Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 18 Apr 2015
There’s been a huge smile on James Ellison’s face at Brands Hatch today, and not just because he leads the British Superbike field ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying.
At lunchtime, he was given the laborious task of completing several laps of the 1.3 mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit aboard Kawasaki’s all-new 326bhp Ninja H2R.
Coming back into the pits, he said: “That was so much fun! I was honoured to be asked to do it; I was really excited to be given the chance. You can’t hear anything else but the bike with the supercharger kicking in – it really isn’t like anything I have ever experienced before on a motorcycle. The power was unreal, but user friendly.”
With the Brands Hatch Indy circuit quite short, Ellison felt he didn’t get to use the full potential of the supercharged H2R, only reaching fourth gear on the start finish straight.
“It would be nice to get let loose on a big, open track too – the closest you get was out of Clearways and you come out of there in third and by the time you get to the marshal point on the start/finish straight you are pinned in third gear and click fourth! The rear starts to skate away from you but it is such a nice feeling.
“The supercharger comes in quite early on the RPM, so you have the revs up and it feels like it wants to pull your arms out. I really, really enjoyed it as it was a fun bike to ride – just awesome.”
The H2R boasts a supercharged 998cc inline-four motor, which, with ram air effect, is claimed to produce a whopping 326bhp.
Just 27 H2Rs, which can only be used on closed circuits, will come to the UK. It's believed the first three will go to 2013 World Superbike Champion, Tom Sykes, BeWiser Kawasaki BSB rider, Chris Walker and JG Speedfit GBmoto Team Principal, Mark Smith-Halvorsen.