

Firstly, as the renders of 2022 suggested, the bike - named Kawasaki Ninja H2 HySE - is based on the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX sports tourer. But the alternative fuel results in something much larger.

Not only are there hydrogen-holding panniers on each side of the bike, but the whole thing seems massive. From its bulbous front fairing back to the seat unit, there is little about this bike that makes it look particularly nimble. 

Admittedly, that’s not really the point. This is more of a technical exercise to show that the HySE (Hydrogen Small mobility and Engine) project has merit and validity. As a result, its success will only be determinable once it enters production, and reaches the hands of the public.

That seemingly remains a reasonably long way off, but the bike does seem to be in a rideable form, as shown by the brief look we get of it in the video of the presentation at the Group Vision 2030 conference.

Being at such an early stage, we have no idea of the bike’s specifications, its outputs, or - perhaps most importantly - its fuel consumption and range.
The Kawasaki Ninja H2 HySE is the first motorcycle to be powered by hydrogen from the big four Japanese manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki, as well as Kawasaki), which are all collaborators on the HySE project. HySE will head to the Dakar Rally next month with its Belgian-built, hydrogen-fuelled buggy.

Kawasaki and Yamaha have also worked with Toyota on its hydrogen project, notably with a hydrogen-fuelled Toyota Corolla at the Fuji 24 Hour endurance race.