• Kawasaki’s Team 38 setting up stage to create a new speed record atop the H2

From Japan to the Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats

Kawasaki is taking its Team 38 racing team, and the modded Ninja H2 to a place where the automobile is king and speed is the one true god. A piece of land bordered by mountains, and crusted in fine white granules of salt - The Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway.

The team is there to attempt and set a new world record in a category that has been undisclosed. The record run will be a part of the Speed Week from August 11th to the 18th, 2018, the same time where speed junkies from all over the world will land on this 10 mile stretch in the pursuit of holding the title for the fastest man and machine. Kawasaki has released a teaser video of the attempt this year at Bonneville.

2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 High Resolution Exterior
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A couple of years ago, Team 38, an unincorporated group comprised of employees and moto enthusiasts, ventured from Japan to Bonneville Speed Week with the goal of reaching the top speed of the Ninja H2R. It clocked a top speed of 220 mph and gave the team a huge learning curve for their next run.

This year, the same team with senior rider Shigeru Yamashita will astride on the "specially prepared" Ninja H2 instead of the H2R to take a dig at a new world speed record. Unfortunately, no further details have been released regarding the category they will be running in. “A new world beyond speed.” is all we have for now.

Kawasaki's Team 38 setting up stage to create a new speed record atop the H2 Exterior
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The inline-4 998cc mill would make around 207 hp and 98.5 pound-feet of torque with the supercharger making 20.5 PSI of boost under the hood. Although we do not have any specifics of Team 38’s H2, there will definitely be big power gains with remapped ECU and race-spec exhaust units coming into the picture.

Formed in 1975, Team 38 originally was made up of members of the Kawasaki Experimental Technology and Engineering Department. Named after the Building 38 at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) Akashi Works Plant, it has a history of setting records and has competed in multiple national and international races and has learned vital information in the development of many Kawasaki motorcycles we get to ride on our streets.

The first generally recognized motorcycle speed records were set unofficially in 1903 by Glenn Curtiss, using aircraft engines of his own manufacture. But until 1920, there were no official records set which were sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). The first FIM-sanctioned record to exceed Curtiss’ 1907 speed happened only in 1930 with a supercharged 1000cc v-twin JAP engine which did a 136.7 mph run stunt.

Sagar Patil
Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read full bio
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