For years, the magic 400 km/h (249mph) mark was the holy grail of motoring performance, as the figure was achievable only in controlled high-speed runs by purpose-built cars, but nowadays things are a little different.
When Bugatti said the Veyron was capable of going a tad beyond 400 km/h (249 mph), 11 years ago, it awed the automotive world. Even by today’s standards, there are just a few high-performance vehicles (production and race cars) that can achieve the impressive objective. A few bikes too.
Like the Kawasaki Ninja H2R, which Turkish professional motorcycle racer, Kenan Sofuoglu, used it to go from 0 to 400 km/h (248 mph) in 26 seconds on the İzmit Bay Bridge.
The Red Bull rider reckoned that the 2,682 m (8,799 feet) long construction, located at the Gulf of İzmit along the eastern end of the Sea of Marmara, was the perfect venue to host his top speed run, and after preparing for four months, he was ready to take the non-street legal H2R to its full potential.
With 308 horsepower in “standard” and 326 horsepower (243 kW) with ram air, the supercharged H2R track-only variant has 50% more power than the fastest street-legal bikes, exceeding any production motorcycle’s top speed by quite a big margin – as you’ll see in the video – hitting 400 km/h (248 mph) with ease, contrary to what Kawasaki thought:
“When I asked for the motorcycle, Kawasaki said its maximum speed was 380 km/h and that their dream was to reach 400km/h. The first time I rode it, I felt its huge power and speed, and I made small changes to the motorcycle – keeping its original settings – and did not modify it. I reached 390 km/h in my last trials and today I beat this and reached 400 km/h”, Sofuoğlu said to WorldSBK.