Common Tread

Kawasaki H2R vs. Three Supercars: The Ultimate Top Speed Test

May 28, 2015

Figuring out how the supercharged Kawasaki H2R compares to the world's fastest vehicles is a tough job, but someone had to do it.  

Unfortunately, that someone was not me.

The lucky job went to the more than capable boys over at SportRider. (If you aren't reading Bradley Adams' opinions on the latest sport bikes, you're blowing it.)

To see just how fast the new Kawasaki Ninja H2R really is (at least in a straight line), they headed out to Minter Airfield in Shafter, Calif., with the guys from Super Street Magazine, the H2R, a McLaren MP4-12C, a Bugatti Veyron EB, and a very tricked-out 1,350-horsepower Nissan GT-R.

Supercars like the ones tested have advanced launch control systems in place, so to make matters a little more fair, the races began with a 40 mph rolling start.

Time to race

The McLaren was nothing but an appetizer for the H2R in the first matchup. This particular one was tuned to about 700 ponies, but was no match for the H2R, despite the rider needing to stay off the power a bit to keep the front end down. Note to self: KTRC level 1 will still let you loop it. Bummed no one had the P1 lying around to use instead.

For some reason, they decided to start with a drag-style launch when pitting the 1,200-horsepower W16 Bugatti Veyron against the Kawi. This gave the cage the jump out of the gate, but that $1 million price tag still couldn't buy the Bugatti a win.

Only the heavily modified, 1,350-horsepower SPE Nissan GT-R proved to be worthy of the out-of-the-crate Ninja H2R, catching and passing the superbike at the .75-mile marker of the one-mile run. I would give anything to ride shotgun in that thing.

The craziest part about the whole thing was that the SportRider had only broken in the H2R on the dyno the previous night and no one had actually had a chance to ride the thing. The standing start was the rider's first attempt at a standing launch! They were even using regular pump gas in it! Then, there's the fact that the thing hit 200 mph in a half mile.

A friend who works for some of the car mags recently got into motorcycling and texted me yesterday that it had ruined fast cars for him. Once you get a taste of the speed we experience, and see the difference in price tag, cages simply become something nice to sit in, something to haul stuff around, or something to protect you from the rain. Welcome to the life of a motorcyclist, where a $50,000 bike destroys million-dollar hypercars.