The supercharged Kawasaki H2 teasers continue to come from Team Green, though none since the “sound video” have really given anything away about the new sport bike. Today’s video, the fifth installment, doesn’t really whet our appetite either, though we thought we’d share it for one good reason, the Kawasaki River Mark logo.
There is something fundamental that motorcycle enthusiasts have to understand about the Japanese manufacturers, and that is the fact that their motorcycle business constitutes a very small portion of the companies’ overall operations and incomes.
Historically, the motorcycle divisions of the Big Four have been the epicenter for corporate bragging between these Japanese conglomerates — they told all of Japan, “look what we can do.”
In the case of Kawasaki, it is truly only a small part of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which builds ships, heavy equipment, aerospace parts, trains, and even parts for nuclear power plants. There aren’t too many industries where Kawasaki doesn’t have an interest, and its motorcycle division is where it shows off its technological prowess…at least, that’s how it used to be.
With the economic recession, things changed a bit. Japanese OEMs were already becoming complacent, especially with their sport bike offerings, and the loss of the credit market did little to encourage these behemoth institutional brands to throw even more money at a bad situation.
Even large diverse corporations were feeling the crunch, and projects were cut across the board, heavily so for the Japanese motorcycle divisions, which took unit and profit loses that were far greater than what was revealed at the time in the media.
2015 promises to be the beginning of the Japanese sport bike revival though, as Kawasaki gets ready to launch its supercharged H2. Suzuki and Honda have forced-induction bikes as well, and Yamaha is expected to debut its new R1 motorcycle(s) in a month or two as well.
What is interesting today though, is we see a trend from Kawasaki with its marketing of the new H2. The project has constantly made reference to the engineering work of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and in this fifth video we see that the Kawasaki H2 will bear the Kawasaki River Mark logo — the historic emblem of Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
Kawasaki is making it clear to the other Japanese manufacturers, as well as the public as a whole, that the H2 represents the whole of Kawasaki, not just its motorcycle division. Consider it a challenge to the other Japanese OEMs, Kawasaki calling them out once again with “look what I can do.” Is this the day that the superbike wars rekindled in Japan? I certainly hope so.