The icon is simple, mirrored crossbow shapes bisected by a thick line and set against a plain background. It’s taken from a banner that once flew over Kawasaki’s Kobe headquarters and it’s the ultimate signifier for men who buy their wheels in pairs. The KHI Group only puts this design on bikes of historical importance. That’s why, when the company released the 998 cc, trellis constructed Ninja H2, closed circuit enthusiasts – the only guys who would ever ride it – suddenly took an interest in iconography. Kawasaki had gone all in and opened their hand. The result? A two-stroke triple straight flush that can take whatever curve is being dealt at 200 mph.
The bike is almost a provocation: The engine gulps in air through a compressor, supercharging an engine that flirts with detonation like a nitroglycerin saleswoman at a demolition convention. And the bike’s looks outrace it’s engine, a genuine achievement. The grill is a hyper-architectural grimace, a colliding series of down thrusting planes that exudes menace. If the Ninja H2 were a Transformer and had any sense of fair play, it would pick a fight with a SR-71. It’s no coincidence that Kawasaki makes fighter jets. This thing shouldn’t be allowed on the road or out in public. It’s looking for a fight.