Kawasaki vs. Suzuki – Who produces the faster superbike

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The superbike is the holy grail in the motorcycle racing world. It enables you to push the throttle to the maximum. Here we check out these giants of the motorcycle world – Kawasaki vs. Suzuki

If you are an adrenaline junkie then nothing causes your hair to rise like speeding on a highway at more than 160 mph. The thrill and exhaust noise is something biking fans would kill for. However, when you are confronted with two biking makers like Kawasaki and Suzuki then the choice can be a hard one. Both bike makers will have a variant of their superbikes competing at some racing competition and the bikes do deliver.

If you are looking for something superfast and are confronted with a decision between the Kawasaki H2R and the Suzuki GSX R1000 then this article will explore some outstanding features from these two biking makers.

What are the differences between Kawasaki vs. Honda?

Manufacturer Kawasaki Suzuki
Performance High performance superbikes Superbikes, street bikes
Production High sales for high performance bikes Eleventh bike producer
Foundation Been around for over 60 years Existed for over a century
Outreach Limited Global

Kawasaki vs. Suzuki – How they Compare

Performance

When it comes to high performance superbikes the competition is between the Suzuki Hayabusa and the Kawasaki Ninja H2R. When the Hayabusa was introduced in 1999 it was the first superbike to hit speeds of up to 300km/h. In fact it got named as the fastest production bike in the world. The bike has always retained a large 1,300cc engine. Things soon changed as the category become more competitive and the Kawasaki H2R was introduced to the world. Two variants of the bike were produced – street variant the H2 capable of 197 HP and the aggressive looking H2R that could reach speeds of over 400km/h. Most of this power is through the turbocharged engine. Suzuki has upgraded the Hayabusa to now have turbo.

Production

When it comes to production Suzuki produces more products than Kawasaki. You will find them doing motor vehicles, four wheel drives, All terrain vehicles, and even wheelchairs. Suzuki has a presence in over 192 countries and is the eleventh motorcycle producer in the world. When it comes to production Suzuki is way larger than Kawasaki. Both bike makers are Japanese made and are known for reliability. Suzuki can trace its existence to over a century while Kawasaki is really new having started its production in 1962. They also have less category of bikes than Suzuki.

Affordability

Suzuki produces a lot of bikes for the masses and this means they are often very affordable. With subsidiaries across the world the bike maker main focus is producing affordable bikes for the masses that are also good on fuel mileage. It is almost impossible to hit the streets and not sport a Suzuki motorcycle. The maintenance costs for the Suzuki is also within the range of many city residents. With a variety of bike types Suzuki carters to almost anyone, you get scooters for everyday commutes and superfast bikes like the Hayabusa for those interested in fast acceleration.

Kawasaki has had an edge over Suzuki in the category of superbikes in their portfolio. Firstly, they hold the record for the fastest production bike in the world. The Kawasaki Ninja H2R is in a class of its own. They also have various superbike categories in the 600cc and 1000cc section. When it comes to body frame you have some great looking Kawasaki bikes that are designed for speed. This helps reduce drag while offering the rider the best riding position. Most of the bikes will come with ABS as standard and modern electronics like traction control, quick shifters, and wheelie control.

Kawasaki vs. Suzuki – A Comparison Overview

Kawasaki – Overview

When Kawasaki was first formed the bikes carried an emblem an aircraft as the company had formed a partnership with aircraft manufacturer Meguro. This later changed and the Kawasaki Motor sales took over the production of motorcycles. Kawasaki superbikes are known for performance and aggressive looks. They have motorcycles in almost all biking categories. Here is a list of some Kawasaki bikes that have ruled the racing world for decades.

Kawasaki Ninja 650

This superb looking bike that handles well with fast acceleration. It is lightweight and competes well in the 600cc biking category. The stylish design and maneuverability is what makes it quite popular among young aggressive riders.

The Ninja 650 has a sleek body design with great looking LED lights. Weighing in at 191kg it offers great flexibility when navigating corners. The adjustable windshield measures 60mm. If you decide to take the Ninja 650 in city traffic you do not have to worry about uncomfortable under seat heat. An innovative radiator redirects heat away from the rider to the ground.

The Kawasaki Ninja boasts of a 649cc engine that generates 67.2 of Horsepower and torque of 65.7 Nm. A 6 speed manual gearbox powers the Ninja double cylinder engine. Braking is through front and rear disc brakes. You also get anti-locking braking system as standard. The Ninja 650 though intimidating is with the reach of most bikers budget.

Kawasaki Ninja H2R

When it comes to the Kawasaki lineup of bikes, you have many nice and cool bikes but the Holy Grail is the H2R. This should be on your number one list of superbikes – if you can keep up with the speed. The Kawasaki is too fast, too aggressive, and too agile and it comes with a hefty price to support it. Talking about speed, this beast of a machine will hit speeds of over 200mph. It surprises many that you get to seat on 310 worth of horsepower.

While the H2R is superfast you can’t hit those speeds legally on the streets. This means it is a track only bike. When you are riding the H2R it feels like you are riding something from a ski-fi movie. Firstly, it is 22kg lighter than the H2 and this makes it superlight. You get the same suspension like in the H2 it is very agile. The bike got an update by been included with Ohlins TTS shocks. You can automatically pre-adjust this to suit your weight.

Another impressive feature is its airbox construction. It is aluminum built with capacity of 6 liters. This means it generates 2.4 atmospheric pressure. The pressurized air also acts like a radiator. With a supercharger, the H2R will comfortably hit a speed of 200mph.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Our list of Kawasaki bikes can’t be complete with the mention of the Ninja ZX-10R. The pressure to produce the fastest superbike is very real especially to biking makers like Suzuki and Kawasaki. The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R serves two purposes – a street legal bike that can raise your hairs while cruising in the city streets and a racing machine well capable of competing with models like the Yamaha R1.

The Ninja ZX-10R comes in a inline four 998cc engine capable of reaching top speeds of 180 mph. To help keep the weight within manageable levels you have an aluminum perimeter frame that pushes the bikes weight to around 454. You get 450 with the vanilla version.

The Ninja ZX-10R generates a massive 207.2 horsepower at torque of 114.9Nm. With a RAM air intake you can push the HP to 210. To power all the instruments on the ZX-10R you get a nice LED digital screen. The ZX-10R received an update getting Ohlins Electronics steering damper. For the front you get 43mm balance free forks and at the rear gas charged shocks. To support the superbike weight we have three spoke rims. For the tires you have 120/70-17 for the front and at the rear 190/55-17.

Suzuki – Overview

Suzuki is a large Japanese Company that is responsible for the production of many things including four wheel drive vehicles, automobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles. Suzuki commands a presence across the world, employing over 45,000 people and is ranked as the eleventh biggest automaker in the world. Suzuki produces over 50 models of motorcycles that consists of cruisers, sports bikes, standard, adventure and touring. The most popular bike model in the superbike category is the Hayabusa.

Suzuki GSX-R1300R Hayabusa

The Hayabusa is intimidating on the roads. First, is its looks, you get this bright lights that announce that this is no child’s play on the road. The curves around the bike are designed to make the bike lightweight while giving it the agility to hit astronomical speeds. To boast the Hayabusa is a monstrous 1,340cc engine that is capable of hitting speeds of up to 180 mph. The Hayabusa generates 197 worth of horsepower at a torque of 155Nm.

The Hayabusa is a bit heavy at 266kg but this does not hinder its aggressive acceleration. It is available in two colors – candy daring red and metallic thunder gray. The Hayabusa was Suzuki’s response to competition. 20 years ago, Honda released the super blackbird CBR1100XX while Kawasaki had the ZZ-R1100. Wanting not to be left behind, Suzuki responded with their superfast Hayabusa. All of a sudden the big bike makers were in a race for the fastest superbike in the world. This competition soon led to the maximum speed for the bikes been curbed at 300km/h.

Nothing has changed much with the Hayabusa since it was introduced 20 years ago. The new model comes equipped with ABS brakes as standard, slippery bodywork, and variable throttle modes. The instrument screen is still analogue but it does light up pretty well as you push the Hayabusa throttle to the maximum. An innovative Suzuki Drive mode selector (S-DMS) controls the engine output. With the feature the rider can choose from an three engine control maps.

With such kind of power you need some powerful brakes to bring all that horsepower to a halt. The Suzuki dual ABS are also fitted with front Brembo calipers that support the 310mm discs and you get 260mm disc for the rear with Tokico calipers. Suspension is courtesy of front 43mm inverted KYB forks with rear link-type suspension. You get a large fuel tank of 21 liters to help you in long trips.

Suzuki GSX-R1000

Coming in very closely to the Hayabusa is the GSX-R1000. This is a double engine 998.8cc superbike capable of 196HP @rpm of 13,200. A six speed transmission powers this bike. The GSX-R1000 is super sleek with nice curves to boost its aerodynamics. You get full LED headlights that make it menacing at night and RAM air intake ducts that help push the horsepower to unimaginable levels.

The bike got a facelift in 2017 and it now spots a new all-aluminum frame that makes it lighter at 200 kg. The latest Suzuki technologies have been used for the superbike as you now have the all new racing Suzuki variable valve timing (SR-VVT) technology and an inline four liquid cooled engine. You also get motion braking system, 10-level traction control, showa balance free suspension, bi-directional quick shifter, launch control, LED position lamps, and cornering ABS.

For the braking system, you now get larger Showa big piston forks for the front Brembo monobloc brake calipers. The tires are large and provide a comfortable ride. You have Bridgestone RS10 radial tires. The bike is available in blue and black and competes with the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, Honda CBR1000RR, BMW S1000R and the Yamaha YZF-R1.

Now let’s compare 2 popular Kawasaki vs. Suzuki

Model Kawasaki Ninja H2R Suzuki GSX R1000
Displacement 998cc 999cc
Maximum Power 322 HP @rpm 14,000 199 HP @rpm 13,200
Maximum Torque 165 Nm @rpm 12,500 117.6 Nm @rpm 10,800
Fuel Tank Capacity 17L 16L
Mileage 15 Kmpl 14 kmpl
Kerb Weight 216 Kg 202 kg
Length 2070mm 2075mm
Wheelbase 1450mm 1410mm
Seat height 831mm 825mm
Tachometer Digital Analogue

Conclusion

If you were to compare Kawasaki and Suzuki in the superbike category then the Kawasaki H2R would be a clear winner over the Hayabusa. The bike is actually the fastest production bike in the world. Suzuki as a company has an edge over Kawasaki because it has a larger array of bikes in their portfolio and is in fact the eleventh motorcycle producer in the world.

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Cyborg
Steven Reilly is a qualified mechanic and his passion for cars goes beyond just the technical aspects. He is also an amateur racer and all round car enthusiast. When he is not driving them, he can often be found in his garage under the hood of a rare model. Steven Reilly has lost track of the number of hours he has spent setting up his fine collection of rebuilt models. He believes that cars can provide a constructive and fun opportunity to teach the youth important life skills. In line with this, he is developing a community outreach program, potentially dubbed ‘Cars for change'.
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