Kenan Sofuo?lu, a Turkish motorcycle racer who's won five Supersport World Champion titles, is surely not afraid to go fast. When he was picking up his new Kawasaki Ninja H2R, the dealer said that the bike was capable of a top speed of 236 MPH and that their ultimate goal was to go 248 MPH. Kenan, however, was convinced that the bike was capable of 248 MPH already, so he began making light adjustments to the bike in hopes of achieving the world record for top speed on a production bike.
The Kawasaki Ninja H2R is the track version of the the standard Ninja H2 model. It's also the fastest bike that Kawasaki Motorcycles has ever created. This superbike is bad to the bone, if you're looking for a high-speed adrenaline rush. Whether you're talking Honda, Yamaha, BMW, or Ducati, no one else has managed to surpass the maximum speed of the Kawasaki H2R.
In 2016, Sofuo?lu had tried his luck at the speed record multiple times. After achieving a speed of 242 MPH during one of the record attempts, he knew he was getting close, so he made a few more aerodynamic changes. The World Supersport Champion finally lined up the sport bike for the final run down the beautiful Osman Gazi Bridg, in Turkey. He wore a specially-prepared leather suit and fitted the bike with a set of slick tires like you'd find on a MotoGP bike.
Kenan absolutely demolishes his previous record and sets a new maximum speed of 248 MPH. What's even crazier is that he managed to get there within 26 seconds of starting from a dead stop. Good thing, because Kenan had to reach the speed in under 30 seconds or he risked a tire blowing out. Having a blowout at those speeds would be nightmare-inducing, to say that least. Unbelievably, he claims the world record and you can see the excitement as he cheers from the motorcycle.
You can even hear the supercharger flutter as he backs off the throttle in the video. It's pretty impressive to me that anyone is willing and able to go that fast on a motorcycle. Especially while taking on the additional risks of going into unknown territory. The parts and equipment on motorcycles were not exactly designed to be taken to these extreme speeds, so it's a dangerous game of trial and error. This rider definitely knows what he's doing though, and he helped show Kawasaki what the bike was capable of, as well.
This post was originally published on May 20, 2020.