Driven: Kawasaki H2 SX by Mieke Oelofsen
A rather tepid experiment to fuse the mind-numbing supercharged H2 and the indistinctive Kawasaki Versys.
Combining predator like hints with upright tourer symbiosis leaves the onlooker either hating or loving it. The top of the range model at least attempts to emulate the disruptive appeal of the H2.
One would think that as the third generation of this engine, the brilliant minds at Kawasaki would have smoothed out the throttle response in Full power mode, but no, let’s just create an issue for the rider. I switched to medium power and traction control 1 and attempted some corners. The H2 SX is not the top end model of this range and one would wonder why for a road test you would allow the entry level out. The H2 SX has a more upright riding position which appears comfortable at first but feels extremely light when cornering hard. I know suspension on all bikes can be tuned, but off the showroom floor it inspires as much confidence as roller-blades on marble. The model has no quick-shifter and at R260k one wonders where the extra money went. The brakes work but aggressive braking unsettles the front to a point where I got nervous, add to that the floaty front end and it’s not the best bike for the mountains.
Between the confusing selection switches, (good luck trying to reset the trip meter) and the impossible to read instrument cluster, the H2SX feels like the afterthought of a genius inventor who was having a bad day and wanted to punish the consumer.
The electronics are flighty at best and the fuel consumption, well the H2SX used almost double the fuel of the car for exactly the same test. And if one could use the bike’s power then at least you have the grin-factor for the fuel hole in your pocket, but anything above 170km/h and you start watching the bike and not the road. Not a good sign.
I have no idea why anyone would buy this bike, alternatives like KTM and BMW not only offer good service but regular support as well. If one looks at all the dealer network of KMSA, (oh wait, there are none) it’s reached a point where their warehouse has more stock then Kawa riders on the road. It was a good brand, but now it is a shadow of its previous self-attempting to bask in the afterglow of its prior success, just like the H2SX.
Kawasaki H2 SX
Price R310 000.00
Engine 1.0 Liter Supercharged 4 Cylinder DOHC
0-100 < 3.0s
Top Speed > 250km/h