Torqueing Heads: Talking Motorbikes

Ep3 - 2021 Kawasaki ZX-10 and ZH2 SE details

December 16, 2020 Bennetts BikeSocial Season 1 Episode 3
Torqueing Heads: Talking Motorbikes
Ep3 - 2021 Kawasaki ZX-10 and ZH2 SE details
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Having dominated the World Superbike championship with six titles in succession, Kawasaki won't be resting on its laurels, and for 2021 comes a new road-based version of their litre sportsbike, the ZX-10RR as well as a more track-focused machine, the ZX-10R. Not only that, but also included in their line-up is the higher spec version of the supercharged naked, the ZH2 SE.

Bennetts BikeSocial's Michael Mann got all the details of these three motorcycles from the oracle that is Craig Watson, Sales & Marketing Manager for Kawasaki UK. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

Michael Mann:
Hello and welcome to Bennetts BikeSocial, I'm Michael Mann and in this episode of Torqueing  Head I'm going to be talking to Kawasaki UK's Sales & Marketing Manager, Craig Watson, about the 2021 Kawasaki range or specifically the new Ninja ZX-10R, the ZX-10RR as well as the new ZH 2 SE.

Craig, welcome to Torqueing Heads. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. Nice bit of branding over your shoulder, by the way, which year is that one.

Craig Watson:
So there's actually a story behind that. That's the, the second year. So it was a celebration of the double, if you like and we presented the actual artwork that was created by Billy the Artist.

Michael Mann:  
I know him, yeah.

Craig Watson:
I had a conversation with him running up to the final round and he said, 'Oh, I'd really like to do something for next year'. And I said, well, how about you do a one-off special that, you know, you can't physically buy it, we'll buy all of them, but I want the piece of art as well. And we gifted the actual fine art oil painting to Jonathan at the Irish Road Race Awards in, Belfast, it was really good. And that's number one of the artists proofs.

Michael Mann:
Oh, good stuff. That's got a bit of value to it.

Craig Watson:
There's some benefits to having this job

Michael Mann:
And hopefully Jonathan's got his pride of place above his mantle piece and not, you know, in the downstairs loo or something!

Craig Watson:
It's too big. I mean, the one that we gifted to him by the time it was framed, it was literally this size, so.

Michael Mann:
All right. So let's move on. All right. So you were going to talk about the... well look, the latest generation of the bike that's been with us since 2004, I think. And it's of course it's born the fruits of six world championships in a row, which is rather tremendous. So you've got for 2021, a new ZX-10 R, and an RR version but can you start by just explaining to us, maybe the reasons why you decided to move the, the game on with, with the Ninja.

Craig Watson:
There's a, there's a number of things behind it. I mean, everything obviously evolves and if you look at the model, I suppose history, the last huge change was 2016. The last huge change before that was 2011 and there was sort of evolves evolvements through it.

So every five years, there's a, there's a, restart button pressed. And what happened from 2016 onwards is a bit that's interesting. So. When we brought out the '16 bike, there was dramatic geometry changes, dramatic engine changes. And then that evolves in 2017 with the launch of an RR. Which was under the request to the race team, then to give them more space for higher lift cams in race spec.

And then we got to 2019 and because of the World Superbike regulations, there were changes to what you could and couldn't do to the engine. So what we had to do was effectively build more of a World Superbike engine to start with, and that's why we went for on the 19 RR, he red top engine as we call it, we went for the Pankl lightweight titanium rods.
And the characteristic that gave, on track, is a much faster change of direction because you've got less gyroscopic momentum, but also allowed you to brake deeper into the corner. Because again, you've not got an engine pushing you on in the corner and it gave you a faster rev up. So all of the things that people would want out of a race engine, it was there in the homologation special.

What we've done now is two sets of things, really; a number of changes that make it about a road bike, and a number of changes that have been requested by the race team to make it a better race bike. And that's why when we start talking about everything that's beyond the bit that you see the skin, all of those changes and what they mean to you as a road rider or you as a track rider.

Michael Mann:
Yeah. What are the differences? What are the main differences between the R and the RR as in the race bike and the road bike?

Craig Watson:
You've got two, two beasts, really. The RR, if you, if you look at what that is, it's everything that we've been requested and the, the sort of dominant changes are all engine related.
So when we brought out the '19 bike, it had lightweight titanium rods to go back to this fast engine spin up, help with change of direction, but the team wanted more. So we needed to lower the inertia as the engine and the next way to gain more performance out of that engine is to go for more performance parts.

So we have now got, within the RR, a full Pankl setup. So that is Pankl titanium rod, Pankl piston and, the piston, the rod and the pin are all perfectly matched. So it's what you would do building a performance engine. So for instance, when we get those parts from Pankl who are, you know, widely regarded as the sort of world leader in this technology, they send us a set and they're perfectly matched.

Those pistons are another 20 grams individually lighter. So from a standard engine to an RR, you've got give or take, half a kilo lighter of reciprocating mass. That sounds really quite small, but when they're bouncing up and down at 14,700 times a minute, it's a huge, huge mass feeling and what that translates to on track is the ability to grab a brake later because the engine is not pushing you on, the ability to change a direction from, for instance, I dunno, like Foggy Esses at Donington Park, that run through there, you still carry in quite a bit of rev and that would make it a slower turning bike if you had a bigger, reciprocal mass. There are different cams in that engine and they're effectively given we've got a higher rev limit again, so we're now 14,700 from, I think it was 400 RPM lower last year on the '19 bike. So we've got very high RPM and we've now had the cam duration and lift are changed to match that. Don't ask me how or what, that's beyond my knowledge.

Michael Mann:
So, on the latest gen road bike, are road riders going to notice a difference if they rode them back to back?

Craig Watson:
Definitely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean I had a '17 RR and I moved to a '19 RR at the beginning of 2019 and they are like night and day. I'm very lucky, I usually get the chance to go to Japan, to test ride the bikes back to back and in 2018 I flew out to Japan, to the test circuit at Autopolis and got the chance to ride '17 RR and '19 hour back-to-back, and the way it feels is it's as though somebody has taken 20 kilos out of the weight of the bike. The bike is the same weight, give or take a penny, but they feel so much lighter. It's literally, as you know, people say, can you feel the difference between a full tank and an empty tank? And most people probably can't.

It felt like you had two tanks of fuel and no fuel. That was how dramatic it was.

Michael Mann:
So is it about where the weight is?

Craig Watson:
It's not even where the weight is, it's literally the inertia of an engine spinning, the best way to describe it, if you imagine grabbing a rod with a mountain bike wheel on it with a big thick, muddy mountain bike tyre, spinning it, and then trying and doing that, and then taking that wheel off and putting, I don't know, a go-kart wheel that's that off the sort of thing that you'd see in a Red Bull race and spinning it. You can do it that really, really easy. And that's all it is. It's gyroscopic mass and spinning.

Michael Mann:
Wow. Sounds fantastic. I mean, what the development of these motorcycles going forward is, I mean, who knows what's going to happen in the next five years or so? We'll be getting even faster, even lighter.  Anyway, so back to the point. All right, so the, the bike was kind of unveiled already wasn't it at that, the test last week at Jerez with Jonathan and Alex going out and racing, and of course you probably forethought or fore-saw what everybody was going to be talking about because of that face yourself hashtag, and the face has... well, look, there's no beating around the bush is there, it's caused quite a lot of consternation and comment hasn't it, by all the experts on social media? Why does it look like it does?

Craig Watson:
Yeah. it's it's I suppose the simple thing is, do you remember when we launched the H2? We launched that at the end of 2014 and that looked like no other motorcycle before it. And we had to explain to people when people said, for instance, why is it only got half a fairing? There was a reason behind that. There was an engineering reason behind it only having half a fairing. And that was to do with heat dissipation. They asked why it looked like it did and we explained it was relative to aerodynamics, and if you mentioned, if you remember that bike had very small lips underneath where you would normally see a headlight. And we explained that small element there was relative to aerodynamics and on the H2R on top of those small lips, it had wings. So we know a little bit about aerodynamics. I mean, we build the bullet train, we know how it makes something go very, very fast.

We build, sections of airplanes. We've got a division that their expertise is pure aerodynamics across the road at the factory there is, you know, one of the world's best wind tunnels. So this bike's been developed in there. And the look of that bike is the result of the engineering by-product if you like, so that front whole front end is a wing.

That is our aero package. The way that the screen is, the angle the screen is, the height of the screen. The screen is 40mm higher on the standard bike over and above the previous model. The fairing is slightly wider and what it does, those huge, massive what look like air scoops, they're there literally to act as a wing, but what wasn't immediately obvious in the race body work, because of the angles they took photos and with it all being jet black, the air is then diverted into the centre around the outside, where within the side cowling, are winglets. So the net result of all of that is 17% greater downforce, but with 7% less drag than the old bike. So we've effectively bolted a wing to the front of the bike, made it create downforce, but make it more slippery so that we're not pushing a brake through the air.

So it's 7% less drag, but that's just a little element of the aero pack because the rider is quite important in the aero pack because they're the next biggest lump. So the rider position has changed over the previous model. So we've put their hands in a different place, we've pushed the bars ever so slightly outwards to get a better flow around their arm. We have changed the shape of the seat. So, you know, if you look at a race bike, nearly always you've got flat seat and then you've got a little bit of a hump that when they're on a straight, they lift their bum up onto to get a more aerodynamic flow over their back. The standard seat has got that built-in effectively because of the angle and the lump at back. The rear seat cowl has changed - the race team weren't running that seat cowl this week, they only tested front fairing so when you see the bike in some of the images you'll see now you'll see that the rear seat unit's changed as well, albeit subtle, but again is to do with air flow, but there's millions of tiny little things. It's like the rear reservoir for the brake, rear brake that's moved so that the heel of the rider can go tighter. There's lots of tiny, tiny little bits that have been done to create a very slippery aero package that creates an awful lot more downforce in the previous model.

Michael Mann:
So, effectively while we've seen those great appendages on the Ducati, even the Hondas are quite subtle, but they're still very, very evident, even next year's BMW. That what you're saying is that, that, that whole aero package all the way around the front end from the lights all the way around. That's your version of what they've produced really over the last couple of years?

Craig Watson:
Yes. Yeah. They done it one way and we've done it another, if you look at... I suppose if you look at, maybe one way to explain it would be to look at a Formula One car, they have a wing right the way across the front, we've now got a wing right the way across the front. They've chosen to use it by putting wings down the side. We've chosen to put it across the front of the bike.

Michael Mann:
And how does it work with that RAM air effect? Is that, is that I see this quite a sort of a hole through the middle isn't there. Does that working in the same way...?

Craig Watson:
Yeah, that's actually, that's changed slightly over the, you know, we, we effectively invented RAM air, RAM air was, you know, trademarked, name of Kawasaki the same way that 'jet ski' is, if you like, that size has actually got smaller, but because of the aero package, the way that it is, it's still as efficient as, as it was on the previous bike. And it's more evident actually on the race fairing than it is on the road fairing because of  where the colours are, but there are dividers which separate the twin aero packs, if you like the two wings and there's a central piece for your, air intake to the, to the engine. Interestingly, that's one of the things that's also changed, because of, you know, velocity stacks that are within the air box on the RR. They used to sit as 10mm on the outer and 30mm on the inner, but because we've pushed for a higher rev limit, they are all now five mm velocity stacks, which is tuned for high end RPM power.

Michael Mann:
And I'll ask the same question as before really are the, is a regular road rider, likely to notice the difference with all of these aero changes, rider position changes. Do they replicate across the two, across the R and the RR?

Craig Watson:
Yeah. Bodywork on both bikes is identical. So whether you buy the RR and go racing or buy the standard bike and ride on the road and do some track days, your aero package is identical. The only difference between the two, is the engine and wheels. We run Marchesini lightweight wheels, on, and again comes back to gyroscopic mass, on the RR.

Michael Mann:
You mentioned early on about the influence of the riders, presumably that's particularly the World Superbike riders, but do you get feedback from the BSB riders, for example, and use that too?

Craig Watson:
We get feedback from all. And, to be honest, one of the sets of feedback that's really important is Superstock because Superstock is much, much closer to what somebody can buy and a lot of the geometry changes that are in the standard bike and the RR they're almost null and void for when you go racing. If you go Superbike, because you can put a different swing arm on, you can put different triple clamps and headstock and fork offset, et cetera, et cetera. But when you're at Superstock class, the swinging arm is a swinging arm and the pivot's where it is, the headstock is the headstock and the headstock's where it is the fork offset is the fork offset and that's what you've got. So a lot of the chassis changes are relative to real road riders, track day riders and Superstock class. So for instance, what we've done on the front of the bike, I'm terrible for talking with my hands, what we've done on the front of the bike is we've changed the, fork offset. It's gone forward 2mm. And then at the back, what we've done is we have lengthened the swinging arm by eight mm. So we've got a longer wheel base of 10 mm that builds in some natural anti-wheelie because we've given the bike a broader footprint to stand on, if you like. The rear swing arm pivot has dropped by a mm and we've made some changes to the suspension to match this new setup. So the front fork the Springs have gone from, I think it's 21 and a half Newton meters spring to a 21, but they've stiffened the compression and rebound factory settings. And on the rear shock, again, longer swinging arm, we've gone to a stiffer rear spring. Gone from, I think it's a nine to a nine and a half, but we've softened the compression and rebound settings. So it's all about fine tuning. We've started with a really quite good  base package, if you like, and it's evolved and been fine tuned.

Michael Mann:
Yeah, it's certainly been competitive and presumably all the lengthening of the wheel basis to get that power down faster, sharper, without worrying too much about getting, you know, having them for the rider to compensate with perhaps a thumb brake or rear brake to get the front end back down again?

Craig Watson:
Yes. And of course having the aero on the front helps it keep down as well, because we've now got - through fast acceleration - we've now got the front being pushed down.
How about the electronics and other componentary?

Michael Mann:
We've talked about suspension already, for example, but, is there any change on the, on the 2021 models with brakes, with electronics?

Craig Watson:
Yeah. The biggest step is actually the throttle. So the throttle has now gone to true fly by wire. So previous model had a throttle with a pair of cables that went to a motor that then was separated electronically to the throttle bodies. We've now got a full electric throttle on the handlebar, speaking to the ECU and the ECU controlling the throttle bodies.
I mean, we've got a very, very, very advanced, traction control system that works quite differently to most, ours is what they call predictive traction. So one of the things it does is it monitors rate of change, but it monitors it at a ridiculous rate. So I think it's something like 200 times a second the bike has a look at what's going on and monitors from point A to point B and point A to point B happens 200 times every second. And what it's doing is, it's saying what's the rider doing with the throttle? What is the engine RPM doing? What gear are we in? Because the traction we need in fifth is different to the traction we needed in second. What's the front wheel speed doing? What's the rear wheel speed doing? Where are we as far as attitude of the bike, whether that be wheelie, pointing downhill, pointing uphill, left, right? And also the fifth axis, which is yaw around the center of the bike looks all of those parameters 200 times every second and says effectively, rather than I've made a decision and it throws the information away, I've made a decision, it throws the information away. It keeps the information and it says you're in second gear, you've asked for a hundred percent throttle we're at twenty-five degrees lean angle and we're now at 11,000 RPM. We're now at 11.2, 11.3. Do you know what I can see what's about to happen here because it's building a picture and therefore when the traction control kicks in, it kicks in almost before the event rather than after. And if you kick in before, rather than after the interference is lessAand therefore you get from point A to point B faster. That's the basics of the science behind it, or predictive tracking control all of the key, advantages of having a pure fly-by-wire throttle, it now gives us the opportunity that we can actually have cruise control. And yeah, that's cruise control on a one liter sports bike, but that's not the only, I suppose, odd, feature that you've got on a sports bike, believe it or not, you can now have heated grips too. Go figure.

Michael Mann:
I think it's tremendous. I think it's great to have the options because those people who do buy them for the road, especially in the UK, I mean today, it was what, three degrees first thing this morning, I was pleased to have heated grips

Craig Watson:
You wouldn't get me out there on it.

Michael Mann:
Great, fascinating stuff. thank you for your insights on those particular models. I suppose the last question really is surrounding availability and price.

Craig Watson:
So if you're a race team, it's really, really good news because all of those have been air shipped across and, literally what will be, this is Tuesday now. So yesterday, the first bike will be on a dyno and then getting stripped apart, and getting turned into the very first race bike in the UK for FS-3 Kawasaki. The first batch of those race bikes for British Superbike and Superstock they're landing in end of November, start December.

The standard bike is somewhat behind that. We won't see the standard bike until May. So, the road going version, which will be £15,799 as a retail price will be around in May, there'll be a Performance Edition of it, which will come with Euro 5, an Akrapovic exhaust, I suppose, it's worthwhile at this point, mentioning that this is the first of the superbikes to come out in Euro 5 trim and meet in all of the new, enhanced regulations that we need to hit there. And there's a number of things on the bike relative to that: different exhaust system, different ways of using the catalytic converter. We've moved one of them closer to, effectively the exhaust port to get it hotter, faster to make it warm up quicker and therefore be more efficient. The bike now runs an oil cooler, again, something that's been requested via the, World Superbike teams and Superstock teams. Yeah. Lots of changes, lots of changes.

Michael Mann:
The Performance Edition that do you have a price on that one?

Craig Watson:
It's a thousand pounds more so that will come with a seat cowl. I think it comes, off the top of my head, it's a seat cowl, it's the Akrapovic exhaust. I think you get a screen protector for the TFT screen. TFT screen can be changed from both, like a black impression to a white impression, track mode to a road mode. And when you go on a track day effectively, you flick it to track and you're then left with a bigger section for a lap timer, a much bigger gear indicator. And it eradicates the speed so that, that doesn't be a distraction.

Michael Mann:
So that's a thousand pound more, so that's £16,799? And then the other version is limited? Is that a limited edition?

Craig Watson:
It's it's, there's 500 worldwide. Yeah.

Michael Mann:
Is the rice version eligible for road use?

Craig Watson:
Yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Mann:
And Craig, do you have the price on the race version as well?

Craig Watson:
Yeah. So there's that ZX-10 R is £24,799. There is a Performance Edition of it, but if you imagine it already has the seat cowl on as standard because it's a single seat version. The upgrade takes it to £25,599 with  the Akro.

Michael Mann:
Fantastic...

Craig Watson:
What, I think will happen with most people that buy an RR, they'll probably be going all singing, all dancing, buying kit, ECU, kit, loom, full system, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And that's what I want to do!

Michael Mann:
Yeah, exactly. Don't we all! So effectively, you're predicting a seventh world championship in a row.

Craig Watson:
Never say never.

Michael Mann:
You can't not, can you?! All right, Craig, let's move on. So you've got, there's another model that you're bringing out for 2021 and it is the ZH 2 SE what are the main differences between that and the there's ZH 2 that came out last year?

Craig Watson:
Again, it's all about refinement. I'm going to wind it back a little bit to the first time I heard we were gonna make a naked H2 and it appeared in a business planning document as just a model code, and it was in the naked section and we have model codes by group. And if it starts with a particular number, you can pretty much figure out what it's going to be. You know and I looked at this model code and I said, that sounds like it's H2, why is it naked section? And they said, 'Ah, we've got a plan, for, naked H2.

I said, right. So you're going to tune it down are you? No, it's going to be 200 horsepower, and so that took a little bit of time to digest and figure out, okay, who's going to buy a 200 horsepower naked, supercharged bike. I can remember the first time I rode it - I gotta be honest, I was a little bit nervous, because it's, you know, it's short, it's compact, it's supercharged and unlike a ZX-10, or any other sports bike that you get them on song to get them to pull your arms off, a supercharged engine doesn't do that. They, they just come on song and the thing that surprised me was it made you laugh so much, but it didn't scare you weirdly. Admittedly,  I rode it on the track, not on the road but what a beast of a bike and we launched that bike this year out in Las Vegas, and it was a great launch, got to ride it, you know, on a high speed bowl and therefore got to wind the throttle to the stop in fifth and sixth gear and people were coming in with sort of, slightly pale faces and you going 'wow, this thing can, this thing can hustle', but, and there is always a but, you can always improve. We've got a great standard bike, but there are bits that press there's bits that riders who've spoken to us about and said, it's a shame that it didn't such and such. And the natural progression at that point, everybody said to us, why aren't you doing a high-spec electronic suspension version?
And we obviously knew at that stage it was coming. So we just have to smile and say, that's interesting. Perhaps we can speak to the engineers about that.

Michael Mann:
Standard answer!

Craig Watson:
You know, fully ready. So what we've done with that bike, the biggest upgrade was to answer two of those points of improvement request. One was, high-grade suspension or higher grade suspension. And the other was relative to styling actually. The styling was quite subtle on, 2, a lot of, a lot of black, so the test bike that you rode out in Las Vegas with the black and red version, very sort of 'Sugomy-esque' if you like. but the ZH2 SE next year that that says have a look at me. It's got enhancements to its colour and graphics package. It's got enhancements with the belly pan and what have you. But the biggest upgrade of course is, Showa suspension that's electronic, but it's the new Skyhook suspension. It took a little bit of time for me to figured out because my first sort of question was, are we sure this isn't something you send an apprentice to go and get?!

I had it explained to me, as if you imagine suspension, we've been analog for years, and that meant that you got a spanner around to adjust it and it worked in a certain parameter in a certain way. We then went digital with, going electronic suspension and having an ECU control the damping on the move.

What Skyhook does is then goes full high speed internet if you like. And the way that it does it is, if you imagine previously, you always looked at what the suspension did with the effect from below. So a force from below under braking or whatever, you then compensated it from above. The best way of describing this, that I've had explained to me is the suspension is looking at the bike as something that it's trying to suspend like on a sky hook. And then it's going to monitor the suspension from below that to hold the bike in a most natural plane. So the way that it does that is through set of sensors. So all of the sensors that the bike has anyway, so throttle position, RPM, front wheel speed, rear wheel speed, the gyro of the attitude of the bike.... so it's looking at what you're doing and the inputs you're creating, but it then has stroke sensors in both the front and rear shock, which monitor the rate of change again, the dive, the release, what it does it does all of those I think it's something like, I think a blink of an eye is something like 300 milliseconds. Yet every one millisecond, it monitors what the folks are doing. So in the time it takes to blink and eye had to check 300 times and by all of those ingredients somebody a lot cleverer than me would be able to explain that what that does as far as you as a rider is it makes the riding very, very natural, but very, very reactive.
Imagine you set up the suspension perfect for duel carriageway run, but then you turn off the dual carriageway and you go through a bumpy roundabout, your suspension set for that, not that. In the length of the, sort of slip road, the suspension has checked it's monitoring properly probably 15,000 times. So it's constantly evolving and adapting and tuning the suspension on the move. It's kind of like having your factory Showa technician bolted it to the bike.

Michael Mann:
That's pretty handy. Does that mean that the parameters change depending on which road riding mode you're in or does it, is it sort of just a flat system that just works with every mode?

Craig Watson:
No, what it does, you do have different modes and the suspension tunes from that relative to the mode that you're in. So you, you can choose, for instance, a road suspension setting, a track suspension setting. You can choose, an individual suspension setting, where you would set the base parameter. So, if you imagine what track looks like, it has a baseline, let's say compression and rebound damping, and the road might be here.

And if you want it to go individual, you might be able to set it in between the two to suit you. I'm a bit of a believer that there's some engineers out there that perhaps know better than me, so I choose one of their settings. But, yeah, you, you can choose the base setting relative to road and one of the things that's particularly good at is wet riding, there's a rain section is particularly good and if you've ever ridden on track in the wet and somebody that knows what they're doing has set your bike for the wet you can't believe how much grip there actually is  with properly set suspension.

Michael Mann:
And it's the same system that appears on the new Versys 1000, right?

Craig Watson:
Yeah. Yeah. So same, same module doing all of the thinking.

Michael Mann:
So also on the ZH2 SE, are there any other upgrades or differences between that and the ZH2?

Craig Watson:
Mainly it's mainly the styling. Yeah. So, the two big upgrades are styling and suspension and then finally the final lump is how fast you can stop. So it's a different front caliper, it's gone to the Stylema caliper from Brembo.

Michael Mann:
Okay. So they've gone up from the M4.32?
And you said styling wise, so it's available in different colours or is it ...

Craig Watson:
...it's just one colour for next year...

Michael Mann:
...your traditional black and green?

Craig Watson:
Yeah. Black and green and grey.

Michael Mann:
Okay. That's going to look super smart. And have you got, have you got, are there any... there's no engine changes all this. Its it still, I say still, but it's still 200, 200 brake horsepower?

Craig Watson:
Yes. Yeah, the pricing has changed. So for the SE model, you're now looking at £18,349. And you'll be pleased to know we'll be doing a Performance Edition of it without Akro, et cetera, et cetera. And that's £19,449.

Michael Mann:
Good stuff. So it's 1100 quid more, and are they in dealerships fairly soon?

Craig Watson:
They aren't far away but as with all these things, without sounding like a salesman, get in quick because the first shipments are relatively small. First shipments will start to land in showrooms in March.

Michael Mann:
Let me ask you about forced induction or particularly supercharged production bikes. You are the only mainstream manufacturer who offer them. Are you surprised by that? I mean, obviously the, range or that particular engine has been around for a few years now but nobody else has kind of followed suit. Does that surprise you?

Craig Watson:
Yes and no. The reason I say no, is it isn't easy. We are in every form of automotive, the only manufacturer to do it. Other people have an engine that they bolt a supercharger above it, but nobody has an integrated supercharger and the reason we can do it is through Kawasaki's global strength. You know, we have, a gas turbine division that builds engines, that propel huge, great, airbuses and airliners and things. So we know what we're doing with impellers. We know how to match that airflow to throttle connection, and, you know, the very, very first one that came out, we have evolved and improved that connection from then to now.
And it's something that we've always been really, really well known for is very, very good fueling, but it isn't easy and you kind of need to be an expert. We're just lucky that at the same place at Akashi on one side of the road, you've got motorcycle division on another part, you've got the aerospace division and on another part, you've got a gas turbine division.
You can get all of those people together and create some magic.

Michael Mann:
Do you see forced induction as the, as the way to overcome, future sort of emission regulations as they get tighter and tighter is, is forced and  induction the way to go, do you think?

Craig Watson:
It's one of the ways. We know, for instance, as far as fuel economy and how "green" you are, the H2 engine that's fitted to the H2 SX and the ZH2 is what we call balanced supercharger. If you compared a H2 SX with something like a 2017 Z1000 SX, one's got 140 horsepower, one's got 200 horsepower. But the 200 horsepower one has got better fuel economy. So yeah, it's very, very good on economy relative to power creation.

Michael Mann:
Is it cleaner too?

Craig Watson:
Yeah. In, in, if you do that comparison between those two things, yes.

Michael Mann:
I could sit here and ask you about future models, but I know what the answer would be. So I won't...

Craig Watson:
Yeah, the answer would be the line's gone crackly!

Michael Mann:
Fantastic. Craig, thank you so much for your time. It's been a real eye-opener, thanks for so much for the detail as well that you've gone into,

Craig Watson:
Sorry. You'll have to stop me next time.

Michael Mann:
I think it's great. I think it's great. And I'm sure the viewers will agree that more detail is better. So yeah, we appreciate it, thank you. 

Thank you. Good stuff. 

All right. Thanks so much for you to, joining us as well. I hope you've enjoyed it. Join us next time. 

Episode introduction
ZX-10R and ZX-10RR history
R and RR updates
Will road riders notice the differences?
Why does the face look like it does?
Are the racers influential in road bike development?
Ninja availability and price
Z H2 SE details
Skyhook suspension explained
Brakes upgraded
Z H2 SE price and availability
Forced induction thoughts