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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 338 > SX APPEAL


When it comes to sports-touring, Kawasak just rewritten therule books…
Supercharged testosterone, anyone?

It’s the kind of thing that’d pop-up in conversation down the pub with your mates: how do you build the perfect sports-tourer? Of course, it’d have to be fast; something that pumped out a manly 200(ish) brake horsepower.

And then you’d want it to handle like a sportsbike, because how else are you going to get through your year’s supply of knee sliders? Good stowage would also be up there; a couple of beer-crate size panniers wouldn’t go amiss. Oh, and a supercharger just for good measure (because who doesn’t love that jet fighter soundtrack?). You’d think that’s not such a tall order, but unbelievably it’s taken until now for anyone to come up with a tourer that’s less bore and more phwoar! Yes, I’m talking about Kawasaki’s new H2 SX, which is set to be one of the most innovative new additions to the market in 2018.

Of course, it’s a familiar proposition on face-value; a slightly subdued H2 with a few added manners thrown in, and some luggagehaulers for your undercrackers. Or at least that’s how you’d be forgiven for perceiving it. Because while that would have been the easiest route to getting a supercharged bahnstonner into a showroom near you, Kawasaki decided a lot more effort went into the melting pot.

Let’s start with the engine. While it shares many similarities with the H2 it was nabbed from, multiple changes have adapted it into a much more palatable, economical and user-friendly powerhouse. But that’s not to say the thing’s gone boring. Quite, the opposite, in fact. While the H2 is all about top end mentalness, the H2 SX brings more low-to-mid-range wallop to the fore, making it far better suited to road riding and lugging some fat bird around on the back. By increasing the size of the supercharger, the compression ratio of the engine, plus introducing changes to the gearing ratio, piston shape and a multitude of other technically brilliant intricacies, Kawasaki achieved big gains in the ‘real world’ mid-range of the motor, while still being able to claim a licence-violating 197bhp. Not bad for a bike that will undoubtedly be bought by people such as your good selves… and those who choose to patrol the mean streets of Britain with their freshly ironed ‘Polite’ vests on. However, there is a saving grace for our less-sporty-lovin’ brethren, in that the SX comes with an arsenal of power modes for bespoke self-castration. If life gets too exciting, there’s the option to switch between full (100%), medium (75%), and low (50%) Outputs, with three further tiers of traction control on the cards to ensure no one accidently pulls a fourth gear power wheelie… heaven forbid!

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About Fast Bikes

In this month's issue of Fast Bikes ... - 2018 Yamaha R1M ridden tech it to the max - ZX-9R: Bargain Bullet tested living with a £2K Kwacker - Best of British Triumph's speed triple RS - Win bike transport to Toulouse worth £600 - MOTOGR is go! Season preview - SX appeal Kawasaki's Supercharged sensation - How to clean your leathers - Challenge your limits - Run your bike in - Buy used ZX-10R