Today is the first day of INTERMOT, and with it have come a fair share of surprises and let downs. But the in our opinion, the showstopper has been the Kawasaki’s Ninja H2R. Photos were leaked ahead of the official release, which caused much speculation and skepticism about authenticity. Understandably so, given that the aggressive physical looks of the bike are such a departure from anything that Kawasaki (and arguably anyone else) has done in the past. Kawasaki is a brand that has been drawing nothing but yawns for the last decade from everyone but the core Kawi fanboys. In the sport bike arena, they have put up uninspiring performance all the way from the MotoGP team down to the production models. But with one fell swoop, the may have turned all of that around.

Whether or not one is a fan of the HR2’s styling, there is no denying that it demands attention (good or bad). The head on view has been called everything from “biting on Ducati’s Panigale” to “Darth Vader’s helmet.” Possibly Kawasaki is invoking the silhouette of a samurai helmet as a nod to its Japanese origin. Not sure. The side view is equally angular and futuristic looking. The wing-looking protrusions on the nose and side fairings, which could pass as mere stylistic elements are said by Kawasaki to "increase stability when riding in the ultra-high speed range." This sounded marginally believable until we looked at the performance specs.

Kawasaki was not only swinging for the fence on the visual design of the H2R. Its supercharged 998cc inline-four powerplant is said to put out upwards of 300HP, prompting the term “hyperbike.” To put that in perspective, MotoGP bikes are generally in the range of 250HP and can easily break 200mph. The supercharger technology will obviously not come into play in the realm of AMA or MotoGP. But the fact that a production bike, available to the masses will ostensibly be able to beat a $1mm one-off MotoGP bike in a drag race is a bit mind boggling. It is also mind boggling what riders intend to do with all of that power, other than set land speed records at Bonneville.

Despite all of the questions that we have relating to the new Kawasaki Ninja H2R, there is no denying that this bike is changing the game in the realm of production sport bikes.

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