Kawasaki Ninja H2 and Ducati 1299 Panigale S Up for Pikes Peak Glory

2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 3 photos
Photo: Kawasaki
2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale S2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2
There is much glory among the clouds, or so they say when the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb comes into discussion. The supremacy of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 came to an end, and Lightning electric bikes, as well as Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R have started to steal the show. For the 2015 Race to the Clouds, two new interesting pretenders have showed up: the new Ducati 1299 Panigale S and the Kawasaki Ninja H2.
The outright 2-wheel record still belongs to the Ducati Multistrada 1200, as Carlin Dunne’s 9:52.819 2012 performance is still safe. Last year, Jeremy Toye won the Pikes Peak race aboard a 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, but the 9:58.687 falls short when it comes to pose a real threat to the record holder.

Can new, more powerful machines break the standing record?

Both bikes are new, even though the Ducati machine is more of a makeover for the existing 1199 Panigale. Still, the peak power figure was increased to north of 200 hp and this might give the new Panigale S a chance on the Pikes Peak slopes. The bike’s peak torque of 1446 Nm (106.7 lb-ft) arrives at 8,750 rpm and this might come in handy exiting the 156 turns separating the start and the finish lines.

On the other hand, the Ninja H2 brings in supercharged technology, also packing 200 horsies in stock trim, and capable to reach around 210 or above with the full effect of the ram air system kicking in. Since superchargers lack the lag turbo compressors have, the crisp acceleration of the Ninja H2 might also be a strong card in the 2015 PPIHC game. You can follow the link for some sizzling hot Ninja H2 and H2R track action.

Bikes are still far behind cars

Still, in terms of who’s really the fastest human up the Pikes Peak road, bikes are almost lazy compared to the best car. Sebastian Loeb’s 2013 8:13.9 run to the clouds remains a far shot for bikes, at least for the predictable future.

Even so, the 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race on the 28th of June will definitely be a most interesting one. Frankly, we’re dying to see how the Ninja H2 will perform…

Follow this link for Carlin Dunne's 2014 Ninja ZX-10R winning run.
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