Kawasaki’s new-for-2019 H2 offers a bunch of new features, and a 20bhp bump in power as well. Not that it needed much, since it was and is in a class of its own, at Rs 34.5 lakhs. However, even though it doesn’t have any direct competition, there are two sport tourers that can claim to challenge it – the Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R and Kawasaki’s own Ninja ZX-14R.
Each of the three bikes here have their own distinct design, with the ZX-14R and Hayabusa opting for a more traditional sport-tourer stance; all wide fairings and comfortable sport-riding body positioning. The H2 gets a design that is half Japanese, half European, and all aggressive. It opts to show off its trellis frame and not get the front fairing all the way down to a belly scoop, and at the back the single-sided swingarm shows off the wheel design under the truncated rear section of the seat.
The Hayabusa and Ninja both offer analogue tachometers and speedometers, with a digital LCD component – but the new H2 offers a full TFT colour display, in line with the current trend.
The Hayabusa and ZX-14R both follow a similar format – the Suzuki displaces 1340cc from its inline four cylinder engine, and generates 197bhp and 155Nm. The ZX-14R generates the same amount of power, 3Nm more and displaces 1441cc from its inline four motor. Both are naturally aspirated, unlike the H2, whose supercharger forces extra air into the 998cc inline four engine to pump out the exact same amount of power as the other two, but opt for the more powerful versions, and you can go up to 231bhp.
Àll three ride on similar suspension – inverted front forks, and a monoshock at the rear, with full adjustment. The H2 has better front brake callipers that are of a better spec than the other two – they’re called Brembo Stylema callipers, and are lighter, offer better airflow and use less brake fluid. The brake discs themselves are also slightly larger in diameter, at 330mm – the other two use 310mm diameter discs. The H2 is the lightest here by a fair margin at 238kg. The ‘Busa and ZX both are in a similar weight class, at 266kg and 269kg. The H2 holds less fuel, at 17 litres, while the Suzuki holds 21 litres and the other Kawasaki, 22 litres.
The H2 is in a league of its own, at Rs 33 lakh, ex-Mumbai. The ZX-14R is the next most expensive product here, at Rs 19.7 lakh. Finally, the Hayabusa comes across as a bargain at Rs 13.7 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai.